On the arrival of Valentin into the story, and creating a split-scene conversation
I’m very pleased that not only did the Nadia/Valentin interlude come in at a tight three pages, but also that those three pages lined up within the same week of updates. Coordinating page content with upload dates is hard to do, and most of the times (like this week) when it happens, it’s strictly coincidental.
Designing and shooting these two scenes was an opportunity to switch up our routines, as much on the page as on the set. Placing Nadia outside in the night and Valentin inside his lair naturally split the images into deep blues (for her) and complex reds (for him), an aesthetic separation that mirrors both their physical distance and character differences. Having a conversation over radio provided some new flexibility in bubble placement and which lines could be positioned in which frames, something that’s not as easy to tweak with both characters in photo (or even in the same physical space). I hope that the crackly radio text bubbles read distinctly from the standard text bubbles, it’s an experimental approach that may or may not work for the standard reader.
Most importantly, I suppose, is the introduction of Valentin to the story. “Who?”, you ask. Yes, Valentin, the true power behind the New City, the inheritor of the empire, the dictator behind the committee. Portrayed impeccably by Andrew McMasters, this new face to the story is the real “big bad” behind the scenes, and he’ll be making things very, very interesting in the months to come.
The Nadia portion of the scene was shot on the roof of a mansion in northern Seattle, overlooking the sound. The mansion as a whole will be serving as the Nazarov family home for the comic series, its abundance of rooms and vistas providing a great selection of backdrops for what’s yet to come. At the same time as we shot this week’s scene, we went downstairs and shot a follow-up scene that will appear later this episode between the two Sisters.
The Valentin portion of the scene was shot in a bar called Chapel in the capitol hill area of Seattle. It’s a gorgeous location that we get to see just a hint of on these pages, but one that I’d like to return to in the future for more expansive photos and larger scenes. It’s a very trendy bar built in an old mortician’s showroom, so the dark leather decor is complimented by a vaguely morbid yet highly ornate interior design. First time I went for a drink there, I knew we had to use it as a shoot location.
This episode is called “House Calls”, which is a title I really like because of how well it ties in to all the little parts. We get to see everybody at home at the end of the day, whatever that means to them, and shed some new light on who they are and what they want. Next week we’ll pop back over to the Skullhunters’ house and check in on Claire for a bit, then bounce around a little more and see what some other people are up to, ones we haven’t seen in a while. Stay tuned.