There has been a familiar buzz around the W5 office lately. The wildly popular HBO series Game of Thrones is airing their final episodes, and we here at W5 are full of opinions. Though one won’t get into discussing who should or shouldn’t sit on the Iron Throne. Let’s talk about the importance of detail, a trait arguably missing from this season, highlighted by the appearance of a modern paper coffee cup in the middle of a grand feast.
Game of Thrones is the brainchild of author George R.R. Martin from his book series A Song of Ice and Fire. Martin spent decades meticulously crafting his story centered in the complex and textured realm called Westeros. The books had been the show’s backbone up until three seasons ago, when they ran out of content. Tasked with blazing their own path, the showrunners have been playing loose with the storytelling and character development. Many fans are starting to see the strings.
Continuity is King
Continuity is how people make sense of the world. Simply, 1 + 1 must always equal 2, if not, then why does anything matter? When telling a story, the audience should be invested in the presentation and able to sequentially navigate the moments. A glaring issue in the path may cause the audience’s confidence in the story to spiral. Much like in research, if there is a hole or error in the data, the entire presentation becomes suspect. The goal is to keep the audience’s attention, deliver your message, and cover all your bases.
“Does Daenerys take 2% or almond milk in her Earl Grey? Inquiring minds want to know!”
Projects of this magnitude rely on the minds and talents of many people, there is not a single person at fault, but teams of professionals. Despite the number of eyes on screen and off the cup went unnoticed. Even the Script Supervisor who is solely responsible for continuity missed this pesky paper cup. Had the editor or post team noticed, they could have simply removed or covered it up digitally.
The lapse in judgement is a great reminder about the importance of teamwork and looking beyond one’s specialized focus. If you see something, say something. Having specialists does not guarantee flawlessness. Imagine, the audio engineer noticed the cup before rolling, but decided not to say anything because “It’s not my job, surely the director, set design, or even craft services will notice.”
There is Only One Thing We Say to Errors: Not Today
We are only human; mistakes will happen and there is the proof resting around 17:50 in episode “The Last of the Starks.” May this blimp be a reminder to always have your work reviewed by many eyes before going out. Reviewers may catch obvious mistakes that go overlooked. If the message you are trying to get across is important, it’s worth a second, third, or fifth look.