Who Is David Franco on ‘Game of Thrones’? Is He Related to James Franco?


If you see David Franco’s name in the credits for Game of Thrones, it’s because he’s a very talented cinematographer and director of photography for the show. No, he’s not the actor Dave Franco or a relative of James Franco. According to IMDB, he’s not listed as being related to either of them. But he has a lot of accomplishments all on his own, including Game of Thrones.

David Franco has been the director of photography for multiple episodes of Game of Thrones, including The Last of the Starks, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, and Winterfell this season. He also was the photography director for The House of Black and White in 2015, The Wars to Come in 2015, and The Watchers on the Wall.

Beyond Game of Thrones, he was the cinematographer for Ray Donovan (two episodes), Stranger Things (Chapter Seven), Get Shorty, Power, Z: The Beginning of Everything (five episodes), Westworld (The Bicameral Mind), Vinyl, Minority Report (the pilot), Boardwalk Empire (18 episodes), V (the pilot), and much more.

He was born in France in 1963, according to IMDB, and also worked on Star Wars: Episode III, Ultraviolet, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. 

And yes, once again, he’s not related to James Franco. David Franco is a French cinematographer who was born in France. James Franco was born in California in 1978. James Franco does have a younger brother named Dave (David) Franco, but this is a different David Franco. James Franco’s younger brother was born in 1985 and is an actor too.  Their parents are from California. Their mom is an author and their dad ran a Silicon Valley business. So these Francos aren’t related to Game of Thrones‘ David Franco.

The Game of Thrones David Franco has an official website here. According to his bio, he’s worked as a cinematographer on more than 45 productions, including 3000 Miles to Graceland starring Kevin Costner and The Whole Nine Yards with Bruce Willis. He was raised in Zaire and his father was a theater director. He moved to Montreal after finishing school at the University of Quebec. That’s when he started his own production company. Today he lives in Brooklyn.

Marie Claire asked Franco about the rumor that the wight army formed the Stark sigil at the end of Season 7. He said: “Most of [this scene was] created in post-production, so DPs are not really involved. As far as I know, it is a fan’s vivid imagination, but you never know!” He also said that many special effects are done in the moment. “It is always fun to recreate the elements, like a snowstorm for example, where we use a snow and wind machine to replicate nature. For the dragon—even if we add the animation of the animal after—the flames are actually real and created on set around the stunt people and actors.”

He said the battle scenes are the toughest to shoot because every detail has to be planned, allowing for safety.

Franco also said that multiple endings are sometimes shot to keep everyone in the dark, so he may not know how Game of Thrones ends.

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