Two independent film makers from Northern Ireland have expressed their love of Game of Thrones by making their own addition to the story.
Shane Gibson and Ciaran McIlhatton have filmed a prequel to the HBO hit show which has amassed 81,000 views on YouTube in just a week.
The pair of 25-year-olds from the north Belfast area are self-taught film makers who have talked about making their own movies since their teenage years.
Having gone to the same schools growing up, the men both studied Physics at Queen’s University, before saving up to make a film they hope will make an impression with key players in the industry.
Shane said: “We’re big film fans and big Game of Thrones fans so it’s come about that this is our first attempt at making a film. We’ve made it for Game of Thrones fans but we’d also hope this will act as a CV of what we can do. Rather than get our foot in the door we want to give the door a kick.”
He added: “Because we didn’t have any experience and are largely self-taught we wanted to do every single thing right. That’s why it took two years.”
The 15-minute movie by Wild Wolf Films is set 15 years before the Game of Thrones series and focuses on a battle between a young Peter Baelish (Littlefinger) and Brandon Stark (Ned’s older brother) for Catelyn Tully.
Shane explained: “Littlefinger was involved with Catelyn in his younger years. Fans of the show will know of their history. Brandon never made it onto the screen, but there are references to him in the show and in the books. There was enough there to give us a plot.”
Shane, who plays the lead character Brandon Stark, said: “It’s my first acting role. It’s gone down okay I think.
“Originally we had a huge story for Brandon, enough for a feature-length film, but budgetary constraints meant we could only film the first scene. We’d love to do the rest, potentially get involved with HBO and work alongside them.”
We’ve made it for Game of Thrones fans but we’d also hope this will act as a CV of what we can do. Rather than get our foot in the door we want to give the door a kick.Shane Gibson
Filming locations include Benburb, Dervock, and Lylehill near Templepatrick.
Shane said: “We would have got up at 6am on a Saturday morning and started driving around, taking in the countryside to see what we could use. Scouting the locations was one of the most fun parts of it.”
Game of Thrones – many scenes of which are filmed in locations throughout Northern Ireland – will begin its seventh season on Sky Atlantic this summer.