The reality of fantasy: VFX as fantasmatic supplement in game of thrones (2011-)

Book chapter


Tyrer, B. 2018. The reality of fantasy: VFX as fantasmatic supplement in game of thrones (2011-). in: Fantasy/Animation: Connections Between Media, Mediums and Genres Routledge. pp. 91-106
Chapter titleThe reality of fantasy: VFX as fantasmatic supplement in game of thrones (2011-)
AuthorsTyrer, B.
Abstract

The success of a contemporary fantasy production such as Game of Thrones (2011–) is heavily dependent upon the use of visual effects to bring its amazing world to the screen. This chapter will attempt to interrogate such creations in order to establish a conceptual rapport between the fantasy genre and the psychoanalytic theory of fantasy. The most compelling account of psychoanalytic fantasy and film comes from Todd McGowan (The Real Gaze, 2007), who offers a four-fold typology of cinema: fantasy, desire, integration and intersection, and it is to this third category that I will attend. However, where McGowan finds a dishonest experience in a cinema of “integration” that conflates fantasy with desire, and where he also passes over the fantasy genre without much consideration, I will, instead, examine the role of computer-generated imagery in the creation of contemporary fantasy film and television as a properly Lacanian “fantasmatic supplement” (the necessary presence of fantasy in our relation to the world) at the formal level. I will suggest that it is, crucially, through the combination of live action with visual effects that a series such as Game of Thrones presents us, as spectators, with an aesthetic experience closely approximating psychoanalytic reality (i.e. how psychoanalysis theorises everyday experience). By paying close attention to “making of” featurettes I will suggest that they offer a particularly Lacanian perspective: laying bare the processes behind the creation of sequences such as The Battle for The Wall in Game of Thrones in order to demonstrate the ways in which the realms of desire (limitation, incompleteness; live action) and of fantasy (plenitude, wholeness; VFX) work together in order to constitute the world. In sum, this chapter will offer a reappraisal of the current neo-Lacanian approach to film theory in order to claim, ultimately, that there is more reality in fantasy than in other, so-called, “realist” modes of film and television.

Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Page range91-106
Book titleFantasy/Animation: Connections Between Media, Mediums and Genres
PublisherRoutledge
ISBN
Electronic9781315166919
Publication dates
Print11 May 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Jun 2023
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315166919-6
LanguageEnglish
JournalFantasy/Animation: Connections between Media, Mediums and Genres
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