How did this cup end up in an episode of Game of Thrones?
If you are alive in America you know doubt know about the HBO Show Game of Thrones, whether you watch it or not. It is by far the most popular show in all of Televisionland, and with the final season upon us, the hype has reached peak hysteria.
If you read stories on the internet, have twitter, Facebook, Instagram, read the papers, watch TV or listen to the radio than you undoubtedly heard about the Game of Thrones Starbuck Coffee cup fail. The show takes place hundreds of years ago back in medieval times, yet somehow a Coffee cup resembling one sold by the Giant Corporation Starbucks appeared in an episode. As the owner of QC Central, a Film Quality Control facility I wondered how that could happen.
First of all if this show had a film QC done by QC Central, this mistake of epic proportions would never have occurred. We inspect every inch of a show from head to tail, for any technical anomalies; things like lighting and coloring, audio levels, and quality, and many other things a network needs to have approved before a show goes to air. Other things we look for in QC are continuity errors and things that are out of place, like a 21st century coffee cup in a show that takes place centuries earlier.
Whoever was responsible for the quality control of this Game of Thrones episode failed miserably, but it wasn’t just the QC department that would get the blame, (though they are the last line a defense, kind of like a goalie in Soccer or Hockey) that glaring error would have slipped by a dozen other sets of eyes that should have caught it. The Cameraman should have noticed the cup, so should the on-set assistants, the prop manager, the director of photography, the person in charge of dailies, the editor, the colorist, the post production manager, the director himself and finally the Quality Control team which usually includes several different QC operators seeing the same show.
Once again the question is how do that many people miss such an obvious error? My guess would be that it was no “error” at all. Even though there was no actual company name visible on the cup the media ran with it as a Starbucks cup, just like the marketing department probably knew they would. This is just another product placement for pay taken to ridiculous levels. Starbucks gets ‘free’ press, as if they need it. Like the man said: “There is no bad publicity” even if it means you look like you messed up big time. Is this what really happened? Probably but maybe everyone involved with that show did fail. To make sure your show doesn’t, call QC Central for all your Film QC / TV quality control report needs.