Co-producer of the HBO television series Game of Thrones Chris Newman is currently in Iceland to supervise the ongoing shooting of scenes for the series on and around Vatnajökull glacier in the southeast.
“It has gone really well, the organization is good at Pegasus,” Newman said in an interview with Morgunblaðið of the Icelandic film production company which assists with the shooting.
The weather has been optimal in the past few days, Newman added, frost and snow is precisely what they were after.
The scenes shot in Iceland happen north of the so-called Wall in the story, a no-man’s land home to vicious barbarians who go by the name the Others.
One of the main characters, Jon Snow, portrayed by Kit Harrington, the illegitimate son of Lord Eddard who was killed in the first series, travels there with the military order the Night’s Watch and they face various obstacles.
“The scenes that we film the three weeks we’re here cover his fate once he progresses to the north of the Wall,” Newman reveals.
“The Night’s Watch believe that beyond the Wall are barbarians who carry out raids the same way people feared Indians did in the Wild West,” he added in description of the plot.
“Once they get there they realize that something much worse is going on, as if a great evil is awaking from a long sleep. Therefore they say ‘Winter is Coming’, not just referring to a change in the weather but also a new enemy,” he continued.
“We shot part of that story before we came here; we had to make fake snow in a forest but it is much trickier to create special effects when you have to create a wide snow-covered landscape. It would have been too expensive and therefore we decided it would be better to make it real,” Newman explained.
“I’m responsible for the organization of shooting for different parts of the series. We film in three countries and I make suggestions for locations and not just countries but also specific locations,” Newman said of his role on the show.
He is married to an Icelandic woman, Anna Ásgeirsdóttir, whom he met during shooting of the television series Nonni og Manni in the 1980s based on the classic children’s book by Icelandic author Jón Sveinsson, a.k.a. Nonni (1857-1944).
When asked tongue-in-cheek whether she may have lobbied for choosing Iceland as a location for Game of Thrones Newman responded that wasn’t the case and that he would always recommend Iceland as a location, provided the landscape fits the storyline.
On whether they have encountered problems while shooting, Newman mentioned the sparse daylight. “We decided to come in the winter which is good given the look we were after but bad in terms of daylight. It is a challenge to finish shooting before nightfall. We have to make everything ready in the dark and illuminate the area so that we can work.”
But everything has gone well, Newman added, and the actors are thrilled about getting the chance to travel to Iceland, he stated.
Game of Thrones is based on stories by American bestselling author George R.R. Martin. They take place in a fictional medieval world and feature the fight of kings over the domination of the continent Westeros.
Click here to read more about the series’ filming in Iceland.