Post facilities in Northern Ireland are gearing up for the return of HBO’s Game Of Thrones.
Last week, the US cable channel recommissioned the fantasy drama, which has achieved Sky Atlantic’s best viewing figures to date.
Greg Darby, managing director of Belfast’s Yellowmoon, the post facility that handled all of the offline edit for the drama, said discussions were taking place with the show’s producers about rates and rooms, although contracts have not been signed.
“It’s due to start production at the end of July and we are gearing up for that,” he told Broadcast.
For the first series, Yellowmoon made a joint pitch for the post contract with Dublin’s Screen Scene.
The first series used eight of Yellowmoon’s 16 Avid suites for six months, with some sound and pre-mix finished at Screen Scene.
Darby hopes the arrangement will be repeated. “The advantages to HBO are the financial incentives to come to Northern Ireland, coupled with tax breaks in Ireland - they were able to avail of both incentives. It places us in a unique situation, and it’s a model we are pushing to others,” he said.
Darby hailed the impact of the high-end drama production on the creative sector in the region, which Richard Williams, chief executive of film and TV agency Northern Ireland Screen , said was likely to have benefited the local economy by £20m.
“There’s always a London-centric view that the nations and regions can’t deliver in the same way as London, but Game Of Thrones has dispelled the myth that Northern Ireland is incapable of delivering to networks,” Darby added.
HBO’s vice-president publicity, Mara Mikialian, said: “It’s a bit early for any announcement of locations on series two. However, discussions are under way to once again be based in Northern Ireland. Hopefully, the official word on locations will come soon.”
A Northern Ireland Screen spokeswoman would not comment on whether the second series would shoot in Northern Ireland. “All we can say is that we’re working hard to secure subsequent series,” she said.