Campbellton — HBO executives announced today that the studio will be moving production of their popular television series Game of Thrones to Cambellton, N.B., for the show’s 6th season.
Citing rising costs and increased difficulty in managing international locations, the studio set out to find a geographically closer location that could easily be transformed into a desolate snow-covered wasteland.
“We sent some location scouts to check out the area, and what they came back with was just amazing,” said HBO spokesperson Ron Werman during a press conference held at the studio’s production headquarters in New York City. “Looking at some of those photos, you’d think that we’d already been there for years.” Werman expects the money the studio can save on CGI and set design could fund production of the show for an extended number of future seasons. “The amount of snow they get is mind-boggling, and it’s like it never goes away.”
Sources close to the studio are reporting that the producers of the show, in exchange for a generous tax credit from the province, have agreed to incorporate a new set of characters into the show’s narrative. Season 6 will prominently feature the House of Irvingo, a wealthy family of slave owners that controls many of the land’s natural resources and holds great influence over the politics of the area. The show’s weapons and armour will also now be created by New Brunswick’s King’s Landing blacksmith, lending more authenticity to the setting and creating more work opportunities for New Brunswickers.
Not all Campbellton residents are excited at the prospect of a big production, however. Phil Leclair thinks this type of acticity can lead to problems in the near future. “The second you get Hollywood coming in, people start living these fast lifestyles, thinking they’re all celebrities. We don’t need that here in New Brunswick,” he said. “Then, again, I know nothing. This could be good for tourism.”
Filming is set to start in early 2016 and if things go well, HBO says it would consider a similar move for some of its other high-profile shows.