Monday, January 7, 2013

Project Spotlight: 'Nightwing: The Series' by Ismahawk

Did you know they made a Batman movie?  A few of them, actually.  Recently.  I didn't know that.  They must have flown under the radar or soemthing.  Probably weren't that good to begin with.  Anyway, if you've ever read a Batman comic, you know there's a lot more to the Bat-family than just Bruce Wayne - notably his ward Dick Grayson, formerly Robin the Boy Wonder-turned-Nightwing-turned-Batman fill-in-turned-Nightwing again.  He's been a staple of superheroes for nearly as long as Batman, and while he's gotten his own fair share of the spotlight in the pages of comic books, his live-action presence has been less than memorable (or, at least, less than serious.  I'm looking at you, Burt Ward.) so far.  The guys over at Ismahawk are looking to change that with their Nightwing miniseries.  Based on their short Youtube video that received a good deal of fanfare, Nightwing looks to borrow more heavily from the comics than other Batman films, pitting the titular hero against fellow former Robin Jason Todd, aka the antihero Red Hood.  By funding through Kickstarter, Ismahawk looks to bring some higher-level production value to a passion project and give the world the Nightwing film it's (maybe not) been waiting for.

Nightwing will consist of three short episodes.  It's clear from a number of reasons that it isn't trying to compete with the Nolan films; not just in terms of scope, but in terms of costumes being much more costumey, codenames being used, and so on.  Which is good, because appearing like a knockoff of a well-known series is probably the worst path Ismahawk could have chosen.  Nightwing will be decidedly its own beast, and that should make it a ton of fun.

The backer rewards are pretty cool, especially if you're a fan of comics or indie film making.  Copies of the series digitally or on DVD and Blu-Ray are obvious, but you can also get shirts with the Nightwing or Red Hood logo, talk with the guys about the making of the film, and even get some props and costume pieces.  All in all you can pick up some neat pieces of memorabilia for helping fund the series.

The guys at Ismahawk address the issue of the legality of their project, which is something I wondered myself.  While it's true that this may just be a fun (and non-profit) project that hasn't really stopped anyone before from stamping out these sorts of things, and it's well within WB's/DC's rights to do so.  They provide a quote from Warner Brothers commenting on their enthusiasm for supporting these sorts of fan-made projects, but the quote is from 2005; there have been many changes in both WB and DC since then, and you have to wonder if that's still their position.  For what it's worth, I think Nightwing is safe; there doesn't seem to be any reason to have it shut down, especially if WB sticks with their previously-stated position.  Still, it's worth noting that maybe, just maybe, there's a chance that Nightwing gets grounded at some point, so fund at your own risk.

If you haven't checked out the Nightwing short that's already been completed, now's a good a time as any.  It will give you a feel for what Ismahawk has in store.  If you'd like to see more, but on a grander scale, or if you just want a film that isn't ashamed of superheroics, consider helping Nightwing: The Series take flight.

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