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The Look Of Watchmen

Yes, it’s the 6th of the month again and we all have another video journal to drool over. Thank God! I was so sick of hearing about the FOX lawsuit. It’s good to have some fun Watchmen news for a change.

This journal focuses on the way Zack Snyder and cinematographer Larry Fong composed most of the shots for the film adaptation. Producer Deborah Snyder explains in the video, how the comic series influenced some of the filming techniques.

The whole idea of symmetry plays a big role in the graphic novel. And I think Zack's approach has been a very traditional way of shooting, and a traditional way of composition — and the best way to do that was sometimes with a single camera.

Most movie scenes are shot with multiple cameras from several angles to not only get the most coverage of a scene, but to give the director some options once the film gets to editing. But Snyder wanted to frame each shot not unlike the panels in the comic book, so he opted to use one camera for most of the film’s shots. Larry Fong tells us that this helped make his job a little easier.

[Snyder's] shots are so designed, so its hard to kind of get a "B" camera somewhere to get another shot. You know, he won't use it. It's great for me because I make each shot the way I want it to without compromising.

Producer Deborah Snyder also explained that the design of the shots, the sets, and the lighting were specifically crafted to make the world of Watchmen seem more realistic, and less like the fantasy worlds of a standard comic book movie.

It was about getting at the realism as much as possible. You can see from the color palette — there's a lot of purples and yellow and greens — much like Dave has drawn in the book. I call it, like, stylized realism.

Larry Fong went into detail on how the lighting of the sets not only helped make the film seem more real, and more dark, but also helped in keeping the film look like the comic.

It's a dark movie, so you see some of these sets — and you know, they're really dark. There's an edge where you can keep the sets essentially dark but still have them show up… We left all of the street lights on, we turned more lights on to make more multiple shadows, and then, you know, didn't use a lot of fill [lighting]. I think that's why it kind of feels real - "Watchmeny."

There are also some great shots in this video journal, including a close look at Patrick Wilson as Dan Dreiberg standing inside his brownstone apartment, Billy Crudup standing on the Mars set in his motion capture suit (which looks like something out of Tron), as well as a great close up of Rorschach breaking some guy’s finger inside Happy Harry’s Bar.

For an in-depth photographic analysis of all of the important frames of this video journal, stay tuned for’s video still frame gallery coming soon.

9.6.08 Source: IGN

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