AS us Witcher fans look to fill the antagonizing wait for the Halloween spectacular at Lucca Comics and Games, cast and crew are giving us some small but interesting doses of discussion.
This time, that comes courtesy of Ciri star Freya Allan talking about her season one arc and one big moment for her, Platige Image’s president on the origins of the show and a VFX supervisor who, among other points, addressed talk of whether the trailer was “Slavic enough”.
Sc-Fi Talk Official shared a clip of Allan talking with Ed Gross, which appears to be from San Diego Comic Con. We’ll include a full transcript of her contributions at the bottom of this article.
Allan offered up a glimpse of the kind of journey we can expect Ciri to take in the first season of the show.
The actress said: “When you see her in her everyday life as a princess she comes across very feisty and kind of stubborn and you already get an essence of that, and then she’s thrown into this brutal world and you see she’s more vulnerable, understandably. Realistically she would be.
She’s thrown into this brutal world and you see she’s more vulnerable, understandably
“But then as she observes and pays attention to the people she meets and the mistakes that they make, she explores becoming a little bit harder and colder and tougher, and that was really interesting to grow her from being very vulnerable to picking up the ways in which to survive the world.
“So yeah, it was interesting, and you definitely will see that. There’s a bit where you see her and she even has a knife. Which is a big step for her.”
On a similar note, Allan added: “Ciri’s determination to find Geralt is catalyzed by her longing for a family and a protector and someone to look up to.
“And so she has constantly people conflicting mindsets as to whether she should or shouldn’t look for Geralt, but ultimately she makes the decision for herself, and takes hold of her own future, and decides that where she sees her future, it’s with Geralt, so it’s going to be interesting to see their relationship.”
RELATED ARTICLE: Here’s How We Think The Witcher Will Adapt Ciri’s Story
As was reported at the time, Allan also confirmed that her response to being cast was to buy Blood of Elves and read that. She said it gave her “a really good essence of Ciri”, but mainly used the scripts to develop her character.
Elsewhere, Karol Żbikowski, president of special effects studio Platige Image, one of the firms producing and working on The Witcher, spoke to Rozrywka.blog about working on The Witcher.
As well as confirming that the deal with Netflix meant changing plans from a movie to a show, Żbikowski spoke about how the project came to be.
He explained: “In the beginning there was a good relationship between Tomasz Bagiński and Andrzej Sapkowski.
“It was a whole longer process of establishing contacts with various partners. Everything lasted for several years and was not just about Netflix.
“Among the co-producers of The Witcher are even our American partners, the Hive Mind company, which helped us establish cooperation with Netflix.”
Bagiński, Platige’s creative director, is an executive producer of Netflix’s show and was on set for “the entire period of shooting”. Fans of The Witcher games will know him for the cinematics Platige contributed.
While Żbikowski felt their prior experience with the Witcher world gave them an advantage in sealing the deal, they won’t be drawing directly from CDPR’s project.
He went on: “The CDPR games and Netflix series are two completely separate projects. So there is no question of any connections and use of the previous style. Special effects that we perform for the purposes of The Witcher could not be modeled on games in any way.”
Żbikowski was, however, reluctant to reveal details of the special effects that had been worked on. Even when asked about the trailer specifically, he would only say: “Unfortunately, I cannot comment on such details. I can only say that the trailer, although short, contains a large dose of special effects.”
For more on Netflix’s strict deadlines and other Platige projects, you can check out the full interview by clicking here.
Another interview to pop up in the past few weeks was with Witcher visual effects supervisor Meteusz Tokarz, helpfully translated by Redditor /u/rozowarozowa.
They talk briefly about The Hexer and The Witcher games, which you can read by clicking here.
Tokarz responded to feedback on the trailer not “feeling Slavic enough”: “The first trailer that dropped online a while ago looked pretty good. There was some feedback that it didn’t feel Slavic enough, but those were mostly opinions from our part of the world and we have to remember that the show is targeted at a global audience”
He, of course, had to talk about our new Geralt, Henry Cavill, too.
On imagining characters in the books versus the games, Tokarz said: “Well, when it comes to Witcher, you can’t really avoid the fact that we remember Henry Cavill as Superman.
“When you see his face you first think of Superman, but after working for a while on the show, you get used to it.
“He’s less of a Superman to you and more a Witcher. We’re used to Michal Zebrowski, we’re used to the game character, so the brain just needs some time to forget other versions and get used to a new one.”
Tokarz spoke about what he’s seen some of the show: “I watch some scenes, sometimes long ones, like 15-20 minutes long. And it does actually look great, but I haven’t seen all the effects. Some of them are done by us, but there are four other companies that are working on the show.
“I know how the stuff we work on looks, but you have to watch the whole thing to get the whole picture. Also watching scenes out of context…
“It’s still incredible, but I’m very curious how it will all look put together. And there are some scenes that we’re working on where it stops right before you find out what exactly happens and you just want to know. Even if you read the scripts for particular episodes, after all the editing you experience it differently.
“Also, I’ve been watching these scenes from the beginning. Starting with footage right off the sets. And the progress is huge. The difference is spectacular.”
And there’s still a little more work to do, he said: “What I’ve seen is parts of the show with the editing and special effects, but they will also add the sound, color grading, all the finishing touches.
“So I’m very excited to see how it will all look and from what I gather I’m not the only one.”
More and more pieces of the puzzle have been coming together as the number of interviews increases. Let’s hope there are a few more before the trailer on October 31!
TRANSCRIPT OF FREYA ALLAN IN INTERVIEW
It’s interesting cause when you see her in her everyday life as a princess she comes across very feisty and kind of stubborn and you already get an essence of that, and then she’s thrown into this brutal world and you see she’s more vulnerable, understandably. Realistically she would be. But then as she observes and pays attention to the people she meets and the mistakes that they make, she explores becoming a little bit harder and colder and tougher, and that was really interesting to grow her from being very vulnerable to picking up the ways in which to survive the world. So yeah, it was interesting, and you definitely will see that. There’s a bit where you see her and she even has a knife. Which is a big step for her.
Our series is based off the books, so the first thing I did was went out and bought Blood of Elves and read that in like two days. It gave me a really good essence of Ciri. But then I mainly used the scripts to develop Ciri. And it’s nice because she’s so young she hasn’t got as many kind of layers built up as other characters, so I can grow with her.
Her determination to find Geralt is catalyzed by her longing for a family and a protector and someone to look up to. And so she has constantly people conflicting mindsets as to whether she should or shouldn’t look for Geralt, but ultimately she makes the decision for herself, and takes hold of her own future, and decides that where she sees her future, it’s with Geralt, so it’s going to be interesting to see their relationship
There are actors which inspire me, but there wasn’t anyone in particular that helped in any way for the role. That was merely down to looking at the script and talking with the director and Lauren – and of course there are actors that inspire me and I love.
A lot of it is not necessarily down to us, it’s down to the people who create the costumes and the sets and the visual effects, and they’re all phenomenal, and we go on to set and it’s just these incredible sets that have been created and you get to wear these costumes every day which are just incredible and so that was a huge part of creating the world. But then I think for me, visually imagining it, I just sort of had to read bits of the books to sort of guess that visualization of what it’s gonna come together as and a lot of it’s down to other creatives, yeah.
A lot of people ask, did you wanna make Ciri different? I don’t think I approached the role thinking how can I make her different from anyone else, I approached the role thinking how can I make her as truthful as possible, linking to the source material, looking at the scripts… how can I give the most truthful performance possible and put myself completely in her shoes and her life? And that was really helped by fantastic directors starting me off and being around and acting off incredible actors, especially at the start, Jodhi May being one of them. I absorbed so much from them and she’s my grandmother in it, and there’s an incredible kind of relationship we got to explore on screen there, and so it was just made so much easier, I could so easily immerse myself in it because I had incredible actors to bounce off of.