Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Jim here. Steve over at Collider had an awesome round table with Zack Snyder (300, WATCHMEN) and producer Debbie Snyder (Zack's wife) recently and Zack spoke out about his upcoming 3D projects SUCKER PUNCH (3D conversion) and LEGENDS OF THE GUARDIANS (native 3D) as well as 3D in general.

Zack always has interesting things to say and I had the opportunity to see parts of GUARDIANS at ShoWest this year - let me tell you, it was gorgeous! You will have to see it for yourself, but it is extremely well done visually and stereoscopically. Keep in mind that it is definitely a family movie, but stunning nevertheless.

If you are not up to speed on his upcoming movies - here are the rundowns:

SUCKER PUNCH is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl, whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her but her incredible adventures blur the lines between what’s real and what is imaginary…with potentially tragic consequences.

(trailer below) follows Soren, a young owl enthralled by his father’s epic stories of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a mythic band of winged warriors who had fought a great battle to save all of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones. While Soren dreams of someday joining his heroes, his older brother, Kludd, scoffs at the notion, and yearns to hunt, fly and steal his father’s favor from his younger sibling. But Kludd’s jealousy has terrible consequences-causing both owlets to fall from their treetop home and right into the talons of the Pure Ones. Now it is up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave young owls. Together they soar across the sea and through the mist to find the Great Tree, home of the legendary Guardians of Ga’Hoole-Soren’s only hope of defeating the Pure Ones and saving the owl kingdoms.

Here is what Zack and Debbie had to say on their 3D process and upcoming movies...

Zack: "We did 3D from the very beginning on this. The very first images were all…we put into 3D."

Debbie: "Were made on 3D, not converted."

Zack: "We made this movie with the intent of 3D though I’m doing them exactly at the same time, so it’s different. Like for instance, the difference is when we were working on “Guardians” I said okay, I want because it’s an owl world the movie takes place at night, right? 90%. And so if we were shooting the movie in an owl world with owl cameras, the film would have a very shallow depth of field because we’d be shooting at night. We wouldn’t have a lot of light. So everything would be like a 1-3 or like a 1-9 like super skinny focus. And so that was a thing that I was like okay, that’s the mandate. Do that, always. And we built a big camera bible. It has all these like rules like things you could do and couldn’t do. Like I didn’t want…all the flying shots had to look like they were basically being photographed from some kind of a rig. Like another flying…like an owl with a camera on his back or I don’t know how…I was very militant about that stuff. When you go to 3D, the shallow focus is a bit of a thing, right? So there’s a little bit of a trade-off because most 3D movies everything’s in focus. That’s how you get the depth, right because the foreground is jumping out from the background. But if you, for example, at that shot where the feather comes at you at the very end of the trailer, the feather comes at you and the focus goes to it and the background goes out of focus but the feather really feels like it’s out. Those are the kinds of things that we…that’s not intuitive to 3D to do big out of focus playing with the feather or with an object popping out of the out of focus. So there was a lot of R&D that we worked on to try and get that to work throughout the entire film. And in some cases in the 3D version, the focus actually had to be extended as opposed to the 2D version of the movie we kept it skinny but because it’s all done on the computer the focus is applied. So everything is in focus, we apply the focus later. And so in 3D it’s actually easier to stretch that because the elements are all there and they’re all in focus. So there was a bit of a process that went on to find the right…without me saying like…because I won’t give it up entirely. I’m like no, I don’t want the whole thing in focus. But I do appreciate that for the 3D to work better, more focus is required. But those are the kind of conversations we had and have been having in the process to sort of understand the best way to render the 3D. Now, that said, and I think that when you actually watch the trailer you can see how clean the 3D is, it’s like super clean. Now the interesting thing is, we’re going to be converting “Sucker Punch” to 3D, so it’s like a different process. Although I feel like actually having done “Guardians”, I have a really good sensibility at this point to be able to manage that conversion process without it just being a gimmick that we slap on top of the movie."

Debbie: "And because of the way shooting a lot of the things against green-screen and when we have separate elements to play with, it gives us…it’s kind of different than if it’s just a norm…like kind of I say normal but like a film that’s just not shot that way. Because we can play with these elements more. We have them already isolated. It gives us more latitude."

Zack wraps up by revealing both movies WILL be at Comicon!
Awesome. I am really looking forward to Xerxes too (Events that take place about 10 years prior to the movie 300). Thanks to Collider for the interview and be sure to catch the rest of it right here.

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Jim Dorey
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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