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VFX head David Garber talks about bringing Dragons to life in Game of Thrones Season 7



Game of Thrones is a great show, and a large part of it the special effects/VFX division, who have to be very attentive throughout the whole process of making the show so that they can make is look as good as it does. Now, as you all know, Season 7 had extensive work done on the dragons, with them having grown bigger than ever, and one even having turned into an ice dragon. In a recent interview with Backstage, the VFX chief for the show, Pixomondo executive producer David Garber talked about bringing dragons to life. Read on!

Speaking of how Season 7 was different than the ones before, Garber said :

“This year was quite a challenge because of the incredible, extensive increase in the size of the dragons. [The teams] were forced to deal with much more detail in building out the look and the fabric and the textures and the coloring of the dragons. It became much more challenging now that the scale was being increased. The camera pushes in and sees much more detail.”

Now, since VFX is a part of a lot of scenes from the show, the VFX team has to interact with the cast. Garber shed a little light on the process :

“We send digital effects supervisors to set and we work with the actors extensively. Everything is done against green screen, everything the actors will interact with is marked with little dots, and [with] computer settings, the marks are recorded in the camera. When we get that material back in the postproduction process, we know exactly where their hand movements are, where their face motion is”

“It’s become very sophisticated in terms of being able to track the motions of the actor and the dragon that we’re putting into the scenes to interact with them. The visual effects supervisors have been working with them extensively. You develop a language with the actors and they begin to understand a little more about what’s going on behind the scenes and how things are going to work out in postproduction.”

..and it’s not just the cast, either. Everybody is involved :

“If it’s a live-action shoot like “Game of Thrones,” basically everything is worked out in the production meeting. Everybody sits at a big table with the producers and the directors and the production manager and the designers and wardrobe. Everyone goes through the script and people know what’s going to happen. All of the visual effects scenes are broken out and shot even before that meeting.”

“If it’s an extremely complicated scene, we’ll do a little bit of what we call previs [previsualization]. The production manager works with the director, and you work out what scenes are going to be shot first. [On] “Game of Thrones,” usually the visual effects shots are pushed toward the end of the show because the directors don’t want to deal with them up front. They want to get through the acting and the battle scenes first.”

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A great insight into what goes into making the show! Garber also talked about how he doesn’t see VR becoming a mainstream experience. What do you think about this interview? Talk to us in the comments, down below!

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Founder at Wiki of Thrones and a full-time Game of Thrones fan who does other work when he has finished reading and writing about Game of Thrones and also dreams about playing a role in the show.