Two Belfast men are winning plaudits for their own take on Game of Thrones
TWO young Belfast men are winning plaudits for their own take on Game of Thrones after making a short film delving into the lore of the hit series.
The Wild Wolf is produced by Shane Gibson and Ciaran McIlhatton, whose love of the epic fantasy inspired them to create their own prequel to events in the first season of the TV show, which is filmed in Northern Ireland.
The pair have set up their own production company, Wild Wolf Films, and hope the 16-minute film will help raise their profile in the north's booming creative arts industry.
Released online via YouTube, The Wild Wolf tells the story of Brandon Stark – brother of Sean Bean's character Ned Stark – and his rivalry with a young Peter Baelish, who is portrayed on television by Dublin-born actor Aidan Murphy.
The film attracted more than 15,000 views within a day of being uploaded.
"Instead of trying to get our foot in the door, we decided to try and kick the door in altogether,” Shane said.
He and Ciaran, both 25 and physics graduates of Queen’s University, decided to put science careers on the back burner to pursue their filmmaking dream.
“We are both huge fans of Game of Thrones and George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice saga, so telling the story of Brandon Stark and the events that led up to Robert’s rebellion in the show seemed like the perfect opportunity to try our hand at this.”
The north Belfast pair saved £2,500 over the space of a year, and sought help from volunteers to make their vision a reality.
Shooting took place in Strangford, at real Game of Thrones locations including Castle Ward.
“Ciaran’s the technical wizard behind the directing, shooting and visuals, while my job was to put a lot of the project together behind the scenes,” said Shane, who also plays the role of Brandon.
“We don’t have a huge amount of experience, but we are learning fast.
"In some media circles here, there tends to be a culture of back-patting no matter how the finished product is received. We’re actually open to criticism for our efforts, as it helps us learn and grow for future projects.”
The fan film comes amid speculation that a Game of Thrones spin-off show could be shot in the north.
The penultimate series premieres in July, but makers HBO have announced plans for up to five new shows based on author Martin’s huge world and its history.
“There have been several fan-made Thrones films created, and we hope ours lives up to they hype garnered when we posted the trailer and attracted tens of thousands of views,” Shane said.
“From that we actually got ourselves a huge following in Brazil of all places, so here’s hoping the film itself gives fans what they want to see.”