Director and Art Center alumnus Zack Snyder FILM ’89 visited an overflowing Los Angeles Times Auditorium yesterday afternoon for a discussion and Q&A with Film instructor Dan Perri. Snyder, who came directly from an editing suite where he and a crew are preparing a trailer of his next film, the Superman reboot Man of Steel, for this weekend’s Comic-Con, shared with Art Center students his experiences both as a student and as a director of Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Watchmen, among others.
Here are a few highlights from the event:
Snyder on his initial “path:” When I first got to Art Center, I was pretty sure I’d make a short film and Steven Spielberg would see it and hire me to direct a feature film. That was the path I envisioned for myself. About half way through my Art Center career, I became super scared that I wasn’t going to get a job, so I put my head down and started making commercials.
On being loyal to his key collaborators: When I went in to commercials, a lot of the guys I worked with were my friends from Art Center. There’s a very pervasive culture in Hollywood of Okay, get rid of that guy and get another guy. Because maybe it’ll change, or if you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s a good thing to do. But I felt that the guys that I came up with were all super talented and I didn’t see any reason [to do that.]
On camaraderie at Art Center and beyond: When I was here in school, everyone banded together to make each other’s movies. That just seemed like the best way to do it. And that has certainly stayed with me into my career. In a more personal way, I just like having people that are close to me being involved in production. The partnership when you make a movie is so intense and Hollywood is full of people that you don’t know exactly what their agenda is. So the closer people can be to you, the more trust you have in them. (more…)