Why is Game of Thrones so dark? Detailed analysis and Experts View

If we talk about Games of Thrones, Winter has made its arrival. In the first half of the current week’s episode, Battle of Winterfell was there but it was enshrouded in darkness. It was so dark that a lot of viewers are complaining about unclear footage of released episode depicting the Battle of Winterfell.

The cinematographer, Fabian Wagner proclaims that there is nothing wrong in the production of the episode. But, there might be a problem with the viewer’s television setup. Moreover, he stated

“A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly. A lot of people also, unfortunately, watch it on small iPads, which in no way can do justice to a show like that anyway.”

As time passes, Games of Thrones has been receiving a lot of success. Moreover, the drama is getting dark in its presentions since season five. It is to be noted that the latest episode was so dark that hardly someone recognized any character. There is a notable difference between the first episode of season 1 and this latest episode. There is truly a change from crystal clear episodes to the latest dark mode episodes.

Fabian Wagner says

“The showrunners decided that this had to be a dark episode. We’d seen so many battle scenes over the years – to make it truly impactful and to care for the characters, you have to find a unique way of portraying the story.”

According to him, they have shooted a lot of scenes at night, therefore, this might be one reason for the darkness. He says “Another look would have been wrong. Everything we wanted people to see is there.”

However, numerous fans and industrialists think that in this episode, producers should have taken measures in reducing the darkness. A videographer from Manchester, Sophie Barrott says that she had tried to overcome darkness but she managed to reduce it to 15 minutes. She stated that

“There’s a fine line between creating an atmosphere for your audience – who have waited eight seasons for a battle of light versus dark, the dead versus the living – to leaving them completely in the dark, straining their eyes beyond comprehension. The lack of light sources, or the over-crushed blacks in the grade of the episode, create a confusing of a mix of frustration and intense imagination.”

A London based freelance commercial video editor, Jake Mobbs says that he can observe frustration of fans. He stated that “I have found myself bumping up the brightness at home when I’m watching an under-lit film to help pick up every detail and fully understand the story,”

Fabian Wagner says that it is not really important for you to catch every moment of the show. He further affirmed that

“Personally I don’t have to always see what’s going on because it’s more about the emotional impact. Game of Thrones is a cinematic show and therefore you have to watch it like you’re at a cinema: in a darkened room. If you watch a night scene in a brightly-lit room then that won’t help you see the image properly.”

It seems that programme producers have been trying to make episodes that can only be viewed clearly on a high-end screen. But they are missing one thing that most of their viewers do not have a high-end display to watch a lighter or darker display.  A London based color grader, Jason Moffat stated that local screens are not very well constructed and also presents some scupper moody images.

Due to low-end construction, the screen does not present a better image of any video played on them.  According to Jason Moffat, “If you’re walking a fine line in terms of subtlety in a graded environment and some details are only just visible in the grading suite, it can fail to translate on a consumer setup if the screen is only a little bit off – which, generally speaking, they are,”

Moreover, Fabian Wagner proclaims that broadcasters might a reason behind bad viewing experience. Because most of the broadcasters perform bitrate compression and plays havoc with footage that was entirely shot at night.

However, Games of Thrones is not a first television show to face dark images issue. Before this, The Walking Dead, Teen Wolf, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D had already faced criticism from fans on dark images issue. A cinematographer and director of photography for commercial projects, says that, due to advancement in the camera technology, a big ratio of this issue has bee resolved.

Oftenly, High-end TV shows are being shot on 8K sensitive cameras. Therefore, if you are not watching a particular series on 8K then you might not enjoy a full level of the details. As of now, Fabian Wagner is handling this criticism positively by saying “With a lot of hype comes a lot of criticism. People love to find something to talk about, and so that’s totally fine.”

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