A Few Words About A few words about...™ Game of Thrones -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Games of Thrones, the mega-series courtesy of HBO seems to be one of those situations where the sum is greater than the amalgam of its parts.

    This is a huge beast.

    I had not read any of Mr. Martin's work. Not from any reason other than busy.

    I'm always impressed when someone has the capacity to create an entire world, around which to build a tale. The HBO production deals with this world in extremely interesting ways, taking certain attributes of our world history, and just changing them enough to be both interesting and unsettling, a bit like the butterfly effect. Clothing, armor, architecture, all are just enough off (or different) to get one's attention. The production designers have done an extraordinary job here.

    From appearances, the author is quite happy with what HBO has done with his work, and that's a good thing, as the series continues.

    It probably took me roughly mid-third episode before I began to get the gist of five kings - one throne, and that's alright.

    Will this series go down in history as one of the great ones? Only time will tell. But the quality is there.

    Using heavily digital production techniques, and shooting with an Arri Alexa, which seems to be the hardware of choice at the moment, Game of Thrones on Blu-ray is gorgeous. Shadow detail and resolution are superb, as they should be, as the HDCAM asset making it's way to the Blu-ray format.

    One of the things that caught my eye, and which I find very telling, is the main title sequence. Take a look at the hi-con lettering against the background, and it almost appears to be 3D. The depth and resolution is superlative.

    I won't get into the tale itself, as I'm just beginning to understand it, but the there is substance here.

    For those who like to read there is a set of the Subterranean volumes (first four) available from Realms of Fantasy Books, in Chickasha, OK. The asking price for the set of signed/limiteds? $10,000 at the moment.

    The Bantam editions, five of them, all signed, can be had for $2,500 - 4000 at various vendors.

    Will these tomes stand the test of time to stand beside The Hobbit or A Study in Scarlet?

    Only time will tell. The first volume only goes back 16 years.

    A really beautiful Blu-ray. But as a port, it should be.

    I now need to read the books.

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Season 2 starts tonight on HBO!
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Thank you, Ambassador Tannehill. As much as I'd like to view it, I much prefer watching Blu-rays.

    The wait is painful, but somehow it works.

    RAH
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    "Ambassador Tannehill." I like the sound of that.
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm a big proponent of watching a serialized show as it airs. I have no doubt that it must be nice to watch episode after episode on Blu-ray or DVD but part of the fun of a serialized story is the torture of having to wait from week to week. Maybe I'm just a masochist. :)
     
  6. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    It starts tonight in the UK. I loved it (never heard of the books). I liked the way it started off slow & got better as it went on, makes a change from the shows that start off great & tail off very fast (or do a "Lost"). I like to record them & watch them in batches (& that way I can skim through the adverts, does anyone watch adverts these days?).
     
  7. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    The books are amazing
     
  8. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    I might check them out, I could do with getting into a nice long read. I saw a long interview with the author on Sky Arts last night, he was saying that some fans are giving him a hard time for being a slow writer. Sky have said they're going with the story & not by the book, so some series will go across books. I'm a lifelong film fan, but all the best stuff is made for TV these days.
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I only knew of Mr. Martin from Fevre Dream.

    RAH
     
  10. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Just got caught up with this series over the past 2 weekends.
    Am now caught up to the current episode so that I can watch tonight with full knowledge of the story so far.

    Having just watched Series One on Blu-ray and the first ep of the new season on digital cable, I must agree with Mr. Harris in terms of the PQ. It's really quite a noticeable jump from the HD cable channel to the Blu-rays.

    Mr. Martin not only approves of this series but is actively participating. He wrote the teleplay for episode 8 of Series One ("The Pointy End") and apparently wrote the teleplay for episode 9 of Series Two. Interesting to have the original author on board the show with a producer credit but as an active member of the team.

    Must also give newcomers the warning nobody gave me: This series is ADDICTIVE. As soon as you start watching this one, it will suck you in, and all hope shall be lost...
     
  11. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I'm another person who just discovered this series. I've had a chance to compare the quality on BR vs. HBO, and the BRs win hands down. Truly stellar picture quality. Mr. Harris really piqued my curiosity about the Arri Alexa. The production values of this series are impressive. I have to disagree with Travis about waiting for episodes. Last year, I raced through the entire run of Lost and The Sopranos, and it was very enjoyable. I also ran through the first five seasons of Dexter, but had to wait every week for the sixth season. I much prefer being able to watch episodes without waiting.
     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I watched the first three seasons of Battlestar Galactica in a few weeks on DVD and it's certainly cool to see a show in that way but I wish I had watched week to week. Anyone looking at my post count can see that I'm a talker and I love being able to talk with people online and in the real world about what was cool in this week's episode and speculate where things are going to go, etc. That being said, I certainly do enjoy rewatching a show on DVD or Blu-ray and seeing the whole season in a couple days or a week.
     
  13. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I have just spent the past year working on a show with the Alexa. It's a fine camera that reacts in a similar fashion to the 35mm film cameras we used to have. One major difference comes with night lighting. You need far less light for the Alexa when shooting outdoors at night.

    The really amazing thing is that we're using 16 gig cards, which give you about 14 minutes at a time. The trick there is that if you're on steadicam or handheld mode, you have that same 14 minutes that you do when on the dolly. Before this, you'd have a 400 ft mag on the steadicam or a 200 ft mag when handheld - which would limit the amount of time a continuous shot could go. (Which is why the five minute steadicam shot in Atonement is such a big deal) This doesn't mean you can just beat up the operators and run a steadicam shot for ten minutes - but it does give the filmmakers much more leeway with a shot that may go up to five minutes.
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I occasionally fire up Atonement just to run that sequence
    And I'm constantly amazed by it.
     
  15. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    A little late to the party, but Showcase just began airing S1 so I got the PVR busy, but already have the S2 bluray in transit. Looking for the S1 bluray, I am completely confused as to which version is which and what comes with it. I understand the original 5 disc release had a George Bush head prop pictured which has since been digitally altered. Purist me would like the original version, however I am not sure what else comes with the package. I have seen images which include a map and slipcover. That I would like. There is the blu/dvd/digital copy version. Don't need the dvds or dc unless there is something I'm missing. Then there are the limited edition Walmart and Target(?) versions. Don't think I'm willing to pay a huge premium for these if they are otherwise the same. Then there is the big box with the egg. Unless it hatches a real dragon, I can probably do without. So, if I want the original, is the 5 disc set the one to get? Does it come with the map? Thanks for any help!
     
  16. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    I cannot praise the books enough and recommend them to anyone who likes the series (which I love, but in comparison, falls far short of the books themselves). I won't comment on their prose or likelihood of attaining "classic" status, but I will say they are some of the most addictive page turners I have ever read. Season 3 starts next month and should be an absolute belter if Book 3 is anything to go by.
    As far as I know all Blu-ray copies come with the map and family tree. The normal 5 disc version definitely does.
     
  17. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Was the 5 disc set reissued (edited), or was it replaced by the BR/DVD/DC version?
     
  18. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I understand that the original Blu-ray set (which I have) was re-issued, mostly to allow the producers to adjust one shot from an episode that apparently had a face resembling George W. Bush. Not something I noticed watching the show, but this upset some people and caused the edit. I believe the Dragon Egg edition has the re-issued Blu-ray set. I understand this is actually a real Dragon Egg. So if you care for it properly, you never know, you could be the proud parent of a brand new fire-breather... BTW, the second season of the show looks just as good as the first on Blu-ray. And the shots in episode 9 of Season 2 that looked less than satisfying on HBO HD are just spectacular on Blu.
     

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