Many filmmakers out there aren’t as passionate about other causes unrelated to their field of work but Zack Snyder is. We see his constant support towards causes such as Suicide Prevention and that’s not it. Zack Snyder cares enough for his alma mater, ArtCenter College of Design, to arrange three screenings over the course of one weekend to raise money to renovate the ‘Ahmanson Auditorium’. Individuals who become a part of the film industry rarely hold as much respect for their alma mater as Zack does, which makes his Director’s Cuts’ weekend that much special.
Over the weekend, Zack stressed on the real reason behind the event every chance he got. Whether it was to make a joke about the comfort level of the seats or to talk about how the auditorium hasn’t changed from the time he attended the ArtCenter, it was obvious that he was dedicated to restore the place that helped him grow as a filmmaker to its maximum potential so it could be useful to the current and future students.
Like most of the people attending the event, I was excited about getting a chance to meet Zack and talk to him. However, as time went on the possibility of talking to him felt distant. He’s one of those widely known filmmakers and I didn’t think that he would have the time to interact with all the people. After waiting for two hours outside the auditorium in the insane warmth of the sun and realizing the extent of the crowd, I was just happy knowing that I would get to see him and watch one of my favorite comic book movies alongside him.
I can’t comprehend the feeling of watching the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice alongside the filmmaker who put years of hard work in to the movie. Batman v Superman never got the critical reception it deserved but turning around and seeing Zack’s reaction proved that he didn’t care what the critics thought. He made this film for fans to watch and appreciate. Being in a room full of those fans valuing the true meaning behind the film was simply incredible and from seeing Zack’s reaction it was definitely special for him as well. I never got to see Batman v Superman in theaters and seeing it 3 years after its release in an auditorium with Zack Snyder and the crew of the movie was better than any movie I got to see in a regular theater. Looking back on it, a day later, I think that the reaction of the audience was what made it even more exciting. Superman’s first scene in the film, the first interaction between Batman and Superman, the fight between Batman and Superman, Wonder Woman’s first appearance and then the beautiful ending activated such reactions of excitement from the crowd that it was better than seeing any movie in any place time or setting.
The Q&A session, although was short but it provided the fans with understanding of Zack’s original vision for the DCEU and gave us a better insight on what was going through his mind as he worked on these cinematic masterpieces. Besides what he had in mind for the future of the DCEU, we got to know more about his process of thinking as he films. The appreciation he was getting from the crew of the film revealed his brilliance as a dedicated filmmaker to the audience.
Personally, as much as I loved all of these things that I mentioned, they weren’t the highlight of my day. As I waited in the queue that went on for multiple hallways, I didn’t know how I could talk to Zack or even if he would have enough time to listen to what I wanted to tell him. As I got closer to getting my turn, I grew more and more nervous but as soon as I was in front of him every ounce of anxiousness or nervousness vanished. I knew that if I stayed nervous I wouldn’t get a chance to tell him what I want to tell him in the limited time he had. I told him about the impact his films, especially Man of Steel, had on my life at a time when I was going through the toughest challenges I have ever had to face and that it brought me hope. I’ll probably never forget his expressions because you wouldn’t think a widely known filmmaker would actually pay attention to each and every thing every one is saying but Zack Snyder isn’t one of those ordinary filmmakers. He talks to you as if he knows you and even if he doesn’t let you know of the importance of your presence, he shows it. I got a picture with him and moved on to meet Deborah Snyder and just like Zack, she’s one of the nicest people to meet. She has this positive aura around her which shows why people admire her the way they do. Damon Caro was next and I got to ask him about which Zack Snyder film was his favorite, to which he responded “300 and Batman v Superman”. I got a moment to talk to both Larry Fong and Richard Cetrone, which was incredible as well.
As I got done though, I realized that only a few people were left in the queue and that this was probably the only time I was going to meet Zack Snyder. I was pointed to the exit but I decided to stand on the side until Zack got done seeing everyone. When he was done, I walked up to him and asked him about the picture of Clark and Lois that’s sitting on the end table in Lois’ living room and if he has it. He said that he didn’t have it right at the moment but he definitely had it somewhere because he took it. I asked him if he could post it on Vero and he said that he would. I then asked him for a hug and walked away afterwards; happy with the amount of interaction I had gotten with him. However, as I asked for the exit and proceeded to walk up the stairs so I could leave, Zack was right next to me. As I reached the second floor, I talked to him again and as he was leaving, he told me that he would definitely post the photo I had asked him to post. He left, going in the wrong direction, came back and told me how he was going the wrong way because of how tired he was. On the way towards the exit, I realized that I had gotten the opportunity to talk to Zack three times and I couldn’t believe my luck.
Zack Snyder’s Director’s Cut Event was truly a special occasion not just for the fans but for him as well. It was probably one of the best moments of my life but that wasn’t just about me as an individual. It was about Zack. After everything he has gone through in the past three years; the critical response to his films, studio conflicts, and the inability to project his true vision for his fans, he deserved a weekend to have people come across the country to celebrate his work and celebrate him as a filmmaker. Zack Snyder is a visionary with dedication that’s unheard of in the film industry and more than anything, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the event knowing that him and his work were being admired and that he was happy.