Twistory’s Danielle Vasinova

GameStop, Inc.

by Victoria Irwin
Senior Correspondent

TwistoryWhat do you get when you combine a successful music video director, an artist from Final Fantasy and a beautiful young actress who loves guns and horses? Christopher Wingfield Morrison is the powerhouse behind the successful new operation Twistory. In the past, mink, as he prefers to be called, has worked with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Veruca Salt and Sheryl Crow, but it’s his current project that he is really excited about. He is the first person to greet me at his booth for Twistory, the company he founded and has built from the ground up. There is no pretense as he shakes my hand and cheerfully asks me to come back behind the booth to talk to him.

San Diego’s Comic Con is a display warzone for media and entertainment power houses, and Twistory has found a way to make itself stand out amidst the gigantic displays of Warner Bros and a giant pirate ship from Showtime. Founded in 2008, the studio has gone out of its way to focus on the two most important aspects of entertainment: story and art. A giant ipad stands in my way. Standing about seven feet tall, slightly higher if you include the base, this giant piece of technology shows the various projects that Twistory is focusing on. Belle, the 13 Chambers heroine, is show in her corporeal form: the stunning Danielle Vasinova.

“We had that specially designed and build for Twistory,” mink tells me, indicating the giant ipad. An artist for the studio moves the image to a blank slate and happily begins to draw away on the giant flat screen with his hands. The artist quickly draws the face of a man, filling in details with quick swipes of his dextrous fingers, like some glorious technological finger painting scheme. Above the ipad is a plexiglass case with a row of Starbucks cups, all designed and drawn on by a different artist for the studio.

“We have a TARDIS one that one of our artist did,” Mink says, indicating the case. “I wish I’d brought it now.” This is in part to the sheer amount of Doctor Who cosplayers walking by the booth at any given moment. “Each one of those cups is decorated by an artist from our studio.” Twistory does have impressive talent, and a few big names. “We even have Yoshitaka Amano from Final Fantasy doing artwork for Shinjuku.”

The animated film Shinjuku is just one of the popular stories that has come out of Twistory studios. Originally created for Darkhorse Press, the story features on bounty hunter Daniel Legend as he seeks his long lost sister on the dangerous and crime ridden streets of Shinjuku, Tokyo. The animated film is expected for release in early 2014.

Shinjuku is not the only thing Twistory is known for. With the popularity of the comic 13 Chambers, a new star has emerged as the face for Twistory. 13 Chambers is the story of the decomissioning of the 13 federal marshalls after the death of Abraham Lincoln. The 13th is the rough and tumble beauty known as Belle.

Vasinova is a stunning brunette with a winning smile and attitude that puts everyone around her at ease almost instantly. She looks identical to the character Belle and this is no accident. “We created Belle based on her from the beginning,” mink says. “Every month Danielle will be featured in the [Twistory] magazine with a different photoshoot.”

Vasinova was born to portray Belle, it seems.

“I was raised with horses,” she says, smiling. In addition to her love of horses, the old west is in her blood. “My grandfather was a painter of western scenes,” she says. “I was around it as a child.” Vasinova is featured monthly in the new Twistory magazine both in human and animated form, and seems delighted at the prospect of the monthly photo work.

“I get to do weapons training,” Vasinova says excitedly. “For the next few weekends I will be training with swords and guns.”

This training with weapons also seems to have come in handy for Vasinova in her acting career. Danielle recently stared as Dallas Wilks in the soon to be released film To Hell with a Bullet. The film features a washed up rock star who makes a deal to get his voice back. Vasinova’s character, Dallas, is featured in the trailer with one particularly impactful line: “I’m here to kick ass and drink beer. And I’m all out of beer.”

“Sex drugs and rock and roll,” she proclaims when discussing the film. “I’ve never done something like this before. It’s exciting”

Photoshoots and modeling for a character isn’t Vasinova’s only input to Twistory. Belle’s War, the new game from Twistory, is on the smaller ipad attached to the display counter. With a quick change of the smaller screen, mink pulls up the game. With the smooth gestures of the ipad, it is certainly a feast for the eyes and fingers. A table appears before our eyes, complete with a set of playing cards and two icons indicating Belle and an opposing player.

“If you like a card, you use the knife option here,” mink says, tapping a knife icon in the bottom right hand corner with his finger. A dagger like blade designed in an old west theme strikes the Ace on the table in the game. The dagger options keeps the card in play for three rounds. I watch as another card is pulled and the screen switches out to the the card game War.  Vashinova’s voice is clearly heard screaming “WAR” as the cards rapidly drop. Our side has won, leading to a well animated cut scene featuring Belle and her adventures.

Vasinova is no stranger to voicing video games. Her voice was featured in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds as the character Angela. The scene ends and the card game returns to normal. The fun doesn’t end there with the game, however.

“If you don’t like the card the other player has,” mink says, “you can shoot it off the table.” He taps the small icon of a gun, a bullet hole appearing in the table where the disliked card had been. It is a winning effect. Belle’s War is planned for release in October of this year.

What’s different about Twistory? Everything is story and art driven. From their monthly magazine filled with interviews, photo shoots and serial comics, to their website where you are able to select what you want to see most, if you so choose, Twistory focuses on the individual experience of the user. “If you really want to just see Shinjuku, you can just see Shinjuku. The same goes for Belle.”

Like it’s emblem of a red twister, Twistory is not on the scene to follow standard media protocol. With a video game, a monthly magazine and a feature film on the way, it seems very little can stand in the way of Mink, or Danielle Vasinova for that matter.

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