DEFINITION June 2019

DRAMA | GAME OF THRONES

In a scene from The Long Night in Season 8, an 11-year-old Lady Lyanna Mormont is grabbed and killed by a White Walker giant. To visualise the scene on set, the production used Ncam to position the CGI. Ncam can place an augmented reality CG asset in the scene, helping production to gauge the scale of the scene so the framing makes sense. Eric Carney, the on-set VFX supervisor, explains: “Ncam allowed us to play back an animation of what the giant’s performance would be, that was synched to the camera.” The camera operator was then able to see the giant’s proper scale on the set, enabling them to operate as if they were seeing the real thing in front of them. AUGMENTED REALITY IN THRONES LADY LYANNA MEETS THE ZOMBIE GIANT

The basic idea was that there was always a cinematographer and a first AD assigned to one director. That nucleus team then jumped between two units, between shooting in Belfast and one of the nine locations. They scheduled it so you had two full units running simultaneously, and that core team then jumped back and forth between the two units. So, generally speaking, you completed your episode with the same director and same AD.” A typical pattern involved shooting in Belfast for two weeks after scouting in Spain, before then flying back to Spain to prep some more, while another team flipped locations. “If we were down for a couple

impossible), we would not be able to do it without digital. Certainly, the look of the show would not have been so strong without the Alexa.” As a result, Game of Thrones was shot almost entirely using the Arri Alexa, with Cooke S4s as the prime lenses and Angénieux for the zooms. Although this combination was cemented in Season 1, Freeman admits: “Different cinematographers did different things in terms of filtration. Some of us didn’t use any filtration except for the odd occasion, others experimented with Pro-Mist and a couple of other things. But the main thing for the cinematographers was that we worked together. It was a very unique process, where you had more than one cinematographer working on the one project.” (Now not so unique, considering Netflix and Amazon Prime work practices.) FLIPPING TEAMS Recalling the teamwork required to shoot the series, Freeman says: “It was inspirational to see how other cinematographers worked with the same actors as you had. I think there were 12 cinematographers for the whole show, but maybe up to five for a season. Our production manager, Bernie Caulfield, was the one who figured out a way for all these cinematographers to work together.

ABOVE For The Long Night, DOP Fabian Wagner had to come up with a rig for Arri SkyPanels that he could pull down during wind and bad weather

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