Passion Project Spotlight: “One Thousand Mornings”
September 07, 2018
By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

Creating art isn’t just part of our job; it is something that we are passionate about and continue long after the 9am-5pm and far beyond the walls of the office. At our core, we are a team of artists and storytellers, and while video is our go-to medium, it also transcends motion picture. A few Motion Source team members created a webcomic “One Thousand Mornings” that debuted earlier this week. Here’s a “passion project spotlight” on their work!

Craig Bass, Steve Brown, and Lydia Koranda joined forces on the webcomic "One Thousand Mornings" which was released on the Webtoon website with its prologue episode. Click on the title below to check it out. Warning: Contains some violent material.

Bass, Brown, and Koranda are no strangers to working together. The three have worked on a number of film projects, both for work and pleasure, and have built a strong dynamic. I, myself, have worked with them on countless projects, and can attest there is no shortage of creativity or talent amongst them! 

Bass served as creator and co-writer.

"I love a good revenge story, who doesn't? Well, certainly some people don't, but I'm not one of them; and neither is the audience that 'One Thousand Mornings' is geared toward. I'm not certain what makes revenge stories so darkly attractive to the human psyche, but I suspect that it has something to do with a vicarious sense of justice in a world that is patently unfair. It's difficult for me to consciously point to any specific influences on this comic, but throughout time I have been significantly inspired by a wide array of revenge tales: everything from The Count of Monte Cristo to the Korean film The Man From Nowhere. There is something very cathartic about this material, especially in a political climate wherein so many of us feel powerless to effect any sort of change. The revenge story is about someone who attempts to regain control in their life, which can be very empowering; of course, these narratives often additionally function as cautionary tales, as revenge typically entails detrimental consequences all around--there's a contradiction at its heart.

I am cautious to give too much away regarding the greater storyline, but I will say that it has been an attempt to write the revenge story to end all revenge stories. The core of the narrative focuses on someone who has been robbed of something very important to them, and the shape that their revenge takes across time and space itself, relentlessly. The story certainly honors the contradictory nature of revenge, in that, for all its anticipated catharsis, there are untold ramifications that shape the future in unwelcome ways.

Coming from a filmmaking background, writing this comic has been extremely fulfilling. There are a wealth of stories that we have saved up that cannot be formulated as films. The chief reason for this is the amount of expense and resources that film requires, but beyond that, there are certain narrative approaches and visual techniques that can be utilized in comics and that are difficult, if not impossible, to translate to film. I still love filmmaking, and will continue to produce content, but it has been a relief to finally find an outlet for stories that are not amenable to that process."


Brown served as co-writer and comic book expert.

"Comic books offer a variety of storytelling opportunities that are unique to their medium. One of these tools is the voice over. While VO is not unique to comics, what is unique about them in comics is that the VO is read, not heard. In comics, VO is portrayed in either thought balloons or caption boxes.

One of the elements we employed in the prologue issue was the surprise of the voice over. In film, when there is a voice over, you typically have a good idea of who that voice belongs to (gender, age, accent, etc.). In comics, this is not the case. You generally assume while reading a comic that the person the story follows is not only the main character, but the voice in the caption box as well. As our prologue progresses, you assume that the VO belongs to the middle-aged, male character the story follows. However, it's 'revealed' in the end, that the VO comes from our true protagonist, a young female."

Koranda served as the illustrator and artist.

"Working on the look for this comic has been an interesting journey. Treating the comic panels as shots in a film made the transition into this medium easy for all of us to work together and stay on the same page.

As far as character and location designs, we pulled from many, many different sources of inspiration. While Craig has a certain actress in mind for her face, Steve may like the hair or body language of someone else. Same goes for buildings and scenes. Pulling from multiple sources is always a great way to create something completely unique; I try to put my own spin on things as often as I can. When any of us come across a person, place, camera angle, etc. that we like, we share it with the group. That way, there's always a big pool of images for me to look through and get inspired by.

There are also a variety of small 'Easter eggs' hidden throughout the panels - something for some of our friends and family to get a kick out of while they read!"

You can see some of Koranda's process below, from initial sketch to final touches.

The prologue comes right out of the gate with a twist, and provides a clever introduction to the main character. I look forward to seeing how this story unfolds! Episodes will be released weekly on Wednesdays on the Webtoon site.