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Wednesday, 04 June 2014 15:22

Behind the Motion of Game of Thrones

Written by  Brendon Tom
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Game of Thrones is refining the way television shows are shot.

Camera movement is just one of those things that can really make the audience feel connected to what they are watching. In a recent article on HDVideoPro they take a look at how Freefly Systems’ MōVI rig has been setting a whole new standard for effortless movement that brings a level of grace to any project including an intricate production like Game of Thrones

The MōVI uses a 3-axis digital camera stabilization system that was used by Cinematographer Robert McLachlan, ASC, CSC and his production team to capture extreme footage in Iceland for the HBO hit show. Iceland is packed with not only scenic beauty but also Icelandic ravines and hard-to-shoot areas. The MōVI M10 was paired with RED Epic Dragon Carbon Fiber bodies to ensure the production team could move in an out of these hard spots. 

Iceland SM“We had to shoot a long walk and talk over an extremely uneven, rubble pathway,” McLachlan explains. “There was no room for a dolly in there, and the surface was guaranteed to break the Steadicam operator’s ankle. In cases like this in the past, we would have had to default to a series of long lens shots. Our solution was to have Sean Savage, our A-camera operator, and our dolly grip, carry the MōVI M10 while our B-operator, Dave Morgan, operated the remote control. It worked very well. Watch episode 405, and you’ll see how well it worked.”

McLachlan knew he had to be smart in getting the shot efficiently with safety percussions taken at every curve.  “Due to the extremely rough terrain, we very much needed two operators ─ one being a sure-footed grip ─ as we were traveling forward but looking backward,” he continued, “It is a very carefully-framed and shot-crafted show; wobbly camera work is just not an option. We certainly would not have gotten those shots any other way.” 

Check out Game of Thrones to not only see some amazing storytelling but camera movements unparallel to any other television show out there. (HDVideoPro)


Photo above: Game of Thrones camera operators Sean Savage and Dave Morgan operate a MōVI M10.  (Photo by Helen Sloan, courtesy of HBO)


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