Entries in behind the scenes (14)
By Cat Taylor
Photo Credit: Helen Sloan
The Charter has just left with Wolf crew to the far sunnier shores of Dubrovnik, but in Belfast we have traveled even further. Today, we are North of the Wall, and for the first time we will meet one of the most anticipated new characters in Series 3 – Mance Rayder.
When news emerged that Ciaran Hinds had accepted this part, the excitement in the office was a palpable thing – particularly with women, unsurprisingly.
Nestled on the back of Stage B, on one of our new soundstages at the Painthall, is Mance's tent. The Stage is pleasantly warm, but inside the tent fires burn while the takes are on, and every wildling is in furs and capes. Amazing for Icelandic glaciers, not so great for weight-loss-inducing sweat lodges in Northern Ireland. It’s so hot in fact, that Edward Dogliani, who plays Rattleshirt has eschewed his namesake and is wandering around with no shirt of any kind (but a rather fetching pair of braces).
It's unusual that a new cast member’s introduction scene is the first scene we film with them, but that seems fitting for one of the season’s most anticipated new characters. Dan Minahan is at the helm, and in a small sub-section off the tent he watches as the scene comes to life.
It's a long scene and not an easy one – but there is an air of anticipation. So many of the crew are fans of the show that we get as excited as the viewers when our favourites are brought to life, and today the crew cluster around the monitors for each take.
It's time for Jon to meet the King North of the Wall, brother that was. It seems they have a lot to talk about.
Special Effects Floor Supervisor
Jonathon ‘Jona’ Barrass and I sat down this week between takes on a scene from Ep 309 (directed by David Nutter) to talk about his work on the show. We are perched on the edge of some electrical kit boxes in a field near Saintfield just outside Belfast. After a week of rain, everyone is reveling in the sunshine – apart from the crowd of Wildings who are running across the ground in heavy furs.
How did you find yourself in SFX?
A friend of mine was working on HBO’s ‘Band of Brothers’ in the SFX department, and I went along one day to lend a hand and show my face. I had no formal training so to speak, but with a military and engineering background, it meant I was used to the technical side and the fast pace. The military definitely helped with that.
You’ve worked on a lot of action movies, ‘Die Another Day,’ ‘Casino Royale,’ ‘Batman Begins,’ and five of the ‘Harry Potter’ films, do you prefer TV or movies?
Well, ‘Harry Potter’ particularly was very similar. All the outdoor elements with the wind, rain and smoke. Very similar indeed. But in the end I came back to TV because I prefer it. The pace is so much faster, and that suits me, plus with this show it still feels like a film when you see the finished product.
On ‘Game of Thrones,’ each department faces some pretty big challenges, what would you say is the biggest for the SFX team?