Thursday, 20 September 2018
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

Different strokes for different folks

By  Feb 17, 2018

“Oh, yes, I see you connect that to a mobile or tablet and then it plays music,” thoughtfully answered the young son of one of my friends as I showed him a photo of an old cassette. “Er, no, in fact mobiles and tablets weren’t even invented when this thing was at its most popular,” I answered trying to hold back the laughter.

He looked at me in disbelief, a look that of half shock and half mistrust. “So what is it then,” he quizzed. “It’s a cassette, you could listen to music and tape songs from the radio,” I came back. “Why didn’t you just download them,” he seemed even more lost. “For two reasons, firstly there was nothing to download them to, and secondly there was nowhere to download them from,” I was trying to explain that there was no internet and no modern devices to play them on. He still really didn’t understand. “We would put them into a cassette recorder and listen to the music,” I explained. “Why didn’t you just use Bluetooth?” was his answer. Different generations live different lives.

His children, and he is only ten years old, will look back at his tablets, mobile phones and Bluetooth with a look of horror, of course he doesn’t understand this yet, but don’t worry age comes to all of us. Different generations have different views of life.

The Dubrovnik adventure in Game of Thrones ended last week, the last cameras were packed up, the catering trucks rolled out of town and the actors posted Instagram photos sitting on departing planes. The eighth and final season of the most popular TV series ever broadcast left Dubrovnik for the last time, unless the rumours of a trilogy of films come true. There can be no doubt that the series has been mutually beneficial. HBO gained a unique location that featured as the crown jewel in the series, and Dubrovnik has earned not only a financial benefit but also priceless marketing.

Even though the final series has been “wrapped” in Dubrovnik the results won’t hit the smalls screens until 2019, meaning that the Game of Thrones effect will last for a good few years yet. The life of GOT in Dubrovnik is difficult to predict, could it roll on until the next big hit arrives or will it have a more lasting, if less concentrated, effect for the next decade. And it has been quite a ride for Dubrovnik. Love it or hate it, (and I know many of you don’t even watch it) the marketing pull of this series has been enormous.

On the final day of filming I bumped into a family taking photos of the set. It was quite clear that they weren’t from Dubrovnik so I jumped in to ask them a few questions. “Yes, we have come from Brazil to see Dubrovnik, or King’s Landing,” answered the young son with a huge grin across his face. They had flown half way around the globe to see King’s Landing. “So you came to see the final filming in Dubrovnik,” I quizzed them. “No, we didn’t even know they were filming,” they answered. It was quite clearly a bonus that the cast and crew were in town for this young family, or maybe they had the impression that Game of Thrones is constantly filming in the city. The look on the boy’s face as I explained that many of the main actors were in town was priceless. Like I said you just can’t buy this kind of promotion. At the same time the boy’s parents seemed less than enthralled with Game of Thrones and more interested in the architecture. For Dubrovnik it was a classic win/win situation. Different generations have different needs.

I for one will be sad to see the end of Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik, but in a few years another series or film will come along and the GOT bandwagon will be forgotten in the fog of the past. That’s what the future is – unpredictable. Who would have ever though the cassette would ever go out of fashion, or that video cassettes would be deemed useless or that records wouldn’t spin in our homes anymore. And in ten or twenty years most of what we use today, and term as modern technology, will again will waste sites and rubbish bins. But whilst the actual technology will be history the memories we have of them will be real.

My memories of Game of Thrones (and of cassettes) will stay with me forever. And my two young friend’s memories of Bluetooth and King’s Landing will stay with them. “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it,” once said the great George Orwell. Well said George!

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