How a Thinking Filmmaker Films Thinking: The Shot-By-Shot Slow Burn of David Fincher

Posted by Brandi Blahnik | Aug 28, 2017
Audiences Everywhere

One of the most challenging aspects of storytelling is showing a character thinking. It might sound like a straightforward task, but think about what you look like while studying. Ever watched someone complete a puzzle? It’s a quiet, meditative task marked by trial and error. In reality, there’s remarkably little head-scratching or furrowed brows. Visually, it’s rather unimpressive.

So how does a creator reveal thinking—poring over material, investigative work, head-buried-in-clues research—without absolutely boring the audience? How does a director reinvent frustration, the false lead, the maddening search, particularly over a two-hour film?

David Fincher has made a career of chronicling that very process.

Not only has Fincher produced some of the most haunting detective sequences in film—Se7en, Zodiac, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—but you’d be unlikely to find criticism calling his films boring. He’s a master at tension-building and unapologetic about his resolutions. Perhaps this is why so many of his characters fall prey to their own obsessive madness. The unraveling of a character is something Fincher portrays with patience and deliberateness.

Read the full article

Advertisements

How Rooney Mara Became One of the Most Exciting Actresses Working Today

Rooney Mara is addicted to filmmaking vision, and it’s resulted in one of the most surprising young careers Hollywood has right now.

Zack Sharf
Jul 7, 2017
IndieWire

It’s the “A Ghost Story” scene critics can’t stop talking about. Still grieving from the loss of her husband, the widow M returns home and consumes an entire vegan chocolate pie in one sitting. David Lowery captures the moment in a nearly four-minute long take, but the stillness of the camera makes it feel like an eternity. It’s up to Rooney Mara to fill the frame with a sense of hopelessness that anyone who’s been through the grieving process can relate to. She does so with the commitment and the sensitive gusto that has defined a majority of her 12 years as an actress.

Mara first began acting as an extra in movies starring her sister, Kate, before landing television supporting roles on shows like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Women’s Murder Club” and “ER.” Now she’s one of the most exciting film stars in the business, with one of the year’s best films in select theaters (read IndieWire’s A review here) and a potential Oscar contender hitting awards season on November 24 (“Mary Magdalene”). Her ascension to becoming an indie film darling has been marked by careful decision-making, and it all started with a shot from Hollywood’s most demanding auteur.

With “A Ghost Story” now playing, it’s become increasingly clear Rooney Mara will never stop surprising when it comes to her performances. Here’s how she made it happen.

Read the full article

Art of the Title: David Fincher

David Fincher: A Film Title Retrospective

August 27, 2012
Art of the Title

Why CG Sucks (Except It Doesn’t)

RocketJump Film School
Published on Aug 4, 2015
YouTube

Are computer generated visual effects really ruining movies?

We believe that the reason we think all CG looks bad is because we only see “bad” CG. Fantastic, beautiful, and wonderfully executed CG is everywhere – you just don’t know it. Truly great visual effects serve story and character – and in doing so are, by their very definition, invisible.

Written and Narrated by Freddie Wong
Edited by Joey Scoma
Assistant Editor – Joshan Smith

Interiors: The spaces in David Fincher’s films

Interiors

Interiors is an online film and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian, that analyses and diagrams films in terms of space.

 

A Pair of Artists Use Architecture to Study Film

The founders of “Interiors,” a journal dedicated to film and architecture, diagram scenes from movies such as “Fight Club,” “Psycho,” and more.

Colin Warren-Hicks
January 30, 2014
Metropolis

 

INTERIORS: David Fincher

If cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame, David Fincher is an artist who is very much concerned about all four corners of his canvas.

by INTERIORS Journal
June 3, 2013
ArchDaily

 

Panic Room (2002)

“Their positioning throughout the scene provides us with an understanding of how David Fincher uses space within the film, and in doing so, how he also maintains the architectural integrity of the film.”

Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian
2012-01
Interiors

 

Se7en (1995)

“The vastness of the desert around them emphasizes the fact that the handcuffed John Doe is captured; a lack of freedom despite the free space around him.”

Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian
2013-01
Interiors

 

Fight Club (1999)

“David Fincher switches from a subjective perspective onto an objective perspective after the reveal has been made.”

Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian
2014-01
Interiors