The Witcher’s art leads Tomek Bagiński (executive producer), Andrew Laws (production designer), and Tim Aslam (costume designer) recently sat down with badtaste.it to discuss the upcoming Netflix show, starring Henry Cavill. Today, Italian site Game Legends brings us another interview with the creative trio. Read on for a translation of what they said during a roundtable meeting at Lucca Comics & Games.
Game Legends (GL): What was it like working on a series like that, with a fandom so fond of it?
Tomek Baginski (TB): “Fantastic. An incredible experience that made us feel the responsibility of what we we’re doing but that also gave us the necessary push to do our best. The best moment was certainly when we presented our work to Andrzej Sapkowski (the author of the saga), who was initially dubious, but then more and more enthusiastic. He called us “real professionals” and this can only make us proud. “
GL: Knowing your past statements on the video game saga, would you say that he will prefer your series to CD Projekt Red’s games?
TB: “You have to ask him! (laughs) I can tell you that all of us on the show played the series and we were very influenced by those three masterpieces”
GL: Making fantastic scenery and creatures on screen doesn’t have to be easy. How did you juggle CGI, animatronics or anything else?
Andrew Laws (AL): “This show is based on one word: fantastic realism. We wanted the most credible possible special effects, the viewer must feel continuously shoulder to shoulder with Geralt more than a spectator of a beautiful painting. Photography, special effects and set designs have all been designed to make people fit the series before they even open their eyes. When you look at The Witcher you are there, next to your heroes, you hear the blows, you feel the danger. From the lighting of the characters to the digital models of the creatures, everything has been studied for this goal.”
GL: What about character outfits?
Tim Aslam (TA): “Here too, realism and consistency. We wanted to focus on credibility rather than add up to having armor to leave you speechless. It was all a work of subtraction, up to perfection, for two main reasons: we didn’t want clothing to “steal” the scene from the characters; also with those clothes the protagonists will have to run, fight, shoot arrows. Consider that everything you put on someone will have to be in the action scenes, especially since Geralt himself would never carry a cloak with him that could block him in his movements. In the video games you don’t have these kind of problems, but in a TV series, yes.”
AL: “Pre-production is always a fantastic and challenging creative period. You’re on google to take notes, take notes, go around the world to clear your mind, ask your colleagues “hey, wouldn’t it be great to do this this way?”, But then there are a thousand factors to keep in mind: budget, timing , concrete feasibility in shooting a certain scene in a given place. Then maybe for a series of misfortunes you can’t make an idea like you wanted, when someone suddenly makes you notice a different point of view and the end result is even better than what you had imagined. For The Witcher the quality we demanded was high and we managed to keep it that way. We absolutely cannot complain, especially since Netflix supported us in every way.”
TA: “The winning card was team play. Each of us became interested in the work of our colleagues, succeeding in permeating coherence throughout the work. The writer knew how the designer had thought about clothes, and acted accordingly, and vice versa, and we would have a thousand other examples of the genre. Every detail has been studied in detail, so that we can get to the real production with clear ideas about what we wanted to do.
GL: To conclude, do you already think of a second season?
AL: “You have to ask us in December! (Laughs)”