For more than a year, Zack Snyder has been talking, hinting, intimating, suggesting and previewing material from his forthcoming film, 'Sucker Punch.' From the early images and footage shown to the public, it looks like the most epic pastiche imaginable of cinematic and pop culture influences, featuring mecha straight out of Japanese animation, monsters born from the Middle Earth of 'The Lord of the Rings,' military battles inspired by 'Saving Private Ryan' -- the list goes on and on. But according to the cast and crew, including Snyder himself, the film was truly a series of firsts from start to finish.

Cinematical visited the set of the film in December 2009, where Snyder was preparing a sequence in which his leading ladies, played by Emily Browning, Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish and Vanessa Hudgens, leap from a helicopter ... on a Vancouver soundstage, of course. The 'copter was stationary, and the actresses were jumping only a few feet onto cushioned mats. After having tackled 'Watchmen' and '300,' Snyder is no stranger to big action, but said that this film was a markedly different challenge nonetheless. "I think that it's a big deal," Snyder said in between takes. "I love adapting things and I love making those pictures real, but I felt like I was ready to not have anyone to [judge] whether the canon was correctly represented -- other than myself."