300': Zack Snyder on the burden of not 'F***ing up'
Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: February 12, 2007 | Publication: Comics2Film | Author: Leslie Morgan
"Anyone want a water?" Zach Snyder asks bounding into the room, and stays standing for a moment or two before finally taking his seat.
He comments on being tired, but you wouldn't know it by looking at him. In order to bring Frank Miller's graphic novel "300" to life Zach Snyder, Director of "300", not only had to have boundless energy, but even more importantly a clear, distinct vision for the project.
Snyder has been a fan of graphic novels since he was a kid, even before Frank Miller was a household name. "As a kid my mom bought me graphic novels. My mom bought me Heavy Metal and didn't realize it was adult. I thought it was really cool and encouraged her to buy it; she tried buying me X-Men and no one had sex or was dying so it didn't hold my interest."
Snyder who had an incredibly successful career as a commercial director first broke as a feature film director with Dawn of the Dead. He had wanted to direct a Miller project for some time.
"I wanted to make any (Frank) Miller novel into a movie. "300" was talked about and (Gianni) Nunnari got the rights… it was scary, but the idea of making it was something I was really passionate about."
Fortunately for Snyder he had full backing not only from the Producers including of course Gianni Nunnari, but also support from Warner Brothers Pictures, "The only pressure was whether we make this a PG-13 or R movie…this movie couldn't be more R. The support was incredible from Warner Brothers."
Snyder storyboarded the film and in doing so everyone knew what they were in for ahead of time. Snyder also was able to get the blessing from many historians who saw Snyder's depictions of Sparta. Snyder was worried that historians would question his depiction, wondering if they would think he was in Snyder's words, "…a fuck up."
However, the historians he spoke to believed his depiction got to the heart and essence of Sparta and King Leonides, something that history books could not necessarily portray.
With everyone backing him there was still the most important person to consider in the equation, that of Frank Miller himself. "Miller stressed to me that it was my movie…go kill it and don't fuck it up."
Apparently Snyder did just that; upon viewing the final cut Miller commented that he wrote "300" because of a movie he had seen called "300 Spartans". Referring to Snyder's film Miller said, "After I saw your movie, I wished I saw this movie first."
The process of making "300" was an enjoyable one and Snyder used a great deal of blue screen, where the actors literally act in front of a blue screen and imagery is added later in post. Snyder would delve into a similar process again as it was simply a means to an end, "I would do another blue screen. That was simply a tool to make the movie. I just wanted to make the novel come to life."
The experience with "300" will prepare Snyder for what will hopefully be his next project, "Watchmen" an adaptation of the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's graphic novel, which he states is much more, "...'Taxi Driver' than 'Fantastic Four'."
So far the project is not fully cast and they are still trying to determine a final budget on the project. Hoping to shoot in the summer Snyder commented that there is definitely a lot of pressure with "Watchmen", "The pressure is as real as it can be, and there is huge pressure from the fans."
So with "300"'s release on March 9th and the possibility of "Watchmen" in the very near future what else could Zach Snyder have up his sleeve?
"An R rated Star Wars, that would be cool."