Based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire and Blood, House of the Dragon is set roughly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. A much-anticipated prequel, the series focuses on the the House Targaryen (the House of the Dragon), the family from which Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen descends. It follows the family (and their accompanying dragons) through a civil war of succession between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her half-brother Aegon II.
The show has already received critical acclaim, the opening episode described as “gorgeous, opulent television” by the Guardian. Since the airing of the first episode, House of Dragon has released content on Twitter giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at how the episodes are created.
The first of these “behind-the-scenes” tours focused on the tournament incident in the first episode and discussed some of the challenges around creating the physical set – including its eye-watering cost. Yet, some of House of the Dragon is filmed without much of a physical set at all.
Instead, the series is filmed, in part, within a “volume” or “virtual set”, using a relatively new film-making tool and technique known as virtual production.
A new way to shoot
In broad terms, virtual production is a way of making film and television which harnesses computer-generated content that allows real-time visualisation and control of the digital environment in which you are shooting, for example by projecting them on a wall of LED screens. Importantly, virtual environments and special effects are typically captured on set, within the camera in real-time, rather than being added in post-production. Continue reading