First Look at David Fincher’s “Mank”

1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane for Orson Welles.

Click to enjoy the images in glorious 5K, full quality, and full screen view:

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6 thoughts on “First Look at David Fincher’s “Mank””

    1. I was thinking exactly the same. It’s a black halation festival. And it shows how sneakily Fincher has been using his commercial work from the last years to experiment and prepare for Mank.

      Ian Vertovec’s notes on Downtown are crystal clear:

      2013. Calvin Klein – Downtown: https://thefincheranalyst.com/commercials/2013-calvin-klein-downtown/
      2014. Gap – Dress Normal (series): https://thefincheranalyst.com/commercials/2014-gap-dress-normal-series/
      2013. Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie (ft. JAY Z): https://thefincheranalyst.com/music-videos/2013-justin-timberlake-suit-tie-ft-jay-z/

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    1. In front of the camera, they are obviously using fog to add diffusion and β€œatmosphere” (the William Randolph Hearts still). They might be using some filters too. But with the monochrome cameras, you get clean, super crisp, high contrast, and high latitude images that must be digitally β€œdegraded” to get different vintage effects like the types of halos they are explicitly aiming for: from a subtle old east german film stock look to a maybe more pronounced old kinescope halation effect (Vertovec’s notes).

      The effect is applied using luma keys, as Eric Weidt did for the β€œGlo” (or humid atmosphere, basically a softer halo around the highlights) effect in Mindhunter S02: https://thefincheranalyst.com/2019/11/21/filmlight-colour-on-stage-eric-weidt/

      The same goes for other film and lens artifacts (check the spherical lens flares in the first still with Seyfried and Oldman). I guess Fincher likes his artifacts where necessary, but 100% digitally created for full control and adjustability. He did transfer to film and re-scan β€œCalvin Klein – Downtown” for a β€œnatural film grain” look, but went fully digital with the β€œmulti-layered” film grain effects for Mindhunter.

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