New Game of Thrones season 3 featurette serves as a lesson in locations vs. effects

A new featurette for HBO's Game of Thrones, season 3, has surfaced, this time focusing on the location of Iceland, which the series uses to represent the land "beyond the wall," which is a vast, snow-and-ice covered landscape, populated by the wildlings who are led by Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds).  One of the lead characters, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), a member of the Knight's Watch, is the main character for this storyline and will feature prominently in this setting.  In the featurette, the cast and crew are seen traipsing through the snow while being pounded with it from above, warming themselves by fires, and generally looking warn out. Why is that important?

Take a look:

"At the end of the day, we'd rather spend the money on locations, rather than on effects.  It just makes everything more real," says producer/showrunner D.B. Weiss.  Wow.  Imagine that concept!  Now, I'm not saying effects and green screen don't have their place, but wouldn't it be great if more filmmakers would follow this line of thinking?  Ultiimately, it brings an air of authenticity that is immediately gone when you can spot the effects.  One of the greatest strengths of Game of Thrones is the use of locations, sets, and costumes to sell the universe, rather than a reliance on visual effects (which are still used, but sparingly). 

It's a testament to the committment to making a tremendous show with care and thought, certainly highlighting one of the many reasons the show is so successful. I am beyond excited to see the first half of George R.R. Martin's A Storm Of Swords adapted onscreen, as are most fans of the books (or just the series).  It's the strongest of the series in my opinion and I can't wait to see it come to life.

HBO's Game of Thrones, season 3, premieres March 31, 2013 (two months!)

Extra Tidbit: Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor is bringing this same location sensibility to Thor: The Dark World, which is one of the reasons I think the sequel will be vastly superior and surprisingly great when it finall hits later this year.



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