- Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:01 am
Thanks for bumping this, Jodo, and I'm delighted to hear that more chapters are on their way!!!
I'm sorry that, looking back, I never did chime in with more detailed thoughts. But I just re-read this chapter and, god damn, this has got to be one of the best photonovel chapters I've ever seen.
The sense of dread and mounting tension is so palpable, so immediate, so visceral. Your shot choices and framing are nothing short of masterful. The structure of this chapter, slowly ratcheting up the tension to, is extraordinary. I was so emotionally hooked into the story, which is an incredible feat given that, at the end of the day, we're looking at toys on a shelf. But your storytelling is so great it transcends that until we forget we're looking at toys at all. We're simply "there", in the story, a part of it.
A note about the technical aspects of this photonovel - as someone who has occasionally dipped his toe into this unique form of storytelling, the visuals in this episode are eye-popping and, the more you think about them, truly impressive. There is such a sense of sale here, the "sets" are probably the biggest I've ever seen employed in a PN. Too often, it is just so very hard to create and photograph large sets. Making massive dioramas is just too hard, it's hard to use such wide angle shots and make sure that everything in them is correct and in universe. The scope here is just so very, very impressive. And really just contributes to the overall effect.
We really feel like we're "there." And, maybe paradoxically, the expansiveness of the sets contributes to the clausterphobic, noose-tightening feeling when we see Kane and his men slowly surrounded. Despite the large, open air setting, we truly feel trapped, like they do.
The arrival of Sumner was such an amazing and delightful surprise. We have spent a lot of time with Kane far from the events of the Aberant Dawn, with Jai, with Annorial, with the back and forth between rebels and former imperials, that we almost forget about the other characters and story threads and where it all began. The timing was just perfect, just as those events were fading from our memory but weren't completely gone yet.
It's always very difficult to do the "payoff" to an outstanding cliffhanger. but no matter what happens next, this is such a fine and incredible chapter that I think you've really raised the bar here. I can't wait to see how this particular storyline resolves. But I also absolutely savor this moment, this calm before the storm where rising tension and conflict and fear are perfectly captured, suspended in amber for one perfect instant.