Game of Thrones: Features

Game of Thrones is a site for the HBO-series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

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A Budget to be Reckoned With

When HBO announced that it was ordering a season of George R.R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones on March 2nd, the news was greeted with jubilation across fandom, on the internet and off. But the green light provided a host of new questions, such as when new cast members would be announced, when new production stills might be seen, and the like. And among them, a fairly significant question: what would the budget be?

We received answers pretty quickly. Nelson McCausland, a government minister, shared that the per-season budget was expected to be circa £30 million, equivalent to $45 million U.S. With a ten episode order, this would average at $4.5m an episode, a significant amount of money by most standards in the industry. On top of this, we had additional reports that the production was estimated to inject as much as £20m ($30m) into the economy, an interesting figure that has provided one of our own estimates regarding just what this budget means.

The thing that has to be realized when trying to decide what the budget means in terms of the production is that a host of factors make this production different than other, comaparably-budgetted HBO productions such as Carnivàle and Deadwood. Chief among them? A foreign location, Northern Ireland, which has only recently pushed to become a major location for international film production. With this fledgling industry comes a great deal of opportunity as far as production costs go. The Northern Ireland government has made many efforts entice productions through generous tax breaks, cash incentives, and other support.

So, what’s the purchasing power of a $45 million production in Northern Ireland, compared to a show in the United States? Good question, and one we’re going to try our best to answer. We welcome comments, additional analysis, and any relevant facts and figures that can help develop our first try further.

Achieving the Epic with Visual Effects

While all our present information from George R.R. Martin indicates that HBO is expected to give a decision somewhere around March on whether they will order a season of Game of Thrones (US, UK), the finishing of filming on November 19th has led to an understandable question: what next? We’ll try to answer, and speculate on, two of the primary tasks before the production now that principal shooting is done: visual effects and post-production. We are by no means experts on these (or, indeed, any) facets of film production, but we’ve collected information from across the internet that will allow the experts to speak for themselves.

An Introduction to “Game of Thrones”

In January 2007, Variety broke the news that HBO had optioned the rights to George R.R. Martin’s award-winning, bestselling epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Since then, the pilot has been filmed, the series greenlit, and the production date was set as July 26th, 2010. The series teaser released in June of that year confirmed that the show’s set to premiere in 2011.

So, it’s been a long journey, marked by an incredible amount of buzz for a show that for a long time hadn’t even received a season order. Fans of the series have rallied around the production, and TV critics and commentators have shared their support for the project. What makes Game of Thrones so special, to inspire such appreciation?