Turns out, creating the Red Wedding scene from Game of Thrones was almost as tough as watching it. Director David Nutter recently spoke about the process involved and touched upon his work on The CW’s Arrow spin-off featuring The Flash.
Considering some may still not have seen Game of Thrones, I’ll get to The Flash big first. Spoilers for Game of Thrones will follow after that. You have been warned.
Q: I understand you shot the banquet massacre sequentially. Can you talk about how you built to that climatic moment, and made it feel as shocking as it was?
A: In some respects, I looked at it almost as an opera. It was all about how I set up the tables in the room, how I positioned who was going to sit where. It was important to shoot as much as possible in order so we didn’t have to go back and reshoot something really intense. It was important to focus on what areas of the sequence I would need wide shots for. It was sort of like dominos, where we could keep the tonality going so when we got to the really intense stuff, we were shooting it one after the other and building on top of the drama—building to a climax.
I rehearsed with the actors two or three days before, and then with all the stunt people. It was important for them so they didn’t have to worry about the small things and could focus on the drama of it. It was not unlike a football coach outlining his plays on a chalkboard. Basically, I told everybody, ‘You’re going to sit here, you’re going to sit there, and this is going to happen.’