The acclaimed Las Vegas director on the kick-start success of Nightwing: the Series.
After seven years since leaving a suburb outside Reno, director Adam Zielinski is proud to call Las Vegas home. He is a graduate of UNLV and a leader of the flourishing film community having Life is Beautiful, Zappo’s Chief Happiness Officer Tony Hseih and Mike Tyson for TIME Magazine in his ever-rolling credits. Adam has won many accolades including praise for his music video in the Las Vegas Film Festival. Now, we are relaxing at the Beat coffeehouse downtown as he spills his one of his newest challenges: Who gets to wear the Nightwing costume for Halloween?
How did you get involved with Nightwing: the Series?
This is a Vegas-bred project. With the exception of the composer, almost all of us are from UNLV or Las Vegas. Danny Shepherd and Jeremy Le are the creators. Domenica Castro was brought on as the producer and she recommended me. We’re all friends and fans. Nightwing is Robin after stepping out from the shadow of Batman based from DC Comics.
What was it like filming this project?
We shot for 17 days all in Las Vegas with a total of under $30,000. We shot in the Ogden, the Mob Museum, the Juhl, MG Studio’s green screen and on location in some downtown alleys. The Arhat Orphan Bros did the stunts and have been receiving popular reviews. The support and energy from everyone in the city was amazing. I think we all cashed out all our favors we had.
Nightwing released a 90 second trailer that received 67,000 views in the first day. Your first episode is eight-and-a-half minutes and received 76,000 in the first day and currently the first episode has 200,000 views. I’m happy if a Facebook photos gets twenty likes. How did you achieve such an impact in a cluttered Internet?
Danny Shepherd and Jeremy Le made Batman: Nightwing vs. Redhood before the Dark Night Rises premiered. It reached 1.6 million hits and they proceeded with demand and passion. Their first idea in mind was just two thousand dollars but then asked kickstarter for twenty thousand. We ended up with thirty-four thousand dollars.
Our kickstarter trailer built off global support, belief and love for Nightwing. We had a base of global comic fans. IGN posted it and it grew from there. DC owns the characters and universe. We aren’t doing anything commercial with it. It’s just a really produced fan video that everyone can see for free on YouTube.
Your first full episode premiered Monday, September 29th, 2014 with a red carpet. What did that feel like?
We premiered at the Palms Theater. It was 270 seats of cast and crew; friends and family. We showed the fifty-minute whole series. It was incredible. So many people helped. It was a great way to finally show them what they had worked so hard to build. The series is made up of short webisodes in a five part mini-series style and will be released on YouTube every Monday for the next four weeks.
If you had to opportunity to do this again with the knowledge you have now, is there anything you would change?
Nightwing: the series is a super-hybrid that ebbed and flowed from friends making something fun to professional style that was something of the highest caliber. We wanted to give fans a higher quality experience. There are always things you could do differently, but given the circumstances and budget I think we did the best we could and the whole team is really proud of it.