Arrival in Iceland Marks the Beginning of the End

By Cat Taylor

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Photo Credit: Helen SloanThis year’s on-location shoot in Iceland is quite different from last year’s. We are shooting a month earlier and for only eight days, whereas we were in Iceland for nearly a month in 2011. The trip, our first to Iceland, spanned three main locations and many hundreds of miles, with stays in Svinafelljokull, Vatnjokull, Vik and many locations surrounding each base.

For Season 3, we were lucky enough to see another part of Iceland entirely as we are based in the Myvatn Lake region in the North, a few hours from the town of Akureyi.

It was not the most auspicious of starts on our first Monday in Reykjavik – a storm had been coming in from the ocean and all domestic flights were grounded from early in the morning – a worry because all our directors, ADs and producers were scheduled to do a two-day recce of all the locations for the shoot, beginning the next day.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, a recce is a chance for the director, DOP and the crew to reconnoitre the location and finalize the details of how that scene will work – in what direction the camera will shoot, where the actors will walk, where the best light angles will be and so on, down to the best place for base (close, but out of sight and far enough away that the generator can’t be heard, is the ideal).

Finally, at 3 pm in the afternoon we received word that the airport in Akureyi was open and those who needed to fly out raced to the airport – some people were driving and had hit the road hours before – to catch the first plane. After a short flight over the stunning mountains and glaciers, we arrived only slightly windswept at our hotels and practiced in our snow boots again.

We may only be shooting for eight days, but within that we will work with 3 directors/directing teams: Alex Graves, David Benioff and Dan Weiss and Dan Minahan covering scenes from five of the 10 episodes in Season 3. We’ve got a lot to do, and baby, it’s cold outside.