This summer, “Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion,” a brand-new Disney cartoon, will be broadcast on television. The show centers on Violet, a 13-year-old who is chosen to become Ultra, a superhero like her uncle Black Scorpion, by a mysterious luchador mask. Together with her uncle, Ultra starts her own covert superhero training program as she deals with middle school’s highs and lows.
Rafael Leyva, the series’ cinematographer, and I recently chatted about how he developed the series’ distinctive style and the influences that come from the worlds of professional wrestling and superheroes.
Could provide an overview of “Ultra Violet & Black Scorpionmain’s themes.
A 12-year-old Latin American girl is given special abilities through a magnificent, magical mask in the song “Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion“. Which centers on a contemporary Latin American household. She encounters another family member who also happens to be a superhero as she develops those superpowers. Becomes a superhero and starts to get distracted, curious about society’s dark side, and inspired to fight crime. She experiences a very lovely full circle throughout her teenage years, learning about culture, and family. And kicking butt from the front row.
Could you explain what your role was on Disney’s Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion?
Basically, the photography’s appearance, tenor, and style. It is prominently featured in the program. The first thing I thought after reading the script was, “Okay, I see a kind of like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Stranger Things, and several small cool, more modern or avant-garde teenage comic dramas.” Therefore, I am responsible for that. Yeah.
Were you attempting to make it look completely different from Marvel and somewhat like something entirely original?
Yeah. For the cinematography, I wanted to be a little bit more daring or, if you like, not have the visual style that you typically see on the Disneyplus.com/begin channel. So, there you have it—my main finding. I can still hear myself saying to the studio, “I really want to make this distinction and pop, deeper and moodier, and not be afraid of gloom.” She’s still figuring herself out as a teenager living at home and in high school, as you can see at the beginning of the pilot in episode one. Because it is transparent and because it reveals who she is, the light is extremely frontal and she is aware of who she is. You are now in the high school environment.
When she transforms into a superhero and sets out to combat crime. We encounter villains, get to know henchmen, and solve mini-puzzles related to crime fighting. Here, the art style becomes a little bit more shadowy, moody and contrasty, and the colors start to stand out. The directors also use highly artistically planned camera motions. I had a fantastic cast and amazing directors. Incredibly talented actors make up the cast, and there is some comic relief. I wanted to take the cinematography in that direction.
What superheroes influenced “Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion” and why?
You wouldn’t believe it, but Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman was one of my key two influences. Nearly in a traditional monochromatic style, but very, very wonderfully filmed and directed. So, among them, that was one. Likewise, Scott Pilgrim Not to repeat me, but Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was without a doubt the highest visual reference, if not the strongest visual reference, for the series, particularly since the majority of how I shot it and the majority of how the first 10 episodes are shot really correlate with the editing style. Viewers will likely find that pleasing.
However, I’m going to ask this question from the opposite angle. What effect did wrestling have on this series?
Being a show that centers on a Latin American family, it was truly brought down by its culture, particularly the culture of Mexican wrestling. Consequently, it is Disney’s first really excellent Latinx show. James Lewis is largely responsible for the combination of the Mexican wrestling tradition and the amazing modern stunt movement. We were fortunate. James Lew was here. James Lew was essentially Jackie Chan’s right hand if you Google him up. He coordinated the stunts for all of those major motion pictures, including Rush Hour and other things. But Mr. Chan, Jackie Chan would undoubtedly perform his own stunts. To be honest with you, we are grateful to James Lew.
What was the hardest part about producing this series?
Working with children while trying to present a very positive and enjoyable environment is, in my opinion. The toughest challenge of producing this series. The cast is once again really brilliant and professional. But I believe it really fits in with the fantastic universe we wanted to implant and create for Disneyplus Begin code within the script. While also attempting to accomplish it within the limited hours of child labor acting. It is really crucial. Additionally, it makes a goofy sound, almost as if to say, “Oh, so that’s the hard part? Yeah, it’s really, really difficult because you want to make sure that everything is done correctly and that we are, as I would say, into their world. Unintelligible 00:07:07.