Interview with the Man that Killed Superman

There are many great fan-made trailers across the internet, but the one that really stood out and caught my attention was the vivid depiction of the fall of one of the greatest superheros of all time. Using various clips from different movies, Youtube user Kashchei2003 has been able to create the perfect depiction of Superman’s epic finale battle with Doomsday.

Kashchel2003: First, let me say thanks to you and everyone for taking interest in the fan vid! It’s really cool to see the reception it’s been getting, in spite of it being made by an amateur. I’m just a regular guy, currently living here in Southern California with my new wife. We own a hearing aid business in LA and love to watch and critique movies like everyone else!

Nerd Reactor: Where did the idea for doing the short come from? are you a big fan of superman?

Yes, I’ve always been a Superman fan. I’m actually more of a Batman fanboy, but who didn’t want to fly like Superman since they were kids? The idea for doing this short came about from a number of things. At the time that I thought of doing it in the summer of 2009, I was just finishing up a Batman 3 fan edit. In the final moments of that Batman video, I made two clips where the two villains, Black Mask and Hush, were in the same scene together. It was the first time I had done anything like it, and that 1 second of joint screen time really got me pumped up to do something bigger and better. Around that same time I was reading forums about how disappointing Superman Returns was and how Routh sucked. I disagreed with those critics and kept typing these long posts about how things could play out in the Superman universe if written well. In my opinion Routh’s strengths, and for that matter Superman’s strengths weren’t really capitalized on in SR. Yes he did throw a mountain out of the galaxy, LOL,  but I wasn’t on the edge of my seat when that happened. Then one day I got tired of typing and decided to make a video to express my opinion, and that’s when I started to draft a trailer in Windows Movie Maker.

Watching the video, I couldn’t help but notice some inspiration from the Superman/Doomsday animated film. What was your impression of the film and how it translated from the comic?

What’s funny is that while I had seen the Superman Doomsday animated movie back in 2007, it was not a source of inspiration for my video in the beginning! The movie was awesome, and I loved the epic battle between the two. I didn’t have any qualms about the story being changed up a bit in translation from the comic, that has to happen. I thought it perfectly portrayed Superman as the hero that would put it all on the line.  Also a perfect addition to anyone’s collection. It was only after I had completed the draft that I went back to the animated movie to try and get ideas for Doomsday’s design. That’s when I realized one or two of the scenes I edited were somewhat similar to the animated version, and I thought to myself, “cool” LOL.  In making the vid though, I was actually more inspired by other fan trailers on youtube that I thought were great. “Superman Reborn” & “Thundercats” by WormyT and “Justice League of America” by Knightfall are two examples of trailers that opened my eyes to the possibilities of creating something new from existing material.

You edited together a lot of movies in this short, just how long did it take to make it?

The entire process from concept, to upload on youtube, took a little over a year. Way before any announcements of Nolan or Snyder being attached to the reboot. I was intent on giving my opinion on what the sequel should be. I would spend an hour or two a night on it in my spare time. At first I only took a few clips and made some flashy cuts over 2 minutes, but I didn’t feel anything when I watched it, so I started to try and flesh out a cohesive flow. I completed the draft in Windows Movie Maker way back in August 2009. None of the clips were manipulated, they were just trimmed and sequenced with music in a version similar to what’s seen in the final version. At the time I didn’t have After Effects, so I started doing manipulations in Photoshop. I’m no artist, so the first Doomsday edits looked really bad. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how I was going to design his bones, costume, hair and head without it looking like a 3year old did it. It didn’t take but a week for me to close the file and decide that I couldn’t do it. Youtube viewers can be very unforgiving if you post garbage and I didn’t want to do that, LOL.  I actually had the movie maker file sitting on my desktop for a few months before I touched it again. I purchased a Macbook Pro on craigslist that had After Effects pre installed, and I actually used it to create the slideshow for my wedding back in January 2010. After getting comfortable with the program, I decided to try and tackle the project again, but the edits were still highly unacceptable and then it happened. I was browsing youtube one day, and saw the “Green Lantern” trailer by jaronpitts; it absolutely blew my mind. Just like those other trailers I mentioned earlier, I had seen something that I never saw before. That’s when I realized that sitting on my desktop was something that Youtube had never seen before, but needs to. So I hunkered down and got to work on the Doomsday design. I opened up After Effects, created a comp titled “DD Intro” and spent over a month creating that 3 second shot used to introduce Doomsday. I figured if the very first shot looks good, people would continue to watch. Once I created the initial design, things started to flow and there was no turning back.

The Death of Superman is a major iconic story arc, is something you would like to see on the big screen? maybe in the upcoming reboot? lol It will definitely bring something new to the genre, a death of a superhero.

Yes, to see this story arc on the big screen is something I’d love to see happen one day. I read the comic as a kid, and loved the animated version. However, now that a reboot is confirmed I highly doubt Doomsday is a candidate for the next villain. You can’t kill off the hero in a reboot, LOL.  No slant against the writers, but the story in SR was lacking and Superman didn’t have anything to sink his teeth into. A big reason I made the vid was to show that Superman is more than what was depicted in SR. While watching, I couldn’t help but to feel like an opportunity was missed for the franchise to be updated for the new generation. As a fan, I was happy to see him on screen again for the first time since the craptacular Superman 4. But what we got was another Lex Luthor/kryptonite central story and Superman moping around with baby mama drama lurking around the corner. WTF? We essentially got Superman 2.5. I’m fully confident that at some point, a great story can be written that could stand on it’s own outside of the character. Once that happens, introduce a super villain that Superman can actually throw a punch at and everybody will be happy!

One of the biggest “wow” factors of your short, besides the editing and the after effects, was the inclusion of batman in the film’s story. Every year at comic-con’s Smallville panel, a man dressed up as Batman ask that same question every year,”When am I gonna be in the show?” lol. Do you think we’ll ever see a World’s Finest feature film?

I hope so in my lifetime! I nearly pissed my pants when I saw the Superman/Batman logo in I Am Legend, and cried later on when I read posts that it meant nothing. LOL That is one movie that DC and WB have to make if they really care about the characters and the fans! Not to be too critical, but I feel like they’re really dropping the ball on this one. Supes and Bats have to be the two most iconic figures in superhero history, yet they’re not be capitalized on?! Marvel stepped up their game over the last few years and DC has some catching up to do. Iron Man hinted at Incredible Hulk, Hulk hinted at The Avengers, Iron Man 2 hinted at Thor and I bet Thor will tease with Captain America. I understand there are things happening behind the scenes that may be preventing it, but if there’s an exec out there within earshot, a World’s Finest movie would demolish the box office and give us what we’ve been hoping for!

There have been a lot of news lately on the upcoming Superman: Man of Steel and a lot of rumors of who could possibly play Clark Kent. Zachary Levi, Joe Manganiello and my personal favorite, Jon Hamm from Mad Men. Who do you think would be the perfect candidate for the new Superman?

I’m actually offended that you didn’t include Routh in that list, LOL.  It’s ok though, I think it’s 99% chance that he will not be recast, but he would’ve been my pick to continue the franchise if given the opportunity. Like I said before, I think the story of SR was lacking, and Routh really didn’t have anything to sink his teeth into. His performance was really underrated and it became increasingly apparent to me during editing the short film. He was directed by Singer to be the Superman that we saw in SR, but if that direction was tweaked and coupled with a meaty script and dialogue, Routh is the perfect fit. For instance in my short when Doomsday is first seen, the immediate shot is a closeup of Superman’s reaction and I saw a lot of emotion just in that one clip. To me, the look on his face is one worry and an almost “wtf” kind of shock, and it resonates; that’s why I slowed down the clip to give it more power. Then in the face of danger, the hero floats down to meet Doomsday and gives him a determined, resolute glare right before Doomsday attacks. In SR that stare was the scene when Lex punches him in the chest. Comparing those two scenes I felt like the edited version felt more substantial, like he was a more confident and strong Superman. To me the performance fits because of the circumstances, the villain and the events that unfold in the 5 minutes. Routh was great!

But to be fair and answer your question, if they plan to recast it really depends on the story. John Hamm reminds me of Alex Ross’ Superman.  I like him if they plan to go with a more mature Superman. But no matter what, Superman has to be a “man”, not a boy.

Zack Snyder was recently added to direct the project. What do you hope will come of the new reboot?

I like Zack Snyder’s style, I’m just hoping he doesn’t slow-mo the entire film. LOL Filming a character that is faster than a speeding bullet, I know that some slow-mo is inherent, but I’m hoping that it doesn’t get the same treatment as 300 or Watchmen in that regard. Like anyone else, I’d just like the reboot to be enjoyable! Doesn’t have to be dark and gritty, but keep it engaging, interesting and introduce a villain Superman can truly unleash his power on! Let’s hope for the best!

[youtube width=”600″ height=”422″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX6Fa_bVCro[/youtube]

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Mike Villarreal
Mike Villarreal 1360 posts

Mike once killed a man with a plastic butter knife. True story. #ViolentGentlemen

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