You would be forgiven for thinking production designer Donald Graham Burt works exclusively with David Fincher. His talents are visible in confirmed classics including Zodiac, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, for which he received an Oscar. Beyond that his work can also be appreciated in Donnie Brasco, Christian Bale headliner Hostiles and most recently Outlaw King featuring Chris Pine.
In conversation Donald is self-deprecating, effortlessly engaging and eloquent on his process. Mank appears to be the culmination of a professional relationship spanning more than a decade, which uses Citizen Kane as its backbone to explore broader issues. Adorned in the garb of a Thirties film noir, Mank is masterful at evoking a bygone era. Much of that success comes through the pitch perfect production design, which would have been impossible without Donald Burt.
Following on from his nomination at the British Academy Film Awards, he took time out to talk to Flickering Myth’s Martin Carr about what was required to bring Mank to life, as well as what a collaboration with David Fincher really involves.