Inside the Emmy-nominated VFX of Game of Thrones with Rodeo

VFX

This week, the Rodeo FX company has released a reel of the amazing visual effects created for season 5 of Game of Thrones. The show has once again been nominated for their VFX at the Emmys and it’s thanks in part to the hard work of Rodeo.

According to the company, their team “completed nearly 200 visual effects shots for Season 5” alone.  Rodeo had a hand in creating the vistas of King’s Landing, Meereen, Volantis, Valyria and more this year, and crafted the incredible season-opening sequence of the Harpy statue.

Check it out:

Other special effects reels we saw this year include ones from Mackevision and El Ranchito Imagen Digital

23 responses

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    1. Amazing!
      I wonder why they never used that shot of the Great Pyramid at dusk, it seems to go write before Dany’s first scene in episode 4 with Barristan from the balcony. Oh well, I guess they can afford not using some shots. 😀

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    2. The interior of the sept left me puzzled. They added the statues! That means it’s cheaper to add CGI than build something? Anyone knows how it works?

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    3. SlayerNina:
      The interior of the sept left me puzzled. They added the statues! That means it’s cheaper to add CGI than build something? Anyone knows how it works?

      When I had one of my scripts budgeted once by a studio, the note that came back to me was: “we need to take out some of the sets. It’s too expensive to build.” This left me puzzled because the sets were just rooms on a ship. But I was told that it isn’t the type of room, but the construction costs, which totally surprised me. I imagine if you do statues digitally, they’re probably built into the bid from the VFX company and you also save from a time and crew stand point (VFX artists aren’t unionized).

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    4. SlayerNina,

      It depends on the material in question, the costs of transporting it, the areas surrounding the sets being conducive to major set building, etc. With the Sept largely being CGId with the base interior, I can see why CGI would be more practical, if not cheaper. Certain buildings also have restrictions on major set construction inside, etc., which can extend to the statues (which look suitably massive). Also with a production this time-constrained, I can see why they would just go for effects over construction for small items (production priority-wise) like the statues.

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    5. I admire not only Rodeo FX for the terrific CGI (especially for the Bridge of Volantis!), but also the actors for their convincing performances with nothing but spare sets and green screens to work with. Like the sequences set at the Wall – it isn’t very inspiring or amazing with no grand vistas or panoramic views to look at during actual filming.

      Great background music in the video too.

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    6. Akash Singh,

      Akash Singh,

      Ravyn,

      Cool! Thanks for the info!

      I always thought they had some scenarios builded in a studio or something, and each year they reuse it. They reused the tavern of Cat/Tyrion’s, the Hound/Arya and LF/Sansa…

      Which is cheaper, to film in a studio or in the middle of a town/city, btw?

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    7. Flora Linden:
      I admire not only Rodeo FX for the terrific CGI (especially for the Bridge of Volantis!), but also the actors for their convincing performances with nothing but spare sets and green screens to work with. Like the sequences set at the Wall – it isn’t very inspiring or amazing with no grand vistas or panoramic views to look at during actual filming.

      Great background music in the video too.

      They mixed things of Sevilla, Córdoba and Salamanca at the same image XD

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    8. Ravyn,
      SlayerNina,
      Well, beyond having top have skilled artisans to create the statue (and maintain it if it gets damaged), you have to pay for the materials to create it and get the materials shipped to you, and then there is storage before and after you need it, moving it from storage to the set, people who are experts in moving large things (which is more specialized than you think). Those labor costs are HUGE. Plus for shots that aren’t up close (like the Baelor shot) you don’t need detailed statues. Plus, plus the scale required for such statues would be massive (look at the width of the pillars in relation to the people). It is cheaper (and a lot less hassle) to do the VFX.

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    9. SlayerNina:
      The interior of the sept left me puzzled. They added the statues! That means it’s cheaper to add CGI than build something? Anyone knows how it works?

      They added everything higher than about 12 foot not just the Statues.

      The majority of sets built for the show will only be built to one level, anything higher than that will be CGI.

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    10. SlayerNina:
      Akash Singh,

      Akash Singh,

      Ravyn,

      Cool! Thanks for the info!

      I always thought they had some scenarios builded in a studio or something, and each year they reuse it. They reused the tavern of Cat/Tyrion’s, the Hound/Arya and LF/Sansa…

      Which is cheaper, to film in a studio or in the middle of a town/city, btw?

      I’m sure it varies depends on the show, but in general shooting on stages is a lot cheaper, esp when you take into account location permits and just how much slower it is to work in a live environment (replacing the sound alone is a pain). It’s why Hitchcock preferred to shoot on stages as much as possible. I also remember on Sex and the City, HBO on the second season wanted then to shoot almost exclusively on stages and not the NY locales. It was only because of Parker’s clout that they changed that policy.

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    11. Well i’m applauding my friend work on this season i am so glad that this is a Quebecer company 🙂 they did a great job and they also really like visiting my college which is great.

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    12. SlayerNina,

      Usually a set, since you don’t have to deal with crowds, city street closings, set restrictions, weather, etc. Sometimes it’s the opposite (like vast nature scenes for instance), especially when tax incentives are taken into account.

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