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Report from Malta

I was off in Belfast when this report came in from a Russian fan who happened to be in Malta when filming of Dothraki scenes were taking place. 7kingdoms.ru shares the report, with Westeros.ru providing Westeros.ru the English translation. It’s a terrific piece of reporting as they paid close attention to some of the details we’re all eager to know about, such as weapons and clothing. Regarding their description of the arakh, I believe we’ve glimpsed one previously.

Funnily enough, Linda sent me a text message about this report while I was visiting with Bryan Cogman, and I told him about it. He confirmed that they had been filming the wedding scene around that time, though on that particular day (Thursday) they had moved on to something else.

One last detail I should note is I have a separate report in from someone who was at the Azure Window who confirmed that they were, indeed, shooting right down by the shore.

Belfast Trip: Part 1

I had originally planned to write this rather backwards, starting with the Moot and then going back, but as I sat down to write all of this, it just seemed easier to start from the beginning. I hope to get parts out every few days, depending on whether I need to run it by HBO to make sure any details I post are okay to share or not. But this first post is, I think, unobjectionable since it covers the time from my arrival in Belfast to my time prior to reaching Paint Hall.

Belfast Moot Photos

Many, many terrific photos from the Moot that happened last night. None taken by me, alas, as my phone camera lacked a flash, but here’s a few examples and links to the galleries where they’ve been posted:

Wyvernwoodhas some of the best shots I’ve seen so far. Here’s one with myself and George chatting with Finn Jones, and Mark Addy’s in the shot:

BWB_Moot2_281010_014

DrNickVC has posted several terrific pictures. I particularly like this one, featuring (from left to right) Gethin Anthony (Lord Renly), Eugene Simon (Lancel), Joseph Altin (Pypar), DrNick himself, Luke McEwan (Rast), Mark Addy (King Robert), and Finn Jones (Ser Loras):

DocFourFour (aka Rimshot) has a great series of photos he took through the night, including many of the raffle drawings.

I’m sure there are more out there, but these are a great start. Hope to have my own Moot report, with some details I picked up from the actors, later in the evening. Still recovering from the whirlwind trip!

Focus Group Closed

The focus group announced last week is now closed. Here’s the message from the market research company running this focus group:

Hi A Song of Ice and Fire Fans,

Thank you so much for your interest in our upcoming focus groups.  As a result of a massive and enthusiastic response to our post, recruitment is now closed.  We apologize if you did not have a chance to apply. If you have already been in contact with one of our representatives, you will receive a follow-up call soon.  Thanks again for your support.  Your passion for the series is inspiring!

 

Making the Costumes

A wonderful new addition to the Artisian video series from the Making Game of Thrones site, this time featuring Michele Clapton, the costume designer. It’s great timing, as yesterday I was able to see at first hand some of the costuming and armor that is featured in this video. Clapton makes particularly mention of a cape for Jaime, which is interesting because I did spot a very handsome red, fur-lined cloak labelled “Jaime Lannister” on a rack among other “hero” costumes (including several Ned items, Tyrion’s leather jerkin, Catelyn’s gown(s), and more). I hope to be able to write some more soon, but suffice it to say, I was very impressed with what I saw at first hand.

That embroidered direwolf we briefly see near the beginning? It adorns the sleeve of the rain jackets David and Dan (and maybe some others of the production team) were wearing.

HBO Updates: Dinklage and the Moot on DVD

Some interesting HBO-related items today. First, word from GRRM and Parris is that HBO is considering sending the documentary team they have on-hand to prepare promotional and DVD extra material for Game of Thrones to the moot in Belfast on Thursday (note: registration to take part has now been closed, as the party has met the limit placed on them for the venue), to record the goings-on for a segment. It’s terrific that the production is embracing the fans even more clearly!

Also, the Making Game of Thrones site has been updated with a quote from Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) regarding his character’s relationship to his sister, Queen Cersei (played by Lena Headey). Noting that he and Headey are good friends, he notes his sadness that they have very few scenes this season, a lament I believe we’ve heard from Headey herself. Hopefully the second season (*knock on wood*) will more than amply address that concern!

We noticed that the item was posted in the name of Steve Marzolf, a journalist who also writes copy for HBO,producing “core site content (episode guides, character bios, etc.)” and also conducting interviews for Behind the Scenes features such as those we’ve been seeing in the Artisan series. It seems like he’s already been at work covering the production.

Direct of Photography Added

HBO’s production has added an additional director of photography going into the final months of filming for the first season of Game of Thrones. According to Variety, cinematographer Matt Jensen has joined the team. Jensen is a veteran of HBO’s original programming, having acted as director of photography on a number of True Blood episodes.

New VFX Company

A tweet led us to take a look at the Game of Thrones IMDB page, to see if there had been any changes in the visual effects lineup ... and it looks like there is. Once the pilot was shot, the search for a long-term arrangement in terms of visual effects started, and it appears that a newer, London-based VFX company by the name of BlueBolt will be in charge of coordinating the visual effects work for the production.

Though new, BlueBolt has some very impressive credits via its founders, with their showreel featuring visual effects scenes from Troy, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Poseidon, The Quantum of Solace, and many more. Their new company is credited with providing special effects for Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Sherlock Holmes.

The new VFX producer specifically for the production seems to be Paddy Kelly, whose credits include Avatar, The Golden Compass, and several of the Harry Potter films. It looks like Kelly himself may be based at BlueBolt’s Dublin facility. BlueBolt co-founder Angela Barson appears to be the VFX supervisor for at least one episode.

Stephen Warbeck Interviewed

We announced yesterday that Academy Award-winning composer Stephen Warbeck had been selected to score HBO’s Game of Thrones. We’ve now been tipped to the that at the Ghent Film Festival this past week, Warbeck was featured in a film composition seminar and a panel with other noted composers, including Angelo Badalamenti and Howard Shore.

While no video of that seminar did exist, it did lead us to find a terrific one-on-one video interview with the composer posted just three days ago, created by CuttingEdge.be (who have a number of good interviews with filmmakers on Youtube). The interview covers everything from Warbeck’s home life (he lives on a farm) to his work process, his good (and bad) experiences, and ... his upcoming projects, including a film with Kenneth Brannagh and “a 10-part thing” for HBO. Wonder what that could be…. ? ;) We’ll start the video at that point (the 19:30 mark or so), but the whole thing’s worth listening to.

As additional material, here’s another interview conducted some time after the release of the soundtrack for the film Proof, which probably means it’s a few years old.

Exclusive: Game of Thrones Composer

HBO has kindly allowed us to break the word on one of the last major crew announcements for its production of Game of Thrones. They have informed us that Stephen Warbeck, has been selected to score the series. Warbeck’s best known for producing the soundtrack to Shakespeare in Love, for which he received the Academy Award. He has a long list of credits, including award-nominated films such as Billy Elliot and Proof, as well as other notable Hollywood productions such as Quills, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Charlotte Grey, and last year’s Princess Kaiulani.

Rather than leaving you with a sample of his Shakespeare in Love work, here’s a video for the soundtrack for Charlotte Grey which shows a nice range—7:40 in has an atmospheric, staccato piece of music that creates a great sense of tension and could almost fit right into the series as I envision it:

But just in case you want your memory refreshed… here’s a sampling of his Shakespeare in Love work:

Brilliant,memorable scores, to say the least, but bear in mind that Warbeck’s compositions may well be radically different (and influenced by things such as medieval music) compared to his previous work. Regardless, Warbeck’s a highlight in an already-amazing collection of cast and crew members.

UPDATE:

Here’s a remark that Miltos Yerolemou, who plays Syrio Forel, left in response to trolling at Winter is Coming’s post on this topic:

i know stephen warbeck personally and professionally. i worked with him when he arranged music with the royal shakespeare theatre and particularly when we worked with me on Othello. the amazing thing with this guy is that his musical knowledge is so vast. and he is the guy who can be given an idea and then just runs with it. always thorough, always surprising and a true collaborative creative to have on such a project where integrity and understanding of the material is more important than ‘star’ or known names. remember these big name people sometimes bring their own adgendas and styles with them. (sometimes a good thing, sometimes a bad thing).

be patient folks, from what you know about how carefully this project is being put together, do you really think they haven’t thought this through?

Overheard on Set

The Making Game of Thrones site has a new post which provides some obscure quotes from recent work on the production. Some of the remarks make us think of Wyvernwood’s Tollymore photos, where a number of different scenes were recently filmed, at least one of which would have involved dead bodies (and possibly fighting leading up to them).

NYC Focus Group for Ice and Fire Fans

The following is from a market research organization to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire:

Today we have a very exciting opportunity for all our A Song of Ice and Fire fans living in the New York City and surrounding area.

We are currently recruiting fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series to participate in a focus group discussion happening on November 9th in New York City. This will be an exciting opportunity to share your thoughts, passion and ideas with fellow fans.

If you:
a) have read and enjoyed Game of Thrones and b) are able to attend a 2.5 hour discussion group on November 9th in New York City (all participants will be required to supply their own transport). Please, contact us either by email (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) or by phone (212-473-6000) and we¹ll give you more details.

Dothraki Creator Interviewed

Via the Language Creation Society, we learn that David J. Peterson has been interviewed by a Esperanto-enthusiast magazine, Usona Esperanto. The interview discusses how Petersen came to conlang and provides some new details (and words) of Dothraki.

An extended interview with extra material can be found at the site of Jim Henry, the interviewer.

Hodor on Hodor

Fans at Octocon in Dublin this past weekened recieved a pleasant surprise when Kristian Nairn, the actor cast as Hodor, appeared with George R.R. Martin to discuss HBO’s Game of Thrones. The Rabbit and LugaJetGirl, two fans who were present, have written up reports on the panel which can be found Here and here respectively.

Among the more notable bits? A composer for the series has been selected, but has yet to be announced, according to the report. Also, Kristian provides an intriguing piece of information regarding a change in the character’s appearance.

As an added bonus, the Rabbit took a few pictures of George and Kristian together. Here’s one of them:

Kristian Nairn and GRRM
A Kingsguard and a Crone

Via WiCnet, we learn that HBO has confirmed actor Ian Beattie has been cast in the role of Ser Meryn Trant, one of the seven knights of the Kingsguard. He’s due to film at the end of October with Miltos Yerolemou, who plays Syrio Forel. Miltos recently revealed that he’s due to film a scene that’s brand new and not from the books, as well. Possibly Lord Stark’s hiring of Arya’s “dancing master”... ?

Also intriguingly, we have a report that a casting call has gone out for a “head priestess” of the Dothraki, described as being in her 50’s, of mixed race or Mediterranean in appearance, and she must have a good singing voice to pronounce a prophecy. This role is needed for episode number 6.

This would be one of the dosh khaleen, the crones who rule over Vaes Dothrak and maintain the rituals of the Dothraki people. Although there’s no clear hierarchy to the dosh khaleen, in the novel the crone who is depicted most is a “bent and shrivelled stick of a woman”, suggesting that the oldest of the women—who are all former khaleesis, consigned to this ritual role following the death of the khal to whom they were wed—takes a leading role in rituals.