Zack Snyder Talks Guardians
According to Zack Snyder, his recent evolution from 300 to Watchmen to Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole to Sucker Punch has been a natural one in terms of embracing new technology and gaining confidence with drama. He tells us about his first foray into animation (another balletic adventure into mythology) and how he's leveraged that experience on his subsequent live-action features.
Bill Desowitz: So, is this 300 or Watchmen for kids?
Zack Snyder: I wouldn't say that. I really wanted to make an adventure film for kids like Star Wars that takes the world seriously. That's really what motivated me.
BD: How did you get involved?
ZS: I had seen a series of paintings that Animal Logic had done, and that's really what attracted me to it. And it was only after that I was introduced to the books and saw a really cool story there.
BD: What was it like doing animation?
ZS: It's interesting: I think the biggest challenge for me was just staying with my style, and, when I say that, I mean the limited style of not having the camera go nuts and go, "Wee, look, there's no gravity!" It's more like what was physically possible to shoot; that's how I approached the shot making. The jeopardy is real, the stakes are real and it's not a cartoon. And I didn't want it to be morally ambiguous. You know, the owls aren't really that bad and maybe negotiations could settle it. I wanted everyone to see that they're bad and like Nazis, because [novelist] Kat Lasky based the Pure Ones on a World War II/Nazi metaphor and I really liked that idea. And even Geoffrey Rush, when he was doing the character of Ezylryb, he studied tons of video and speeches by Winston Churchill to get a little Churchill on, which I thought was cool.
ZS: It was amazingly fun and rewarding because it's a three-year process and I started out doing a series of doodles on pieces of paper, and to see them realized as these insanely beautiful 3-D imagery is mind-boggling to me.
BD: What kind of remote setup did you have while you were working on Watchmen and Sucker Punch?