Northern Ireland

Emmy Award success for local Game of Thrones sound crew

Ronan Hill and Mervyn Moore
Image caption Ronan Hill (left) accepts the Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound on stage in the Nokia Theatre Los Angeles, he is joined by Mervyn Moore (far right), Onnalee Blank and Matthew Waters.

A sound crew from Northern Ireland has won a Creative Arts Emmy for their work on Game of Thrones in Los Angeles this weekend.

Ronan Hill from Ballycastle and Mervyn Moore from Coleraine were part of the team that won the Outstanding Sound Mixing category for a TV drama series.

Most of the scenes for the HBO programme are filmed in Belfast.

The Creative Arts Emmy Awards recognise arts, craft and technical work on television shows.

Game of Thrones won a total of six Emmy Awards at the show this year.

The two production mixers beat off stiff competition from Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, Homeland and Person of Interest to take the award.

The show was presented by Friends actress Lisa Kudrow.

Speaking to BBC News Online from Los Angeles, Ronan Hill said he was delighted with the win.

"The Emmy Awards are huge. We were nominated for episode nine in series two, it was called Blackwater and it had a lot of dialogue. When you are trying to record dialogue and there's a battle going on, it can be a bit tricky.

"It was fantastic night and it made it all the better that we won. I don't event really remember what happened or who gave us the award, I was in such shock.

"We went to a ball after and rounded off the night by having a trip round Hollywood and walking on the famous stars.

Northern Ireland has been developing its talent base of crew and has invested more money in training future talent. In recent years, big productions like Game of Thrones, City of Ember and Your Highness have based themselves in NI.

Image caption The crew and actors are currently filming series three of Game of Thrones at locations across Northern Ireland.

"We have a great crew base here," Ronan told the BBC; "There is a lot of knowledge and expertise here and with large productions like Game of Thrones coming here that is only going to build the skill level.

"This year I have a trainee from Northern Ireland Screen working with me so it's great to see a new generation being able to get experience on such a big production.

"A lot of money has also gone into infrastructure in the last few years. In the Painthall, they opened two new sound stages this year which are perfect for recording sound and therefore make the location more appealing.

Ronan's brother Conleth Hill also is part of Game of Thrones. He plays the character Varys.

Mervyn Moore, also speaking from LA, said he didn't think that they were going to win.

"When we went in we didn't think we had much of a chance of winning so when we did, it was absolutely wonderful.

"Everyone gets their own award so I'm looking forward to bringing it back home, but I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to get it on the place."

Arts Minister Carál Ní Chuilín added her congratulations.

"Ronan and Mervyn's success is yet another example of how we have the local talent pool capable of working successfully on high profile film and TV productions such as HBO's Game of Thrones. I would like to congratulate Ronan and Mervyn and all of the people who have made Game of Thrones so successful," she said.

Northern Ireland Screen congratulated Ronan and Mervyn on Twitter.

Last year, Carolyn McCall from Portadown won an Emmy for her work as a costume designer on Downton Abbey.

Series three of Game of Thrones is currently being filmed at the Painthall in Belfast.

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