In a new video, Joe Bauer, the visual effects supervisor for “Game of Thrones,” shares insights on the creation of some of the effects for the HBO television series. He also explains how the show has evolved over the years into using bigger and more complex effects. [Spoiler alert!]
Speaking to io9, Bauer -- who is now in Dublin, working on effects for Season 6 -- reveals details about practical and visual effects. This video includes footage from previous seasons that helps illustrate some of Bauer's comments. The video begins with a scene from Season 5 where Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) flies away on the back of one of her dragons.
The dragons have grown from babies in Season 1 to being capable of incinerating a group of men toward the end of Season 5. Bauer recalls how Drogon was just six feet wide in Season 3, in which the dragon burned a man to death at the command of Daenerys. The video shows how a stuntman was put on fire using a flamethrower.
One of the biggest battle scenes in “Game of Thrones” was the Battle of Blackwater. Bauer notes that the visual effects were added almost entirely in post-production and were mostly digital. The scene of Davos (Liam Cunningham) discovering wildfire and getting blown away can be seen in the video.
Another big battle scene was Season 5's Battle at Hardhome. It reportedly took 18 days to film and mostly involved stuntmen wearing tight green lycra suits. They were later shown to be members of the army of the dead, in varied stages of decomposition -- all using visual effects.
A more detailed look at the visual effects in the Hardhome battle is seen in this video. It shows how the landscape was built and how some scenes were filmed using a green screen in the background.
“Game of Thrones” Executive Producer David Benioff says in this video that he didn’t want the Wights (members of the army of the dead) to look like zombies and wanted a more skeletal look.