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Black Wizard

Filming in Scotland

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No, they really have to pile on the CGI for this to work properly. Everything in Westeros is bigger than in reality; it's fantasy FFS and it should show. If they decide to scale things down and try to use existing castles it will just look like they are cutting corners and being cheap, and if there's one thing I absolutely hate when watching films and TV it constantly being reminded about the economic constraints of the production. This was a big problem in Rome and while I don't think it can be completely avoided in GoT, I really hope they make a big effort to minimize it.

One encouraging thing to keep in mind is that movie and TV producers can probably do much better cgi for much less money then they could just a few years ago. Think about how much faster computers have gotten since 2001 when the first LOTR film came out. That's 8 years of following "Moore's Law" which stipulates that we'll manage to roughly double our processing power at the same cost every 2 years. So that means 16x more CGI power/speed or maybe the same capabilities for 1/16th the price. I imagine TV shows with their smaller budgets make use of the latter advantage. Digital video has also gotten much cheaper lately and its a lot easier and cheaper to start off with digital raw footage when trying to splice in CGI'd super-large castle towers or a CGI army. Heck, you can soon buy a Canon 1D Mark IV digital camera that shoots incredible 1080P video in most light conditions for only ~$5000.

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Moore's Law isn't quite right, because while rendering time is faster, a major chunk of cost is just the manpower needed to get to the rendering point. So costs have fallen, but not on the same path as Moore's Law would suggest.

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If they decide to scale things down and try to use existing castles it will just look like they are cutting corners and being cheap, and if there's one thing I absolutely hate when watching films and TV it constantly being reminded about the economic constraints of the production.

It will only look that way to you, since you know there's supposed be a spooky Godswood inside with big ass sentinel trees. It will never cross the minds of non-fan viewers, who instead will think 'Wow, what a cool big medieval castle.' IMO.

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Made a lengthy (but totally worthwhile!) trek out to see Doune castle after reading about the filming going on there. I can answer peoples' questions to the best of my ability. Be aware though, I don't want to spoil anything major, or particularly cool, which might otherwise stay unspoiled until the pilot.

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Do tell. Did you see anyone in costume? See any principal actors? Got any photos? :)

Spoilers can be handled by using our spoiler code:

[spoiler=Text]SPoiler text[/spoiler]

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Do tell. Did you see anyone in costume? See any principal actors? Got any photos? :)

I saw Jennifer Ehle, Mark Addy, Ron Danachie, and (perhaps) Kit Harington for a moment. All in costume. All looking great. No photos of those guys, alas. The only one I've got is of a certain other big kahuna arriving on set ;)

EDIT: This isn't including the 100+ extras I saw, all in costume. I walked right through two lines of them and seriously got chills. The costumes are unbelievable.

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So, filming's probably started, and George is over in Scotland, so it's not unlikely he'll be attending filming at some point. Though probably not before the afternoon, I suppose? No idea how long it'd take him to get to Stirling from Edinburgh, especially as he's jetlagged.

Exciting times. We know filming at Doune Castle goes on at least through the 26th, as the Clanranald Trust has confirmed via e-mail and their Facebook page.

George was on set, and I have reports that he did his cameo appearance today as well.

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Very cool! Any interesting thoughts about the costumes? I'd be very interested in the sort of style they went for -- could you compare to other medieval/renaissance/fantasy shows?

And the picture, by all means, put it up somewhere! ;)

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Very cool! Any interesting thoughts about the costumes? I'd be very interested in the sort of style they went for -- could you compare to other medieval/renaissance/fantasy shows?

And the picture, by all means, put it up somewhere! ;)

The costumes are amazing and pretty much exactly what I would have expected... fantasy-ish with a Northern (read: Scottish?) feel. The band that plays at the feast, for example, uses bagpipes. They're a famous German medieval band apparently.

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http://i38.tinypic.com/6synwo.jpg

I think this is a fair picture to post, as GRRM already said he was in Edinburgh (why would he be there if not to see the filming?), and this picture includes not bit of the set, which was behind me in the courtyard.

EDIT: And apparently I'm inept at showing the image now, too.

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Great shot there! Looks like much nicer weather today, too.

No image tags here, just put in without formatting and it should be turned into a clickable link automatically.

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Thankyeh. If there's more yer looking to know, I'll try and be of service. I don't want to spoil everything I saw though ;)

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Moore's Law isn't quite right, because while rendering time is faster, a major chunk of cost is just the manpower needed to get to the rendering point. So costs have fallen, but not on the same path as Moore's Law would suggest.

Well a factor of 16 is probably too optimistic. But I can't believe it hasn't gotten considerably more efficient over time. And rendering isn't the only factor. CGI software programs continue to improve. The desktops the designers do their design work on have gotten faster and cheaper. And there may be more cheap places to outsource the rendering or design to now. Though on the other hand browsing all the cool GOT blogs and forums when they should be working may be slowing them down. It certainly won't be helping my productivity this week... ;)

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Heard that the wolf pups were present, any more word on them? Anyone's appearance who really surprised me? Did you talk with some of the castle staff or crew about the filming?

A mountain of questions, really.

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Heard that the wolf pups were present, any more word on them? Anyone's appearance who really surprised me? Did you talk with some of the castle staff or crew about the filming?

A mountain of questions, really.

They were present, or at least one of them was. They were really cute and really young with their own trainers. They seem on the ball with that.

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Surprised me... bah. Surprised _you_, I meant. Actually, was Rory McCann there? Wonder if they've already got makeup sorted for him.

Wonder if they're really wolf pups, too, or if they're using some dog breed.

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Not really sure. The one I saw was white though, I assume it was Ghost.

No sight of Rory McCann either, and I didn't stick around long enough to see Bean or Dinklage.

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Not really sure. The one I saw was white though, I assume it was Ghost.

No sight of Rory McCann either, and I didn't stick around long enough to see Bean or Dinklage.

Hi Crakehall,

glad to see you made it back safely. Shame you didn't stay a little bit longer, they all turned up at 1.45pm. Only people I didn't see were Lena and Kit (because I didn't spot Kit, Crakehall did ;)

Jackie. - Shall write a report up later in a separate post as I don't have my own blog. Will try to keep it brief.

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Very interesting. Another question came to mind: Mark Addy. Was there any evidence that they were trying to make him seem bigger on camera? Lifts in his shoes, boxes to stand on, curious camera angles that you could spot, padded out clothing?

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I have a question regarding banners: did you see any? The direwolf of Stark, the Baratheon stag, the lion of Lannister? And if so, did they differ from the representations we've seen in the past?

Also, you mentioned the Northmen seem to be dressed in a "Scottish" sense. Does that mean kilts and tartans? Can you describe the armor?

(Sounds slightly silly, I know, but I never expected bagpipes in Winterfell either.)

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