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Watchmen By the Book

Zack Snyder reveals some of his storyboard pages and discusses their role during production

In the latest official movie production blog update, Zack Snyder gives us a look into the voluminous tomes that make up his compilation of Watchmen movie storyboards.

For the uninitiated, storyboards are graphic organizers such as a series of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of previsualizing a movie shot sequence.

Two storyboard panels are presented on the blog, both showing moments from Rorschach’s famous S.W.A.T. escape scene. The first shows the masked vigilante torching some cops, and the second one shows his second story plunge in front of the Rumrunner sign.

To Snyder, these storyboards are critical to his filmmaking process and aid in getting the action framed exactly the way he wants it to be in the finished film:

Storyboards play a vital part in my process long before I start sharing them with my team. I’ve always storyboarded my commercials and movies. It is a key part of my process for envisioning the entire film from beginning to end. In addition to using that drawing time to figure out blocking and action, it is also when I can begin to get a sense of whether the dialog and pacing are working.

How many storyboard frames did Snyder personally draw out during the Watchmen movie’s pre-production phase? Answer: 2,581.

…the boards play a key role throughout pre-production, mapping out every frame that I intend to shoot. Visually presenting the what, where, why, who, when, etc. of every frame. This gives us a starting point for discussions. As we break down each frame, department by department, they help clarify everyone’s responsibilities, needs and expectations. The boards often spur discussions that raise important questions. Many times the answers to these questions are crucial to a successful shoot.

For more details on how storyboarding helps Snyder’s filmmaking process, visit the official Warner Bros. Watchmen movie web site.


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