'Game of Thrones' Prosthetics Designer, Barrie Gower, reflects on bringing Westeros to life for the final season.
If you read No Film School, then you know Game of Thrones is my favorite show. I love the drama and intrigue, I love the battles and bloodlines, and I love how REAL everything looks. A lot of that is thanks to the practical effects mixed with CGI and the makeup done by Barrie Gower and his team.
Game of Prosthetics
In a recent behind-the-scenes video, Gower talks extensively about what goes into making the faces on Game Of Thrones work.
“I don’t think people are quite aware of how extensive [the prosthetics process] is...It’s such a complex department, and the build that goes into these things is quite time-consuming.”
We all know Game of Thrones shoots on location in Ireland and across all parts of Europe, but the effort put into making things look like real life is almost immeasurable. They spend hours on each make-up piece to make sure the Night King's stares make you crap your pants at home.
Doing full masks for the characters is an arduous process that involves each actor coming into the studio to have molds taken of their face and head. Actors like Vladimir Furdik, who plays the Night King, has to spend a lot of time getting his face and horns applied in the makeup chair. Each piece is made especially for his head and has to be fitted the right way.
Still, all this hard work is definitely worth it. Gower is incredibly proud of everything it brings to each scene.
Gower states: “It’s lovely to see all our hard work and all these things we’ve built, actually make it to the screen a the end of the day.”
If you're familiar with the show, then you know things are building toward the final battle. Back in the day, Gower and his team only had to deal with a few Wight Walkers. Now, as the army grows, so does his production staff. You need more hands on deck to create all the creatures, giants, and people marching into battle.
With the upcoming "Hardhomme" battle, they'll have about 50 wights on camera that will need to be makeup ready.
"Just an average prosthetic makeup, we usually say, is about four to six weeks to build. We have so many patient actors that sit in our chair for like four or six or eight hours at a time. So, by the time we usually step on set to do a rehearsal, we’ve already pretty much done a full day’s work."
Gower's passion lies with the job and the work. He says he was “gutted and distraught” when he found out there were only 13 episodes left. He and his team love the weekly challenges, so it will be hard to see the series come to an end. Still, Gower sees the bright side: “I think it’s a real testament to the guys that they stuck to the word and they’re basically finishing the franchise when it should naturally end.”
What's next? Learn how GoT Uses Emotion!
Season EIght is shaping up to be one of the wildest on television. Early prognosticators are assuming that upwards of 10-20 million may tune in for each episode, and we know almost all of them are written at movie length. It's going to be a blast. How excited are you for Season Eight of Game of Thrones?
Got predictions? Leave them in the comments.
I can't wait to see what happens in this epic and bloody battle.
The new season of Game Of Thrones will debut on April 14th, 2019.