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Onyanserat med Zack Snyder – Om genrefilm, green screen och nördar

Inlägg av Alexander Kantsjö den 5 april 2011 i


Jag står i hissen på väg upp till hotellrummet där jag alldeles strax ska få träffa Zack Snyder, regissören till bland annat ”300” och ”Watchmen”, för en intervju på tu man hand. Hjärtat bultar, svetten lackar och jag ser för mitt inre öga hur jag av misstag förolämpar denna blockbuster-regissör och dra på mig hans eviga vrede.

När jag kliver in i det lilla hotellrummet, där Zack sitter lojt uppkrupen i en fåtölj framför en jättelik filmposter från hans senaste visuella smällkaramell ”Sucker Punch”, börjar jag svettas i bibliska proportioner och jag biter mig i tungan för att inte redan i förväg be om ursäkt för vilken usel reporter och människa jag är. Jag försöker se så cool och obesvärad ut som möjligt när jag greppar hans hand med min genomsura handflata och mumlar en diffus ursäkt om att det var varmt i hissen. Han bara skrattar och säger till mig att slappna av.

Därefter strular min iPhones inspelnings-app och jag önskar att jag kunde sjunka ner genom hotellgolvet och bara försvinna, men när Zack gör allt för att hjälpa mig och dessutom slänger iväg ett skämt om att vi får väl ”trust the force” så tackar min nervositet för sig och lämnar rummet. Zack Snyder är en nörd, precis som jag! Förvisso inte vilken nörd som helst, utan en nörd som regisserat mångmiljonfilmer och som idag är ett av dom hetaste namnen i Hollywood. Med min iPhone i sin hand sätter sig Zack tillrätta i fåtöljen och intervjun kan börja.

This is your first movie that isn’t an adaptation of a previous work. How and when did you come up with the idea to ”Sucker Punch”?

I wrote a short story years ago where I came up with sort of the mechanism for the story, the idea of this girl going on fantasy trips in her mind when she´s supposed to be dancing. That’s when I came up with the character and the idea of using music and all that. But it wasn’t until recently, because I’ve made all these action genre flicks, that I found myself emersed in sort of an action genre world and I think somewhat ”Sucker Punch” was this cathartic way to kind of figure out what that world was all about. Like ”What’s up with this genre?”. That’s why we have all these different worlds in the movie. The dream within a dream. Because that’s kind of what I do. You can almost say that ”Sucker Punch” is all about making a genre movie.

All these worlds in the movie contains alot of different elements like fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk and anime, almost like a nerds wet dream. Was that really just for the sake of story or was it a more commercial decision so the movie would speak to a larger audience?

The funny thing is that in alot of ways, because I work in this genre, ”Sucker Punch” is like satire. Like me trying to say ”Really? Is this what this genre is all about?”. That’s why there are all these worlds and elements to explore. You have all this iconic imagery, like for instance a young girl in a school girl uniform fighting giant samurai, you may go ”I’ve seen that… but where the hell did is see it?”. It’s easy to say to any dork or nerd and they will say ”That’s cool!” but even though they can relate to it they can’t find it anywhere. It’s a referense you can’t really put your finger on. That’s how we approached these sequences, things that I kind of felt from a genre standpoint and that I wanted to explore.

"-Herro! We are evir samurai come to kirr you!"

You use alot of green screen in your movies. Are you able to visualize the complete image and environment on set or is that something you explore an experiment with in post production?

You got to have a pretty good idea what it’s going to look like and what it’s going to be. For instance when we shot the samurai sequence. If you look at the environment there are alot of candles and at one point these big banners catch on fire when they’re fighting. So you have to know where you are. You got to remember to put a warm source down low over here because there is going to be candles over there and we have to put a bright source up behind where the fiery banners are going to be. So you have to have all that and the geography in your head all the time. Otherwise as soon as the actor turns around you’re gonna be like ”Oh, where is she now?!”.

Do you use animated storyboards to make the process easier?

A little bit. But what I’ll do is I’ll shoot the stuntmen doing the fight almost shot for shot the same way I’m gonna shoot the movie and we use that as a sketch for what it’s going to look like and where it’s going to be.

"-And over there is a big ass horde of zombie nazis... in my mind!"

Is there a big difference between directing a big live action flick and directing an animated flick like ”Legend of The Guardians”?

Animated movies are a whole different animal, although I would say that for me the beginning processes are very similar, when I do a sketch for a frame or sort of talk about the layout and composition. After that you go on two very different roads; one where you go into a room with a bunch of illustrators and they’ll draw for two years and one where you go on set with a bunch of actors and you actually shoot these scenes. It’s a strangely divergent road but I feel like it’s origins are the same.

Making all these visual action movies, are you afraid that you might get typecasted as a director?

I’m not worried about it, because the experience of going to a movie is looking at amazing images. At least that’s what I want when I go to the movies and I feel that as long as I can deliver that experience as best I can,  whatever happens in my life and career I’m happy. It’s very satisfying to make images that you yourself want to see.

Do you have any plans of trying a different genre, like maybe drama or comedy?

I don’t know. After ”Superman” we’ll see how I feel. ”Superman” is such a big project and so huge in it’s scope that I might be exhausted after that. But I feel pretty good about right now so I would have to say ”no”.

Han är inte bara regissör, han kan posera också.

Speaking of ”Superman”, your previous work has been quite dark and sinister. Can we expect to see a darker and more sinister vision of Superman?

I would say dark and sinister but I think you can expect a more real and maybe more flawed Superman. It’s not like he’s going to be all dressed in black like an evil Superman.

There are alot of story elements that gets lost on the cutting room floor for various reasons, how important is it for you to be able to release a Director’s Cut and can we look forward to a ”Sucker Punch – Director’s Cut”?

I think the Director’s Cut allows the director an opportunity to try out some things that maybe would have been more controversial or more edgy than what you released to the general audience. There will absolutely be an extended version of ”Sucker Punch”, there are other fun elements in it, but I’m very proud of the theatrical version as well. There are always tough decisions in the editing process, that’s part of the deal, but there is about 18 minutes of more footage for the Director’s Cut, alot more cool stuff.


Film: Star Wars

Skådespelare: Sean Penn

Regissör: Stanley Kubrick

Filmcitat: Your sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you enough clairvoyance to find the rebels’ hidden fortress… aaargh.” (Star Wars)

Tv: True Blood

Drömprojekt: The Bible. No just kidding. ”Blood Meridian”, it’s a western novel by Cormac McCarthy (The Road, No Country for Old Men), it’s frickin ridicolous and it’s awesome! But I think Tommy Lee Jones or someone has the rights to it so I’ll never get to do it. It would be rated NC-17 (barnförbjuden) because it´s like crazy violent and noone would distribute it but it would be awesome to do.


Film: Plan 9 from Outer Space (I don’t hate it but it’s not good)

Skådespelare: (efter påtryckningar från undertecknad) Vincent D’Onofrio… oh no! He’s going to find me and kill me! (när jag lämnat rummet hör jag honom dock säga till sin publicist ”I should have said Meg Ryan”.)

Regissör: (här hjälpte inte ens påtryckningar) Oh, that is so mean.

TV: Toddlers and Tiaras (It’s an awesome show but it’s horrible!)

Hemlig förmåga: I can balance things. Like I can balance a ladder on my chin and stuff like that.

Med detta avslöjande var min tid ute och jag fick lov att motvilligt lämna hotellrummet och den stora regissör som på 15 minuter börjat kännas som en kompis som man skulle kunna sitta och snacka film med över en öl i flera timmar. Jag hann med att se ”Sucker Punch” två gånger den här dagen och min recension kommer i veckan så håll ögonen öppna. Under tiden så kan ni ta er en titt på filmens första 7 minuter genom att klicka här under!

Jag och min nya kompis... in my mind!

Skrivet av Alexander Kantsjö

En cineastisk allätare som framförallt slukar genrefilm och Tv-serier. Tycker att Leonardo Di caprio är på tok för överskattad och har en förkärlek för udda karaktärer. Skriver manus och drömmer om att sätta genrefilm på den svenska filmkartan. Vattuman och en smula laktosintolerant.

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