In Conclusion

Posted: 1st March 2013 by Anthony van Winkle
Categories: Uncategorized

On the end of Night Zero.

And thus, we are concluded. It is with great pride and satisfaction that I see the end of the Night Zero saga, the last page on our website and the conclusion of this five-year adventure in photographic storytelling. Thank you all for joining us on this journey, one day at a time, and a most heartfelt thanks to everyone who was a part of this great chapter of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
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Naked Zombies

Posted: 1st February 2013 by Anthony van Winkle
Categories: Behind-the-Scenes Photos, Episode 6, On Location

On balancing the theoretical reality of zombie behavior with the practical constraints of live-action production, and shooting on location in the middle of the mountains.

In the earliest days of Night Zero, we on the production team spent most of our time discussing and debating the “rules” of zombies—which were universal, which were negotiable based on zombie type, and which we would invent for our own purposes. Some zombie rules are irrefutable, such as a bite or scratch leading to infection and their innate ability to distinguish their own kind from living persons. Other zombie rules are flexible, such as their cognitive abilities and whether they eat humans or just kill. We had our own rules on top, relating to the severity of infection and the counteraction of alcohol.

But there’s another class of rule to consider, often raised among fans but rarely (if ever) addressed on screen: impossible rules. For “living dead” zombies, the biggest impossible rule is the rate of human decomposition—within 20 days, all non-bone mass is on its way out. After a month, there’d be no zombies left. For the “infected” zombies, the biggest impossible rule is that the infected should have no clothes on.
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the Color of a Character

Posted: 25th January 2013 by Anthony van Winkle
Categories: Uncategorized

On the conscious and continuing use of color in character costumes, and how that impacts the telling of Night Zero’s various stories.

For many years I’ve been looking forward to writing a blog post on the use of character color in Night Zero, but every time it felt appropriate I thought of another future scene I’d want to reference, and again this post would be postponed. Now, at the end, that time has finally come.

There are many design ideas and decisions endowed into the world and detail of Night Zero, little touches here and there that are neither important to nor referenced by the stories we tell, but that mean a lot to us. Some are small actor choices that affect the actions and demeanors of their characters without being made explicit. Others are tokens and trinkets that represent untold stories, perhaps at one point intended to be explored but now known only by those who would have told them. These all are little treasures within the fictional world of Night Zero designed to help the actors connect with their characters, but the most significant and deliberate secret of the production design is part of the storytelling, not the story: the subtle use of color designed to help the reader identify, distinguish, and remember characters across the span of Night Zero tales.
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Jezebel and Tracy

Posted: 18th January 2013 by Anthony van Winkle
Categories: "Jezebel", Episode 6

On the conclusion of the skullhunters’ epilogue, and the difficult decision to usurp the vignette’s ambiguous ending to satisfy Jezebel’s storyline.

The skullhunter epilogue was a particularly challenging piece for me to write, a series of tough decisions leading to the showdown between Jezebel and Tracy four years after the original “Jezebel” vignette aired. I’m incredibly happy to welcome them back to the Night Zero stage one more time before the book is closed. Jezebel remains a fan-favorite character as well as a personal favorite, and it thrills me to no end that she has been received with just the blend of love and hate that I had hoped for her.

When the “Jezebel” vignette first aired, I kept my thoughts brief and vague to avoid spoiling what was to come from her, so it wasn’t until her appearance in Episode Three that I had a chance to lay out the history of her character. Her fundamental aspect was that she would have no secret motives or revealing backstory, that we never revealed a who or a why behind the chaos of Jezebel. Throughout her appearances in the various vignettes and serial episodes, all that’s certain is that she’s trouble.
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Think of the Children

Posted: 4th January 2013 by Anthony van Winkle
Categories: Behind-the-Scenes Photos, Concepts & Development, Episode 6, On Location

On the development and production of the “Orphans” epilogue with Axel the skullhunter, Sam the messenger, and more than a handful of children in the woods.

The first of the Night Zero Epilogues is brief, but loaded. I don’t recall exactly how or when I decided to frame the entire saga under a participant narrator, but even the first assembled draft of Episode Six has this scene nearly word-for-word as it appears in the final comic.

Choosing a narrator involved serious considerations. It would have to be a character who recurs enough to be remembered on sight, but far enough from the center that they wouldn’t need their own closure. It would have to be a character capable of caring for children but unexpected enough that it would warrant notice. And finally, it would have to be a character who survived the bloodbath without a strong allegiance, so that they wouldn’t be notably absent from another of the Epilogues.
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Exit, Pursued by the Horde

Posted: 28th December 2012 by Anthony van Winkle
Categories: Behind-the-Scenes Photos, Episode 6, On Location

On the conclusion of episode six act five, the official end of the graphic novel serial and the New City storyline.

And so has the tale of the New City come to a close, concluding six episodes of adventure, betrayal, and sacrifice. What began with the storehouse fires has ended with assassination, revenge, and the collapse of a struggling civilization. Page 101 marks the end of the day, the conclusion of act five, and the official completion of the Night Zero serial.

But wait. There’s more.
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