Michael Slovis joins the lineup of directors for Game of Thrones season 5
By Ours is the Fury on in Filming, News.

Michael Slovis

With Alex Graves taking a break next year, there are slots that need filling in the lineup of directors for the fifth season of Game of Thrones. It appears now that director and cinematographer Michael Slovis will be stepping up to helm two episodes next season.

At a May event at Slovis’s alma mater, the Rochester Institute of Technology, he revealed that he’ll be directing two episodes of season 5- the season premiere, and the second episode.

Slovis has worked extensively as a cinematographer and segued into directing in more recent years, with episodes on programs such as Breaking Bad, Law and Order: SVU, Elementary, Chicago Fire, and CSI to his credit.

While discussing his work on Breaking Bad, the director elaborated on a question from one individual asking what techniques he’d bring to Game of Thrones, a show set in such a different world than his previous efforts.

Slovis replied, “The methodology, the method is the same, it really is. You’re looking for an honest, not precious, not put-upon way of portraying the scene. The way that every one of the film sets that I direct runs is…You come in, and you read the material, as a group. Then we put it on its feet and [...] you just guide actors, you don’t tell them what you want and very often if you trust them, you’ll get something better than what you ever imagined in your head beforehand. So if you listen and work together — it’s the most collaborative part of the film-making process, is the director and the actor relationship.”

Check out the full transcript of the Behind the Lens event at RIT for more on Slovis’s work.

Ours is the Fury: Good to know who’s taking the lead this year on the season premiere! I’m not sure I’ve seen many shows he’s directed but I’ll be sure to check them out now. Thanks to Scudder for finding the transcript!


45 Comments

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  1. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    The more Breaking Bad people join GoT, the better. Great news.

      Quote  Reply

  2. Chloe
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Good.

      Quote  Reply

  3. winnie
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Seems like a solid record doing character based dramas

      Quote  Reply

  4. GeekFurious
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    GOT continues hiring the best people.

      Quote  Reply

  5. Maxwell James
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky:
    The more Breaking Bad people join GoT, the better. Great news.

    This, exactly. Plus iirc Slovis was BB’s lead cinematographer, very much responsible for the look of that show. Brilliant guy.

      Quote  Reply

  6. Sheriff Bullock
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious:
    GOT continues hiring the best people.

    Then where is Cary Fukunaga?

      Quote  Reply

  7. Seriano
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock,

    Wait for season 6 ;)

      Quote  Reply

  8. Greenjones
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock,

    I think he’s going to be doing films from now on. True Detective really put him on the map.

      Quote  Reply

  9. The Dragon Demands
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    According to his IMDB page, he directed 7 out of 8 episodes of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s 2008 TV series “New Amsterdam” (which is the first place many of us living in the USA became aware of him. When they were casting “Jaime Lannister” the short answer was “He’s that guy from the ‘New Amsterdam’ show.”

      Quote  Reply

  10. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    The Dragon Demands:
    According to his IMDB page, he directed 7 out of 8 episodes of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s 2008 TV series “New Amsterdam” (which is the first place many of us living in the USA became aware of him.When they were casting “Jaime Lannister” the short answer was “He’s that guy from the ‘New Amsterdam’ show.”

    He was the director of photography, the cinematographer, for New Amsterdam, not an episode director.

      Quote  Reply

  11. Winnie
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Seriano,

    Also don’t forget his success with “Jane Eyre” starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. Guy’s a wee bit busy now…

    But if we’re lucky we might convince Bryan Fuller to do an episode or two in Season 6!

      Quote  Reply

  12. Greenjones
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Winnie,

    He’s really busy too. Not only does he have Hannibal, he’s working on American Gods for Starz too!

      Quote  Reply

  13. outdoorcats
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    That, and Bryan has never directed an episode of TV. :D Maybe he meant David Slade? Though I do love Hannibal perhaps even more than I love GoT, I don’t think their styles really mesh.

      Quote  Reply

  14. Sean C.
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    He was director of photography/cinematographer for 50 of “Breaking Bad”‘s 62 episodes, so he definitely knows his way around a camera. Among the four episodes that he directed, one of them is “Confessions”, a really strong episode in the closing arc of the show.

      Quote  Reply

  15. Greenjones
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    outdoorcats,

    Mayhaps not, though Fuller did tweet about how great the show was a month or two ago.

      Quote  Reply

  16. outdoorcats
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    Really? That’s awesome.

    Rory McCann would make a good Francis Dolarhyde, wouldn’t he?

      Quote  Reply

  17. loco73
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    I hope that Michael Slovis proves a good fit for “Game Of Thrones” and that he manages to fall in lin e with the tone and tenure set up by all the other directors that have previously worked on GoT.

    However, I must say that the fact that “Breaking Bad” numbers amongst his credits means shit to me, since I was never ever interested in it and as a result I don’t give a flying fuck about “Breaking Bad”!!!!

    Instead I would have liked to see Jeremy Podeswa finally get his overdue chance to direct an episode of “Game Of Thrones”. He is a veteran director with a rich and varried career! He has worked on television for a long while now and is a familiar presence on HBO, Showtime and other high profile networks. And as a bonus he has previously worked with Stephen Dillane on his outstanding but often overlooked movie called “Fugitive Pieces”. I will continue my damnest to lobby for this man to get his just deserved chance!

    One other great choice would be Agnieszka Holland! Given her pedigree as a filmmaker she would be outstanding for the more dramatic, character driven episodes!

    And am I the only one who wants to see Neil Marshall return! The man’s talent runs deeper than just being “the battle director”!

      Quote  Reply

  18. The Loon
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Sheriff Bullock,

    Cary is doing features now…really wanted him to do True Detectives season 2

      Quote  Reply

  19. The Loon
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    loco73,

    the HBO stable of directors will most likely get their shot…I can see the Band of Brothers/ The Pacific, From the Earth to the Moon regulars getting an episode

      Quote  Reply

  20. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    loco73,

    I believe Podeswa was supposed to be the original director of Blackwater, but I can’t recall the source on that.

    While we’re on the subject of directors we’d like to see work on Game of Thrones, I’d also add Rodrigo García (Carnivàle & Six Feet Under), Kari Scogland (The Borgias & Vikings [specifically because of the episode Blood Eagle]), and Ed Bianchi (Boardwalk Empire & Deadwood).

      Quote  Reply

  21. Dame of Mercia
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    I don’t know this Director – the only shows that he has been credited with are “CSI” and “Law and Order; SVU” though I have heard of some of them. I can’t go over the top saying it’s wonderful news but that’s not because I have anything against him just that he is not known to me. I imagine the people behind “Game of Thrones” can be picky whom they hire, so they wouldn’t take on somebody they didn’t think could do the job. Somebody said he had worked on certain series. In the last few years Starz, Showtime and HBO shows all seem to go directly to one paid-for network so I don’t get a chance to watch many of them (cadging a watch of “Game of Thrones” is about all I can wrangle).

      Quote  Reply

  22. Mr. Lemoncloak
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    nice! now we only need ryan johnson ;-)

      Quote  Reply

  23. Greenjones
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Dame of Mercia,

    Like Alik Sakharov, he made his name as a DP but has directed quite a bit too. Sakharov directed episodes of Rome and the Sopranos but still started out on GoT as a DP. I can’t remember any of Slovis’s directing off the top of my head, but I remember his BB cinematography and it was great.

    Mr. Lemoncloak,

    He’s likely busy prepping for two Star Wars movies in a row.

      Quote  Reply

  24. Pau Soriano
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Greenjones:
    Winnie,

    He’s really busy too. Not only does he have Hannibal, he’s working on American Gods for Starz too!

    WOOT!! Starz picked up America Gods after HBO let it go?? Sweet!!

      Quote  Reply

  25. Dame of Mercia
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    In my previous post I should have said that “the only shows with which I am familiar that he has been credited with…………………

    I did try to edit but my “edit” just disappeared into the ether. This has happened sometimes when I try to post too. I want to be fair to FANSIDED but this problem has only started happening since the site partnered with FANSIDED.

      Quote  Reply

  26. Sunfyre
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Noticed a couple of posters saying they’ve never seen any Breaking Bad. Do yourselves a favor and rectify that. There’s a reason it entered the zeitgeist. It’s damn good.

      Quote  Reply

  27. GeekFurious
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    A great TV director who has done some amazing work is Félix Enríquez Alcalá. If any of you ever watched BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, he did the Exodus episodes. And Exodus Part 2 is often considered one of the most exciting episodes in television history!

      Quote  Reply

  28. Joe Frost
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Looks like a good solid choice.

    Just glad to see the back of Graves.

      Quote  Reply

  29. King Varys
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Joe Frost,

    Couldn’t agree more – rewatching season 4, I realised that most scenes I found poorly directed were in episodes directed by Graves. Considering the interviews he’s given, he’s done more harm than good to Game of Thrones.

      Quote  Reply

  30. Sunfyre
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Agreed. Exodus Part 2 is both epic and intimate. So much emotion and heart in that episode.

    “You brought ‘em home, Saul.”
    “Not all of them.”

      Quote  Reply

  31. Dragonslayer
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    King Varys:
    Joe Frost,

    Couldn’t agree more – rewatching season 4, I realised that most scenes I found poorly directed were in episodes directed by Graves. Considering the interviews he’s given, he’s done more harm than good to Game of Thrones.

    I disagree, Graves is my favourite director on the show. “And Now His Watch Has Ended”, “Kissed By fire”, “The Lion And The Rose” and “The Mountain And The Viper” are IMO perfectly directed. I had some issues with Jojens stabbing in “The Children” was the only Graves’ scene with bad direction. Graves isn’t to blame for the infamous scene in “Breaker of Chains” that was an error by the writers (which still ruined the episode for me).

      Quote  Reply

  32. omg
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Thank freaking god! Alex Graves was such a hack! Don’t believe me? That’s okay, but go back and watch the camera work, jump-cut conversations, general editing, & timing of his episodes versus the other directors. Watch them on a technical standpoint on how well they are telling the story.

      Quote  Reply

  33. omg
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    King Varys,

    Completely agree. Lots of backs of heads and multitudes of millisecond cuts. The Viper vs The Mountain was a freaking mess in and of itself.

      Quote  Reply

  34. Agreed
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Joe Frost,

    You’re not the only one … alex graves, whata terrible director. Not sure why they gave him any of the interesting plot points but he made sure to show you plenty of bullshit shaky cam and a menagerie of rapid fire short shots that hid a lot of the acting because you couldn’t take in what was going on so fast.

      Quote  Reply

  35. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m also not a huge Graves fan. But I knew that after seeing the results of his direction in “Newsroom,” one of the biggest flops of a show I have ever seen.

    That said, I thought his season 4 episode 3 was quite good (minus the rape, which I am not sure is his fault), I loved the Mountain and the Viper (though not sure that is because of his directing style) and felt that episode 10 was far better than his usual output.

    I liked episode 2, but I felt it was Graves’ weakest of the season.

    At this point, my favorite GoT directors are Sakharov and McLaren. I would be happy if between the both of them, they directed all 10 episodes of season 5. Or better yet, just have Sakharov direct all 10!

      Quote  Reply

  36. jentario
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
  37. outdoorcats
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    King Varys,

    Graves was overworked in Season 4, IMO. 4 episodes was too much. He may have made the biggest missteps, but he also demonstrated some of the finest directing of the show thus far (the Brienne/Hound fight and aftermath, for example, or the Mountain/Red Viper fight). I also don’t think it’s fair he gets bad press for his interviews, since he is not a writer or executive producer of the show, nor has he read the books, yet seems to be constantly put in the position to fill in for D&D’s silence regarding certain topics.

      Quote  Reply

  38. FictionIsntReal
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    outdoorcats:
    Greenjones,

    Really? That’s awesome.

    Rory McCann would make a good Francis Dolarhyde, wouldn’t he?

    I was actually hoping for Gwendoline Christie to play that part!

      Quote  Reply

  39. Joe Frost
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Dragonslayer: I disagree, Graves is my favourite director on the show. “And Now His Watch Has Ended”, “Kissed By fire”, “The Lion And The Rose” and “The Mountain And The Viper” are IMO perfectly directed. I had some issues with Jojens stabbing in “The Children” was the only Graves’ scene with bad direction. Graves isn’t to blame for the infamous scene in “Breaker of Chains” that was an error by the writers (which still ruined the episode for me).

    Each to their own but I found his scenes didn’t pack the punch they should have done when they were some of the most memorable in the books and had the potential to deliver so much more showise. I thought some of the stuff in the season finale was very badly done and the Jaime “rape” fiasco was stupid and easily avoidable with better direction.

      Quote  Reply

  40. bristol
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Graves is the best director the show has had imo, along with Sakharov and Alan Taylor.

    Too often, people hate on him for the sept scene, but almost everything else was very well done. The Purple Wedding felt so smooth because of his direction. The Hound-Brienne fight was appropriately brutal, while The Mountain vs the Viper was extremely fast, like they should have been. He’s great.

    The one who is beyond overrated, however, is MacLaren. People like her just because of Breaking Bad, though she hasn’t done anything too good so far.

      Quote  Reply

  41. loco73
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Absolutely agree. Felix Alcala is one of the most exciting directors I’ve had the pleasure to watch work in the past. He did an amazing job on “Battlestar Galactica”! I hope he gets his due!!

      Quote  Reply

  42. Dame of Mercia
    Posted July 6, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Dame of Mercia:
    I don’t know this Director – the only shows that he has been credited with are “CSI” and “Law and Order; SVU” though I have heard of some of them.I can’t go over the top saying it’s wonderful news but that’s not because I have anything against him just that he is not known to me.I imagine the people behind “Game of Thrones” can be picky whom they hire, so they wouldn’t take on somebody they didn’t think could do the job. Somebody said he had worked on certainseries.In the last few years Starz, Showtime and HBO shows all seem to go directly to one paid-for network so I don’t get a chance to watch many of them (cadging a watch of “Game of Thrones” is about all I can wrangle).

    Belatedly I am amending my post to say “Starz, Showtime and HBO shows all go to one particular paid-for network in the UK”. Well “Dancing on the Edge” was originally shown on the BBC in the UK but it was shown on Starz on the other side of the Atlantic but I can’t remember whether Starz put up some of the money to make it. I doubt HBO will partner with the BBC again after “Rome” ended earlier than intended; “Rome” was a show I would rate quite good on the entertainment factor but iffy on the historical accuracy factor.

      Quote  Reply

  43. brutony
    Posted July 7, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    If he doesn’t get paid for any of this, he “Better Call Saul”!

      Quote  Reply


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