With the big casting announcement dominating all the recent discussion, a few minor, but none-the-less interesting, news items kinda slipped through the cracks.
In the Daily Mail report on the Sean Bean rumor it was mentioned that Rainmark was involved with the Game of Thrones pilot. This was the first time that name had cropped up. Rainmark is a production company formed by producers of Rome and John Adams, among other projects. The intent with the company was to work closely with HBO and the BBC to develop films and TV series. Rainmark’s IMDb page doesn’t show them being involved with Thrones, although as we know, IMDb isn’t 100% accurate. We will have to wait and see if Rainmark is actually involved with the production or if the Daily Mail report was incorrect.
Even though it remains to be seen whether Rainmark is involved with the series, some people that have worked with them in the past seem to be. Namely production designer Gemma Jackson. Jackson’s experience as a production designer includes some impressive work with John Adams (where she won an Emmy) and Finding Neverland (where she was nominated for an Oscar). Having someone of her caliber on board as production designer means Thrones’ sets, costumes, props, etc. should look top-notch.
In related news, I’ve been told that licensed ASOIAF sword producers Valyrian Steel have had some dialog with HBO about using their sword designs in Game of Thrones. Specifcially, HBO has requested their conceptual drawings for Ice, the ancestral Valyrian steel greatsword of House Stark. Ice being, of course, the only notable sword appearing in the pilot episode. The reasoning behind it is that since Martin has worked closely with Valyrian Steel over the past couple years to ensure they get the look of these swords just right, it makes sense for HBO to go to them first when looking to recreate these weapons on screen. This kind of attention to detail from the show’s producers is encouraging to hear.
With the cast starting to become finalized, and auditions beginning to wind down, production design is going to be moving to the forefront of Benioff and Weiss’ priority list. Establishing the look of the pilot via sets, costumes, props, locations, etc. is going to be just as important as getting the right cast. It should be exciting to see.
[Thanks to Sparq and Adam Whitehead for their info on Rainmark and Jackson, respectively.]