Independence Day producer Dean Devlin has weighed in on the controversy over Game of Thrones' dark cinematography. After over a year-long hiatus, HBO's fantasy drama has returned for its final season, and already fans have been treated to an epic helping of action, plot twists, major character deaths and long awaited hookups.
Sunday night's third episode, "The Long Night," provided the vast majority of the season's action as it depicted the Night King and his army of the dead descending upon Winterfell and its plucky band of defenders (and two dragons). Though fans were generally happy with the way the episode played out, especially the climactic kill, many still complained about one particular aspect of the episode: the dark cinematography. Enough fans took to social media to gripe about their inability to see the action at the Battle of Winterfell that cinematographer Fabian Wagner came out to defend his work on the episode, claiming people's TV settings were to blame for the issue.
But not everyone out there is buying Wagner's argument that people's TV settings are truly to blame for the Game of Thrones darkness issue. Producer Dean Devlin took to Facebook to fire back at Wagner, saying his TV is perfectly calibrated and he still couldn't see what was going on. Devlin raved, "What a crock of shit. My monitors are professionally calibrated. It was too damned dark. Just face it."
According to Wagner, the decision to go extra dark during the Battle of Winterfell - which, after all, mainly took place at night with torches for lighting - had to do with creating a sense of disorientation in the viewer as the chaos of the battle played out. But clearly, many viewers found themselves more frustrated than disoriented, and that includes Devlin, whose professional filmmaking background presumably makes him more qualified to complain than the average person watching the show on their poorly calibrated TV, laptop or even phone screen.
It's definitely true that many viewers are watching Game of Thrones under less than ideal conditions, and the argument could be made that the show's creatives should realize this and take the fact into account when they make decisions about how they shoot their episodes. Though Game of Thrones may have the scope of a big-screen extravaganza, the majority of its fans are watching it on small screens that have not been professionally calibrated like Devlin's monitors, so perhaps it would be wise to compromise between the desire to create an epic experience and the need to give fans images they can appreciate even if they're not watching on the latest state-of-the-art equipment.
Game of Thrones season 8 airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.
Source: Dean Devlin