HBO’s ‘Games of Thrones’ Will Shoot

Girona and Peñiscola to host part of season six's shoot

MADRID – In a demonstration of the importance of location for the world’s big shoots, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is returning to Spain.

A portion of season six will shoot on several natural locations in Girona, a city located between Barcelona and the French border, and Peñiscola, a seaside resort on Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast. Peter Welter Soler at Fresco Film Services will again provide production services. This filming of this portion of season six is set to take place later this year.

Catching up with near all of Europe, Spain introduced 15% of local spend tax credits for international shoots from January, though the fine print is being finalized between Spain’s tax authorities and production and big shoot service sector.

It was location not tax breaks which brought HBO to Spain last year to shoot portions of Season 5 in Andalusia with Seville’s Alcazar Palace doubling on a 12-day shoot for the sunlit Water Gardens of Dorne. At the bullring of the nearby town of Osuna, production spent 13 days filming an about four-minute scene with 500 extras.

Tax credits can be a sweetener or even a clincher for big shoots, persuading Chris Meledandri’s Illumination to create an animation studio in France for “Despicable Me 2,” for instance. At the same time, however., given Spain’s long history of warfare – Girona has suffered 25 sieges, per Wikipedia – both Girona and Peñiscola offer spectacular vistas.

Girona, in northern Catalonia, has imposing medieval city walls, towers and churches and a network of canals, Peñiscola a fortified castle built by the Knights Templar on a headland which rears above the seaside resort, stood in for Valencia in Anthony Mann’s 1960 Charlton Heston starrer “El Cid.”

Specifics on exactly what locations will be used in Girona and Peñiscola will unveiled closer to the time of production. The Girona shoot will be carried out with the full collaboration of the town hall of Girona via its mayor, Carles Puigdemont, and the Girona Film Office; as well as the town hall of Peñiscola through mayor Andrés Martínez Castellá and the Peñiscola Film Office.

Fresco’s Peter Welter Soler already provided production services on season five’s Spanish shoot for which “Games of Thrones” producers had fulsome words of praise.

“Sevilla opened its doors to ‘Game of Thrones’ and we were honored by that. They were the best partner a production could hope for, nothing was impossible and that is gloriously reflected on screen.  We also loved shooting in Osuna where we were welcomed and cared for like a long-lost loved one.  The time spent in Osuna will stay with our cast and crew forever,” Bernadette Caufield, “Game of Thrones” executive producer. told Variety.

HBO begins filming “Game of Thrones’” sixth season in Belfast in late July.  David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Caulfield serve as the epic series’ exec producers; co-executive producers are Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin; producers: Chris Newman, Greg Spence, Lisa McAtackney and Bryan Cogman.

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