October 05, 2018

The long wait for the first trailer

Now that the filming is done and the long night of waiting for the new season has begun, many GoT fans are asking one question:  

When will we finally get the first teaser / promo pictures / trailer?

The only thing we saw up to now was two seconds of Jon and Sansa in HBO's "Coming soon - 2019" teaser released back in August. Everything else is up to our own guesses at this moment - but maybe we can make some reasonable predictions, based on the experiences from past seasons?

So let's have a look at the promotion schedule HBO used during seasons 6 and 7. As this is the last and final season, things might of course be somewhat different this time, but at least we can get a feeling for when what kind of promo stuff could be expected.

Here's an overview of how long before the premiere date the "big" promotion stuff was published in seasons 6 and 7. If we use those dates with the most probable season 8 premiere date of April 28th, 2019, we get the following (hypothetical) dates:

As you can see, things should get started around the end of November / beginning of December. The real "big" things like promo pix, official poster and first trailer should be expected during February and early March.

For those who prefer graphics over numbers, here's a little visual overview of the hypothetical promotion schedule:

Again, this is personal speculation based on past seasons, and things could be different this time because HBO might want the final season to go out with a special big bang. Nevertheless I think it's a useful timeline to see what we can expect during the next months.

May 01, 2018

Season 8 Overview

Season 8 basic information (permanently updated):
  • Number of episodes: 6
  • Writers: Dave Hill (E01), Bryan Cogman (E02), David Benioff & D. B. Weiss (E03-E06)
  • Directors: Miguel Sapochnik (E03 and E05 only), David Nutter (2-3 episodes), David Benioff & D. B. Weiss (E06, maybe another episode)
  • Directors of Photography: Fabian Wagner (with Sapochnik), David Franco (with Nutter), Jonathan Freeman (with Benioff & Weiss)
  • Budget: About $ 15 million per episode
  • Start of filming: October 2017
  • End of filming: July 2018
  • Premiere date: April 2019

Shooting locations and dates:
  • Titanic Studios, Belfast: Unknown amount of filming, starting October 2017
  • Linen Mill Studios, Banbridge: Unknown amount of filming at studios and outdoor ships set, starting October 2017
  • Moneyglass: November 2017: Filming with Unsullied
    Jan 2018 - March 2018: 5-6 weeks of filming nocturnal battle scenes (~ 30 nights) [Sapochnik episode]
  • Ballintoy: Dec 5-6, 2017: One or two days of filming at the cliffs near Ballintoy Harbour
    April 19-26, 2018: More filming on the cliffs near Ballintoy harbour
  • Shane's castle: Jan 18, 2018: Filming [Sapochnik episode]
  • Iceland: Jan 28 - Feb 4, 2018: 1-3 days of filming at unknown locations (Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke), a week of drone shooting [Nutter episode]
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia: Feb 6-8, 2018: 2-3 days of filming (Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Hafþór Björnsson) [Nutter and/or Benioff/Weiss episode]
  • Saintfield: March 2018: Night shoots (~ 10 nights) [Sapochnik episode]
    June: Possible filming with Dothraki riders at Lessans Riding Stables near Saintfield the first week of June
  • Magheramorne: March 15 - April 7, 2018: Giant green screen, night shoots (~15 nights) [Sapochnik episode]
    June: Possible filming with horses during last week of June
  • Randalstown Forest: March 29, 2018: One day of filming
  • Outdoor set at Titanic Studios, Belfast: Filming possibly started around April 20th
  • Italica, Spain: Filming during May 2018
  • Tollymore Forest Park. GoT signs spotted at May 3 and May 13, filming dates unknown.
  • Cushendun Caves: Filming June 7th/8th.

April 11, 2018

"Non semper ea sunt quae videntur; decipit
Frons prima multos: rara mens intellegit
Quod interiore condidit cura angulo."


February 05, 2018

New information about GoT shooting locations in Iceland

Two days ago reddit user u/gravemaster7 discovered a picture of a drone on Instagram, with the text "Shooting entire week with this amazing machine in Iceland for VFX" and the hashtag #gameofthrones: Instagram post by koenvrintspilot

This drone is a Neo model by AceCore Technologies. We've seen those specialized drones before - last year they were used for shooting GoT scenes in Iceland too: "The Drone Behind the Throne".

Now just this morning AceCore Technologies published a new video showing off its Neo drone shooting material in Iceland, again. Of course they don't tell us what exactly they were shooting and which client they did it for, but there are a some very interesting clues:
  • The shooting was performed by "Pegasus Pictures", a production company in Iceland that has been working for GoT since season 2.
  • During preparation of the shooting, we see the driver pulling into a car park filled with trucksowned by "Media Rental" - a big supplier of camera and shooting equipment in Iceland, who also worked for GoT before.
  • And finally at 01:12 in the video you can clearly see it's the same scene and context as in the Instagram picture - just look at the railing, the concrete fundament and the guy's glove and jacket.
Taking all these hints into account, we can be very sure the scenes we see in this video are from recent shootings for Game of Thrones, shootings to be used for vfx scenes.

Now to the most interesting part: which exact locations are shown in the video?

Here's a list of the ones I could identify:
Fjaðrárgljúfur / Fjadrargljufur canyon
Svínafellsjökull Glacier,
where GoT filmed last year

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Lakagígar / Laki Craters 

Háifoss waterfall

So to sum it up: these are some of the spectacular locations we are very probably going to see in vfx-enhanced scenes in season 8 - prepare yourselves!

September 28, 2017

Season 8: Directors and cinematographers

So now we know the names of the directors who will work for GoT in season 8: Miguel Sapochnik, David Nutter, and David Benioff / D. B. Weiss. But there are some other persons who are just as important when it comes to making the show what it is: the cinematographers, or Directors of Photography.

Up to now we have confirmation that DoP Fabian Wagner will be part of the team in season 8, but still nothing about the other two. It seems highly probable that for the final season HBO will chose DoPs which have lots of experience with GoT, and have either worked closely with the S08 directors before, or worked recently (S07) for the show.

Let's take a closer look at the candidates:

  1. Miguel Sapochnik: From Fabian Wagner's Instagram post we know he will be back in the team, together with Sapochnik. Which could be expected, because Wagner shot *all four episodes* Sapochnik directed up to now, and he worked for the show during the last 4 seasons (in S07 he did some additional photography only).
  2. David Nutter: When it comes to Nutter, there is a very high probability that his director of photography in S08 will be Robert McLachlan. McLachlan shot 4 of the 6 episodes Nutter directed (during seasons 3 and 5), and he recently did the two Matt Shakman episodes in S07. So he both worked a lot with David Nutter and shot recently for the show.
  3. David Benioff & D. B. Weiss: The last one is also the hardest one: who might be the DoP for the final episode directed by Benioff and Weiss? As they only directed two episodes before (in S03 and S04), using two different DoPs, there is no clear precedent. Probably they will either use one of those two DoPs, or one who worked for GoT very recently:
    • Of the two DoPs they have worked with before, I guess Matthew Jensen (though he now has a name as DoP of "Wonder Woman") is rather an improbable choice: his cooperation with D & D back in S03 was his only contribution to GoT ever. Jonathan Freeman on the other hand has shot a total of 8 episodes for GoT; after 401 with Benioff & Weiss he shot 605 and 606 with Jack Bender, and 706 with Alan Taylor.
    • Of the S07 DoPs, we already have McLachlan and Wagner included in our list, and Gregory Middleton told us he won't be in S08 - which only leaves us with P. J. Dillon. He shot 5 episodes alltogether, four of them being the Mark Mylod episodes in S06 and S07.
    So probably it will be one of those two - Freeman or Dillon. My bet is on Freeman, because he has more GoT experience and D & D worked with him before on their S04 episode.

TL;DR: These will probably be the director / cinematographer pairings for season 8:
  • Miguel Sapochnik / Fabian Wagner
  • David Nutter / Robert McLachlan
  • David Benioff & D. B. Weiss / Jonathan Freeman (or, maybe P. J. Dillon)