The Orderly Art of Film-making

Image source: http://www.bang2write.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/AMCbKAU.jpg
Image source: http://www.bang2write.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/AMCbKAU.jpg

Technical, scientific, artistic – these are all terms we have associated with certain professions. I don’t think I have ever seen a machine and said, “That is a beautifully constructed and aesthetically appealing work of art!” Never. I have never looked at a sequence in a movie and thought, My! That is one complex depiction (maybe VFX, but ignore that here for now). Nor have I ever looked at a chemical compound crystallizing in a petri dish and considered it a work of art. Well, it certainly looks like one, but no.

My mind has been taught to recognize different professions and the products they provide, under certain categories. That is what the education I have had has taught me. I remember distinctly that when I entered higher classes and especially in college, the teachers would tell us, “You have to begin to merge the concepts and start looking at your course as a course and not seven different subjects you have to study and scrape through.” Did we do it? Well, I guess we have the hang of it.

So, all in all, when it came to the art of film-making, that is all that it was for me, an art. An entertainment. A story told on screen. Some were well-told, some weren’t. But it has always been a ‘pretty-picture’. Always an art.

But recently, I realized how much of an outsider I actually am to the magnificently creative and technical profession of film-making! Like a pharmacist, a doctor, a teacher, an architect, an engineer, etc, film-making is also a profession, is what I thought, but it too requires dedication like every other profession. It recently struck me that the people in this profession put in that much effort in producing their goods. It isn’t mere entertainment, it is a combination of so many professions and the scale at which it is done, is something I just realized very recently, and for the word today, ‘orderly’, I thought it was apt to praise one of the most famous series of ‘Game of Thrones’ and to describe the paradigm shift (courtesy of Stephen Covey) I had while understanding the whole process behind the making of the series. Why for orderly? Because that is how the whole process works. The collaboration between the numerous contributors, the management of all aspects and the discipline each and everyone shares.

First and foremost, well it is your prerogative actually, please try and watch this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9Mi17nLflY

So, I came across this video and the huge fan that I am of Game of Thrones, I found this video to have increased my fondness for the series. I have always loved the backstage. I always thought that the main action goes on behind the camera. The stress of proper execution of laid out plans, the management of all the parties involved, the communication between them, the constant on-the-go atmosphere, is something I love the feel of. How do I know this? I had been the part of my college fest activities a couple of times and though my contribution was more on the stage, compering or participating, the thrill of the backstage was conspicuous enough for me to understand. Also, while I worked on the college magazine, the constant urgency or the importance given to you to get tasks completed, or how your work matters and is considered good, definitely helped me understand how the crew works, albeit at a minuscule level.

This video beautifully captures the magnitude of Game of Thrones. I loved every minute of it. It explains how the series spans over many cities in about three countries; the number of locations they must have visited to find the ones that they believe would definitely bring the books to life; the sets they created for just a few scenes, the number of days of continuous work done to shoot about 10 hours of actual screen time. It describes how every single detail of the fantasy world created by George R. R. Martin is portrayed to perfection. I understood the level of perfection they work towards when it was mentioned that the stone of the bull ring in Osuna, Spain (Plaza de Toros) was similar to that in Croatia to portray continuity and depict the same city in the series despite the fact that they are, in reality, distant.

The entire collaboration between the different units, managing different locations is also thoroughly explained. The primary creators of the show (pardon me if I am wrong, but they are advertised so), David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, definitely have tremendous support from every other person on set. The statements, “it is their baby” and “to see a smile on their faces, at the end of the shoot,” do stand out in the video and you get the full sense of how collaborative the whole work is.

Furthermore, it is not only the cooperation between the various internal teams that is necessary, but also the assistance in the form of permission, from the people who provide the said locations, that matters a lot. As pointed out, the Alcazar Palace in Sevilla, a prominent tourist attraction, was shut down just for the shooting of Game of Thrones. So you see the amount of effort that is put in behind the scenes, something that is missed out when we watch it and get engrossed in the story.

The actors, the extras, the entire crew, everyone coming together to create the epic phenomenon that Game of Thrones has become is something that is inexplicably mind-boggling. At least, for me. The movie buff that I am, this just changed the way I look at the screen now, be it on the television or the big screen. Sadly, I do not know if I will become a part of a technical, scientific and artistic venture that every movie or series is, maybe my future job will resemble the same and I will have the same thrill therein. I hope because it all just makes me say, “Hats off!”

P. S. Eagerly awaiting the next episode!!! I know this is far-fetched, do not break my bubble, please, but I would love it if somehow someone associated with the show reads this! Oh! Dream come true!!! Do comment if you too are a Game of Thrones fan and are as awestruck as I am! And share to make my dream comes true! (*blushes*) Happy Game of Throning! 🙂

Orderly

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