February 8, 2021
Netflix’s Mank marks editor Kirk Baxter’s fifth cinematic collaboration with director David Fincher. It’s a collaboration that proved extremely rewarding for the editor who received two Academy Awards for his work with Fincher — 2010’s The Social Network and 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In fact, Baxter and then co-editor Angus Wall achieved an incredibly rare feat with their Dragon Tattoo win given its lack of a Best Picture nomination.
That successful collaborative history with Fincher stems from Baxter’s willingness to accept feedback and push his work to be the best it can be.
“I don’t seek to be finished, and I remain curious with the material. I don’t work from a defensive standpoint. I don’t have this protectionist quality about the work I’ve done,” Baxter explained when ruminating on his partnership with Fincher. “I just show the work, and if he’s into it, he’s into it. If he’s got a way that he thinks it can be improved, then I’m into that. That’s the relationship. It’s a lot of back and forth, and I’m really comfortable doing it.”