If there is one thing that comic books are short of. It’s good solid modern female characters that connect with a modern audience. In ‘Nightshadow’ we have a potential new female lead that fans can get behind.
Recently SciFiPulse was lucky enough to catch up with writer and producer Logan Cross who has been hard at work trying to make this exciting new project possible.
SFP: Logan. How did you first get involved in comic books and media. Was it always an ambition of yours?
Logan Cross: Comic books have been something some of my childhood friends would look at— I actually never picked one up. I was a cartoon artist growing up and I enjoyed watching animated shows but I was never formally introduced to comics outside of the “funnies” in the local newspaper. One of my favorites was X-Men. I watched the cartoons, knew the key characters, played all the video games, and watched the adaptations into movies as they began coming out around 2000. Filming has always been a passion of mine— filmmaking in general was intriguing. Visual effects, specifically. We used to use the big over-the-should VHS video cameras to make action and fight sequences with “teleporting” which was done by pressing pause/record without moving the camera. We thought it was the coolest thing.
SFP: What can you tell us about your new project Nightshadow and how is she going to be different from say Wonder Woman or Black Widow or any number of other female comic book characters that are out there?
Logan Cross: Well, the intention was to bring a female character to the forefront and allow her to shine without the male characters being a crutch for her. Nightshadow is very different from other characters, male or female. She works 2 jobs, she’s traveled the world not by choice, and she doesn’t come from money. She’s worked hard her entire life to stay alive and still has to juggle the responsibility of being an adult in this world along with her curiosity for her past and her self-appointed duties to keep her city safe. She’s not a goddess— she’s a human and she is very relatable whether you’re a male or a female viewer. The project itself is very heavily focused on a “look” we will be creating as well as action sequences that seem to be lacking in a lot of recent comic book movies. Less visual effects reliance and big explosions and more root-of-the-matter story-telling and cinematography. As for tone, each film will set it’s own tone, nothing too light, nothing too dark. It will feel right.
SFP: The art work that I have seen for this project is absolutely stunning. Who did the art and how did you managed to get them involved?
Logan Cross: We actually have quite a few artists involved in the project including myself. Some of the artists work for DC / Marvel Comics, some are entirely freelance. Whenever you have a new and intriguing concept, artists do tend to gravitate toward it because they may be less excited to be the 140th artist to draw Batman, for instance. The artists also come from all over the world, which is important to me. With a strong undertone of diversity in our project, it’s amazing to see the level of talent coming from various countries all over the world collaborating on this project.
SFP: If I’ve read this right. It says on your website that you are hoping to make Nightshadow as not just a comic book, but as a series of movies as well. How do you tend to go about funding that?
Logan Cross: We’re actually in the final stages of funding this first movie. The script has been written, many actors cast, crew is attached, it’s budgeted, the schedule is ready, costumers are on standby for the final green light. Our first feature film is our Avengers – we intend to start with the introduction of many characters and then work on isolating various stories moving forward. The first comic book is being done by Eddie Nunez – he’s waiting on one more concept drawing for one final character (at the time of writing this) to get started. He’s already broken down the outline/script I gave him into panels, done a first mock-up of Nightshadow in his style, and will dive into it once I give him the final character concept.
SFP: As someone that is not to familiar with your work. Can you maybe talk a little about some of the things you have been involved with prior to Nightshadow?
Logan Cross: We had a female superhero webisodic that spanned over 4 years with over 400 episodes – it was in the style of Adam West Batman / Lynda Carter Wonder Woman so it’s very different visually than what we’re working on here— the budget was also substantially lower. We have 2 comedy films in post-production as well that were shot last year as well: ‘Legend of the Bull’ and ‘When the Time is Right’.
SFP: There are a lot of great female actors out there that would be chuffing at the bit for an empowered role like Nightshadow. What for you are the most important qualities needed for an actor to take on this role?
Logan Cross: The right actress (we have our list for negotiations) would need to empathize with the character and understand that this role is not about feminism or woman empowerment. It’s about true equality in character— meaning, if you changed Nightshadow out for a male actor, the story would not change. This is important to all characters, for gender and racial diversity, that although this is important to us, it is not an outwardly expressed focus. Their stories and their situations and personalities make them who they are – they are relatable because of their journeys, not their gender or race. Nightshadow is strong. She is intelligent and skilled. But deep down, she has her insecurities, just like all of us. She makes mistakes— and, as you will see in the movie, she is not invincible. How she deals with this is what makes her relatable and intriguing.
SFP: As a creator of films and comics. Who would you say are the people that have had the most impact on you? And if a chance ever came up for you to collaborate with one of them. Who’d you like that person to be and why?
Logan Cross: Well, he is completely unrelated to comics, but Jackie Chan is a huge inspiration. The way he approaches storytelling through action is something worth paying attention to. We’re definitely going for more camera choreography, less ‘Jason Bourne’ camerawork – and wider shots because our stunt team is amazing. Christopher Nolan was able to bring back a franchise that had gotten a bit “out there” as well— he brought character and well-chosen shots and production design to Batman. There are tons of filmmakers I’d love to work with— innovators. I’m interested in creating a whole new universe and moving with the flow of technology— I’d like to work with those who embrace those new advances.