This week, Making Game of Thrones brings us an interview with Jonathon ‘Jona’ Barrass, the SFX floor supervisor working with the Wolf and Dragon filming units out of the UK and Iceland.
Cat Taylor talked with Barrass in Northern Ireland during the filming of episode 9, and discussed his film and television background in special effects. Here are a few of the highlights, regarding the filming of Game of Thrones.
His “favorite element to play with?”
I do like fire. I’ve been asked to do 20-foot rings of fire, with flames that reach 20 feet in the air. The firemen and I are great friends now, because first and foremost it’s got to be safe. I don’t think many people realize that every fire you see, campfire, the columns in the throne room, it’s all SFX. It has to burn the same way all day. It’s really tiny things you’d never notice if it’s right – something as simple as ripples in the water, that has to be the same every take, because otherwise people do notice when it’s wrong.
When asked about the biggest challenge so far, a certain duel comes up. (Answer contains spoilers)
Technically speaking, the flaming sword was definitely a process, in terms of getting it to work. We have these amazing stunt guys and CC Smiff who is a Sword Master, swings the swords so fast it takes a lot not to get the flame to go out. Laurence Harvey in the workshop turned this bit of aluminium into this flaming sword that ignites from nothing. It’s amazing. I think more than anything, I’m looking forward to seeing that fight scene play out.
Then next week, we have this huge challenge coming up with a massive amount of gas. There may be some burning; there may be a lot of burning, in fact. We have these giant gas tankers you see on the roads, and we can empty that in 20 minutes – gone, so we’ve got to set that up, make it safe and make it work.
As for his favorite character? Barrass says, “Tyrion, definitely – everything he does is just brilliant!”
Ours is the Fury: The interview is very enjoyable; I recommend visiting the blog to read the entire post. And I can’t wait to see that duel!