When TV Spectacle Becomes Reality

Though several long months lie between us and the seventh season of Game of Thrones, the GOT Live Concert Experience is giving fans the opportunity to relive their favorite scenes as never before. My own fangirling aside, the idea of melding television, music, and technology in this way is fascinating. For one thing, this live performance is a brilliant way to sustain the hype and generate more revenue during this especially long off-season. (Production began later than usual this year to achieve a more wintry look now that— spoiler alert— winter has finally arrived.) It translates the audience’s expectations of technical splendor by juxtaposing onscreen special effects with live lights, effects, and music. And what better way to relive the visual and auditory splendor of Game of Thrones than with live music led by the show’s composer and real life wildfire?

Yet, the most intriguing part of this production, aside from the sheer amount of machinery involved (including 807 linear feet of video wall and 255 lighting fixtures), is the fact that there even exists a television show that is technically spectacular enough to warrant this grandiose of an event. Until relatively recently, a television adaptation of a fantasy epic would never be taken this seriously, if it were even made at all. Yet, the stars seemed to have aligned just right for GOT, and it was time to incorporate the formal splendor and production value previously reserved for features films; it is undeniable that the quality of CGI and special effects in GOT was and remains revolutionary. Visually speaking, Game of Thrones is more like a 60-hour-long movie than any other major television series that came before it.

Game of Thrones is nearing its end, but its integration of CGI into a quality narrative leaves me hopeful for the future of television. If Game of Thrones could inspire such a spectacular live performance, who’s to say what live events will come out of Westworld or Stranger Things? Until then, I’ll be obsessively watching videos of the concert and begging someone to come with me.



One thought on “When TV Spectacle Becomes Reality

  1. I appreciate your focus on this topic, because I totally underestimated the importance of digital effects in cementing this show as a revolutionary TV object. I think the talk of “quality TV” has largely been focused on content and production design, and you rightfully identify GoT as a significant show and object of study because of its ability to provide the sense of visual spectacle we generally get elsewhere. I was totally unaware of this live experience as well. I know there have been other concert events based around cinema or video game scores, but I think it’s quite interesting that the GoT concert was so grandiose. Perhaps, as you suggest, it sort of had to be.


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