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3/8 - FSR- Who Watches the Journey of the Black Freighter?

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Who Watches the Journey of the Black Freighter?

Posted by Robert Fure (robert@filmschoolrejects.com)

Posted: 07 Mar 2009 12:49 PM PST

To those intimately familiar with the Watchmen graphic novel, the significance of the Tales of the Black Freighter

are up front and obvious. This comic within a comic tells the tale of a

man lost at sea who must, at all costs, return home ahead of the

murderous Black Freighter to warn the port city where his wife awaits

him, a city he believes to be next on the list of cities ravaged by the

dreaded pirates. Without spoiling newcomers to the story, or those who

mistakenly decided to skip over these pages, believing them extraneous,

the tale within the comic mirrors one of the major characters of Watchmen, providing increased insight into how Alan Moore viewed the actions of his creation.

For Snyder, finding a way to first film Tales of the Black Freighter and then work it into the story has always been a task on his checklist of creating the ultimate Watchmen film. Initially, the 300

helmer flirted with creating a live-action addendum for the scenes,

though a $20 million price tag wasn’t an easy sell to Warner Bros. In

fact, it was an impossible sell, so the team turned to animation. To

ensure a faithful adaptation that fit within his vision, Snyder made

sure to stay involved with the production of The Black Freighter,

which meant steering the project away from 3D animation. Snyder felt

that approach wouldn’t have have fit, it wouldn’t have made sense; the

film takes place decades ago, before the advent of computer technology.

To capture the gaudy horror of it, cell animation was outsourced to

Korea, where traditional animation is still commonly created.

Also on the DVD/Blu-ray release of Tales of the Black Freighter, and presumably special edition Watchmen releases later in the year, is the documentary style program Under the Hood, based

on the tell-all autobiography of Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl.

This featurette is presented like a 60-minutes style newscast and came

about when Eric Matthies (director, producer of the short) had access

to the cast while filming. Much of the project relied on the

improvisation of the cast, which includes Carla Gugino as Sally

Jupiter, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian, Stephen McHattie as

Hollis Mason, and Matt Frewer as Moloch the Mystic. Snyder chalked up

their improv abilities to “character research [paying] off.”

Tales of the Black Freighter is available on DVD and Blu-ray on March 24th

and will include a story-within-a story featurette, Watchmen Motion

Comic: Chapter 1, and a first look at the Green Lantern animated DVD.

The Black Freighter animation will also be inserted back into the film on a special edition release in the last quarter of 2009 and Under the Hood will presumably be included as a special feature.

Watchmen comes to theaters on March 6, 2009.

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Thanks for the article. I'm looking forward to seeing the Black Freighter, both on its own dvd and also interwoven into the Watchmen movie.

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The title of this article is "Who Watches the Journey of the Black Freighter?" I can tell you, most anyone who is interested in any project in which Gerry is involved. In a word, US!!


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