Winter is coming early – A Game of Thrones fanfiction – A tale of Benjen Stark

By on September 18, 2013

Earlier this year, I put together a 6 minute fanfiction that takes place in the Game of Thrones universe with an amazing group of people featuring 14 zombies, a zombie horse, decapitation and pyrotechnics.

Check it out, and if you like it, SHARE IT! We made this film short and sweet with the resources we had available and would LOVE to continue the saga if there’s enough interest! Let us know!!

As part of this crazy video project that was shot in 2 and a half days, we also squeezed in some extra time for some photography promo materials.

All photography had to be done in the evening since daylight was critical for our video shoot, and consequently our schedule ended up looking something along the lines of:

5AM wakeup / 6AM – 6PM – Video shoot / 9 PM – Midnight – Photoshoot. Repeat the next day.

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Creating images in the middle of the words at night provided a whole series of challenges – from transporting gear, material and personnel through knee-deep snow, in the dark… to the environmental challenges of dealing with the cold… to the simple things like focusing in the dark.

Thankfully, the actors were absolute troopers and their custom-designed costumes by Les Ateliers Nemesis, Dracolite and Fantasy Armor kept them nice and toasty warm despite the chilly winter weather.

Yves Pelletier as Benjen Stark

Yves Pelletier as Benjen Stark

 

Genevieve Fontaine as the wildling

Genevieve Fontaine as the wildling

Francis Bélanger as a White Walker

Francis Bélanger as a White Walker

Lighting our shots for our simple character portraits was done by transforming the snow into a large softbox and having the light bounce from the bottom upwards to give a dark eerie mood to the image. A softbox on the side was used as a hair light to help make the characters pop out of the background and seperate speedlights were used to light the home made falling snow as well as the trees around.

The snow was created by simply making snowballs and slapping them so they would explode into a fluffy cloud adding a sense of motion and depth to the portraits.

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To add a little bit more drama to our calm portrait shots, I wanted to create something that would grab the attention of people for a poster, so I had the idea of having our beautiful Francis Bélanger charge forward through an explosion of snow. To create the effect of him barreling through snow, all we had to do was toss big armfuls of snow onto his back as he stood still on one foot.

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Amazing makeup by Atelier de l’Arbre Mécanique, Jacynthe Sauvageau-Trembly and Coraly Mouralian on the zombie as well as tiny details like putting shaved pieces of plastic onto the beard and furs to give the illusion that our zombie was truly frozen are the small details that really helped to add realism into our images.

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The final touch to creating the images, in addition to some amazing actors, clothing and makeup were the prosp and location that were graciously provided by the medieval village of Duché de Bicolline in which we shot the entire piece.

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Curious to see what the entire project looked like from my perspective? Check this short Behind the Scenes tossed together by Nicholas Koenig:

Like the result of the photographs? Please share our posters with your friends! Feel free to download and redistribute!

Special Equipment Used:

This short film is brought to you by VonWong and Five Knights Productions and produced with Les Ateliers Nemesis, Duché de Bicolline and Dracolite.

  • First Assistant-Director:Francis Binet
  • Second Assistant-Director:Simon Lapointe
  • Benjen Stark:Yves Pelletier
  • Wildling Woman:Geneviève Fontaine
  • Wildling Child:Isabelle Goulet
  • Child Walker:Olivia Goulet
  • Walker Fighters:Francis Bélanger,Anne-Marie Taillefer
  • The Other: Isabelle Coupal
  • White Walkers:Steve Côté, Ian Forand, Geneviève Villanueva, Catherine Carpentier, Daniel Boulianne, Catherine Dionne, Alexandre Assabgui, Jonathan Perreault, Marie-Michèle Bergeron, André Bélanger,  Jacynthe Sauvageau-Tremblay
  • Additional Voice Acting:Graham Binns
  • Stunt Coordinator: Philippe Desmarais
  • Horse Trainer Isabelle Coupal
  • Horse Wranglers Rachel Coupal, Patricia Caron
  • Horses: Jazzie, Pélikan
  • Director of Photography: Ben McKinnon
  • Camera Operators: Kacim Steets, Ben McKinnon, Sebastian McKinnon
  • Behind the Scenes Photographer: Sonia Primerano
  • Behind the Scenes Videographers: Eric Dubé, Jakob Skögheim, Nicholas Koenig
  • Production Assistants: Anick Morel, Emiliano Jabiu, Jessika Chiasson, Sonia Primerano, Nicholas Koenig
  • Photographer: Von Wong
  • Editor: Ben McKinnon
  • Music Composer: Kamel Bushnaq
  • Boom Operator: Guillaume Parisien
  • Sound Mixing/Designing VFX Compositing: Andrew Kesler, Jeremy Ezekiel
  • Storyboard Artist: Sebastian McKinnon
  • Equipment Sponsored by: Blackboard Pictures
  • Prop Makers: Les Ateliers Nemesis
  • Pyrotechnician: Jacynthe Sauvageau-Tremblay
  • Costume Designers: Fantasy Armor, Dracolite, Atelier de L’Arbre Mécanique, Les Ateliers Nemesis
  • Makeup Artist: André Bélanger, Anne-Marie Taillefer, Jacynthe Sauvageau-Tremblay, Coraly Mouralian, Véronique Gauthier-Trudel, Geneviève Villanueva, Marie-Michèle Bergeron
  • On-Set Chef: Sébastien Simard
  • Chef Assistant: Éliane Gagné
  • Shot on Location at Le Duché de Bicolline

Interested in seeing how the photos were made? Check out how it was done here!