The Scribing of Citizen Kane

Donald Graham Burt, Production Designer
January 2021
Perspective Magazine (ADG, Art Directors Guild)

I’ve never read a script from David Fincher that was anything less than smart and purposeful.

This held true with Mank.

Mank is the story of screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz and his scripting of the film Citizen Kane for Orson Welles and RKO Studios. While the film primarily deals with Mankiewicz’s tumultuous struggles in completing the screenplay, including his uneven relationship with Welles, it also addresses early filmmaking in 1930s Los Angeles and the behavior of the studio power brokers for whom Mankiewicz had been previously employed. Woven into the story are larger social issues of the era and the influencers—namely William Randolph Hearst—who in conjunction with studio executives (and to Mankiewicz’s dismay) manipulated the populace on political matters through wealth, deception and media control. All of this converges to shape the scribing by Mankiewicz of Citizen Kane.

After preliminary discussions with David about his vision for the film, we began the initial production process by scouting locations together in July of 2019.

Read the full article

Read the full magazine:

Perspective Magazine (ADG, Art Directors Guild)
January-February 2021 Issue

Read the ADG Awards Mank presentation:

Mank. Production Designed by Donald Graham Burt

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