Army of the Dead Footage Showcases Zack Snyder’s First Time Out as a Cinematographer

Zack Snyder’s upcoming zombie-heist film has dropped its first footage with the Army of the Dead trailer, and the sneak peak promises an experience for viewers filled with chaos, thrilsl, captivating intensity, and lots and lots of blood. Zack Snyder has earlier shared a still from his sets of Army of the Dead, revealing how his zombies would look like; but with this full-blown teaser, we now know that we are actually going to see the real “army of the dead” doing some damage unlike the one in Game of Thrones.

The Army of the Dead trailer opens up with a view of devastated Las Vegas; kind of like a destroyed Wayne Manor and Hall of Justice in the Justice League teaser. There’s this vibe of a dystopian future, where cities have gone empty. The trailer then shows a glimpse of Dave Bautista and Matthias Schweighöfer prepping up in a circle with the others to probably do some zombie-killing before leading us to what looks like the start of the zombie apocalypse from a Las Vegas casino.

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What follows is the best part of the teaser, which shows thousands and thousands of zombies hurdling in the streets of Las Vegas, while helicopters wreak havoc dropping bombs on them and shooting them from the air like ants.

And the reason for this epic viewing experience is none other than director Zack Snyder, who has decided to take up the camera work for his passion project himself. That’s right! Zack wouldn’t just take directorial responsibilities in this one, but would also be the film’s cinematographer, for the very first time in his career, on a feature length project. His only other cinematographer credits include his 2107 short Snow Steam Iron, which he wrote and directed as well. And the Army of the Dead teaser proves that Snyder knows his work very well.

The sequences give some vibes like that of Snyder’s 300, where we witness battle sequences with snap zooming of cameras, with shots going in and out of viewer’s range to match the fierceness of on-screen action. And that was just one-minute of a teaser for the film.

Zack Snyder’s cinematographic colors seems to have changed a bit with this movie that shall give viewers a different outlook of his techniques, spearate from Snyder’s previous approach with films. Snyder’s directorial style includes dark-toned colors and themes, which reflects in the choice of his music score and camera work as well. Army of the Dead is more bright in terms of color settings, and by the looks of it, will carry some elements of fun-with-action as well.

Talking more of his cinematographic preferences, if you look at Watchmen and Man of Steel, Snyder also uses speed ramping, where his sequence just fastens up or exponentially slows down in a matter of seconds. Take the Zod vs. Superman fight for instance, where at one instance the speed of shot slows down to focus on their individual conflict, but when viewing from point of view of Metropolis citizens, we see a fast ramping shot of the same. The way helicopter sequences are depicted in the teaser, we can expect a similar style of filmmakig with this film.

A more intersting aspect of his direction to explore here would be his use of long takes (or an illusion of them) [as in the warehouse scene in BvS], where he avoids cuts and portrays long fight sequences to keep the audience captivated in the moment. Since this is going to be a zombie bloodbath, there can be several of such sequences.

The teaser is also an extraordinary glimpse of the fantastic VFX work Snyder and his team have done to create this epic zombie-heist film; thus proving that finally, we’ll actually have a different take on zombie films. Throughout the years, we have watched tonnes of zombie films, not to mention a complete series based on the theme spanning across a whole decade. But Snyder’s craving for playing with special effects and insane camera movements will surely fill this one with some additional adrenaline-fueled adventure.

As the title says, Army of the Dead, Snyder’s film actually depicts a literal army of them hoarding around the city, murdering and turning everyone in their path. The special effects work seems so authentic to the theme that the teaser alone will hook you to the story. We also get a glimpse of the heist the film’s synopsis addressed earlier, as we see Bautista jumping across chairs to reach the vault (which probably is a casino vault) and steal the boatloads of untouched cash it holds. That’s Ocean’s Eleven meets World War Z sort of deal.

Army of the Deadwill also span into a franchise of its own. Snyder has already wrapped up on the prequel, which will be helmed by Schweighöfer, who’ll also star in it. This means we’ll get a proper backstory on the events of Army of the Dead soon enough.

Watch the teaser below. It doesn’t have much to give in the context of the story and has really just one dialogue, but we surely “dig” the zombie mayhem and gnarly graphics depicting the destruction and disarray of Vegas. Feels like the dead are there to party! Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead will release on Netflix on May 21. The film stars Dave Bautista, Matthias Schweighöfer, Ella Purnell, Ana De La Reguera, Theo Rossi, Garret Dilahunt, and Hiroyuki Sanada leading a wider ensemble.

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