February 12, 2015

The Multi-Country Production of 'Game of Thrones' Is Just as Epic as the Show Itself

Game of Thrones BTS Dolly Shot Spain
Game of Thrones is excellent television. We know this. However, the production process might just outdo the actual show in terms of intensity and complexity.

In a recent behind the scenes featurette, HBO gave us a detailed look inside the production of season five of Game of Thrones. And while all of the key components are present — massive sets in exotic locations, cutting edge filmmaking technology, and insane amounts of visual effects — this year's featurette gives us a more intimate portrait of how the show operates on a day to day basis, and how the producers and crew manage the absolutely massive undertaking that is Game of Thrones:

In case you don't have time to watch the half-hour featurette (which I highly recommend, even if you're not a fan of the show, because it's wildly informative about the minutiae of a massive production), here's the basic gist of it: It takes upwards of 240 days in a year to shoot a season of Game of Thrones. There are over 1000 members of the crew, and they're broken down into two separate units that shoot simultaneously at different locations. Season five of the show shot in five different countries on 151 individual sets, many of which are custom-built, and many of which are cleverly disguised historical buildings and landmarks. The show has 144 cast members that split their time between production units, and scattered throughout the varying landscapes and kingdoms are more than 5000 extras.

In the above video, the Game of Thrones cast and crew filmed simultaneously in Belfast and Croatia, while a small third crew prepared a weeklong shoot at a historical palace in Seville, Spain, while yet another group comprised of production designers and set builders worked on the construction of a small fishing village near a quarry in Northern Ireland. All in a day's work.

Still think your production is a logistical nightmare?     

Your Comment


Wow. I never realised there was so much to creating the show. Makes me a tad proud that they chose my wee country of N.I to shoot in...

February 13, 2015 at 5:36AM


Everything looks AMAZING... Super nice BTS video.

February 13, 2015 at 6:18AM

Viktor Ragnemar

I'm a huge GOT fan, books and show. I was looking forward to this little BTS doc since it was announced, but to me, the piece itself is cut horribly. For how much is happening, and the scope of this thing, you'd think they could at least make a decent doc. The sheer size, and scale of this thing blows you away, but that doc is amateur.
I don't think I've ever ranted on any of these boards really ahaha, but the whole time I was watching this I was cringing at the cut.

February 13, 2015 at 9:50AM, Edited February 13, 9:50AM

Seth Evans

Yeah there were definitely shots in this that made me wonder what they were thinking when they cut it together. Luckily for whoever produced this, the subject matter is interesting enough that it's easy to overlook the strange editing decisions.

February 13, 2015 at 11:47AM

Brendan Plake