Filming Speculation

Day 52: Filming continues at a blistering pace

Filming rumors have been pretty sparse in recent days, which implies they may have been filming in the Paint Hall these past couple weeks. There have been a few tidbits of info though, which we will report on here.

First up, this mysterious set pic popped up on Reddit the other day. The white tarps indicate that this will be used for a snowy scene. Plus the Redditor who took the pic points out that the red tree in the background had fake red leaves applied, which would peg it as a weirwood, further evidence that this scene is one from Beyond the Wall.

Speaking of set pics, these recent photos from rev0lv0r show some old, currently unused sets at Magheramorne quarry. They are Castle Black and the gates of King’s Landing, used in Blackwater. It’s not surprising these sets would still be standing as they will almost certainly be used again, possibly even later this year.

Last bit of news is this tweet from Philip McGinley (Anguy), who indicates that his filming is done for the year. With nearly four months of filming time still remaining, this is a lot quicker than I expected. How to explain this super-fast filming? My guess is that this season they are filming stuff in storyline blocks, as opposed to episode blocks. In past years, they would film in rough chronological order, so later episodes were always filmed later in the year. Now it sounds like they may be filming entire story arcs at a time, so scenes from later episodes would already be in the can even now, at this early stage.

More evidence supporting this new approach, I have heard that they are running 3 filming units in Northern Ireland this year. In past years, they would generally run one unit in Northern Ireland and one in Croatia or Malta or Iceland. To have 3 units running in NI right now is pretty intense. My guess is, with filming set to occur in 4 countries, that they are pushing to film all, or nearly all, the NI stuff now. They will then move on to Croatia and Morocco, and then film in Iceland last. This would likely be the most efficient and cheap way to do it. The problem is the difficulty in handling the scheduling of directors, who would need to constantly be swapped out to handle their episodes’ scenes, but they may have decided juggling directors was easier than juggling actors and filming locations.

Winter Is Coming: What do you think of the mystery set photo? And what are your thoughts on the filming schedule?

134 Comments

  • The new approach to filming schedules seems interesting, but I imagine it must be hell for the episode directors, having to stretch the job out for months.

  • For me the mistery photo is next to the place when Sam and Gilly found Coldhands, it has snow, a camp and a godswood

  • Makes sense to film in this order when it comes to the weather also. Last year they had a lot of problems with the weather in NI iirc. It’ll still be good weather in Croatia and esp Morocco a few months from now. And for Iceland they actually want snow.

  • It makes sense to do it that way, especially for the Iceland stuff, because it gives Kit’s injury time to completely heal, and he probably has a lot of actiony stuff to do this year.

  • If the snow set is the only book appropriate thing, then yes, it’s Sam & Gilly are saved from wights by Coldhands.

    In my Season 3 breakdown, I’d guess that’s in Episode 10

  • As you mentioned, I’m wondering how the directing will be handled.

    Also, according to Kristofer Hivju’s agent he’s filming within the next couple of months.

  • I would think the logistics of director scheduling would be a migraine enducing nightmare!

    I guess if they use a director or two for each location instead of one director for each episode it would streamline things. It could in theory tighten up each character arc seeing as it would be one director responisble for a full arc as compared to 6 or 7 directors over 10 episodes. Each arc would have that director’s feel instead of each episode feeling slightly different. It will be quite interesting to see if and how the new filming format affects the quality or feel of the series if they have mixed it up like that.

  • Makes sense of course. It also explains why Aidan Gillen is free to do an Irish film starting Sep 24th for 6 weeks. His stuff will be finished by then even though he’s in the later episodes more I presume.

  • Doing Iceland last will reduce the amount of daylight hours they have available to film, and it’ll be colder for the cast, crew and equipment. All that could be a problem. Hopefully they manage it without too much trouble or unexpected budgeting problems.

  • darquemode,

    Very interesting view, I like this notion quite a bit, although Game of Thrones is not one of the shows where I’ve been able to tell one director’s episodes from another director’s. Some probably can. A lot of shows have a very blatant tonal shift between episodes and directors that detracts somewhat, and the consistency of a director exerting his/her influence on a single storyline for a season is a very smart way to minimize that while still allowing each director relative freedom.

  • Michel: For me the mistery photo is next to the place when Sam and Gilly found Coldhands, it has snow, a camp and a godswood

    Good call! Curious as hell as to how Coldhands will look on-screen.

  • spacechampion, that’s how they did it last year. They had about 4 hours of daylight to film in. I’m sure it was challenging, but they managed. Plus the perpetual twilight produced some stunning shots.

  • To add some bit of news from my part of the world – or better say the lack of it.

    It is interestingly quite over here on a contrary of the same period last year.
    Only bit of info I had a months or so ago was a rumour about the reducing the filming in Croatia to 2 weeks approximately.
    It is not big surprise because whole Dany s storyline would probably be filmed in Morocco. And KL does not need a lots of exteriors shoots – if they stay strictly to the first half of Storms.

    Last couple of days I sent some mails – and still waiting for some concrete answer.

  • Interesting. while this method of filming might be inconvenient for the directors, think of how more convenient it will be for all the actors and crew! Plus, it might aid in some bigger name casting in the future if there shooting time were to be cut down to a few weeks vs. a few months. Another thoguht would be that each episode would focus on one storyline vs. the 5-10 minutes of each character we’ve had thus far. Not sure if that theory holds water, but just a passing idea.

  • I think they shifted to this format due to the expansion of the cast this season. In future seasons I wonder if they would consider hiring directors for ‘arcs” vice episodes?

  • Only four hours a day? Wow. I’m all in favor of beautiful twilight shots. The Fist of the First Men should be at night anyway. The retreat from the Fist could be dark and atmospheric. Mance’s camp probably the only major location that they would use daylight; the rest can be night or day. Craster’s Keep probably in NI again so that’s not a factor.

  • Tenesmus:
    I think they shifted to this format due to the expansion of the cast this season.In future seasons I wonder if they would consider hiring directors for ‘arcs” vice episodes?

    I don’t think the Director’s Guild of America would allow such a thing. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller had to quit the DGA to get co-credit on directing Sin City; Quentin Tarantino directed a segment of that movie but didn’t take an official director’s credit at all.

  • My thoughts: 1) Love the updates. 2) Still 214 days until season 3. 3) Thankfully football will occupy most of that time. 4) Cant wait for season 3 posters and trailers! 5) Keep it coming!

  • Directors are cheaper than (big name) actors I would think. Easier to make them do all the traveling.

  • Tenesmus,

    This would probably lead to tonally incoherent and poorly paced episodes, which has already been something of a problem. I think a better solution would be to cut down on the number of storylines being handled in any given episode.

  • I still wonder why they don’t have a directory per story arch rather than a directory per episode.

    It would be up to the writers to put the pacing for episodes so they came out coherent.

  • spacechampion: I don’t think the Director’s Guild of America would allow such a thing. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller had to quit the DGA to get co-credit on directing Sin City; Quentin Tarantino directed a segment of that movie but didn’t take an official director’s credit at all.

    Are they using DGA directors? I honestly don’t know much about it, so that could be a really silly question, but aren’t most of the directors, as well as actors, British and would those same rules apply?

  • Watson:
    Tenesmus,

    This would probably lead to tonally incoherent and poorly paced episodes, which has already been something of a problem. I think a better solution would be to cut down on the number of storylines being handled in any given episode.

    I think the people making the show know better than you, no offense .

  • The Rabbit,

    Greenbeard? Kyle?
    I don’t think he will be one of the other big players in the BWB like Harwin or Lem. He has two eyes so he can’t be Jack be Lucky! XD

  • darquemode:
    I guess if they use a director or two for each location instead of one director for each episode it would streamline things. It could in theory tighten up each character arc seeing as it would be one director responisble for a full arc as compared to 6 or 7 directors over 10 episodes. Each arc would have that director’s feel instead of each episode feeling slightly different. It will be quite interesting to see if and how the new filming format affects the quality or feel of the series if they have mixed it up like that.

    Oh how I’d love each arc to be handled by one director only !

  • I’m talking to a guy who’s set to film something in October/November. His friend also filmed scenes in Littlefinger’s brothel. I’ll see if I can find out some more.

  • Peter Cosgrove about GoT :

    After enjoying 17 days in Game Of Thrones season 2 appearing in episodes 1,2,3,4,6 & 8, I have now acted in 10 different roles, in 3 different countries, including 2 for the BBC and 2 for HBO, and have played 3 lead roles.

    Wow ! That much episodes for the BwB !
    5 / 7 / 9 / 10 are the only episodes, then where the Brotherhood wont appear !

    Meaning Arya with the Hound for episodes 9 and 10 ?

    Which would mean RW around episode 9 ?

    I’m sad, I wanted it to be in episode 8…

  • Ooops, my bad… read to fast !

    So the guy played two different extra characters, ok… a NW recruit in S2, and a BwB in S3…

    I should learn to read more carefuly ! ^^

  • Watson,

    It makes no difference what you say friend, he is not interested in making friends here, he merely posts angry comments and attacks people for having different opinions than him. I even apologized for suggesting that he mentioned earlier that he had problems with season 2 after he lambasted me for saying they could have done some things a different way. It did not end well for me. And I am one of the nicest guys on this site!

  • It’s an interesting suggestion to have certain arcs be directed by separate people, given the incredibly complicated production demands, but I think it would fail against the need for each episode to be carefully paced in total. That decision has to fall to the director on set; there’s only so much an editor can do after the fact.

    I hope we get a lot of the BWOB. I just read in one of the Joe Dempsie links recently posted here that he’s from Nottingham, and I thought that’s amusing considering that BWOB is a lot like Robin Hood’s Merry Men and Gendry becomes their smith.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    Yeah, I noticed his posting pattern on a previous thread.

    Anyway, all I’m saying is that films which heavily intercut between material filmed by different directors are usually a mess. (But maybe Cloud Atlas will prove me wrong!) That said, it might work here, since the material will feature different sets and actors meanwhile television directors don’t usually get license to add a lot of flourish anyway, unless they’re directing Breaking Bad.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    I love how you say you’re the “innocent” and making me look like some bad guy when i just claimed that some of you comments were idiotic . I guess you can’t take criticism, but you sure like to criticise evrything that doesn’t suit your preferance, kinda hypocritical if you ask me .

  • Claudiu Gherganu,

    Yeah I’m with Joshua on this one, he is one of the nicest people on this site.
    You know what they say if a person calls you a dog, ignore him, if a second person calls you a dog think about it. If a third does it…bite him.
    We can’t all be wrong.

  • wow, Maisie is not so little any more. Arya and Brandon (Issac) are growing at a rapid pace, don’t know how much longer the story can continue on the same trajectory with the same child actors. Anywho, love them all!

  • I was surprised they didn’t move to this filming management style last season, glad to see they’ve adopted it this season. Seemed the more logical choice for a production this size.

  • Claudiu Gherganu,

    If you call someone idiotic than you insult them simple as that. It’s unwarranted. Just tell disagree with my opinion in a civil fashion. That’s all I am asking.

  • dee,

    You don’t have to follow the book verbatum, we just watch them grow into adulthood. It won’t affect the story at all. In fact GRRM originally wanted Arya, Bran and Co. to be 16-18 by the end. He just got rid of the 5 year gap is all, because of the Meerenesese knot..

  • Claudiu Gherganu, you can disagree with people without being disrespectful and hostile towards them. You are very aggressive and need to tone it down.

    Also, your response that the writers and directors know best, as a retort to Watson, makes no sense since we don’t know for sure what the writers and directors are doing in this case. It is all speculation. So Watson and the directors/writers may be in total agreement!

  • great photos and the anticipation for S3 keeps getting better and better- only 214 days to go! my favorite pic was the one of philip with maise, and i was really intrigued about the BwoB’s scenes being done for a time, cause that could mean the Hound has been around set as well! soooo excited about him! :D

  • tysnow,

    Thanks for clearing this up for me. I would just hate to have such wonderful actors replaced. In my mind maisie and Issac are Arya and Bran Stark.

  • Zack:
    darquemode,

    Very interesting view, I like this notion quite a bit, although Game of Thrones is not one of the shows where I’ve been able to tell one director’s episodes from another director’s. Some probably can. A lot of shows have a very blatant tonal shift between episodes and directors that detracts somewhat, and the consistency of a director exerting his/her influence on a single storyline for a season is a very smart way to minimize that while still allowing each director relative freedom.

    Agreed. You summed it up nicely ( both of you ).

  • Oddly ” Neilgate”‘s pictures resemble the blurry ones I took in my backyard . Notice
    the startled doe trying to get away ? Yep, that’s my fancy handiwork :D

    It’s great to get images of works in progress, as experts layer on the special effects
    and actors speak their lines, it come s together like magic ( says the viewer ).

  • Shagwell still not cast? I want to see that murderous jester damnit. Doesn’t he sit on Jaime? Come on now. Get it done.

  • Arrrghh 213 days to go… i can’t help refreshing this site 982938492 everyday and yet I feel these little tidbits just aggravates my thirst for the 3rd season at times =(

    I do hope they do streamline these episodes by shooting arcs out of sequence, it would only be logical they learn from their mistakes each season and improve on lowering production cost each seasons. Btw, is casting officially done now? Or are there still roles they haven’t cast/announced yet?

    PS: Darquemode damn you! I’ve been marathoning Brotherhood… I can’t stop arrrgh.. XD

  • Jill: Are they using DGA directors?I honestly don’t know much about it, so that could be a really silly question, but aren’t most of the directors, as well as actors, British and would those same rules apply?

    I don’t think it matter where the set is located, the show is HBO, so American. All the directors from previous seasons are DGA members: Alan Taylor, Daniel Minhan, David Nutter, Brian Kirk, Timothy Van Patten, David Petrarca, and for season 3 Michelle MacLaren — all are DGA members, so I assume are bound by DGA rules. It would be not practical if DGA members shooting in Toronto for instance could get away with violating DGA rules.

  • A mysterious photo with fake snow? YESSSS! THANK GOD THEY ARE NOT FILMING IN ICELAND AGAIN! I mean most of Jon snow’s scenes beyond the wall were just horrible in season 2. It was too windy, cold and barren. The landscape wasn’t even nice.. it was nasty with all those dark black rocks jutting out everywhere from under the snow, and no trees! The scenes all felt rushed [possibly because of the little day time they have], and Jon’s story line was definitely the worst adapted from the book of all the other character arcs. I mean almost no one who had not read the books understood that Qhorin basically asked Jon to kill him…

  • Drfunk,

    Have you seen Brotherhood before? So underrated! Jason Isaacs and Jason Clarke are dynamo. Speaking of Clarke, he will appear in Lawless coming out this Friday. Good reviews coming out for that movie. Also…Oldman with a Thompson? Yes.

  • Jordan Healey,

    I think they bit off more than they could chew in season 2. They kept pushing it small even though it was getting bigger. The complexity of the production must be tandem with the conplexity of the narrative. They realize that now probably.

  • Drfunk,

    I haven’t watched it since it aired… Maybe I need a marathon re-watch too! XD

    Both Jason’s absolutely killed their performances I recall, especially Isaacs in Season 3 (?) with his injury.

  • The black rocks, cold and barrenness were actually the most hauntingly beautiful scenes shot in Iceland. I couldn’t keep my eyes of them as Ygritte and Jon were walking past them. It just heightened the sense of Jon’s isolation. Anyway, the rugged landscape makes the idea of hidden caves more realistic, if you know what I’m referring to, lol. And at one point Ygritte mentions to Jon that there is shelter, if one knows where to look.

    Btw, Winter is Coming forum is awesome, just need to get my avatar.

  • But I get that some parts beyond the Wall should be more forested, and should be considering that the HF scenes are filmed in Ireland and only 20% of production will apparently be taking place in other countries this year.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    I just started, watched first two seasons … it’s a very good narrative. Pleasantly surprised would be an understatement and glad for the distraction till GoT comes back~

  • darquemode,

    Know any role in GoT that’s still up for grab for either of those actors? Only one i could think of is Connington for Isaac maybe.. Idk.

  • Drfunk,

    I’ve heard others mention they see him as Euron Greyjoy, Victarion Greyjoy or Randyll Tarly, but I think I see him more as Jon Connington too. Isaacs is strong enough to play any of the roles for sure… Although honestly no role jumps out at me and screams Jason Isaacs…

  • Tom O’ Sevens,

    Yeah, I think you may be right sadly. Shagwell may just be an extra if even mentioned at all.. I do have some slim hopes for Belwas to be cast yet since Dany’s arc has not started filming yet…But those hopes are fading.

    Hi-Fi,

    Maybe Val and Dalla could be featured extras this season and then next season Val will be cast officially?

  • Maybe if they’ve streamlined filming that’ll mean more time to concentrate on getting the scripts for later filming polished/revised instead of spending all the time running all over the place.

  • I agree that the mystery shot looks to be where Coldhands rescues Sam & Gilly, which will be interesting to see how they handle that character, without giving away who he is?

    And if he is one of the characters who people think he is Benjen Stark has there been any news if Joseph Mawle is in NI?

  • Seems GoT will be on Sky One in the Uk from Sept 10th.

    Unlike Sky Atlantic where the show has been shown up till now Sky One is available to Virgin Media viewers as well as Sky Viewers.

  • Val is my guess, based the actress being pretty young and they’ll probably want someone close to the age of Kit.

  • Carne,

    Sad.
    Not unexpected though I guess. When they cast Anguy and all the rest and there was no announcement for Tom and Lem I supected one or both would not appear in the series.

    I didn’t think they would cast every member, but in my mind Lem and Tom O’Sevens are the two most fun BWB members behind Thoros and Beric of course. They will be missed.

  • Arkash,

    You don’t really hire an award winning actress for a role as an extra. She might be a bit old for Val, as described in the books, but I’d imagine that the age of the actor or actress is way down on the list of priorities, unless it’s integral to their character. I’m gonna’ assume she’ll be playing Val.

  • The way they age everyone up a bit I think she would make a good Val. Her CV says that Stephanie’s playing age is 16-25 so that fits Val comfortably… or Dalla. She has the look of Val to me and quite haunting eyes!

    Dalla really has only what… 2 scenes basically? She can be played by an extra easily enough.

  • Michel,

    I don’t think it is ever mentioned directly, but I always took them as being slightly older than Ygritte in their 20’s. Val closer to 20 and Dalla in her mid to late 20’s.

  • Could that be Val? Ha, we were just talking about her.

    Carne,

    That’s a shame re: Lem and Tom. Not even an extra dessed with a yellow-ish cloak? : (

    So that probably means no Harwin as well.

    darquemode,

    I’m beginning to think that the Red Viper might be cast for this season. I was sure he wasn’t going to be (just as I was sure about Val) but Carne may be right about a new batch of announcements.

  • I don’t think the show would be overly picky about the ages of Val and Dalla. As long as Val isn’t too old to feasibly be a potential fiancee for Jon later, they don’t have to be very particular about the age.

    I agree they wouldn’t cast this actress to be an extra but there’s no guarantee she has a substantial role, either. There are lots of roles on GoT that are just one or two lines. It would be nice if she turned out to be one of the notable wildling women though.

  • Hi-Fi,

    It certainly is possible, but I think HBO made its one big casting announcement.

    I mean we have seen every major role cast that was expected in Season 3 (outside of the possible Dornish roles which may or may not appear in Season 3). With only background roles and supporting players to be cast I’m not sure another announcement would have the impact of the first announcement.

  • Carne,

    Not necessarily. Many were, but lots of roles were not local N. Irish. For instance, the actress who played baby Barra’s mother was played by an English actress.

    This woman could be Val or Dalla, but we really can’t assume she’s a recurring role or anything until we hear from HBO.

  • Lightbody costume for me was indicating that he was in the BwB, but if he is not in the BwB, where is he ? He can’t be someone at the RW since his costumes were too dirty and “ugly” for these wedding.

  • YvyB,

    Just as an added confirmation, while I was vacationing in Scotland three weeks ago I saw Rory in a coffee shop talking to the owner about getting ready for season 3 and more sword training.

  • On a side note.

    I live in N. Ireland and a work colleague mentioned today that he going to be an extra on the show. He is going to be a guard at Riverrun not sure of the dates yet as he has to be informed of them.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    You’re right there has been no official confirmation. Although Tom Brooke has the right vibe and the perfect look to fit the Goat’s role so I guess I would be very surprised if Brooke was not Vargo Hoat….

  • What would be the reasons for not naming the characters that have been cast? Besides a possible slight spoiler in Theon’s arc, I can’t see where witholding the information makes any sense. Can anyone elaborate?

  • I never thought Val was really young, beautiful yes, but in her 20’s? Not really. I think it would be better to have her be in her 30’s, especially next to the actor who will be playing Mance.

  • darquemode,

    I agree about the range, but it’s a very old one (dfdee@wewe.wewe was me, apparently I am to dumb, to write in the right field…).
    Would be nice to see a more up to date showreel, to hopefully see more of the actresses different sides.

  • Abyss,

    To be fair she is a young actress just out of school and does not have that many roles to take scenes from for her show reel so it is what it is…. Cute girl though.

  • Apparently they had 3 different director during the first 3 days, so it does indeed sound like they’re going all the NI based scene in one go.

  • Handmaiden of Dany:
    I never thought Val was really young, beautiful yes, but in her 20′s? Not really. I think it would be better to have her be in her 30′s, especially next to the actor who will be playing Mance.

    Well, I mean, ok, but you’d be wrong. She’s Dalla’s younger sister, and with Jarl, who was young as well.

  • I was just thinking about how long the series will run, and my thought is 10 seasons, broken down thus….
    1 – Prologue
    2 thru 4 – First Act (CoK/SoS)
    5 thru 7 – Second Act (FfC/DwD) Usually the most boring part of the story.
    8 thru 10 – Final Act (WoW/DoS)

    This follows your typical story telling structure, thereby a logical summation.

  • in all honesty i never understood the 1 director for one episode on shows this vast. why not have the 3 or 4 director be on a story arc? it makes more sense for continuity and filming schedule!! (and $$$) if lines cross, co-direct. they would save enough money to film 12 episodes cheaper than 10!!