‘Mank’ Cinematographer Talks Bringing Black and White Film to the 21st Century

Casey Mink
January 21, 2021
Backstage

Mank,” David Fincher’s new Hollywood film about old Hollywood, pays homage to its source material by shooting in black and white. But if you ask its cinematographer, Erik Messerschmidt, the Netflix feature is anything but a throwback. 

How was it that you came to work on “Mank”? 

I have worked with David Fincher for several years. We had done the television show “Mindhunter” together. We had developed a really good working relationship and a friendship. I met him on the film “Gone Girl”; I was the gaffer on “Gone Girl,” and I initially met David there. After we did “Mindhunter” together, we had a really good shorthand, and I made it my business to really align myself and try to figure out what it was that David wanted, and try to support him as best as I could. He and I see the world, I think, in a very similar way, at least visually. So it was very easy to be in sync in terms of which decisions are needed. We’re very rarely in opposition, and when we are, it’s a constructive one. I was so thrilled to be invited; it was like a dream.

Read the full interview

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