‘Mank’ DP Erik Messerschmidt on How He Added Luster to B&W Images for David Fincher’s Tale of Hollywood’s Golden Age

Jazz Tangcay
November 19, 2020
Variety

Mank” cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt and director David Fincher have a shorthand way of communicating: They worked together on Netflix’s “Mindhunter,” and Messerschmidt served as gaffer on 2014’s “Gone Girl.”

Messerschmidt makes his feature film debut as director of photography on “Mank,” the story of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s stay on a secluded ranch, where he works on the masterpiece that will eventually be “Citizen Kane.” Continuous shots and chiaroscuro lighting contribute to the film’s noir vibe.

Fincher and Messerschmidt always intended the movie to be in black and white, but also tested shooting on digital in color converted to monochrome before settling on black and white directly to achieve the luscious framing and silvery monochromatic effect that recalls Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Messerschmidt breaks down two key scenes from the movie and how lighting and VFX played key parts

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Will Tizard
November 17, 2020
Variety

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Jazz Tangcay
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Variety

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