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A last little report from Doune, thanks to a fan who managed to glimpse some footage on the monitors while wandering the castle. Ace_Jones’s initial report was to say that he couldn’t imagine the production in better hands after what he had seen.
Over at his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin reports that filming at Doune has indeed wrapped up—today and tomorrow will just be the crew putting things back how they were, and transferring on to Belfast. He also notes, “so far, so good,” which is a good thing to hear. From there, he discusses his further plans—he’ll be in Belfast several days from now for the shooting there—and then comments on the Belfast signing at Eason’s set for the 3rd. He and Parris believe they’ve convinced several of the cast to attend the event, in part by promising that his fans are “essentially harmless. Hah.”
We’ve come across an article at the Irish Film and Television Network revealing the director of photography: Sean Bobbitt (hat-tip to Maubery at Winter is Coming for pointing it out). U.K. based, he’s not quite as international as some of the other crew we’ve come across so far, but among his most recent credits are his Emmy-nominated work in the BBC’s most recent Sense and Sensibility adaptation and a British Independent Film Award for cinematography for The Hunger.
Noticing a tweet on our timeline from Julia Frey, VFX producer for Game of Thrones, in which she noted she was dining with Robert Stromberg. He’s an award-winning special effects supervisor and now the production designer behind such major films as James Cameron’s Avatar and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. WiC_Blog immediately guessed that he was the Robert noted as the special effects supervisor for HBO’s production of the George R.R. Martin fantasy series, and Julia has since confirmed this.
Can’t but imagine that this is something of a coup for a pilot production, having someone of Stromberg’s stature involved. Among his FX supervision credits are Scorsese’s The Aviator, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and The Golden Compass.
Much quieter today as far as reporting goes, alas, but we can start things off with an excellent follow-up from yesterday’s report by Jackie, which can be found here at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum. Make sure to check pages both before and after, because Jackie and Crakehall expand on a lot of the points under the assault of questions from eager fans.
Some exciting things we’ve learned is that Lena Headey as Cersei was spotted, wearing a very elaborate gown and an orante headdress, and we’ve had more descriptions of various other principals (for example, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau—playing Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer—is said to be very impressive, tall and broad-shouldered and with the requisite blonde hair). Jackie provides links to images that she feels represent some of the costumes she saw, including a famous portrait by Vermeer. The wolf pups have been described in more detail by Jackie over at Winter is Coming and its day three report—they’re about knee high, not newborn pups, but not terribly intimidating. Finally, the commentator grimhelm at WiC is there today, and it seems somewhat quieter but no less interesting. He confirms that Corvus Corax is the German medieval band that performed during filming. Those who’ve had the opportunity to interact with the crew—including producers Dan Weiss and director Tom McCarthy—have been enthused by their good humor at the fan attention.
As we’ve heard, today is the last significant day of filming at Doune. We also have heard from Jamie Campbell Bower, who was on his way to Belfast this morning, suggesting that soon the whole operation will be shifting to the Paint Hall studio in Northern Ireland. Information about filming after that point is likely to become much rarer once filming is focused on a closed studio and, later, away in Morocco.
Jackie (aka JacMac30) posts a lengthy report of everything they witnessed, here. Lots and lots of details regarding the appearances of several actors, costumes, etc. Fantastic information. She notes staff were quite eagle-eyed about photos, apparently there has been some annoyance at the photos that have leaked to date (although all of those have been of the exterior of the castle).
Crakehall, a member of the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, provides a gripping series of bits of news, one of the first reports we’ve had from Doune today. You can start finding his posts here. Among the tidbits: over a 100 extras in costume, a well-known medieval music troupe from Germany performing at the feast scene, a number of the actors on set, GRRM has filmed his cameo, and the costuming is amazing.
Crakehall also shares a photograph here, with George R.R. Martin and his partner Parris outside of the castle.
A brief update on what news we have to share. Via our westerosorg twitter account, you’ll find posts from last night in which we stumbled across reports from MissKatiana2, a stand-in for “two of the actresses” who was at Doune on Saturday. Stand-ins are used to block scenes for the cameras and arranging lighting for when the actual scenes are filmed; in fact, her report makes it sound like Saturday was primarily about rehearsals and set-up. She describes a scene she helped block, where she stood in for an actress coming out of the castle cellar with a handmaiden carrying her train behind her. She also mentions Sean Bean’s stand-in having given her a lift. Finally, she says she’ll be needed through Tuesday.
George R.R. Martin recounts having met a number of the actors at the hotel where much of the production is staying, and in particular notes that he feels some guilt at the horrors to be visited on the young actresses playing Arya and Sansa after having met them. Shooting resumes today, and from all accounts it seems like pretty much all the principals will be there, including Sean Bean.
Posting a report of what he saw yesterday, a poster at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum shared the following:
“Okay, so I popped in to Doune in mid-afternoon yesterday (24th). As has been said before, the staff were really courteous.
Dinklage was in the courtyard when I arrived, at that point we were being asked not to loiter so I went upstairs, turned a corner… and found myself in the great hall in Winterfell!
It was all set up for the feast, with tapestries on the wall and enough seating for about 50. It looked really cool - though as has been mentioned before in this thread, a lot smaller than I’d imagined. Went back down (after phoning my mates from Winterfell!) just before they were rehearsing a scene with Ghost - a very cute(!) white wolf puppy. I, along with the rest of the public were ushered away while they did the rehearsal, so can’t tell you anything about that.
Rehearsal must have ended then, because Dinklage left the set, chatting to (I think) Ron Donnachie (Rodrick Cassel). I think the glum looking (it was really cold and wet this weekend!) youth following behind in a hoody was Kit Harington (Jon Snow).”
Game of Thrones is rolling along, and now one of our intrepid fans got an inside-look into the castle during filming. Needle, a long-time fan and acquaintance of GRRM’s, reported on her sneak peek, spotting Peter Dinklage and learning that Ghost (Jon Snow’s direwolf) had been on set yesterday. She says filming covers the courtyard, walls, great hall, and a kitchen sequence.
Turns out that this was not a sneak peek, however—she just arrived early enough that filming was not going on, and they were able to enter the castle, as Historic Scotland does not close any of its sites for filming. Instead, parts of the castle will be restricted as necessary. To follow up on her report, she added that she saw no one in costume, but Peter Dinklage’s hair was “blonde and longish, scruffy looking”. Echoing an earlier reporter (more on him later), the staff were very friendly at Doune Castle. Needle’s also a gifted artist, and found it amusing that she had “painted Winterfell before knew it was Winterfell”.
Loras provided some exciting reports, having gotten a better look at the outside of the castle than most, starting with discussions of what various screens, scaffolds, and “black boxes” on the castle walls might mean. He also shares the two pictures he was able to take before his camera gave out.
Another fan in the same thread, Gabriele, put up a virtual tour of Doune to give a better sense of the castle.
Finally, we’ve had an unverified report that Lena Headey may have been at Doune Castle as well—an “absolutely beautiful” woman with hair dyed blonde who was entering the castle, which the reporter thought was her but could not cofirm. So treat it as a rumor.
Via a tweet, we learn that crew are telling people dropping by Doune Castle that Sean Bean is not present for shooting over the weekend. Bean (and possibly the rest of the primary and secondary actors?) will not be there until next week.
Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa has made another convention appearance, this time at Armageddon in New Zealand. A member of the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, Le Saboteur, was there and shared a report, with video possibly to follow in a few days.
Some salient details include the fact that Momoa believes the haka he performed got him the job, and that it was a deeply personal one as he had performed it at the funeral of a cousin. He’s read A Game of Thrones and loved it, is intimidated by the fighting and riding scenes he’ll have to do… and seems quite confident that the series will be picked up.
This is the first, official day of filming on HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones. As we’ve learned, filming will start at Doune Castle in Scotland, where photos and reports suggest that scenes will focus on the courtyard and possibly on the Great Hall for the feast scene at Winterfell. To add to this, creator and author George R.R. Martin posted that he was now in Edinburgh, suggesting he will be present for the first day of filming. Filming will continue at least through Monday.
At a guess, the cameo for GRRM that David Benioff and Dan Weiss were considering could very well take place during scenes filmed at Doune Castle.
From a fan who’s family had a photo of Doune Castle as crew were preparing it, it also seems that there are further details: his family saw a dead pig and dead deer props, as well as furniture, being moved into the castle. This very strongly suggests to us that not only will the castle be used for its courtyard, but that the castle’s Great Hall is going to be used for the Winterfell feast scene.
The BBC has a brief report concerning filming at Doune Castle, near Stirling in Scotland, over this weekend. Apparently, the production will be making use of the castle’s courtyard, as we’ve speculated previously.
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.