David Fincher in Conversation with Mark Romanek

Illustrations by Tony Millionaire

“The screenwriter has given you the greatest gift, which is he’s given you something that inspires somebody to make the right mistake.”

Things David Fincher enjoys about filmmaking:

Reading a good script
Casting
Rehearsal
Pre-production meetings

Things he hates about filmmaking:

Every single additional thing about it

Mark Romanek
October 1, 2010
The Believer

David Fincher’s film career began at the age of nineteen as an assistant cameraman at Industrial Light & Magic. In 1983, he relocated to Los Angeles to direct TV commercials and music videos. His commercial clients include Adidas, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Pepsi, and Nike. David has directed music videos for various artists including Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, and A Perfect Circle. In 1987 he cofounded Propaganda Films with Dominic Sena, Greg Gold, and Nigel Dick, and has since become a motion-picture director with Panic Room, Fight Club, The Game, Se7en, Zodiac, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button among his credits. His next film, The Social Network, is slated to be released this month.

Mark Romanek was born in Chicago. Romanek has directed numerous award-winning music videos for many artists including Fiona Apple, Beck, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Coldplay, R.E.M., and Sonic Youth. Romanek wrote and directed the feature film One Hour Photo starring Robin Williams. The film had its world premiere at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and received the Prix du Public, Prix Premiere, and the Prix du Jury at the 2002 Deauville American Film Festival. His new film, Never Let Me Go, will be released this month.

Fincher and Romanek first met in 1990, when Romanek was signed to Satellite Films. Satellite was a “boutique” division of Propaganda Films, where Fincher was a director, and a music-video legend. The two directors spoke by phone for The Believer in early August 2010.

Read the full conversation

2010-10-01. The Believer - An Interview with David Fincher 01a

Thanks to Joe Frady

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The Best Movie Trailer Ever Came Out Eight Years Ago. It’s Still The Best

I wish I was special.

Adam Epstein
July 19, 2018
Quartzy

In 2009, shortly after The Social Network—then known only as “the Facebook movie”—was announced, Mashable ran a story with the headline, “No, You Cannot Turn Facebook into a (Decent) Movie.” Even after it was reported that the brilliant filmmaker David Fincher would direct Aaron Sorkin’s script about Mark Zuckerberg and the early days of Facebook, the Huffington Post published a story proclaiming “The Facebook Movie Puts the zZzZ’s in Zuckerberg.” Some months later, after the film’s cryptic, one-minute teaser trailer hit the internet, the Atlantic remained skeptical, predicting that The Social Network would be “deadly dull.”

People said the film sounded “like parody,” that it looked like “a train wreck,” that the whole thing was “asinine” and made them “weep for humanity.”

Then, eight years ago this week, that all changed. On July 16, 2010, Sony Pictures released the first full-length theatrical trailer for The Social Network, made by the artsy trailer house Mark Woollen & Associates, upending the narrative surrounding the film almost overnight:

Read the full article

 

Mark Woollen & Associates - Logo

Mark Woollen & Associates

The Social Network

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Gone Girl

Frank W Ockenfels 3: David Bowie, Light, & Portrait Photography

The Hollywood Reporter (YouTube)
June 22, 2018

A craftsman with a camera and an artist with a vision. Frank W Ockenfels 3 takes us through his detailed story of his close relationship with the late David Bowie. A master of light and one of the industry’s most prolific photographers, this is ‘Magic Hour.’

Thanks to John Sant

Click for a full screen view:

Frank Ockenfels 3

Michael Cioni: The Rhythm of Resolution

LumaForge (YouTube)
May 3, 2018

Over the last few years, 8K has become accepted as an acquisition format for 2K & 4K delivery. Michael Cioni, of Panavision & Light Iron, believes that it is time to start pushing 8K as a distribution format. Listen as he challenges common misconceptions about the validity of 8K exhibition.

Cioni uses Moore’s Law to explore the idea that the resolution of our capture and delivery of video will continue to grow far into the future. In the early years of Light Iron, Michael and his team faced many challenges in moving from a 2K to 4K digital intermediate for their customers. But they overcame those challenges and are now working toward supporting 8K distribution.

Check the comments from the future

Colorist Podcast: Ian Vertovec, from Light Iron

2018-01-16 Colorist Podcast - Episode 20. Ian Vertovec

Episode 20

January 16, 2018
Colorist Podcast

This episode is sponsored by Colorist Society International and Mixing Light.

On this episode of the colorist podcast, I talk with Ian Vertovec, Co-Founder, and Senior Colorist at Light Iron.

Ian has colored major films “The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and “Gone Girl.” And more recently, he has colored the TV shows “Baskets” for FX and “Glow” on Netflix.

Originally from Chicago, Ian focused on photography, then moved on to digital compositing. He later co-founded two post facilities in Los Angeles: Plaster City, then Light Iron. Out of necessity, he moved on to color at his company. He found his combination of photography and compositing matched perfectly for a career as a colorist.

In this podcast, we talk about:

  • Coloring David Fincher films and working with extremely dark images
  • The challenges of working on VFX heavy projects
  • Making HDR look both cinematic and realistic
  • Advantages of working with high-end systems like Quantel Pablo
  • The difference between working on TV and films
  • How experience with compositing served him as a colorist
  • Bringing life to images using texture
  • Using film emulation LUTs in his workflow
  • Comparing different cameras as a colorist
  • Using ACES in a color managed workflow
  • Keeping grades simple, clean, and efficient

Listen to the interview

Tech Media Planet: The Social Network

Episode 22

December 6, 2010
Tech Media Planet

Colorist Ian Vertovec from Light Iron Digital takes us through the ins and outs of color grading one of this year’s biggest hit films “The Social Network”.

Listen to the interview

Dolby: Ian Vertovec and Michael Cioni, from Light Iron

September 2, 2011
Dolby (YouTube)

Playlist:

Thanks to Joe Frady

Aaron Sorkin Got Advice from David Fincher and other Directors

Migdalia Melendez
December 21, 2017
Screen Rant

Aaron Sorkin is lauded as one of the best screenwriters of our time whose films have generated more than $350 million dollar at the box office. A seasoned writer of twenty five years penning classics such as The West Wing, and A Few Good Men, it comes as no surprise that Sorkin would get the urge to direct. At one point he was attached to direct The Social Network until David Fincher came along, and Sorkin ended up taking home as Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Seven years later he was sent Molly Bloom’s autobiography, Molly’s Game, and became fascinated with the former high stakes poker queen after meeting with her.

The film adaptation chronicles Molly Bloom’s journey from Olympic skier to running a high stakes poker game in both Los Angeles, and New York. Apparently, A-List celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, and Tobey Maguire were frequent players. However, things get ugly fast as soon as the Russian mob gets involved.

Producers Mark Gordon and Amy Pascal ran down a list of possible directors with Sorkin, but offered him another chance to take the director’s chair. He took it. With a tight turnaround from casting to wrapping, Aaron Sorkin’s feature film debuts on Christmas Day. Screen Rant sat down with the first time director and touched base on which director he has learned from the most, and about his quickfire dialogue.

Read the interview transcript

 

Late Night with Seth Meyers (YouTube)
December 19, 2017

DP/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood (YouTube)
December 21, 2017