With the new season about to drop, let’s reflect on the production masterpiece that is Game of Thrones. Sure, amazing story. Brilliant characters. Stunning scenes. But as an audio nerd, I’m living for the GOT SFX.
And not only is their SFX game strong, there’s a few sound effects life lessons we can all take from Game of Thrones.
1. Pick your allegiance:
Make sure your SFX are on your side. Team you. Do they support the message you’re trying to convey? Do they enhance your script? Are they quality? If not, ditch them faster than Sansa did Littlefinger.
2. Embrace the element of surprise:
Go full Red Wedding. Predictability will be your downfall, so beware the overused SFX. I’m looking at you pissed off cat and Wilhelm Scream. Overly-popular effects are clichéd and distracting. Surprise your audience to make an impact they won’t forget in a hurry.
3. Work together to triumph:
Get those SFX to blend seamlessly with the other elements. Recruit your voice over, effects, music and visual MVPs. Get them all working together to create something as gripping and epic as the Battle of the Bastards.
4. Don’t reveal your hand:
Just ask Jaime Lannister. I get you have unlimited SFX downloads with your online subscription. Doesn’t mean you have to cram 35537.8 effects into your 30 second ad. Less is more when it comes to SFX.
5. Know your (birth) rights:
Would have been helpful for Jon Snow. Also helpful for making SFX usage decisions. Understand your licensing agreement. Where are you allowed to use your SFX? How long can you use them for? Are there any reporting obligations? Any risks of breaching copyright? Yes, paperwork is boring. But knowing where you stand could mean the difference between playing by the rules and rooting your aunty.