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  1. #76
    A question for those with some knowledge of TV production: I've heard it mentioned here and elsewhere that HBO is keen to have their next big costume drama, [be it ASoIaF or something else], be rather cheaper than the fantastically expensive Rome. Granted, ASoIaF wouldn't be the CG party that many other fantasy adaptations would become by necessity, just by the nature of the series, but still... I've seen some Rome, [just the first few episodes], and the sets are lush certainly, but how could HBO go about making ASoIaF appreciably cheaper? The Wall? Dany's dragons? Recreating major and frequently visited locations like King's Landing? A Battle of the Blackwater that truly captures the action? I don't see this being a cheap show; not at all. Thoughts?
    ________
    ASS EATING
    Last edited by mjolnir; April 29th, 2011 at 02:27 AM.

  2. #77
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    The biggest expenses with Rome were:

    1) The cost of filming in Italy. Italy is one of the most expensive places in the world to shoot, but HBO felt that filming in genuine Italian locations around Rome added a lot of atmosphere to the show. Since HBO doesn't have the option of shooting in Westeros ( ) they can pick somewhere far more affordable to shoot. After discussing New Zealand, they seem to be more inclined to go for Eastern Europe (probably Romania or Bulgaria), since they can also use genuine intact and ruined castles in the area as well. To be honest, that alone could shave a quarter or a third off the budget.

    2) The cost of the gigantic standing sets. ASoIaF will need some street scenes (in King's Landing) and some areas meant to represent the outside of castles, but it won't require the Forum and two entire districts of Rome (which is what the standing sets replicate). That will save another substantial sum.

    Otherwise, AGoT itself is fairly straightforward to do. We don't see the Battle of the Camps or the Battle of the Whispering Wood in the book, we only get reports, so the same will happen in the series. The test will be the battle on the Trident, but Rome's Battle of Philippi could be seen as a test-run for that. And to be honest all you really need are a few shots of horses clashing and Tyrion looking cheesed off at his father's tactics. You don't need to do a full-on Pelennor Fields or anything like that.

    However, the Battle of the Blackwater in Season 2 is going to be huge, no doubt about it, and it's going to be interesting to see how they handle that and the assault on the Wall in Season 3 as well.

  3. #78
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    I for one hope they don't go the direction of King Arthur. I'm a fan of fantasy and I am about King Arthured out at this point. It has been done and done and done to death already. Deadwood and Rome were both original, brilliant ideas and they couldn't generate enough of an audience to merit the cost of production, what could possibly make them think people will warm to yet ANOTHER King Arthur rehashing. In short, I could see King Arthur being the kind of collossal failing that could sour them on ever making another mega budget series like this.

  4. #79
    Catacomb Kid Power to the J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead View Post
    However, the Battle of the Blackwater in Season 2 is going to be huge, no doubt about it, and it's going to be interesting to see how they handle that and the assault on the Wall in Season 3 as well.
    I was wondering about the "Season" 2 big batlle sequence. That'll cost a bunch.

    One thing about budget that I think you forgot to leave out is CGI.
    Spoiler:
    The dragons will all have to be CG, as will the direwolves, most likely, and the battle from ACoK as well--the fires, I think.
    Some of the castles will also be done in CG, I think, but you never know.

  5. #80
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    okay,

    having read this entire thread start to finish, i wanted to make a couple observations.

    1. as a commercial director in the industry, and having done several projects for hbo directly, i know that, for instance, when sopranos was active, and it would air its season finale, that the next day their subscription rate would drop by 40%. that's not an exaggeration.

    2. i also know that they have been trying to rekindle the renaissance that was hbo when six feet under and sopranos held sway, and it has not been easy. they are trying some lower budget series like tell me you love me, and in treatment. but other than the wire (one of the best tv series in the history of television), it's looking slim.

    3. with their comedies (entourage, curb, even flight of the conchords), they are ripe for another big drama. sure rome cost them a lot, and a king arthur (while well trodden) might work to continue that line of interest, i think there are genuinely raised eyebrows at turning a classic fantasy epic into a tv series, something not done at this level before.

    4. wert made a GREAT point when he mentioned HBO tracking carefully the interest of ADwD before dropping 70-100 million into the project. because as i said earlier they are looking for loyal subscribers!

    5. for those worried about hbo skimping on production costs, know this: they just spent over 100 million us dollars to shoot the 7 part mini-series John Adams. and they have also green-lighted a 200 million us dollar "sequel" to band of brothers called "The Pacific" which follows the marines in the pacific from japan to their return home.

    6. one last thing, hbo makes much of its money on dvd sales, so back to wert's point, if they see ADwD soar to #1 on the best-seller list, it will make them more eager to put out a series they know fans will scoop up in DVD sales, i can guarantee you that. a king arthur series has been done a lot, and may not have "fans" running to their nearest best buy on release day.

    7. per the wert vs. mystar situation. it's funny to see mystar boldly state something in one post, and then spend the next 5 posts back pedaling, until he has somehow become a victim of a smear campaign. unless you know something for sure, don't talk about rumors as though they are a done deal (and yes, mystar, that is how you sounded). until there is an official announcement, it is all speculation. grrm is not going to sit around and not tell us just to not hurt his fans' feelings.

    8. no news is not the same as 'the project is dead in the water . . . shelved . . . not right for hbo . . . etc.' where is all that coming from? that is an opinion, which leads to a thin rumor, which then will make those with better insight or whatever raise their voices to be heard, so people don't follow bad, or unfounded information.

    okay, that's it for me. sorry but i just finished the first book (haven't read any others), and holy crap it might be my second favorite read behind gene wolfe's book of the new sun series (unparalleled btw). i was yawning through a lot of the DANY plotline, but man, talk about turning around my opinion of a character in the end, THAT'S how you do it folks, and as an aspiring writer of my own, it is highly inspiring stuff.

    my passion and motivation to post is directly due to me finishing the book this morning on the train, i apologize if anyone finds my post offensive, but hey, it's all, simply, my opinion.

    ...ryan

  6. #81
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Great post, and you actually renewed some of my optimism! Thanks for your input.

    PS Enjoy the rest of the series! Books 2 and 3 are even better, and 4 is still very solid. Book 5 will probably be out later this year (fingers crossed).

  7. #82
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    invertebrae, if you liked Dany at the end of AGOT. You'll love her in the rest of the series.

  8. #83
    DreddeyeKnight courtney's Avatar
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    great post invertabrae
    by the way i just have to add and go OT for a second here, but those of you who haven't caught "the wire" should because it is
    THE BEST SHOW EVER!!
    I cant emphasise this enough. pure quality writing. the idea of hbo doing ASOIAF has me practically salivating; i really belive they would do an outstanding job.

  9. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by courtney View Post
    great post invertabrae
    by the way i just have to add and go OT for a second here, but those of you who haven't caught "the wire" should because it is
    THE BEST SHOW EVER!!
    I cant emphasise this enough. pure quality writing. outstanding job.
    That's impossible. Everyone knows that Magnum P.I. is the best show ever.

  10. #85
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Some interesting developments:

    NBC have agreed to cooperate with the BBC on the creation of their new Merlin TV series. Whether this has a bearing on the HBO decision or not remains to be seen.

    The head of HBO Drama has apparently left and been replaced by the guy who got the BBC involved with Rome. Again, this could have a major bearing on the decision, but exactly what remains to be seen.

  11. #86
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    Possible minor spoilers.

    I apologize if this has been mentioned before, but I am curious as to how people think the casting of certain younger characters can be achieved (if the show is given the green light). A lot of the major characters are rather young as you all know, and there are a lot of things that these characters have to go through which for a younger actor may not be acceptable. Things such as sex, sexual abuse, murder and nudity, which is very important to the story. My concern is not over the actor's ability but over issues of legality. Will HBO have to find ways to avoid or in some way diminish these scenes or will they simply use older actors? (16/18 depending on the law...). And which would you see as the preferable of the two options? Again, do ignore if discussed before.

  12. #87
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    On a much more practical level, the first five books cover a period of about 2-2.5 years. However, it would take 4-5 years to film them.

    My thought is that the ages of all the children will be substantially increased to avoid this problem. Even so, they are going to grow up faster than the storyline allows. They could 'vague up' the length of the war I suppose, or simply recast (as they did with Octavian in Rome).

  13. #88
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    Yes, that is another big problem. One that admittedly I've not really thought about. I suppose you are right though, the only way I could see that being pulled off is with a little more flexibility over the time period. Which I guess wouldn't be too bad. I've never been a fan of recasting, I can't think of case where it's not in some way ruined the character for me... well, I dunno.

    One thing's for sure: They'll need some damn good directing.

  14. #89
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    Well in a couple spots in Rome they had young characters doing some pretty scandalous sh!t so I don't think it'll be a huge issue.

  15. #90
    In transit Muess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead View Post
    Some interesting developments:

    NBC have agreed to cooperate with the BBC on the creation of their new Merlin TV series. Whether this has a bearing on the HBO decision or not remains to be seen.

    The head of HBO Drama has apparently left and been replaced by the guy who got the BBC involved with Rome. Again, this could have a major bearing on the decision, but exactly what remains to be seen.
    What would possibly make the Beeb think they need to make another Merlin series so soon after the last one??

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