Despite winning three Emmy Awards for their work on “Game of Thrones,” set decorator Rob Cameron and production designer Deborah Riley had never been nominated by the BAFTAs until this year. However, first time proved to be the charm as they prevailed in a tough race against teams from the satirical series “Black Mirror,” the historical drama “The Crown” and the political thriller “The State.”
I kicked off our lively conversation backstage by asking if it was difficult to simply watch the finished episodes or whether they sat in front of their TVs and critiqued their sets and designs. Riley readily admitted, “When I first read the script, I’m definitely a fan. With the second read, I become a member of the crew. It’s when I become serious.” Concurred Cameron, “When we’re watching the episodes I definitely just look at what we’ve done and analyze it.”
Considering the show has now gone beyond the source material in George R.R. Martin‘s books, do they still use these for inspiration? Explained Riley, “It’s the show-runners. everything comes through David Benioff and Dan Weiss. They give us everything, it all comes from them.” As Cameron elaborated, “We’re past the books now and we’ve taken everything we can so it’s now through them.”
They reflected on their proudest moments in seasons past, present and, yes, future (eek): Cameron reveals, “The dragon pit chamber in this season was just fantastic to work on.” Added Riley, “For me, I loved the Meeren audience chamber we did in season four.” Then, he teased, “season eight is going to eclipse all of that, I’m just saying.”
Of, course, I had to ask the obvious question – despite knowing the answer already. Can you tell us anything about season eight? While Riley simply said no, Cameron promised, ” it’s going to be bigger and better. It’s going to be huge!” My mind now races with the possibilities of season eight. It will be a long before we get to find out exactly what “bigger and better” means for the production design of “Game of Thrones” season eight.
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