Two South African wardrobe crew members are in pre-production on the third season of the hit HBO TV series, Game of Thrones, which commences principal photography in Ireland at the end of July.
Both Carolyn Marston (extras wardrobe supervisor) and Susan Pollard (wardrobe standby) also worked on the first two seasons of the medieval fantasy series. They are represented in South Africa by Gudrun Scott of Shoot Out Crew.
Says Scott: “In 2010 I got a call from the Game of Thrones series costume designer Michele Clapton requesting Carolyn, who’d been recommended by Odile Dicks Mireaux. Odile had worked with Carolyn on 10 000 BC which was shot in Cape Town. Carolyn in turn requested Susan Pollard, who she’d worked with on 10 000BC and Safe House.
“I think it’s really exciting that South African crew is represented on such an enormously successful international production as Game of Thrones. The premiere of Season 2 had a record 3.9 million viewers in America and on the strength of this HBO confirmed Season 3. The finale of Season 2 generated even more viewers – 4.2 million.’
Marston says that while the budget for Game of Thrones may be slightly bigger than some South African productions, the biggest difference is the support one gets from the local Irish production company. “They give me the crew that I need to get the job done perfectly,’ she notes.
Over an entire series of Game of Thrones Marston has to cater for up to 5 000 extras. She explains: “On our biggest days there are about 300 extras on set. We are given a guideline for costumes by the designer and assistant designers, Alex Fordham and Chloe Aubry, but within that we have quite a lot of leeway.
“Basically, I look after the logistics. I have a fantastic team who do standby wardrobe for the extras. We have to do pre-fittings and then from there it’s all logistics for me as the set crew takes over. Sometimes five units shoot simultaneously which results in extremely challenging logistics.’
Each season Marston and her team are introduced to new “looks’ for the costumes. “We grow on what we already have created and accumulated over the previous seasons,’ she comments.
Game of Thrones 3 shoots until mid-October.
Screen Africa magazine – July 2012