Game of Thrones: News

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Production

The Pointy End

The first draft of episode 8’s script is now in to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, according to GRRM, who says it’s “too long and too expensive” but that’s the case with all the first drafts of screenplays and teleplays he’s ever written. He notes that it is tentatively titled “The Pointy End”—a familiar phrase to A Song of Ice and Fire fans—but that it’s not been decided whether they’ll even use titles.

He finishes with a quote from King Kong, in reference to A Dance with Dragons: “He was a king in his world, but we’ll teach him fear…”

Moroccan Budgeting

I’m not quite sure how she does it, but PDF-hunting wunderkind raijap has tracked down an interesting tidbit: an official document from the Center for Cinematography in Morocco, listing the productions spends of all significant projects filmed in Morocco in 2009. Of interest, of course, is the listing for Game of Thrones, which gives the spend as 2.7 million dirham (approxmately $320,000 USD). Of course, one supposes this figure relates purely to the hire of crew, extras, lots, and so on incurred in Morocco specifically, and may not cover the budget for foreign actors such as Jason Momoa, Tamzin Merchant, Iain Glen, or Ian McNeice.

This figure is—to my admittedly-amateur knowledge of such things—surprisingly lower than one would have expected, but may help to explain part of the reason filming will once more take place in Morocco (the other being, doubtless, the need to reshoot many of the Daenerys scenes following recasting of the role.)

Another noticeable piece, the naming of Dune Films as the local production company contracted to facilitate shooting. Dune Films has extensive credits, including having participated in the production of Kingdom of Heaven, Prince of Persia, and the soon to be released Inception.

Camera Test Images

A very brief shot of a camera test for HBO’s Game of Thrones can be found in this PDF document from Mediazoo, a Belfast-based green screen facility. In the pictures, you can see what looks to be an ARRICAM Lite, one of the camera systems we’ve previously reported on. From the images, you can see that color swatches and lighting are a part of the tests, presumably as part of an evaluation as to whether the system would be suitable for the production’s needs or perhaps to see what adjustments would be needed to get the look director Thomas MacCarthy wanted.

The most notable of them, of course, is the torch-lit scene in front of a wall. In all probability, this is our first glimpse at the sort of look and lighting we can expect for the scene in Winterfell’s crypt, when Eddard takes King Robert down to pay his respects to Lyanna.

Thanks to raijap for digging this one up.

Morocco Filming Confirmation?

There’s a production listing for HBO’s Game of Thrones, posted March 16th and last revised April 14th, which gives the filming locations of the production as Northern Ireland and Morocco, with a “late June” start. From what I can gather, this website accepts submissions from productions to list relevant information concerning their productions for those who may what to inquire about employment, hiring of equipment, and so on. The sample listings suggest that among the things they list behind their subscription wall are production office addresses and phone numbers.

The main point of interest here is the mention of Morocco. On March 5th, GRRM indicated that a return to Morocco (and Scotland) were possibilities that were yet to be decided on. While we can’t say for certain that this listing is 100% official, if it is official, it seems that the production has decided to go ahead with filming in Morocco after all. Further, again if it’s taken to be 100% official, it seems the production has decided to skip further filming in Scotland, perhaps due to expense or due to the difficulty of keeping shooting locations closed to the public, an issue which we were told bothered the production.

Going back to Morocco, to what degree was the decision to go back motivated by the ongoing casting for Daenerys? While we continue to caution against assuming that Tamzin Merchant, who played the role in the pilot, is definitely out, with each passing day it seems likelier and likelier—they’ll need to be certain of Daenerys by late May at the latest, we think, to give an actress and production time to start readying for her part. If Merchant is replaced, reshooting will have to be extensive since she’s present in every single scene in Pentos according to reports, and hence ... Morocco.

Or maybe not. Maybe they’ve decided Morocco offers too many useful locations for Daenerys’s part of the story, and we’ll be seeing Tamzin Merchant riding the silver across the arid Moroccan landscape, such as in episode 8, written by George R.R. Martin, where he’s confirmed that there’ll be at least one scene featuring the character.

We’ll report further when we have more information. Hat tip to The Rabbit01 for the pointer to My Entertainment World’s listing.

Arya at her Needlework

GRRM has shared a great pair of photos showing Maisie Williams—cast as Arya Stark—posing with Valyrian Steel‘s replica of Arya’s sword, Needle. She looks very Arya-like, if we may say so! Valyrian Steel has two additional photos on their site

GRRM also confirms that filming commences in June in Northern Ireland. Not all actors may be in the area at that time, however, as Jason Momoa and Nikolai Coster-Waldau have both indicated they’re scheduled to start in early July.

Extras Staying Hairy

A small update, as production preparations on HBO’s Game of Thrones begins to pick up pace as the late June start date draws nearer. Over at Extras NI, they’re again recommending that extras avoid cutting or dying their hair, and that male extras consider frowing out their beards and getting a “timeless look”. One funny bit of trivia in the recent past was that for the pilot, members of an Irish heavy metal fan forum were recruited to play extras because they had the requisite look. Seems like Extras NI doesn’t want to be in that position again.

Most notably, they’re recommending that extras stay with this look until January 2011. This fits pretty well with our previous information concerning the many weeks of shooting, beginning in late June and apparently running through the end of the year.

Hat-tip to Winter is Coming for bringing this update from Extras NI to light.

Call for Crew

North Ireland Screen is facilitating hiring for HBO’s Game of Thrones, with a lengthy list of some 90 positions. This goes to show how major a production this is, and there’s certainly a lot of opportunity for those with experience in film and television to find a place in the extensive crew.

Just remember to follow the instructions carefully. Note that there’s presently an unclear part to the instructions, however, which we’re clarifying here: provide CV with full contact details and in addition provide contact details for two references in the industry.

Fire and Blood

It’s nothing we’ve noticed before, but it seems that the production of Game of Thrones was officially carried out by an entity called Fire and Blood Productions. At a guess, this was essentially a temporary production company created specifically for produce the pilot. It’s a nice nod to the series.

It’s also opened up some new production information for us. For example, for the technical gearheads out there, we now know that the popular and widely-used ARRICAM Lite was among the camera systems used on the production, shooting 35mm film, as was the ARRIFLEX 235, a light-weight handheld 35mm film camera which may have been used for spontaneous angles… or, one might speculate based on director Thomas McCarthy‘s previous films, the light handhelds could be used to provide a more inimate, “you are there” feeling to certain sequences.

It also reminds us that Jeremy Woodhead, listed as make-up artist and hair designer for the pilot, has an extensive career, including major films such as The Lord of the Rings and Munich.