Script to Screen: A Conversation with “Game of Thrones” Episode Director

Photo by Noe Padilla | The Bottom Line

Noe Padilla

With season eight of “Game of Thrones” right around the corner, UCSB gave fans of the series an opportunity to interact with Jeremy Podeswa, the director of the episode “The Dragon and the Wolf,” through the Script to Screen series held by the Pollock Theater on Saturday, April 6.

The Script to Screen series is hosted and created by Matthew Ryan, the director of the Pollock Theater. The series brings in notable writers, directors, actors, and producers to examine the screenplays they’re associated with. The series also gives the opportunity for audience members to ask questions to the invited guests during the Q&A after the screening.

Although the event began with a screening of the season seven finale, the event didn’t really start until Podeswa and Ryan walked onto the stage. Once both men were seated, Ryan immediately asked the question everyone in the room wanted to know: “Will you confirm right now, that Podrick wins the Iron Throne?” Podeswa laughed at the question, and continued on with the Q&A.  

One of the first serious questions that Ryan asked Podeswa was about his response to watching the live audience reacting to the episode on screen.

“I loved hearing the reaction,” Podeswa said. “It’s great to see the humor land. It’s great to see the things that are meant to be moving — you could hear a pin drop.”

The first half of the Q&A primarily focused on examining certain elements from the episode. This episode follows Daenerys’s group as they try to negotiate a truce with Queen Cersei.
“We rehearsed [this episode] like a play. For the first time ever I think in the history of the show, we got almost the entire cast together in Belfast. We staged it like a play,” Podeswa said. “The cast really loved it, because they never had the opportunity to do that before with each other.”

For the second half of the Q&A, Podeswa took questions from individuals in the audience. The questions ranged from directorial advice to behind-the-scenes trivia. One question that stood out was a query about Podeswa’s favorite character.    

“As a viewer, I loved watching [Arya and Sansa Stark], and as a director I loved working with [Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner] because they’re so fresh, fun, and gifted,” remarked Podeswa. “Everybody’s a great actor, but I think because they’re so young and so skilled they blow me away.”

After all the questions, Podewsa stayed after the show to sign autographs for his many fans. Most of the audience members left the hall with signed merchandise, smiles on their faces, or engaged in deep conversation about the event.

The next major event that the theater will be hosting is a screening of short films from the Viet Film Fest. The event will be held on April 11 at 7:00 p.m. and directors Kady Le, Lan Nquyen, and Quyen Nguyen-Le will be joining the event.