Northern Ireland

Game of Thrones 'attracts success' to Northern Ireland

Peter Dinklage and Sophie Turner feature in the HBO series Game of Thrones.
Image caption Peter Dinklage and Sophie Turner feature in the HBO series.

A senior executive of HBO has said that Northern Ireland is a "sleeping giant" for film production.

The network makes the fantasy epic Game of Thrones, and Northern Ireland doubles for the fictional land of Westeros in the series.

The executive vice-president of HBO, Jay Roewe, said that other studios had been attracted by their success.

"When you have a success like Game of Thrones, people want to replicate that," he said.

"And because of the profile of it, it brings a profile not only to HBO but to Northern Ireland that maybe didn't exist before."

The fourth season of Game of Thrones is now being filmed and is scheduled to be broadcast next year.

'Scouted'

Since the cameras rolled on the first series there has been an increased film and television drama presence in Northern Ireland.

Image caption Jay Roewe from HBO said success was attracting other broadcasters

Universal Pictures has been filming a new Dracula film and the director Ridley Scott is aiming to help make six low budget films in Northern Ireland.

The success of Game of Thrones has also helped draw tourists to Northern Ireland, with spin-off tours and exhibitions.

Mr Roewe said that they were aware that there was creative potential in Belfast.

"There are many elements of George Martin's book that, even though it's a fiction book, we felt potentially would be here," he said.

"When we finally came and scouted and looked around, we felt that there was a lot of creative potential.

"But you need an infrastructure, you need people to make a good production with, but what we found was a little bit of a sleeping giant.

"I think we have been very fortunate to kind of wake that sleeping giant and discover a great creative community here, that has really come to work with us at a world class level."

He said that they had a great experience working in Northern Ireland and wanted people around the world to think of Belfast as a "great place to do business".

The final two books in the Game of Thrones series have yet to be written.

Mr Roewe said that while the programme was commissioned on a yearly basis he hoped there would be "many years to come" of the fantasy epic.

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