Game of Thrones and Justice League cinematographer, Fabian Wagner, joins ComicBook Debate to discuss his career, favorite moments to shoot from Game of Thrones and The Snyder Cut of Justice League.
The YouTube link above will lead you to the total conversation. We discuss Fabian’s favorite cameras and styles. Film vs Digital techniques. On Justice League; his reaction the theatrical cut, his thoughts on the Release The Snyder Cut campaign, how it was like on set with Zack Snyder and the actors, shooting villains like Darkseid, Steppenwolf, Lex Luthor and Deathstroke, Black Suit Superman, Justice League II and much more. On Game of Thrones, his reaction to the criticism of Season 8, the Remake Game of Thrones petitions, what the series meant for his career and much more. Below will only be a few quotes from the 45-minute interview.
This Podcast is also available on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify and Google Play Music.
Justice League Cinematographer on The Snyder Cut
How’s it like working with Zack Snyder on set?
Fabian Wagner: He’s got to be one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He’s obviously incredibly intelligent and amazing. I mean he knows everything about the DC universe. I mean he’s so clever. He’s obviously a huge fan, but he just knows everything. The detail that he puts into in all those incredible.
Have you seen the theatrical cut of Justice League?
Fabian Wagner: I have fortunately…I was watching it and I think I crying all the through..it looked very different. It was very sad.
What was your perspective to the director change & start of reshoots?
Fabian Wagner: Obviously as always in a film, you know, that there’s going to be reshoots and you know, there’s going to be test screenings and they’re going to change a few things. And then obviously the terrible thing happened about Zack’s family tragedy, which was obviously totally understandable. I mean he had much bigger things, horrible things going on. And by the time that they were re-shooting or planning reshoots, I was actually not available anyhow cause I had started prep on another movie.
When did you realize how much had been changed?
I didn’t know any of that until I actually saw it. So the last thing I knew, and the last thing I had seen was in 2016 when we were shooting and I went into color grading and the saw Zack Snyder. We were coloring grading the first couple of trailers, which you guys all saw. Trailers one, two and three are the ones that I had cut and they were the ones that Zack and I had colored and they were the ones that had all the material in it that we had shot and everything after that was obviously not. The trailers and the actual film that release actually had a stark difference.
Were you ever called for reshoots?
Fabian Wagner: I wasn’t available for the reshoots anyhow when it happened and I didn’t speak to them much because as soon as they realized that I wasn’t available, that was it. You know, so I didn’t, I didn’t have a clue how much they were going to reshoots, how they were going to reshoot it step, that they would take a different direction and all of that.
Was Superman ever wearing the Black Suit?
Fabian Wagner: I don’t remember. But if there was, I’m not sure whether I would be allowed to say that.
Rephrasing the Question, was there a physical Black Suit ever made for the Deleted Scene of Clark on the Kryptonian Ship?
There was a black suit there, so I saw the costume for the Black Suit. Yes. Definitely.
On the Length of the Snyder Cut”: 214 vs 165 Minutes
Fabian Wagner: I can, I can tell you one thing that Zack…Zack would make the movie as long as it needs to be. I mean after having worked with him for more than eight months and knowing him a little bit, knowing his films, he would make the movie exactly the length it should be, that it needs to be. Um, so I think his movie would have, would have been quite long.
Which Justice League actor was most fun to shoot?
Fabian Wagner: Probably Jason, you know, Jason Momoa. We got on really well and we we always have a laugh on set. He’s always likes to keep things light and have a laugh and obviously that’s also the way his character was, you know, those days definitely were defintely fun. But like I said, you they were all such a different bunch of guys and they were all amazing. An amazing experience for me, so I enjoyed it.
Were you on board for Justice League II?
Fabian Wagner: I’d never worked with him before JL. He has his usual cinematographer (Larry Fong) and they’ve got a super strong relationship. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to work for Zack, and if I can ever work with Zack again, then that would be absolutely amazing and that I would jump at the chance. He mentioned it to me back then and he told me about it. He never said to me like, Oh yeah, you definitely gonna do it, you know. I’m sure, hopefully that would’ve been a chance of me doing it, had it happen. But those conversations back were never that fun advanced obviously.
These quotes only represent a few minutes of a 30-minute discussion on Justice League & The Snyder Cut. To hear more, check the entire podcast on YouTube.
Game of Thrones Cinematographer on the Final Season
On criticism of “The Longest Night”
Fabian Wagner: Obviously you know what I said to the media, which unfortunately got taken completely out of context. I mean first of all, we didn’t shoot it too dark, you know, we shot it the way it was wasn’t to be. Everything was there to see. I mean, I’ve watched it on numerous devices now multiple times and since lot of that stuff happened I could always see exactly what I needed to see. The biggest problem was probably compression. You can see the blu-ray stuff, you will realize that it’s not that dark.
On Fan Backlash- Season 8 of Game of Thrones
Fabian Wagner: You know, I had a lot of nasty emails and comments. It was pretty eye opening.
On interest in working on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series
Fabian: Sure. I mean, you know, yeah. I’ve done a lot of that stuff now, so it’s not necessarily something that I would do straight away maybe. But it depends on on what comes up next. I’m looking forward to be reading some more scripts and hopefully there’s one that I really connect to and then that will. But I’m not, you know, I’m not particularly looking for anything that’s like Game of Thrones or like Justice League.
To hear more about Fabian on Game of Thrones and specifics about episodes he has done, check out the entire podcast on YouTube.