FilmLight, Colour Online: Film Awards Season Webinar

Also available on YouTube

Daphné Polski, Andy Minuth
March 29, 2021
FilmLightColour Online

FilmLight hosts a discussion with the talents who have contributed to the stories that are entertaining us the most. Four prestigious colourists from Los Angeles, London and Cape Town present their outstanding work and share their artistic journey.

Discover amazing projects, including provocative comedy thriller ‘Promising Young Woman’, the Netflix original documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher’, multi-nominated biographical drama ‘Mank’ from David Fincher and the superb coming of age drama ‘Rocks’.

Guest colourists: Kyle Stroebel (Refinery); Katie Jordan (Light Iron); Jateen Patel (Molinare); and Eric Weidt.

Eric Weidt spent years in Paris working with fashion photographers transitioning from traditional film to digital capture workflows. He created custom film-emulation ICC profiles, and mastered color work and compositing techniques for print stills and fashion films.

Clients included Mario TestinoDavid SimsPatrick DemarchelierMert Alas and Markus PiggotSteven MeiselHedi SlimaneKarl Lagerfeld. His motion picture work for David Fincher includes responsibilies as VFX artist (Gone Girl), and Digital Intermediate Colorist (Videosyncracy and Mindhunter).

He holds a BA in Theater Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz and is both an American and French citizen.

Workflow Breakdown of Every 2021 Oscars Best Picture Nominee

Lisa McNamara
April 26, 2021
Frame.io Insider

It’s probably fair to say that the 2021 Academy Awards were unlike any others. How do we count all the ways?

A global pandemic that shuttered productions and theaters. Distribution of first-run films over streaming services or with premium per-view rental prices. A raft of indie-style films made on shoestring budgets. Big-budget blockbusters pushing their release dates to 2021 and beyond, taking them out of the race. A ceremony broadcast that was not just delayed by two months, but was entirely reconceived and relocated from the Dolby Theatre to Los Angeles’s Union Station, with acceptance speeches uninterrupted by orchestras and time limits.

It’s also the first year that Frame.io made a big splash at the Oscars, used on three of the nominated films (including Best Film Editing and Best Sound winner Sound of Metal), as well as the broadcast show itself. And we’re even doing our own coverage a little differently, splitting the Best Picture nominees and Best Film Editing nominees into two separate articles to give you a deeper dive into the processes, both technical and creative.

And yet, there are the ways in which the spirit of the Oscars remains very much the same. First-timers and foreign films challenging established directors with an acclaimed body of work. The novelty of having a woman (never mind two) nominated for Best Picture—with Chloé Zhao as only the second woman to claim the win. The snubs of Black directors like Spike Lee, Regina King, and perhaps most pointedly, Shaka King, whose Judas and the Black Messiah was nominated for Best Picture.

But all of that aside, the Oscars are still a much-anticipated yearly tradition for those of us who love cinema.

We’re excited to present our fourth-annual Oscars Workflow Roundup! We’ll dig into the workflows of the eight films nominated for Best Picture and consider how this strange and unprecedented year has played out—and what it might mean for the future of how movies are both made and consumed.

Read the full article

Archive Fighter

J.M. Tyree
March 26, 2012
Film Quarterly, Spring 2012, Vol. 65, No. 3

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Fincher’s latest antiblockbuster, is a baroque rethink of the serial-killer subgenre; a subtly retuned adaptation of the first novel in Stieg Larsson’s penny-dreadful Millennium trilogy; a technical achievement of narrative compression and pacing in a mainstream thriller; and the most recent proof of the director’s trademark habit of unleashing bad vibes in the multiplex. It’s a sick kind of holiday movie. The story is bookended by two Christmases—a year its two protagonists pass among murderers, sexual predators, and a wealthy family with a history of sadistic brutality (and Nazi sympathies), all stirred up by a cold case involving the disappearance of a sixteen-year-old girl from a private island. With good reason, Fincher called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo “the feel-bad movie of the season.” The director renders its source material in the coolly droll yet fundamentally shocking and disturbing style of his previous films about psychos, Seven (1995), Fight Club (1999), and Zodiac (2007). In the manner of Tod Browning’s subversive 1931 take on Dracula, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo frightens the viewer while injecting grimly fiendish jokes into an earnest literary artifact with an intractably complicated storyline.

Read the full article

‘Mank’ Wins Oscar for Best Cinematography

MANK Accepts the Oscar for Cinematography

Director of Photography Erik Messerschmidt received the statuette at the Academy Awards for his work on Mank.

He had already won the American Society of Cinematographers’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Feature Film, and the Satellite Award.

The other nominees were Joshua James Richards (Nomadland), Dariusz Wolski (News of the World), Sean Bobbitt (Judas and the Black Messiah), and Phedon Papamichael (The Trial of the Chicago 7).

Mank was nominated in 10 categories: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Production Design, Cinematography, Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound and Original Score. Production Designer Donald Graham Burt and Set Decorator Jan Pascale also won in the category of Best Production Design.

Erik’s acceptance speech:

“Wow! I wish I could cut this into five pieces because it’s such an honor to be nominated amongst all of you. It’s an incredible honor. David, thank you for creating an environment where we could do our best work. I got to go home and feel like I gave it my all, every night (David Fincher: ‘You did’). Ceán [Chaffin], thank you for the endless support. Eric Roth, thank you for the guidance. Amanda, Gary, what a privilege and a joy to watch you work. The entire cast, thank you for hitting your marks. It mattered! This really belongs to an extraordinary crew who I could not do anything without: Brian, Will, Alex, Dave, Gary, Dwayne, Danny, Jerry, and all of your team. You make my job easy. Thank you. And thank you to my beautiful wife, Naiara, who tolerates this crazy business and helped me get through this movie. So thank you so much. Thank you.”

MANK’s Thank You Cam Speech: Production Design

Erik Messerschmidt Backstage Interview

Erik Messerschmidt ‘Oscars: After Dark’ Winner Interview

‘Mank’ Wins Oscar for Best Production Design

MANK Accepts the Oscar for Production Design

Production Designer Donald Graham Burt and Set Decorator Jan Pascale received the statuette at the Academy Awards for their work on Mank.

They had already won the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design, Best Picture and Best Achievement in Decor/Design of a Period Feature Film at the inaugural Set Decorators Society of America Awards, a BAFTA Award and a Critics’ Choice Award.

The other nominees were Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Production Designer Mark Ricker, Set Decorators Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton), The Father (Production Designer Peter Francis, Set Decorator Cathy Featherstone), News of the World (Production Designer David Crank, Set Decorator Elizabeth Keenan), and Tenet (Production Designer Nathan Crowley, Set Decorator Kathy Lucas).

Mank was nominated in 10 categories: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Production Design, Cinematography, Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound and Original Score. Director of Photography Erik Messerschmidt also won in the category of Best Cinematography.

Pascale had been previously nominated in 2006, for her work on George Clooney‘s Good Night, and Good Luck (another black & white film) but this was Burt’s second Oscar, after his triumph in 2008 with David Fincher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, so he let Pascale have the full time for her acceptance speech:

“It’s a long way down here! First of all, thank you to David Fincher, Ceán Chaffin, and Don Burt, for trusting me with this amazing project. It was such an honor to work with such an amazing group of people. Thank you to my crew, who worked their tails off on this just to make it right. When I was young, I never realized that this was a career that was even a possibility. There were so many people who helped me along the way, and guided me, and I’m so grateful to all of them, and especially to my wife, Louise, who inspires me every day. Thank you so much.”

Don Burt could give his speech in the backstage:

MANK’s Thank You Cam Speech: Production Design

The Art of Production Design: A Panel Discussion with the Oscar Nominees

Thomas Walsh, Jan Pascale
April 24, 2021
Variety / American Cinematheque

Join us for a panel discussion with this year’s Academy Award-nominated production designers and set decorators. Nominated films are: MANK (production design: Donald Graham Burt; set decoration: Jan Pascale), MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (production design: Mark Ricker; set decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton), NEWS OF THE WORLD (production design: David Crank; set decoration: Elizabeth Keenan), TENET (production design: Nathan Crowley; set decoration: Kathy Lucas) and THE FATHER (production design: Peter Francis; set decoration: Cathy Featherstone). Moderated by Thomas A. Walsh and Jan Pascale Presented by the American Cinematheque and the Art Directors Guild and Set Decorators Society of America. Sponsored by Variety.

How ‘Mank’s’ Production Designer Recreated Old Hollywood

Bianca Rae, Los Angeles
April 21, 2021
Spectrum News 1

Since his early life, production designer Donald Graham Burt never really had his eyes on Hollywood.

Burt grew up in Kansas and became a janitor right after college, but after living in Los Angeles for 40 years, he now has the chance at winning his second Academy Award.

“There are so many places in LA that are undiscovered, and sometimes they’re in the periphery and you don’t even notice them because you’re looking at the other things,” he said.

LA, however, does see Burt. In all his glory, like the Huntington Library Art Museum and Botanical Gardens — the gem that helped him embark on a nearly impossible journey to recreate old Hollywood.

Read the full article and watch the featurette

How ‘Mank’ Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt Illuminated a Monochrome Palette

We pull back the curtain on David Fincher’s nod to Citizen Kane.

Daron James
April 23, 2021
No Film School

Heading into Oscar weekend, Mank cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, a first-time nominee and ASC winner, is already deep into his next project. The Emerson College grad earned his chops as a best boy and gaffer before moving into cinematography full-time.

He spoke with No Film School via phone about working on one of this year’s biggest films.

It was the series Mindhunter where Messerschmidt teamed with director David Fincher, pushing the boundaries of digital workflows. With Mank, audiences are taken back in time to the 1930s as the story follows how Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) finishes the screenplay for Orson Welles in a gripping biographical drama.

Read the full profile

FIDM Online Lecture Series: Setting the Scene, Inside the World of Mank

Tom Henkenius
April 19, 2021
FIDM Museum / Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Join us for a live Q&A with Production Designer Donald Graham Burt and Set Decorator Jan Pascale about their Academy Award nomination for Best Production Design on the hit Netflix film Mank, nominated for 10 Academy Awards this year including Best Picture, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Oldman), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Amanda Seyfried), and Best Costume Design (FIDM Grad Trish Summerville).

About Your Moderator, Tom Henkenius: Tom is an Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist, director of FIDM’s Bachelor of Arts degree in digital marketing and principal partner at Thunder Communications, a content production company. Tom spent 10 years as a television news journalist after graduating from USC Annenberg. Tom holds a Master’s of Science from USC’s Iovine and Young Academy in Integrated Design, Business and Technology.

SBIFF 2021: Outstanding Directors of the Year Award Panel

Scott Feinberg
April 3, 2021
Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF)

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival Outstanding Directors of the Year Award is given to directors not afraid to push the envelope in the cinematic world, with an expertise that is both gracious and bold.

Moderated by The Hollywood Reporter Awards Columnist Scott Feinberg, the recipients are:

Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
David Fincher (Mank)
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari)
Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round)

Watch the full panel in the following playlist: