Game of Thrones: When tech and cult TV collide
Gossip around the Luminous PR office water cooler often drifts towards the latest happenings on TV.
Working in the world of public relations means current affairs and the latest news are obviously top of the watch list. Our passion for tech also influences what else we choose to watch on the box – but not in the way you expect.
Of course, one of our favourites is cult TV show Silicon Valley and its satirical look at the trials of tech startups. It’s no surprise that it has built up a strong following around the world, from tech and non-tech audiences alike. However, tech isn’t just the star of the show in front of the camera. It is also working behind the scenes to bring some of our favourite shows to the small screen.
Millions of people around the world have been hooked on Game of Thrones – the show based on a series of epic fantasy novels. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard about the magic, dragons, war, and family feuds playing out in Game of Thrones that has us tuning in for every episode.
It’s true to say that the fantasy world of Westeros is seemingly behind the curve in terms of tech innovation, however, the technology deployed to create the world we see on our screens is as cutting edge as a Dothraki blade.
With the budget starting at $6 million per episode when the show began in 2012 (and now rumoured to be around $10 million an episode for the final series), much of that money was spent on the technology that would bring those impressive battle scenes to life.
Though you might feel that the world drones on about our favourite GoT scenes, drones are actually used to film them (see what we did there!). Some of the most spectacular and memorable moments have gone down in history – Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon ride from the fighting pits, and spotting Peter Dinklage’s head in a sea of flailing bodies to name a couple – were filmed by a drone flying overhead.
When the normal shooting ends, technology steps up to fill in the gaps. The show would be nothing without the visual effects department.
Now we know those dragons aren’t real, but when watching them in our weekly instalments we could almost be forgiven for thinking that they may just be out there. Interesting fact: they changed their visual effects team twice just to get the dragons right.
From using flame throwers to create the fire, and a tennis ball on a stick to get everyone looking in the right direction, the magic of CGI is never far away.
But it is not just on-screen that technology has helped turn this show into a cult classic.
Off screen, websites and apps have been fanning the flames of fandom. Like any good epic story, GoT has invented a number of fictional languages. Kudos to any bright tech sparks that have looked to use this to their advantage. Duolingo – the online languages platform – is one example, as they are giving fans an opportunity to ignore the subtitles and embrace a High Valyrian language course.
The tech involved with this show just keeps getting better and better but with season 8 rumoured to be the last one, it’s hard to imagine how they will be able to top this season? Whatever comes next with this visually stunning and captivating masterpiece of imagination, one thing is clear… It’s a brilliant example of what the combination of a fantastic story, in combination with some of the best tech knowledge around can create. In fact, some my say that it sounds very familiar to our day to day. Well… without the fire breathing dragons and a little less blood shed perhaps. But we’ve definitely seen the magic of what the combo of great tech and a good yarn can do!