Game of Thrones special effects made in Thessaloniki
Michail Charalampidis is currently working for the special effects team of the famous tv series Game of Thrones, with millions of fans around the world. He is also a film maker, having filmed his own movies in the past.
He comes from the town of Langadas, Thessaloniki, in North Greece. From a young age he used to attend theatrical school, but he mostly enjoyed working behind the scene.
When he was 10 years old he got fond of acting and started creating short videos along with his brother, Vangelis. He has also taken lessons in directing, theatre, creative writing and history. Before going to college, he was also a member of a theatrical team in Thessaloniki, where he learned the technique of acting and directing.
In May 2014 he graduated from Hampshire College, after having won a scholarship. After college, and being unemployed for about two months, he was seriously thinking of leaving the States. Somehow he managed to cooperate with Douglas Trumbull, a special effect wizard (he has won two Oscar Awards).
“We made a commercial video regarding his new technology. I found myself in the recent Toronto International Film Festival and in some screenings in Los Angeles. I worked for a month on a fixed term contract and then I worked full time as a cameraman assistant in a production in West Massachusetts. That’s when the special effects producer, Steve Kullback, hired me. I flew to Los Angeles on the 31st of December (I was so tired that I slept the whole New Year’s Eve) and started working on the 5th of January, getting to work there until mid May 2015. I did pretty good, and then on the 3rd of June, they hired me again for the 6th season. What’s next? I have no idea, but I’ m sure it’s going to be super exciting!”, says Michail at an interview for newdiaspora.com.
“In the last season there were 1500 shots having to do with a visual effect and the team I was collaborating with hired 13 companies around the world. So I’ m guessing that the people working for the show were hundreds of animators. I’ ve heard that there may be an idea for shooting something in the greek islands as well, but nothing’s for sure”, he adds.
But why is Game of Thrones that popular? “I think that when it was aired, we actually saw a series that didn’t rely on the good guy-bad guy cliché. You don’t have that in Game of Thrones. There are characters that are sometimes good, and sometimes bad, as in real life. Some good characters will eventually do something good, and will become likeable, and some bad characters will also do something good, and also become likeable”, he adds.
One of Michail’s biggest dreams is to publish the 3 books he has written so far. So far he has directed two commercial videos, a documentary film about the gladiators in ancient Rome and some short films. At the same time he is a member of the Shatterkind Productions theatrical team of Hampshire College.