Northern Ireland news

Belfast make-up artist Pamela Smyth back on Game of Thrones set after Emmy Award win

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. Picture by HBO 
Jennifer Maloney

A BATTLE scene from Game of Thrones, dubbed one of the most gruesome and goriest ever shown on TV, has helped secure an Emmy Award win for a Belfast make-up artist.

The epic face-off between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, called Battle of Bastards, heavily featured in episode nine of Game of Thrones season six.

The scene, which was shot outdoors in Saintfield, was one of the most complicated ever shot on Game of Thrones, which is filmed at a number of locations in Northern Ireland.

And the work of Pamela Smyth, who helped transform the team of actors, extras and stuntmen into war hardened warriors has clinched her an Emmy for Outstanding Make-up in a single camera TV series.

"The award was for the episode as a whole so we had hundreds of Dothraki in Spain, Yunkai being set on fire in Banbridge, and what seemed like the longest battle scene in the history of TV or film, shot in Saintfield,” Ms Smyth said.

“Battle of the Bastards was the busiest with specific levels of dirt and blood as the battle progressed with 500 plus stuntmen, riders and supporting actors – each day, across three and half weeks of filming.

"Apart from getting up at 3 o'clock in the morning,  it really was one of the most exciting times of work I’ve ever experienced. It was a lot of blood, sweat and beards."

Make-up artist Pamela Smyth on set with her Emmy Award. Picture by Helen Sloan 

Ms Smyth picked up her accolade at a ceremony in Los Angeles last weekend - the only make-up artist in Northern Ireland to be awarded the accolade.

The main Emmy awards take place on Sunday and Game of Thrones is tipped to pick up even more awards.

The Emmys, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences annual awards also known as recognises outstanding achievements in the television industry.

Pamela Smyth, right, picks up her Emmy Award in Los Angeles. Picture by Pamela Smyth 

Ms Smyth shares the honour with Game of Thrones make-up designer Jane Walker and key make-up artists Kate Thompson, Nicola Mathews, Kay Bilk and Marianna Kyriacou.

The other nominees in the category included Penny Dreadful, The Knick, Vinyl, and Vikings. 

Ms Smyth, who has worked on every season of Game of Thrones including the pilot, is also the hair and make-up designer for The Fall which is back for a third series on BBC 2 on September 29.

In 2009, Ms Smyth set up a training school for professional make-up artists, The Makeup Dept, which is based on the city's Newtownards Road.

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