Nightworks Episode 1 – The Night-Adapted Eye,” a cinematic masterpiece brought to life by the visionary Jonathan Nolan, transcends the boundaries of traditional filmmaking with its captivating narrative and breathtaking visual effects. As the producer, director, and writer, Nolan’s multidimensional talents shine through, seamlessly blending his skills as a writer and game designer to create an unparalleled cinematic experience.
One of the film’s standout features is its remarkable use of visual effects, a testament to Nolan’s commitment to delivering a professional and awe-inspiring spectacle. The level of detail and artistry in the effects elevates the film, making it a true feast for the eyes.
The narrative unfolds with a young woman engrossed in a book during her metro journey, setting the stage for a mesmerizing journey into the unknown. What follows is a series of inexplicable events, unveiling a peculiar conspiracy involving the enigmatic Toynbee Tiles, the legendary Mothman, and the mysterious planet Jupiter. Nolan’s unique storytelling prowess comes to the fore as he weaves together these seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive and compelling narrative.
Jonathan Nolan’s creative genius is on full display in “Nightworks Episode 1,” showcasing a rare blend of talent that extends beyond conventional filmmaking. The film not only captivates with its narrative depth but also mesmerizes with its stunning animations, pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in the realm of visual storytelling.
In every frame, the audience is treated to a visual extravaganza that goes beyond the ordinary, leaving a lasting impression of innovation and creativity. “Nightworks Episode 1 – The Night-Adapted Eye” is a testament to Jonathan Nolan’s extraordinary talent and a testament to the limitless possibilities that arise when a visionary writer, artist, poet, published author and game designer ventures into the world of filmmaking.
A young woman becomes entangled in a strange conspiracy of suppression involving the Toynbee Tiles, Mothman and the planet Jupiter!
Jonathan Nolan is a writer, artist, poet and published author and game designer. He is the originator of the FASERIPopedia retroclone OSR superhero game and its licensed spinoff “FASERIP Tidal Wave Comics sourcebook” range created in cooperation with Tidal Wave Comics. Most recently, he has written and published EPIC FANTASY, an OGL-D&D game combining the entire OGC SRD from the world’s most popular fantasy role-playing game with FASERIPopedia’s wildly successful rules.
More recently he has expanded his business to include animation productions and other film and TV related projects, all self funded.
Let’s dive into questions and savor the experiences you’ll be sharing on your journey:
1. As the producer, director, and writer of the film, you’ve taken on multiple key roles. How did wearing these different hats contribute to the overall vision of “Nightworks Episode 1”?
While it is more difficult to produce-direct and also be the writer, it also allows me to perfectly match my vision to what appears in frame. Without being too pretentious, it is always a thrill to be not just a film maker, but an auteur!
2. Can you discuss the differences and similarities in your creative process when working on poetry, prose, and filmmaking?
My poetry, as selected by Sarah Zhang when she was Poet Laureate of California for inclusion in her annual prizes, is quite raw, and often autobiographical. In prose, I write extremely quickly, restrain the impulse, usually, to editorialize, and prefer instead to convey challenging ideas, extreme action and inclusive story telling. But as a film maker I am always filter off. For example in Nightworks, when violence, even violence towards women, is justified artistically to portray the lived experience of women in the real world – it is shown. Likewise nudity – UFO abductions almost always involve nudity and the one in Nightworks is no different. Murnau once said that “if it isn’t in frame it doesn’t exist” and this truism must always be remembered by all film makers as the antidote to the ridiculous pablum Hollywood and other mainstream media try and force-feed us.
3. The storyline mentions a young woman’s journey with a mysterious conspiracy involving Toynbee Tiles, Mothman, and Jupiter. What inspired this unique and eclectic blend of elements, and how did you approach weaving them together into a cohesive narrative?
All of the “paranormal” elements in Nightworks are based on the real life experiences of documented individuals. In this sense, Nightworks is almost documentarian. Where I have fictionalized it is only to make this intensely interesting, but complex, subject matter more approachable to a general audience. I have had direct experiences with most of the paranormal or so-called paranormal material in Nightworks and to honour those who have suffered from contact with it I try and “keep it real.”
Story elements such as cliffhangers and French surrealism are simply a convenient shorthand to provide the audience with an interaction that is challenging but hopefully still entertaining.
4. Can you discuss the thought process behind crafting a narrative that goes beyond traditional filmmaking norms? How do you balance pushing creative boundaries while ensuring audience engagement?
I choose animation because it is disarming and less confronting when the subject matter, were it portrayed in live action, might be disturbing or even terrifying. The audience engagement comes both from the beauty of the animated lead character but also in the slightly familiar world in which her adventures take place. Nightworks is set in the very near future and it is still recognizable as our world, hopefully.
5. What were the key aesthetic choices you made to create a visually stunning experience for the audience?
Bright colours, a neo-noir sensibility and no fear when it comes to graphic content.
6. The animations in the film are praised as amazing. Can you share insights into the creative process behind bringing the unseen and fantastical elements of the story to life through animation?
The animation process for Nightworks uses what we call “2.5D”. It is conventional 2D animation using Reallusion Cartoon Animator 5.2. However we are always pushing the envelope through the use of 3D rendered elements, hyper-realism, and video inserts. Some of the 3D renders and effects are seamless enough to not be consciously visible; others are deliberate set pieces. It aims to create a colourful spectacle but in a way that does not prevent a thoughtful viewer from following the intellectualism of the story.
7. “Nightworks Episode 1 – The Night-Adapted Eye” showcases a unique blend of talents. What legacy do you hope this film leaves in the realm of filmmaking ?
Nightworks is my signature piece. I want Nightworks to endure permanently as my contribution to film making and new media, and as an accurate record of the phenomena on which it is based. John Keel really did write a book called “Our Haunted Planet”; it really does mention the Red Spot UFO cult; that cult really did in turn inspire the original creator of the Toynbee Tiles, Severino Verna Jr.; there really was an Indrid Cold, and so on. The show also uses public domain recordings of the rarest imaginable kind, permanently preserving direct testimony from the man who repeatedly met Indrid Cold, for example.
8. Your background includes poetry and writing. How has your journey evolved from being a poet and author to venturing into filmmaking?
In dreams begin responsibilities. In other words, a desire to communicate on a larger brighter canvas, and to an audience that is, frankly, less interested in reading than viewing, made film making essential.
9. How do your experiences as a poet and author influence your approach to storytelling in filmmaking?
I am not afraid to use Green Language or other argot and communicate to the audience’s subconscious or unconscious in addition to their traditional conscious viewing entranced mind.
10. For individuals who are considering exploring multiple creative disciplines, what advice would you offer based on your own experiences transitioning from poetry and writing to filmmaking?
Patience, Discipline and Perseverance. Never, ever, give up.
We’re thrilled to bring you our chat with Filmmaker Jonathan Nolan, a genuine artist whose talent has left us in awe. Interviewing such a gifted individual has been a true pleasure.
Personally, we’re beyond thankful for the chance to have this enlightening talk. We hope you had as much fun as we did. Thanks again! Stick around the lively MDIFF Community—your presence and awesome work mean the world to us!
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