Journal #1 is all about the set construction and we get glimpses of everything from Doc Manhattan's lab to The Comedian's apartment. I'm honestly blown away by the level of detail they have achieved here. I think everyone was expecting Snyder to fill in with blue screen, as he did before, but everything has been constructed from scratch which fills my heart with joy. The CGI of Hot Gates may have been a grand sight, but there's just no replacing good old fashioned movie making. (I'm going to echo a friend of mine and say what a smart choice it was to hire Alex McDowell!)
I'm really loving that one shot we get of The Comedian chilling in his apartment, chomping on his cigar. We all know what comes next, and it is just eerie to see it living and breathing.
One of the reasons I really dig Snyder is that he always seems happy to include fans in his film making process. I loved every single video diary he released from 300 -- from how they made King Leonidas's horsehair crest, to watching grown men cry in building those eight packs. Not many of us get access to film sets, and I find it exciting to watch a film come together. I'm overjoyed that we get to do the same with Watchmen. Of course, the movie is already complete so you can only bite your nails, hoping this isn't just a bunch of whitewash. (On the geek forum I frequent, there already "But it's totally different than panel number . . ." Incidentally, for those still frustrated by the look of the character stills, Snyder has directed you all here for an explanation.)
Watchmen opens March 6th, 2009. If he has screwed up the comic book adaptation of adaptations, Snyder will be going into hiding somewhere around 1:00pm that day.