David Fincher Tries Animation in ‘Love, Death + Robots’

Fincher, left, directed the short under Covid protocols. “I didn’t quite realize how much I communicate through my face,” he said.

Noel Murray
May 19, 2022
The New York Times

The director made his first animated short for the new season of this Netflix anthology. “It was an incredibly freeing, eye-opening, mind-expanding way to interface with a story,” he said.

Before David Fincher became an A-list director and multiple Oscar and Emmy nominee — lauded for of-the-moment films like “Fight Club” and “The Social Network” and the TV series “House of Cards” and “Mindhunter” — he was one of the co-founders of the production company Propaganda Films. Propaganda was known for its visually dazzling TV commercials and music videos, and Fincher honed his craft in dozens of miniature movies made in myriad styles.

Yet until recently, he had never directed animation, even though he loves the medium so much that he signed on a few years ago to be an executive producer of the Netflix anthology animation series “Love, Death + Robots,” which returns for its third season on Friday.

Love, Death + Robots” sprung from the ashes of a project Fincher had been developing with the “Deadpool” director Tim Miller since the late 2000s: a revival of “Heavy Metal,” the animated movie series inspired by the adults-only science-fiction and fantasy comics magazine. The first season of “Love, Death + Robots” debuted in 2019, featuring 18 episodes (ranging in length from 6 to 17 minutes) that adapted short stories by genre favorites like Peter F. Hamilton, John Scalzi and Joe Lansdale. An eight-episode second season followed in 2021.

Despite his involvement, Fincher never made a short of his own until Season 3, when he and the screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (who wrote Fincher’s crime thriller “Seven”) tackled a tale by the British science-fiction author Neal Asher called “Bad Travelling.” Set on the high seas on a distant planet, the story follows a merchant ship as it is tormented by a giant, intelligent crab that manipulates the crew members and then eliminates them one by one. Fincher described the short as “like a David Lean movie crossed with ‘Ten Little Indians.’”

Read the full interview

‘Love, Death + Robots Volume 3’: David Fincher Directs A Short That Ties Back To His Failed ‘Heavy Metal’ Revival

Christopher Marc
May 9, 2022
The Playlist

This month will see the return of “Love, Death + Robots” on Netflix, which is produced by Tim Miller and David Fincher. With the third volume arriving, something special is happening. Fincher will be helming his first animated short for the anthology streaming series.

Netflix has released a new trailer and announced Fincher is directing the segment “Bad Travelling” which was written by screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (“Se7en”) and based on a short story by Miller’s longtime pal, author Neal Asher. This marks Fincher’s first time directing something for the streaming series.

Netflix has also included a synopsis that reads as follows:

“A jable shark-hunting sailing vessel is attacked by a giant crustacean whose size and intelligence is matched only by its appetite. Mutiny, betrayal, and ventriloquism with a corpse.”

Read the full article

LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3: Official Trailer & Poster

May 9, 2022
Netflix

Emmy-winning animated anthology LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS returns with a third volume executive produced by Tim Miller (Deadpool, Terminator: Dark Fate) and David Fincher (MINDHUNTER, Mank). Terror, imagination and beauty combine in nine new episodes which stretch from uncovering an ancient evil to a comedic apocalypse, telling startling short stories of fantasy, horror and science-fiction with trademark wit and visual invention.

EXTREMING May 20, 2022.

Read the LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3 guide (TO BE UPDATED)

Watch LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS on Netflix

Neil Kellerhouse (Netflix)

Book Review: David Fincher’s Zodiac: Cinema of Investigation and (Mis)Interpretation

Thomas Puhr
April 21, 2022
Bright Lights Film Journal

David Fincher’s Zodiac: Cinema of Investigation and (Mis)Interpretation, edited by Matthew Sorrento and David Ryan. 259 pp. Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2022.

2007 was a good year for American film, with the likes of the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men and Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood earning heaps of critical and popular adoration. Coupled with their success at the Academy Awards (the former won four, including for Best Picture; the latter two), the films’ positions as “instant classics” are well cemented.

Somewhat neglected among discussions of this banner year, on the other hand, is David Fincher’s true-crime epic Zodiac; though initially left in its contemporaries’ shadows (as a point of comparison, it received zero nominations), it may very well have aged better than either of them. If Anderson’s and the Coens’ outings were dirges on late capitalism, then Fincher’s was something of a prophecy – one that anticipated the post-truth morass of our digital age. Given this unexpected prescience, Zodiac is ripe for critical reassessment.

Enter David Fincher’s Zodiac: Cinema of Investigation and (Mis)Interpretation, courtesy of editors Matthew Sorrento and David Ryan. What makes this particular film so alluring is its unique position as a literary adaptation, a piece of narrative nonfiction (one based on a still-unsolved case, no less), a self-reflective critique of news and multimedia, and a relatively early exemplar of what digital cameras can do in the right hands. The book mines these and many other critical avenues – from game theory, to death metal – with somewhat inconsistent, but never dull, results. While reading it, I was reminded more than once of Robert Graysmith’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) climactic, fevered conversation with investigator David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) in the diner: “This is a case that’s covered both Northern and Southern California, with victims and suspects spread over hundreds of miles,” he tells Toschi as he struggles to connect the case’s overwhelming number of dots. Like the film itself, this collection has its fingers in many pots, is borderline obsessive, and makes some ambitious connections that may or may not actually be there. But, of course, that’s part of the fun.

Read the full book review

Buy the book

‘Mindhunter’ Season 3 Would Have Sent the FBI to Hollywood, Says Andrew Dominik

Dominik also discusses what it was like to direct Season 2’s Charles Manson episodes.

Carly Lane
April 20, 2022
Collider

It’s not often that we as viewers and lovers of television get an inside scoop on what the future of a favorite show would have been — especially once it’s canceled. In the case of Netflix’s Mindhunter, which released its second season back in 2019, the series technically wasn’t canceled so much as a possible third season was put on “indefinite hold” per David Fincher, though the series’ executive producer has also confirmed in interviews since that Season 3 likely isn’t happening, partly due to the fact that it would have required an even steeper budget than the previous one. Now, thanks to Season 2 director Andrew Dominik, we have even more of a sense of why Mindhunter‘s dead-in-the-water third season would’ve had a higher price tag.

In speaking with Collider‘s own Steve Weintraub in a long-spanning interview about his documentary about Nick Cave and Warren EllisThis Much I Know to Be True, the director also briefly touched on not only his experience with directing two of Mindhunter‘s Season 2 episodes, but also what the third season would have entailed in terms of its main story — as well as which real-life figures the FBI Behavioral Science Unit team consisting of Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), and potentially even psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) would have crossed paths with.

Read the full exclusive

LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3: Official Teaser & Release Date

April 19, 2022
Netflix

From the streamer that brought you The Crown (Winner 21 Emmy® Awards) and The Queen’s Gambit (Winner 11 Emmy® Awards), comes the return of the 11-Time Emmy® Award-winning (yes, look it up!) LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS.

EXTREMING soon.

Global release date: May 20, 2022

Watch LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS on Netflix

Read the series guides:

2019. LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 1

2021. LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 2

Frame & Reference Podcast: “Being the Ricardos” DP Jeff Cronenweth, ASC

Kenny McMillan (Twitter, Instagram)
April 7, 2022
ProVideo Coalition, Frame & Reference (Twitter, Instagram)

Frame & Reference is a conversation between Cinematographers hosted by Kenny McMillan of OWL BOT. Each episode dives into the respective DP’s current and past work, as well as what influences and inspires them. These discussions are an entertaining and informative look into the world making films through the lens of the people who shoot them.

In this episode, Kenny talks with legendary cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, ASC about the Oscar Nominated film “Being the Ricardos.” You likely know Jeff from his work on films such as “Fight Club“, “Gone Girl“, “The Social Network” & “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

Frame & Reference is supported by:

  • Filmtools, the West Coast’s leading supplier of film equipment. From cameras and lights to grip and expendables, Filmtools has you covered for all your film gear needs.
  • ProVideo Coalition, a top news and reviews site focusing on all things production and post coming out of the industry.

Listen to the podcast:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
YouTube

“David had the picture of the movie in his head”

Kevin Tod Haug, the VFX supervisor of ‘Panic Room’–the film is now two decades old–shares key moments from its production.

Ian Failes
March 30, 2022
befores & afters

David Fincher’s Panic Room turns 20 years old this week. The film starring Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart featured a somewhat memorable troubled production history, partly because the original principal actor Nicole Kidman had to pull out of the project after shooting had began, among other events.

From a visual effects perspective, however, the film is memorable for different reasons. One is the incredible approach taken to extremely long takes inside the main location–a New York brownstone townhouse built on a stage in Redondo Beach–featuring ‘deliberately’ impossible camera moves. These were the result of meticulous previs, motion control and other camera work and a photogrammetry approach to VFX orchestrated by BUF, which had done some similar work on Fincher’s Fight Club.

Another memorable aspect of the film is its unsettling opening titles in which cast and crew names appear as giant lettering framed within New York buildings and locations. The work here was done by Picture Mill and ComputerCafe.

Overseeing those two key visual effects components of Panic Room was visual effects supervisor Kevin Tod Haug, who had also worked with Fincher on Fight Club. He revisits the production in this anniversary chat with befores & afters, looking back at the planning, previs and shoot, and the approach to those impossible camera moves and the unique titles.

Read the full interview

Literally! With Rob Lowe: Steven Soderbergh

Rob Lowe
February 10, 2022
Literally! With Rob Lowe (Team Coco)

It’s Showtime! When Steven Soderbergh joins Rob, the two friends get to ask the questions they’ve never asked one another. In this episode find out about Steven’s new film Kimi, and how he thinks Sex, Lies, and Videotape now feels like a Jane Austen novel.

Listen to the podcast:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Stitcher

The Enneagram in a Movie: David Fincher and Enneagram Type 5

Mario Sikora and TJ Dawe
March 21, 2022
Awareness to Action

The Enneagram in a Movie Podcast is a fun and informative way to take a deep dive into understanding the Enneagram.

Join your Season 2 hosts, Mario Sikora and TJ Dawe, as well as their special guest hosts throughout the season, as they discuss how the themes of the Enneagram are reflected in the work of great film directors such as Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson, Michael Mann, and others.

Mario and TJ analyze the films of David Fincher in two episodes to explore Enneagram Type 5, “Striving to Feel Detached.” They discuss “Seven”, “Fight Club”, The Social Network” and “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.”

Listen to the Part 1 podcast:

Apple Podcast
Simplecast
Audible

Listen to the Part 2 podcast:

Apple Podcast
Simplecast
Audible

SBIFF 2016. Cinema Vanguard – Rooney Mara Talks David Fincher

… and the Enneagram.