SFX on Game of Thrones

Cat Taylor talked to the effects guys on the show and compiled a list of practical effects and the technology that brings them about. Here is a favourite of mine, click thru to the entire piece to read the rest of the paragraphs.

Snow Business provides all the snow candles for the show. What is a snow candle? A certain type of paper is soaked in a chemical that makes it burn slowly, and as it does, the candle creates a very fine ash that the SFX team spins in galvanized buckets. If they find the right wind, it drifts nicely through shot; if the wind is not moving in their favor, you get crew members’ faces full of fake snow and a lot of complaints. According to Barras, snow is one of his favourite things to do, but also one of the hardest natural phenomena to recreate. “I took fake snow to Iceland,” he told me, “but we never had to use it.”

The post comes with a bonus shot (by HBO’s Helen Sloan) from the explosion stunt shot used in the Blackwater episode.

Hear Me Roar: Thanks Cat, practical effects and other such tricks of the trade are some of my most favourite nuggets from behind the scenes.


  • Off topic comment…for any ASOIF fans worried that “The Hobbit” movie will eclipse the show…you really have nothing to worry about. Just saw the movie and the 48fps/3d combination kills the movie…and those are just some of the problems….

  • “Game Of Thrones” is so far ahead in every aspect that it isn’t even funny. All I got was a freaking headache and spent almost 20 bucks on the ticket. Do yourself a favour and stay away from 3D and 48s! See it in good old fashioned 2D!

  • loco73,

    I never use 3d anyway. I already need to wear glasses, so wearing 3d glasses on top of them just ruins the effect. The time I saw a good 3d movie was when I was six at sea world.

  • loco73:
    Off topic comment…for any ASOIFfans worried that “The Hobbit” movie will eclipse the show…you really have nothing to worry about. Just saw the movie and the 48fps/3d combination kills the movie…and those are just some of the problems….

    I liked it. Loads of eye-candy and beautiful scenery. The plot, however, is pretty boring.

  • Please there are other places on the web to talk about the hobbit.

    It’s your own fault for seeing it in 48fps, you should have listen to the complaints and saw it in normal 2d if you’re that picky.

    Also the hobbit hasn’t been released everywhere in the world so if you could kindly not talk about it on a game of thrones site I would greatly appreciate it.

    Lotr and got are two completely different things.

  • Er, why would a theatrical movie eclipse a television show on a cable network? Do we mean in buzz? I don’t think society’s selective attention has fallen into such a dire state just yet — and if it has, us nerds can deal with our sixty fandoms at once, at the very least. ;)

  • loco73,

    I think it depends on the sensitivity of the viewer. I saw it in 48fps and in 3D and I absolutely loved it! The level of detail in amazing! I will however say that I felt too much CGI was used and that put me off a bit.

  • Sorry to have pushed “The Hobbit” onto the board here…

    I went and saw the movie again today, in 2D and wow, it looked so different, it was almost a completely different movie! I finally got to enjoy it, instead of being bombarded with all those unecessary distractions from the 48fps/3D combination! Sorry, but to me its not a matter of sensitity of the viewer, its just a matter of preference! I did not like how it looked at 48fps, not for “The Hobbit”. Maybe other movies will be well served but not this one. I felt that in the quest for soo much “realism” the movie actually looked more fake and plastic at 48fps, I felt I was watching a renaissance fair with actors running around in costumes…on a soundstage and all the beauty of the New Zealand landscape was lost.

    Now as I saw it again I finally felt I was back in Middle-earth…Good cast, Gollum is freaking amazing again…Gandalf is cool, but man oh man is Thorin Oakenshield one though dude! Wow…honestly can’t we get Richard Armitage and Andy Serkiss on GOT!!!

    I am soo glad I got to enjoy “The Hobbit”…it now surely paves the way and makes the remainder of the time until the premiere of Season Three soo much sweeter!

    PS As for the topic at hand, though I am not one for awards, I hope the effects team behind the show get their just deserts, because they surely deserve their props!

  • As if The Hobbit and Game of Thrones Season 3 were sports teams that we have to take sides on and battle over, what are you guys, 12? Very happy to have both to watch.