'There Are No Rules': Behind the Scenes of 'Game of Thrones' Season 6
With Game of Thrones' April 26 Season 6 premiere date fast approaching, there's still no trailer to speak of. But HBO did throw us a meaty bone today.
In the below behind-the-scenes featurette, three cinematographers detail the major challenges they faced depicting the world of Westeros. As we learned from speaking to two GOT cinematographers at Berlinale this year, the show operates on a rotating schedule of DPs; depending on the variety of locations, the final cut of an episode can feature the intercut work of many different DPs. This makes working on the show a uniquely collaborative experience.
"It's completely different from working on a single drama, where you're working with the same DP and director for months," David Worley, B camera operator, explains in the video. "It's much more interesting, because everyone's got a different approach."
The common threads? Rough terrain and no rules.
Two DPs admit that "there are no hard and fast rules" to shooting this show. Many times, the crew embarks on a process of trial and error to cope with challenging environments and complex shot sequences.
"The biggest challenge has been the terrain," says A camera operator Sean Savage. "Yes, we shoot some very beautiful photographs, but to get the cameras into those positions and still make it look fantastic, that's a challenge."
According to A camera operator David Wilson, the crew often shoots in wind, rain, heat, and dust. "And whatever the environment is, we tend to enhance it to make it more exciting visually, adding snow, fire, horses, or a fight sequence, and those always generate more dust. It's quite punishing on the crews."
"We work a lot of the time in rain and mud with the camera covered up in plastic," adds David Morgan, B camera operator. "Little things like changing a filter become a major deal."
"It takes absolutely every member of the crew to create what you see in the frame," added Wilson.
Despite its challenges, many of the cinematographers have found Game of Thrones to be a career highlight. "Over the six seasons of GOT, I've had an extraordinary amount of challenges — crane work, Steadicam, handheld," says Savage. "I've been very lucky and I'll look back on it in years to come with great pride."