As fans have learned through cast interviews, it’s not always a cake walk to be a part of Game of Thrones. Sometimes there are nasty things to eat, and other times the crew is forced to breathe in some bad fumes, and if all that wasn’t enough, there’s the constant fear of giving away spoilers and facing the wrath of the powers that be. Now, cinematographer Fabian Wagner has revealed another very difficult aspect of shooting the show, which is filming things out of sequence.
But yeah, you shoot a lot of the stuff out of sequence. But you know, I’ve done a lot of TV. And I’ve also been doing Game of Thrones for quite a few years now, so you kind of get used to that, get used to the show. I think once you have a pretty good understanding of the script and of the visual aesthetics and the visual tone that you’re going for, to me that doesn’t seem that tricky. I’m always amazed by how the actors deal with that. Because the shoot episode 2 with a different director and then the week after they’re shooting for episode 10, and then they go back to episode 5 after that. Which I always find pretty amazing, how the actors really deal with that.
Fabian Wagner brings up an excellent point that many who watch Game of Thrones may not immediately realize. Planes don’t move quite as fast as dragons, nor is it all that cheap to transport staff, so most scenes that take place at a certain location are filmed in succession. More often than not, this means that several episodes will be filmed out of sequence, which sounds really challenging for actors, even if they know the script. A normal person might get confused and show the wrong emotion at the wrong time, but the cast appears to handle it well, as the jumping around never appears evident in the final product.
Apparently the Game of Thrones crew is able to adapt just as well, as Fabian Wagner tells Collider he’s sure to be prepared for what needs to be done prior to filming. Wagner also keeps in contact with the director, who is obviously overseeing the whole operation and making sure everything proceeds appropriately. Shows can’t reach a level of production the quality of Game of Throneswithout being able to overcome these typical issues, so it’s not like GoT has ever been at risk of collapsing due to things being shot out of sequence.
In fact, Fabian Wagner is currently simultaneously shooting episodes 3 and 5 of Game of Thrones‘ final season as we speak. Obviously, Wagner couldn’t divulge much detail as to what was being filmed or where it was happening; but we can speculate that the same location is used in episodes 3 and 5, which is why they’re both being shot simultaneously. While he couldn’t comment on the contents of the episodes, Wagner did state that there’s a “lot of stuff going on,” and credited that to showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss wanting to finish with a big season.