Interview with Brady Roberts: creator and star of the upcoming webseries “Nightwing: Prodigal”
The Procrastinerdor Presents:?Brady Roberts: creator and star of the upcoming webseries Nightwing: Prodigal
They say it’s a small world, and when it comes to the acting community in Vancouver, it’s even smaller. With FanExpo Vancouver coming up, I debated contributing a piece to WWAC, because I actually won’t be around for the convention, I’ll be on the other side of Canada. Then I remembered that Brady Roberts, a fellow Vancouver voice actor, had written and starred in this epically cool webseries called Nightwing: Prodigal. Then I got an invite to see the screening of his show at FanExpo, and figured I really needed to get my backside in gear and at least ask him a few questions for WWAC before FanExpo. Given my talent for leaving things to the very last-minute, an email interview was all I could manage to send off for Brady to answer.
First of all, Brady, thanks for taking the time to fill out this “unique” (read: weird) interview format. I know you’re a busy guy! Lots going on in anticipation of Nightwing: Prodigal being showcased at FanExpo here in Vancouver: CONGRATS! First of all, I’d love to know, why Nightwing? I know you’re a huge Green Lantern fan (though I guess he’s taken!), but I was curious about your own connection to Dick Grayson and the Nightwing mythos.
Thanks for having me on! I’m really excited for the world premiere at FanExpo, hope lots of people can join us. It’s free with your Expo pass, and it takes place on Sunday, April 20 at 3pm in Room 119. I am a huge Green Lantern fan (I have a tattoo), but I’m also a HUGE Batman/Nightwing fan. I felt a connection to Robin growing up, and grew with him. Because of my background as a travelling pro wrestler, the similarities with his past in the circus were something I could pull from. I knew it was time to bring Nightwing to life in live action, and do it properly, with respect to the source material that we know and love.
How did the whole thing come about in the first place? You did a fan vid, as far as I remember, which got a lot of attention. What came about afterwards as the genesis for the webseries?
I did a trailer back in Calgary over a year ago—it was only planned to be a trailer, but it went viral online, and was a finalist in the Machinima Film Festival. I decided to shoot the series once I moved to Vancouver, but had to build the team first. It took six months of planning, seven days of shooting, and now a couple months of post production—but it’s almost ready!
You created an original character for the show, Theresa Thompkins, and the cast includes Oracle (who Nightwing has an awesome buddy-cop/bromance relationship with, as seen in the trailer!), as well as Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman… I’ve got to ask if there was a conscious choice to bring in these strong female characters, especially when choosing which villains to work into the story?
This was definitely a conscious choice of mine. I’m not just saying this because I’m doing an interview for Women Write About Comics, but I really did feel like it was important to showcase strong female characters, on both the good and bad side of Nightwing. We’ve seen the male villains in Batman be brought to life beautifully, but it was time Harley, Ivy, and the others got some love. The love triangle with Nightwing, Oracle, and Theresa is also an integral part of the story and provides for some really fun moments.
You’ll be premiering the first episode of the series at Vancouver FanExpo; what do you think will appeal most to long-time fans of Nightwing and Dick Grayson’s storyline? Conversely, what can those who aren’t as familiar with the inner workings of the Batfamily look forward to in your series?
If you aren’t familiar with the inner workings of the Batfamily, I hope you will be once you watch the show. Long time fans can expect lots of easter eggs and nods to the comics and cartoons. This is not an origin story, we jump right into the world that is already established. It is written just like a four issue comic book arc—we get a beginning, middle, and end but it definitely could go on forever.
With awesome DC-based shows Arrow and The Flash being shot in Vancouver, do you think there’s a chance we could see Nightwing in The CW’s line-up any time soon?
I sure hope so! I’d love to see it. Arrow is my favorite show and was a big influence on our series.
As an aside, what’s your opinion on Ben Affleck playing Batman (aka, Batfleck)?
I think Ben is going to knock it out of the park. People shouldn’t judge so quickly, I remember people didn’t think Heath Ledger would be a good Joker either and look at that. Ben is incredibly talented, The Town was amazing.
One last question for you, if given the chance and/or funding to do so, do you have more chapters planned out for this part of Nightwing’s life story? Can we anticipate a Kickstarter campaign to support season two of Prodigal?
There have been some ideas floated around for events that would happen before and after the series, but we’ll have to see.
Huge thanks to Brady for taking the time to answer these questions! For more information, please LIKE Nightwing: Prodigal on Facebook and SUBSCRIBE to the series at YouTube.com/MrBradyRoberts. If you’re in the Vancouver area, you can meet the cast and check out the official FanExpo screening in room 119 on Sunday, April 20th at 3 pm! Visit FanExpoVancouver.com for tickets. Nightwing: Prodigal debuts online on Monday, April 21st.
Shona Fraser is a voice actor, cat mommy, shameless science fiction addict, and avid lover of all things Marvel comics.
Courtesy of Shona Fraser at womenwriteaboutcomics.com