Curiosity Inc. wrote:
Remember his appearance at Comic-Con? He talked about that flashback cliche of zooming in on a character's eyes and using that as a transition into a flashback. He pretty much stated point-blank that he wouldn't be doing that.
Semi-related to this thread, and semi-not:
As if by fate, I plopped in my Highlander
DVD earlier today since I've been uber lazy/sick since getting back from Vegas. Anyhoo, Highlander
benefits from having very good flashback transitions. Director Mulcahy was pretty clever in coming up with ways to venture across different time-spans without it seeming too forced or jarring to the viewer's senses.
Here's a few:
Connor watches pro wrestlers going at it in the ring and the images are intercut with images of a Scottish clan battle with men thrashing each other in a similar vein.
In the parking garage, the camera smoothly pans up into the ceiling and over the cars and comes out into what you think would be the next level of cars, but the camera is now actually overlooking a Scottish Village, all at the same speed of movement.
Connor reflects back towards his aquarium, the camera zooms in on the water, and then pans up and clears the top to now be looking from the top of the water at a Scottish moor.
Connor leans back against a rock in 1518 Scotland, and his face fades into the face of the Mona Lisa depicted on the side of building in which Connor walks past.
Connor speaks with Rachel and a falling bomb is heard momentarily before the scene's shot literally explodes into pieces with the bomb blast as the scene cuts to World War II Germany. This is the most jarring flashback transition in the film, but it's effective.
And finally the opposite of the aforementioned cliche. We see an overhead shot of Connor's mortally wounded body with darkness surrounding it. The camera pulls back, back, back, until only Connor's body is a tiny speck in a screen of black. The camera continues to pull back out of Connor's pupil/eye to reveal him driving.
Now there are some instances in Watchmen
where flashback and flashforward panels are drawn with similar faces/imagery between time periods to smooth the transition, but it is not a universal device by any means. For a good chunk, Snyder will have to rely on his own devices. He could do a lot worse than the type of style employed in my favorite head-chopping film.