Skip to main content

Zack Snyder says Army of the Dead is "more in focus" than he expected

Zack Sndyer filming Army of the Dead
(Image credit: Netflix)

Army of the Dead is a looker. It may be blurry in places, but there’s no denying that each scene is imbued with a dreamlike quality that makes it stand out from other blockbusters.

But there’s also no denying that Zack Snyder’s unique method of filming with rare decades-old equipment was a risk – and the director has admitted the movie is "way more in focus" than he was expecting.

In the Netflix documentary short Creating an Army of the Dead, the director gives some insight into his filming process. "We shot the entire movie without putting a stop on any of the lenses," Snyder explained.

In layman’s terms, a ‘stop’ is a piece of a equipment designed to help limit how much light – natural or otherwise – is being shown through a camera lens. It can also create a shallower depth of field if you’re not using one, hence the blurry effect that permeates the entire movie. That, when coupled with the Canon dream lenses that Snyder bought off eBay, means there is an out-of-focus, but no less deliberate, look to the film.

The finished product may be imperfect to some, but Snyder was pleasantly surprised. "The movie’s way more in focus than I thought it’d be," he said.

Even those in front of the camera were in favor of the stylistic shift. Dave Bautista, who plays Scott Ward in Army of the Dead, said, "I saw some of the camera tests, and I was automatically just visually captivated."

Snyder may have been taking a serious chance with more archaic methods of filming Army of the Dead, but he’s clearly happy with the outcome.

For more from Army of the Dead, check out our breakdown of the Army of the Dead ending and what we know so far about a possible Army of the Dead sequel.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.