How ‘Mank’ Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt Illuminated a Monochrome Palette

We pull back the curtain on David Fincher’s nod to Citizen Kane.

Daron James
April 23, 2021
No Film School

Heading into Oscar weekend, Mank cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, a first-time nominee and ASC winner, is already deep into his next project. The Emerson College grad earned his chops as a best boy and gaffer before moving into cinematography full-time.

He spoke with No Film School via phone about working on one of this year’s biggest films.

It was the series Mindhunter where Messerschmidt teamed with director David Fincher, pushing the boundaries of digital workflows. With Mank, audiences are taken back in time to the 1930s as the story follows how Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) finishes the screenplay for Orson Welles in a gripping biographical drama.

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