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A Round-up of This and That

News has slowed down as Game of Thrones hits the last stretch of production—filming in Northern Ireland is done, filming in Morocco (at Ouarzazarte, which Game of Thrones followers may recall as the location of some filming for the pilot which never saw the light of day) is wrapping, and a brief leg in Iceland will pretty much be the end of it—and we’ve not had very much to report… on the website, in any case.

Over the last week we have been sharing bits and bobs over our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages, and we thought we might as well give a quick round-up of some of the more interesting items for people to discuss and consider. These include a number of interviews, from executive producer David Benioff to writer/editor Bryan Cogman to actor Kit Harington, some miscellaneous photos from Morocco, and more. You’ll find them below:

More Glimpses of Season 3

Since our last report, more images have been pouring in from Essaouira, Morocco where some more filming has taken place. No real spoilers, but there’s some excellent photos of actors and extras alike at Mohamed Amine Lakaab’s photo set and a few new images courtesty of the Spanish-language Juego de Tronos fan site. Here’s a very brief video from the latter, showing Iain Glen (Ser Jorah Mormont) escorting Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) through the streets of Morocco.

Some comments below on some of the images.

A Look at Slaver’s Bay

While exterior filming in Belfast seems largely to be wrapping up—though a major event isn’t quite done filming, suggesting that what remains is interior shooting—filming has begun in Essaouira, Morocco where a significant part of Daenerys Targaryen’s story for the third season will be take place. Essaouira will stand in for the region of Essos known as Slaver’s Bay.

And, just like Dubrovnik, the fact that they’re filming in a city means that photographs of sets, props, and actors are starting to crop up. What follows are definitely a bit spoilerish, so be aware of that:

It’s a Nice Day For A…

So, Extras NI—the main casting agency for extras for the production—just put out this urgent call:

CELLISTS - brief:
- Seeking MALE only cellists. Must have experience.
- Ideally men with medieval or period faces (i.e long hair & beard) but not essential.
- ATTN: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) & include
—A clear & current photograph (if you have video footage, please include it/attach link)
—Your measurements including height, waist, chest & shoe size
—Your level of experience and/or CV

- You must be fully available for filming on the 15th through to the 19th of October. If successful, you will be contacted. Rate of pay will be confirmed at this point.

AMPUTEES - brief:
- ATTN: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) & include
—A clear and current photograph
—Your measurements including height, waist, chest & shoe size
—A clear description regarding where your limb is missing eg. at knee, at ankle, etc

- You must be fully available for filming on the NIGHT of October 12th.
- You must be OK and comfortable with filming a scene within the context of a battle where your leg has been injured. Prosthetic makeup will be applied as though your leg has newly been severed. We understand that this is not for everyone, so please only apply if you are happy to participate.

From Dubrovnik to Morocco

At the end of last week, the Game of Thrones production wrapped up its time in Dubrovnik, but the media there got quite a lot of video and pictures which may be of interest.  Here’s a sampling:

The video below is particularly interesting because we glimpse a scene being shot, featuring Sibel Kekilli, Sophie Turner, Aidan Gillen, and Esme Bianco, which we think must be a scene from episode 1 given an interview with David and Dan that seems to be done the same day.

New Stills from Season 2 feature the Death of Irri

Here’s an interesting photo gallery: stills from the second season taken by Paul Schiraldi, one of the on-set photographers for Game of Thrones (and a number of other HBO shows, past and present, by the looks of it).

Among the many stills never seen before? This one, taking during a scene that was cut, featuring the murder (by strangling) of Irri. It was something left vaguely mysterious and unclear, though by the final episode the implication was clear enough—but now we can see just how the first thought of staging the scene.

(Thanks to Kissed by Fire for pointing it out.)

Game of Thrones Storms Dubrovnik

Filming for season 3 of Game of Thrones has begun in Dubrovnik, and as usual with filming there, the local press gets quite a lot of scoops—it’s hard to hide what you’re doing in a small, busy city filled with historic sites. The Dubrovnik Times already reported on early filming involving boats and a special (expensive) camera rig for shots on the water.

More notably, however, have been our very first glimpses (English article hereof the lead actors in costume, as Aidan Gillen, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Jerome Flynn, and Daniel Portman were led through the streets and up hills to a filming location. Of particular note in the article’s accompanying photo gallery? Aidan Gillen’s costume looks much the same… but Peter Dinklage is sporting a prosthetic scar, and Lena Headey has a brand new dress (gorgeous fabrics) which may reflect Michelle Clapton’s remark in Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones that there’s a new trend-setter at court now in the form of Margaery Tyrell; the scoop top of the gown certainly reminds one of the more extreme dress last season.

Heard on the Set

A new and somewhat mysterious entry at the Making Game of Thrones production blog, as we get a random sampling of quotes overheard on the set. Doubtless as consolation for Game of Thrones scoring nil at the Prime Time Emmys (though, with 6 Creative Arts Awards, it turned out to be the drama with the most individual awards by the end of the show), but there’s some interesting bits.

The muddy sinkhole would almost surely be the quagmire that is the Maghermorne Quarry where scenes for Castle Black (and some other things) have been shot. And the cave built inside Paint Hall… well, there’s a couple of things that could be, if they’re sticking to the books. I’ll leave that up to you, though!

Game of Thrones S2 VFX Breakdown Video

Hot on the heels of the Emmys Creative Arts Awards, where Game of Thrones took six awards, the VFX house responsible for one of those victories has made available its VFX breakdown video for the second season. Pixomondo, an international effects house with studios across the globe, really went to town with the visual effects for the series, as you’ll see in the breakdown below:

Pixomondo Breaks Down VFX for Game of Thrones Season 2

Game of Thrones Wins Big at Creative Arts Emmys

The Creative Arts Emmys always seemed the place where Game of Thrones was going to leave its mark. Last year, though, Boardwalk Empire was the juggernaut, winning seven total awards. But this year? Game of Thrones all the way, as the award took six of the nine nominated categories (not the most nominated show—far from it, in fact—but that 66% win rate was impressive!)  to be the winningest show this year.

Here’s the list of winners:

First Production Still from Season 3

And now the trickle of information starts coming in from the set: the Making Game of Thrones blog has its first new post in quite awhile, featuring a description of an important scene and a behind-the-back shot of ... someone.

It’s all quite cryptic, of course, but we do know the Clandeboye estate has been used for several things… including, from photos we’ve seen, for regions beyond the Wall and also regions in the south. Not quite sure why there’s no snow, though, in this photo—it may well suggest it’s for something else entirely. I’ll take a completely random guess, based on the “unexpected pairing” implying it might not be anyone paired by the end of season 2…

Glimpses of Riverrun

While production has been carrying on at a good pace—I’ve heard everything’s pretty much proceeding to schedule—there has been little tidbits coming, here and there, from Northern Ireland locals who’ve spotted filming ... or, better yet, have managed to get a few photos in. The most interesting photos relate to a much-missed location from prior seasons of Game of Thrones: Riverrun, the seat of House Tully. Other than a very brief mention at the end of season 2, Riverrun has largely been out of the picture… but not this year, not with the casting of Edmure and Brynden Tully.

NI Screen Talks Season 4

Northern Ireland Screen, the corporate body tasked with helping to encourage film and television production in Northern Ireland, has regular board meetings that occasionally reveal little tidbits about HBO’s Game of Thrones. There’s generally a three month lag, give or take, between these meetings and their minutes being posted, so the details of this March 13th (PDF file)  meeting are slightly out of date, with the CEO’s confidence that negotiations for season 3 will be successful—they were, with the production well under way in Northern Ireland—and so on.

However, it’s interesting to note this bit:

”. . . stressing that Season 4 would depend on the UK introducing a tax credit for high end television drama.”


Game of Thrones Episode Submissions

One of the things we’ve learned since the Emmy nominations were announced is that the drama series nomination has a particular process (see the last paragraph), namely that three pairs of episodes are selected, and these sets are randomly distributed among the voters. It left us pondering which pairs of episodes HBO had sent out…

Emmy Nominations

The nominees for the Emmy Awards have been announced, and there’s a bit of Game of Thrones news to be had:

  • Game of Thrones again scores a Best Drama Series nod, though the competition—Breaking Bad and Mad Men especially—pretty much insure that it won’t be scoring a win.
  • Once again, Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Tyrion Lannister earns him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Although HBO could easily have placed him in the Best Actor category, they appear to have decided that as the show is such an ensemble, that it made most sense to keep all the nominations in the supporting categories.
  • Gemma Jackson has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction.
  • Nina Gold and Robert Sterne once again earn a nomination for Outstanding Casting in a Drama Series.
  • As does Michele Clapton, Alexander Fordham, and Chloe Aubry for Oustanding Costume Design for the episode “The Prince of Winterfell.
  • Kevin Alexander and team win a nomination for Outstanding Hairstyling.
  • Paul Engelen and team win a nomination for Outstanding Makeup.
  • Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup nomination for the episode “Valar Morghulis”.
  • As I had hoped, a nomination for Outstanding Sound Editing for “Blackwater, thanks to Peter Brown and team.
  • Also Outstanding Sound Mixing, for the same episode.
  • Pixomondo’s work earned nomination for Oustanding Visual Effects for the episode “Valar Morghulis”. Somehow had expected that “Blackwater” and its wildfire would have been the nod.
  • Plus what I think is a new one, Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media for the Season 2 Enhanced Digital Experience available via HBO Go.

All in all, a good tally; the show maintained its acting and drama nominations (though it did fail to get Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Direction nominations this year), and seems to have largely expanded its technical category nominations. The one difference is that it was not nominated for Main Title Design, but as it won that one last year and the design was only changed incrementally, that’s fair enough. The most notable absence for us? Yet again no nod to Ramin Djawadi for his main title theme, and personally Neil Marshall well-deserved a nomination for his work on Blackwater.

Here’s last year’s nominations for comparison purposes.

The full nominee list can be found via the official Emmys Site.