DEFINITION June 2019

DRAMA | GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES WITH HELP FROM VR

THE PRODUCERS WERE VERY KEEN TO HELP OUT THE PRODUCTION WITH THE AID OF VR AND MODELLING

allowed us to suggest changes in the design of the set, such as extending a wall, pushing a wall back or structurally changing things to make the shot better; that works for practical set building and VFX set design extension.” He adds: “The system allowed us to be very specific in the design of the sets, and it also provided us a great opportunity to imagine what a sequence would look like.” Normally, the crew uses blueprints and elevations, or concept art, to create inspiration and help them figure out shots. “Then you use a storyboard artist and get it ‘kind of’ right. But in the end, it was never quite the same,” says Freeman. However, with VR, it’s possible to create a photo board that can eliminate the need for a storyboard. Freeman explains: “Storyboarding can take anywhere from three to six weeks and, in some cases, we were able to skip this process using VR. Also, the VR had a direct link to the previs tools, so it made it much quicker for the previs to be put together, as there were

As an option for all the production teams in Season 8, virtual reality previsualisation was encouraged in order to design sets and shooting scenarios virtually before any sets were actually built or finalised. DOP Jonathan Freeman enjoyed this new way of prep, as he explains: “This was introduced by our brilliant production designer, Deborah Riley. She had seen this work before and she was very inspired by it, so she suggested that we tried it for Season 8. I had a couple of critical scenes that required set extensions and set recreations. Myself, Dan and David (DB Weiss and David Benioff), and the directors of the finale were able to step into a virtual set before it was even built.” He points out: “Working virtually in this way allowed the directors and cinematographers to literally walk into existing spaces in virtual reality. So we could walk around in this virtual space and then take screenshots to use as storyboards, which we’d eventually use to implement our previs. But it also

references or markers in the model that had camera information. Every single shot that we photoboarded, for example, was recorded in the previs. You could then recreate the shot in half the time and continue with their animation. It was really, really effective. It not only saved us a lot of time, but was also extremely inspiring.”

40 DEF I N I T ION | JUNE 20 1 9

www.definitionmagazine.com

Powered by