Game of Cuts is a great project for Bold Content because it is something we saw through from start to finish and we are very proud of the outcome. The client notified us in early January saying we had the go ahead on a Game of Thrones spoof idea, which we had pitched some weeks earlier, which a delivery deadline in late February. There was just the right amount of time and budget to plan a smart and tight production deadline, but we would have to be savvy with our planning for the shoot to make it work for the budget we had.
We got very lucky with our location – Hedingham Castle in Essex. There is a medieval church in London often used as a filming location, but since they are used to Hollywood style budgets they were not able to let us have the place for our 1 day shoot at a price we could work with. Hedingham could have potentially proven tricky for transport but once we saw the place on a site visit we were enamored with it, and booked it in straight away for a filming day 3 weeks later.
Next was a whirlwind of casting (all done in house), script and storyboard development, sourcing costumes (we got very lucky with The Costume Studio in Dalston, who had Game of Thrones enthusiast staff who could pull options exactly in line with our vision for our spoof characters, and who also happened to have a working crossbow in their inventory), sourcing props and set dressing material (we did not take on a production designer so this was also all done in house) and locking in specialty crew such as our fabulous make up artist, Abi Rose Robinson, who we found through Greasepaint Make Up School.
Our initial idea of building an Iron Throne was scraped when we realised we did not have the budget to make a convincing one, instead we opted to invest that money into having a knock off of the opening animation created with a map of England instead of Westeros and got our 3D animator to work on it straight away. After 2 full day of auditions we locked in our cast and set up a rehearsal and costume-fitting day the week prior to the shoot. The last days of preproduction were packed with last minute script changes, updating storyboards and shot lists, organizing catering and devising an ambitious but do-able 1 day shooting schedule.
The shoot went as well as we could have hoped for, we had a tight knit crew, almost all Bold Content staff were involved on the day, and a great cast. Aside from some early morning issues with an HMI light there were no real problems and we managed to get through every set up and shot on our schedule apart from 1. For the sake of safety a number of lines were filmed with dramatically different performances – some more serious, some more tongue in cheek, so that we could show the client options during the editing process. All in all it was a great, if slightly chilly, mid February filming day in an 11th century castle that we feel produced an engaging, entertaining and effective final video.
You can view the finished “Game of Cuts” video here: