Eye of the Storm: Subjective Camerawork in the films of Zack Snyder

By  · Published on January 2nd, 2017

The biggest films sometimes have the narrowest perspective.

Director Zack Snyder makes big, bold, sweeping epics about gods, legends, warriors, and end-of-the-world scenarios, bombastic flicks that hinge on larger-than-life characters clashing and attempting to vanquish one another, usually with massive collateral damage. But at the heart of each of his films is a single soul: Leonidas in 300, Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman, Ana in Dawn of the Dead. It is through these characters that Snyder gives his chaos focus, it is by experiencing these worlds through a largely singular perspective that we are granted access to the humanity amidst all the spectacle the director creates.

One way Snyder manages to convey this focus is through a plethora of first-person shots and other subjective camerawork, the bulk of which has been collected by Serge Akopyan in the following montage which selects scenes from all of Snyder’s features and stitches them together visually to reveal the power a little perspective can have.

Snyder is slated for another world-shaking release in 2017 with Justice League, a film destined to take many differing perspectives and merge them into a single vision. It won’t be the first time he’s worked with a group of main characters – 300, Dawn of the Dead, Sucker Punch – but it will be the first time he’s worked with so many characters who are already established outside the world of film. In the past he’s had a clear cut leader-figure through whom we experience the narrative. Whether he pulls the same trick or tries to balance things out with warring subjectivities is yet to be seen, but in the meantime, enjoy the personal touch Snyder applies to help make his larger-than-life stories more intimate and relative.

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