Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Summer 2015

  • AWS
  • Backbone.js
  • Django
  • Python

For HBO's 2015 touring exhibition promoting the release of Season 5 of Game of Thrones, POKE helped create two digital experiences to be included in the show. These featured visitors being digitally composited into personalised image and video assets from the series – live on the show floor in specially-constructed booths – with the results being delivered to show-goers via a companion site built by myself and talented POKE colleagues.

The on-site experiences featured a clever combination of green-screen and difference-mask background replacement techniques to insert our guests into still photos and video, masterminded by media processing pipeline maestro Eric. On an average show day the system would process over 3,000 images and 1,000 video clips for visitors.

The "dragon fire" experience, with POKE's very own Thom Wong

The companion site supported events in eight countries and featured content translated into five languages, including Hebrew (my first experience of development supporting a right-to-left language). I made use of nginx geoIP module and Django's translation framework to serve tailored content to visitors from the supported countries and translate the site's boilerplate text into their language – making use of the magnificent Loco to marshall the many translations contributed by HBO partners around the world.

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Game of Thrones: The Exhibition: The Homepage Template: The Desktop Version!

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Game of Thrones: The Exhibition: The Homepage Template: The Desktop Version!

The internal part of the companion site used a BackboneJS app to provide a dynamic interactive experience, pulling in new media as it was generated server-side without the need for tedious page refreshes.

By the end of the exhibition tour we had generated over 150,000 pieces of media for visitors worldwide and weathered heavy traffic from the multiple international ticket launches and other press that brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to the site for each event.

POKE’s case study of the project is well worth a read, and media manipulation ninja Eric’s own case study contains some additional tech detail.

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