Within the 17 years since its debut, the basic sci-fi internet collection Red vs. Blue has been in a state of near-constant evolution. Its animation and storytelling model has grown extra refined, its narrative ambitions bigger, and the studio behind it — Austin-based Rooster Teeth — has grown right into a powerhouse with a attain effectively past the scope of what started as a goofy collection of shorts about some Halo characters. In some methods, the fixed progress and alter behind Pink vs. Blue is as a lot part of its success as its continued adherence to the comedic sci-fi tone that knowledgeable the earliest episodes. When you’re keen to play inside that recognizably enjoyable sandbox, you may department the collection out into loads of completely different instructions, which is what author and director Torrian Crawford had in thoughts when he pitched Red vs. Blue: Zero, the subsequent part of one of many web’s favourite reveals. The brand new collection premieres on Nov. 9.
“Initially, I used to be impressed by among the earlier seasons that took a extra motion focus or included extra motion parts, I believe round Season 8, 9, and 10, after they concerned a category of characters referred to as the Freelancers [The Project Freelancer Saga], which was after they included the legendary animation director Monty Oum,” Crawford instructed SYFY WIRE. “I used to be actually impressed by that sequence of occasions that occurred throughout the RvB lore. So, I actually simply needed to construct upon that. After I went and pitched to [RvB writer, director, producer, and actor] Matt Hullum internally, we form of referred to as it ‘RvB meets Quick & Livid,’ which is only a actually attention-grabbing technique to say, ‘Hey, we need to do RvB, however we need to make it this action-adventure, this action-heist form of model, form of combine it up a bit from the traditional well-written comedy roots that the present was so ingrained as.'”
Whereas the comedy roots of Pink vs. Blue are well-represented in Zero, the collection in its last kind can also be a fast-paced, slick illustration of Crawford’s need — in his first day out as a Rooster Enamel showrunner after six years with the corporate engaged on reveals like Demise Battle! and gen: LOCK — to infuse extra motion film enjoyable into the franchise. Whereas it nonetheless seems to be and seems like Pink vs. Blue, Zero borrows loads of its swagger and motion philosophy from Crawford’s favourite motion motion pictures, and takes the type of a basic “crew will get collectively to drag a job” story, as a band of warriors with varied expertise and sometimes clashing personalities should team-up to battle the title villain, Zero, who’s within the midst of a ruthless seek for an “Final Energy.”
“I actually needed to discover motion types from motion pictures that I watch, like The Raid, the place it’s these loopy high-choreographed, high-action fights, however in a good hall, and also you battle a wave of men. Or different motion pictures, like Flash Level with Donnie Yen and Ip Man, after which these larger action-adventures which are simply actually tremendous enjoyable,” Crawford stated. “I believe when you concentrate on a film collection like Quick & Livid, it’s one of many issues the place you can not assist however to simply accept what occurs in them as a result of it’s ridiculous. You realize it’s tropey; it’s tacky. That’s form of actually how I designed this season of RvB. And truthfully, I believe RvB is the right vessel for it, as a result of it might be something, in my view. They’ve accomplished a lot with the present. They’d a few of these earlier motion bits. The present itself is ingrained in comedy, however they do discover deeper characterization all through the collection. So, relating to this season, I form of deliberately constructed a tropey season for the precise purpose of simply being enjoyable, one thing you may simply watch. It’s simply meant to be enjoyable. It’s probably not meant to be overthought. This season could be very conscious of how tacky it’s.”
Although it gleefully performs with motion film tropes, Pink vs. Blue: Zero additionally has to create a compelling new solid of characters that assist carry that action-adventure philosophy ahead. That meant constructing an ensemble solid to kind the spine of the present, the crew referred to as “Shatter Squad,” and choosing the right particular person to step into the lead function of Agent One, a mysterious fighter with one thing to show. For that, Crawford turned to Fiona Nova, a first-time voice actor who’s greatest identified for her work as herself on Rooster Enamel’s gaming channel Achievement Hunter.
“Torrian was particular in what he needed, when it comes to who can be the voice for his lead character, Agent One,” Nova says. “That is my first time doing any form of V.O., so it was a bit of nerve-racking having such a robust place and considering, ‘Will I have the ability to do his character justice?’ He had loads of religion in me and believed in me, and he was very useful all through. I imply, everybody on the crew has been useful all through and giving me loads of ideas and tips, and I believe by the top of it I actually discovered Agent One’s voice. I can see the development from the primary episode to the final one, how a lot I bought her voice. So, yeah, it’s been very thrilling, for certain.”
In crafting the character of Agent One, and the clear arc she demonstrates over the course of Zero, Crawford needed greater than an actor who would ship the traces. Along with prioritizing casting a Black lady within the function, he additionally needed a artistic companion, somebody who would inform the character as she got here to life. He appears to have discovered that in Nova, and since they had been each getting into new roles with their work on the collection, a kinship shaped.
“The truth that Fiona has by no means accomplished this earlier than is definitely one thing that was fairly nice as a result of I did have an thought of who Agent One is, nevertheless it’s form of a factor the place I actually needed to create the character and construct her at the side of Fiona,” he says. “I believe should you actually take a look at it from a manufacturing standpoint, it’s truly each our first occasions, me directing a voice actor and Fiona doing voice performing. It’s each our first occasions, and I truly actually needed that journey and that particular information to truly assist us go into growing the character as a result of she is a brand new character. So, I needed us each, plus the opposite writers that I’ve and the opposite those who work on the crew, to actually really feel out that character and have her blossom into her personal particular person, form of how we’re discovering ourselves and discovering our footing in our first-time positions within the present to start with.”
Constructing a dream-team voice solid — which additionally consists of the abilities of Noël Wiggins, Jennifer Tidwell, Jeb Aguilar-Kendrick, André Ouellette, and others — was a precedence for the ensemble dynamic of Shatter Squad in Pink vs. Blue: Zero, however the sense of collaborative kinship additionally prolonged effectively past the solid and into the animation crew. In a quest to supply dynamic, creative battle scenes that additionally managed to tell character and story, Crawford sought out the most effective animators he might discover, and did his greatest to make the collection as a lot about their imaginative and prescient as his personal.
“So, mainly, me and the storyboard artists discuss my concepts, and my directing model is extra so, ‘I need to know what you’re considering creatively. I need to know the way you are feeling. I need to speak to you about this stuff. I need to geek out about motion,’ and stuff like that. They take that vitality and concepts that I’ve, and so they run with it and make storyboards. After which storyboards get to the animators, and it’s form of that very same course of with the animators. We picked out some top-tier motion animators — Matt Drury, Joe Vick, Peter Dang, and Charles Johnson — and so they’re superior. And just about, it’s form of like, ‘Hey, listed below are the boards. That is the inspiration. I’ve an thought, a mode I need to obtain. You’re taking all this info, and also you run with it.’ Plenty of the motion you see I’ve animated myself, however the stuff that I didn’t animate is as a result of these animators went and so they actually gave it their all and so they poured their coronary heart into it, and so they’re very passionate, and it got here out superior. That’s form of how I strategy motion. We give you guidelines, a mode, after which the animators form of simply go. I’m not too choosy or [into] giving opinions, and I’m not too over their shoulder about it, as a result of I need their creativity. I need them to consider in themselves and I need them to specific themselves.”
That spirit of collective creativity runs all through Pink vs. Blue: Zero, a present that, within the preview of episodes SYFY WIRE was in a position to see forward of the premiere, is as a lot in regards to the bond between teammates as it’s about high-flying motion and the perils of throwing up in your helmet. It is a mix of the whole lot Pink vs. Blue has been earlier than and some issues it hasn’t been. Crawford and Nova made Rooster Enamel historical past with the collection as the primary Black showrunner and Black lead actor, respectively, in almost twenty years of Pink vs. Blue, and for them, that inclusiveness carried over into the entire collection, not simply when it comes to the individuals who made it, however when it comes to its capability to achieve a distinct viewers.
“I believe I’d say the one huge factor that makes me comfortable about this season is how numerous the solid is, in addition to behind the scenes. These are tales made by loads of various kinds of individuals, and I believe that it has developed into one thing actually wonderful,” Nova says. “I’m actually excited for the story to be instructed, particularly since so many wonderful individuals have labored on it. I haven’t watched loads of Pink vs. Blue up to now, however I see this as an ideal entryway for individuals identical to me, who’ve seen this present, who’re , who’ve seen this legacy move on, and so they get possibly intimidated seeing there are 17 seasons. They usually see this chance to be like, ‘Oh, we will begin contemporary. I’m going to begin proper right here.’ I believe that’s the actually cool a part of it, and I believe it’s an excellent evolution and is unquestionably the subsequent step to what’s to return with Pink vs. Blue.”
Pink vs. Blue: Zero premieres Nov. 9 on Rooster Teeth for Rooster Enamel FIRST subscribers. New episodes will arrive weekly, and each episode will likely be free to observe on Rooster Enamel every week after its FIRST premiere.