Zack Snyder is a director & producer best known for Watchmen, 300, [Man of Steel](tag:15593), and Sucker Punch. He is famous for his unreal use of CGI and special effects, and is also currently taking on the new Batman vs Superman movie.
Here's a shot of Ozymandias/ Adrian Veidt in Watchmen, towards the end of this dystopian superhero epic. What I love about this shot is the attention to detail as well as the framing: we see a lot of things on these TV screens featured above that pretty much sum up the culture of that world/ our world. We have cartoons, pornography, politics, religious imagery, perfume ads and a rocket launching to name a few. It's very eclectic featuring bricolage and summing up Veidts view on himself, his scheme and the world around him.
9.) Dawn of The Dead
This next one comes from Snyder's 2004 zombie remake flick, Dawn of The Dead. After being trapped for a long period of time, our group of heroes finally decide to break free with their plan to pimp a school bus to make it zombie-proof and drive through. I love this shot because we see an amazing use of extras as well as emphasizing just how much danger the survivors are in being so surrounded and engulfed by the undead. It's eerie and beautiful.
8.) Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
This darkly lit shot from Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice shows soldiers bowing down to Kal-El in a fortress. This shot is practically religious imagery as our hero takes center stage (and frame), stood tall and almost menacing rather than well lit and campy similarly to films that came before Snyders more gritty and realistic rendition.
7.) Sucker Punch
This shot of protagonist Baby Doll from Sucker Punch, an action/ fantasy epic, is so perfectly composed and framed. The colour is dark and gritty, and our leading lady takes center stage holding her blade and looking down on the monster she's slain. The depth of field and focus emphasize her determination to complete her mission: escape.
6.) Man of Steel
As mentioned in the intro, Snyder is renowned for his use of CGI and special effects - in this small but epic shot from Man of Steel, Snyder shows us every grain of snow, dirt and rock in their glory, as Superman causes them to rise up from the ground and begin to swirl around his clenched fist. Once again the attention to detail here is everything.
It's hard to imagine this film came out in 2006 considering how astounding it all is to look at, and even after its sequel Rise of An Empire, 300s beautiful shots still hold up against more modern cinema. Once again, this is almost biblical- this shot depicts Leonidas standing over Ephialtes of Trachis as he cowards being his sheild, the sky and mountains looming with a sepia tone effect.
4.) Sucker Punch
Warning: this shot WILL make you cringe if you don't like needles or eye touching. Probably should have mentioned that before, actually...
But, yeah, this Sucker Punch shot is very creepy but equally as gorgeous as Baby Doll has the lobotomy tool held up ready right next to her eye: all she can do is look away, but the closeness of this shot doesn't allow us to do the same as we are confronted with the needle and the target right in front of the camera lens. It's pretty horrifying, which it's meant to be.
Another one of our many Watchmen shots here, as we see Lori/Silk Spectre II and Dan/Night Owl II kissing in a dream. Sounds sweet, I know, but then an atomic bomb goes off behind them and, well, they ain't kissing for much longer. You really need to watch the entire creepy sequence to appreciate this as the two lovers disintegrate into skeletal structures, so I'll attach that lovely clip below. Snyder stuck true to the graphic novel and made a truly great and iconic shot here that many believe to be the best part of the whole movie.
Another one from Watchmen now, this time from the very beginning of the film as we first see Rorschach, hearing his diary entry monologue as he scales up the skyscraper to Eddies apartment. We also hear his most famous quote here, which has been taken right out of the graphic novel 'They'll shout 'save us' and I'll look down and whisper 'no''. The detail is stunning here as we see every single drop of rain coming off Rorschach's hat in what almost feels like slow motion. Considering his MASK is even CGI (to create the moving ink blot effect) I'd say this is a job very, very well done here.
On to our winner! 300 really takes the cake here with one of its closing shots of the soldiers falling off the cliff edge to their deaths as the Spartans are at war with the Persians. We see the sunlight illuminating every single doomed body at that cliff edge as well as Leonidas' helmet outlined against the pale sky. About 97% of this shot is indeed CGI shot with a blue screen, which is how Snyder created something so surreal and breath taking. It shows everything 300 stands for such as the downfall of war and violence as well as the 300 soldiers.
Well, there you have it- that's my list of Zack Snyders most astounding shots. Hopefully you enjoyed reading and agree with my choices. Also, check out each film here you haven't seen because they really are awesome.