Sunday 11 December 2016

WATCH: How HBO bring the dragons, white walkers and giants to life on Game of Thrones

Sasha Brady

Published 18/04/2016 | 12:22

Behind-the-scenes look at season five of Game of Thrones. Photo: Game of Thrones / YouTube
Behind-the-scenes look at season five of Game of Thrones. Photo: Game of Thrones / YouTube

Here's how the visual effects teams bring the fantasy world of Game of Thrones to life.

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With season six less than a week away, Game of Thrones has released a behind-the-scenes featurette that shows how the crew are able to bring the giants, white walkers and dragons to life - not to mention the epic landscapes we see in each episode.

Behind-the-scenes look at season five of Game of Thrones. Photo: Game of Thrones / YouTube
Behind-the-scenes look at season five of Game of Thrones. Photo: Game of Thrones / YouTube

Supervisor Joe Bauer and visual effects producer Steve Kullback discuss the massive green screen that was built to create the Wall in season four's Watchers on the Wall and the many components that were used to bring Drogon to life in the fighting pit in season five's The Dance of Dragons.

Bauer also reveals how he pitched the effects for the scene: "Now what we need to do is get a flamethrower that shoots 50 feet, strap it to a robotic crane, put it in a bull ring in Spain and hit 20 people with it," he says.

Behind-the-scenes look at season five of Game of Thrones. Photo: Game of Thrones / YouTube
Behind-the-scenes look at season five of Game of Thrones. Photo: Game of Thrones / YouTube

Ten years ago, a show like Game of Thrones wouldn't have existed. However, advancements in technology and the surge in the popularity of television programmes has allowed for bigger budgets and more ambitious post-production work.

Even now, as the popular HBO drama gets more complex, more special effects - both practical and digital - are needed.

According to Bauer: “Between season three and season five, our [special effects] shot count doubled.”

Author George R.R. Martin, recently congratulated the visual effects team on their excellent work on his blog: “It takes a lot of people to make a quality show, and the craftsmen and artists who do all the below the line jobs contribute just as much as the above the line talent… though they seldom receive the recognition they deserve.”

See below how the true magic of Game of Thrones is its special effetcs.

Season 6 kicks off on Sky Atlantic on Monday April 25.

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