Mank: In Front of and Behind the Scenes


Herman ‘Mank’ Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) drunkenly harangues the dinner guests at Hearst Castle

Directed by: David Fincher
Produced by: CeΓ‘n Chaffin, Eric Roth, and Douglas Urbanski
Written by: Jack Fincher
Score by: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Costumes by: Trish Summerville
Edited by: Kirk Baxter, ACE
Production Design by: Donald Graham Burt
Photography by: Erik Messerschmidt, ASC
Co-Produced by: Peter Mavromates & William Doyle

Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried) sits in growing horror as her dinner party is disturbed by Mank

Gary Oldman as Herman J. Mankiewicz
Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies
Lily Collins as Rita Alexander
Arliss Howard as Louis B. Mayer
Tom Pelphrey as Joe Mankiewicz
Sam Troughton as John Houseman
Ferdinand Kingsley as Irving Thalberg
Tuppence Middleton as Sara Mankiewicz
Tom Burke as Orson Welles
Joseph Cross as Charles Lederer
Jamie McShane as Shelly Metcalf
Toby Leonard Moore as David O. Selznick
Monika Gossmann as Fraulein Freda
and Charles Dance as William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance) beside MGM’s Louis B. Mayer (Arliss Howard)

Gary Oldman as Herman Mankiewicz (Gisele Schmidt/NETFLIX)

Gary Oldman (as Herman Mankiewicz), Sean Persaud (as Mank’s colleague Tommy), and Gaffer Danny Gonzalez, before a LED backdrop of the desert (Gisele Schmidt/NETFLIX)

Gary Oldman (as Herman Mankiewicz) shot with the RED Monstro 8K Monochrome by Camera Operator Brian Osmond (Nikolai Loveikis/NETFLIX)

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Mank: Reddit Teaser


The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics“. By Sydney Ladensohn Stern:

Even before theatrical failures dimmed his dreams of escape, Herman had decided he could bring New York to Hollywood by importing some of his friends. If Ben Hecht couldn’t write him a good script, Herman told Schulberg, then Schulberg could tear up Herman’s two-year contract and fire them both. His boss could hardly refuse a bet like that, so Herman wired, β€œWill you accept three hundred per week to work for Paramount Pictures. All expenses paid. The three hundred is peanuts. Millions are to be grabbed out here and your only competition is idiots. Don’t let this get around.”

Hecht, who later claimed that Herman’s telegram arrived just in time to avert a financial disaster so severe that he had taken to his bed with Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, hurried west to enroll in what he called the Herman Mankiewicz School of Screenwriting.


Director: Kimb Luisi & Dan Young
Production Company: Sawhorse Productions
DP: Skyler Bocciolatt
Production Design: Sage Griffin
Storyboards: Andrew Paul

π™Έπš— πšœπšŽπš•πšŽπšŒπš πšπš‘πšŽπšŠπšπšŽπš›πšœ π™½πš˜πšŸπšŽπš–πš‹πšŽπš› πšŠπš—πš πš˜πš— Netflix π™³πšŽπšŒπšŽπš–πš‹πšŽπš› 𝟺

Mank: Official Teaser


1930s Hollywood is reevaluated through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish Citizen Kane.

Starring: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Dance

Cast: Lily Collins, Arliss Howard, Tom Pelphrey, Sam Troughton, Ferdinand Kingsley, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke, Joseph Cross, Jamie McShane, Toby Leonard Moore, Monika Gossmann

2h 11m

Click to enjoy the images in glorious 5K, full quality, and full screen view:

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Orson Welles played by Tom Burke

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Empire Magazine: Mank Exclusive Images

Gary Oldman as Mank, with Tom Pelphrey as his younger brother Joseph and a junior aide on an MGM studio soundstage.

September 28, 2020

Gary Oldman and the director David Fincher working together on set.

As seen in Empire’s feature about the making of Mank – which takes David Fincher back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, with a screenplay written by his own late father, Jack Fincher:

Mank: Gary Oldman On Giving A Stripped-Down Performance In David Fincher’s Hollywood Tale

Read Nev Pierce‘s full Mank set visit in the Chadwick Boseman Empire tribute issue, on sale Thursday 1 October, in print and digital (iOS & Android).

πšŒπš˜πš–πš’πš—πš πšœπš˜πš˜πš—

The David Fincher You Meet in His Movies

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Se7en and the 10th anniversary of The Social NetworkThe Ringer hereby dubs September 21-25 David Fincher Week. Join us all throughout the week as we celebrate and examine the man, the myth, and his impeccable body of work.

The protagonists of everything from β€˜Fight Club’ to β€˜Zodiac’ to β€˜Gone Girl’ have something in common: they’re all cut from the same cloth as their director

Adam Nayman
September 23, 2020
The Ringer

No filmmaker has ever put himself into his work like Alfred Hitchcock. In movie after movie, the director made blink-or-miss-them appearances located at the edge of the frameβ€”crossing a street walking a dog; appearing in a photo for a weight loss clinicβ€”that prompted audiences to play a game of spot-the-auteur. These slyly miniaturized acts of showmanship were simultaneously sight gags and wry reminders of who was really in charge: The so-called β€œmaster of suspense” mixed in among the actors he infamously referred to as β€œcattle.”

David Fincher has not appeared in any of his own films: the closest thing to a cameo comes in 2014’s Gone Girl, a positively Hitchcockian thriller right down to its shower scene featuring a bloody blond. Midway through the film, suspected wife killer Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is being coached on an upcoming television appearance by his high-priced lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry), who’s determined that his client makes just the right impression. During their dressing room prep session, the attorney pelts Nick with gummy bears to sharpen his posture and line readings. Perry supposedly didn’t know who Fincher was before being cast in the part, but that doesn’t preclude the fact that in this scene, he’s doing an indirect impression of his directorβ€”a control freak who once said there are only two ways to shoot any given scene, and that one of them is always wrong.

Read the full article

First Look at David Fincher’s “Mank”

1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane for Orson Welles.

Click to enjoy the images in glorious 5K, full quality, and full screen view:

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Alone Together Pittsburgh: Holt McCallany and the Cast and Crew of Mindhunter

Part talk show part variety show A/T/P is a daily talk show featuring local artists, performers, service industry folks and more. Let’s keep the community of Pittsburgh hanging out. Virtually.

Patrick Jordan
September 4, 2020
Alone Together Pittsburgh (Twitter, Facebook)

Week 25 Episode 82: Holt McCallany of Mindhunter spends his Birthday in quarantine with Patrick Jordan, Cotter Smith, Michael Cerveris, and Bill Doyle (Co-producer). And find out WHT K8 8 with Chef Kate Romane and the Jag/Off Bracket Poll with FORT DUQUESNE BRIDGE VS PIEROGI RACE.

‘Mindhunter’ cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt on ‘expanding the scope’ in Emmy-nominated episode

Daniel Montgomery
August 13, 2020
Gold Derby

Erik MesserschmidtΒ earned his firstΒ Emmy nominationΒ this summer: Best Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) for his work on the true-crime drama β€œMindhunter.” It’s bittersweet, though, since Netflix put the show on indefinite hold after its second season, which aired last summer. β€œI loved working on the show,” he remembers. β€œIt’s a unicorn in a way. It was a unique situation where everybody was working towards the same goal and everyone was very in sync in terms of what we were trying to accomplish.” Watch our exclusive video interview with the director of photography above.

He is nominated specifically for his work in episode six, during which FBI agents Ford and Tench (Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) search for missing children in Atlanta while Dr. Carr and Agent Smith (Anna Torv and Joe Tuttle) interview convicted killer Paul Bateson. β€œI just felt like we had a lot of variety in the episode,” says Messerschmidt. β€œYou have all of the classic β€˜Mindhunter’ stuff with the Paul Bateson interview, but you also have the characters out in the field. So we’re expanding the scope a little bit, and we had some new set pieces which the audience hadn’t seen before.”

For instance, there is a memorable scene in which law enforcement teams search for murder victims in the eerie pre-dawn light, and another where a grisly discovery in the dead of night is lit primarily with flashlights. β€œIt was a good opportunity to show a little bit of the depth of the show. And it was an episode we were generally pretty proud of.” The season’s focus on the Atlanta child murders influenced the show’s aesthetic in general. Messerschmidt wanted to convey the β€œhot, humid environment … so we warmed the camera up quite a bit. We made use of atmosphere in some of the interiors. I tried to light it with as much hot, searing sunlight coming through the doors as possible.”

β€œI would love to go back and do more β€˜Mindhunter,’ but who knows? Time will tell, I guess,” he says. In the meantime his creative partnership with β€œMindhunter” director/producer David Fincher continues. Messerschmidt is the cinematographer for the filmmaker’s upcoming movie β€œMank,” which takes them from murder in the 1970s and 1980s to show business in the 1940s. β€œThat’s what’s great about our job is we get to sort of pick a story apart and figure out what we’re going to do and how we’re going to tell the story.”

DP/30: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross. “Watchmen”, “Mank”

“All in ‘Mank’ is orchestra or big band. There’s no one synth or one note played by us on the whole score.”

David Poland
August 10, 2020
DP/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood (YouTube)

They both took different roads to film scoring, which they have mostly (and most famously) done together. From 9 Inch Nails to Fincher to Watchmen, they have a unique one-off approach to every project. They took some time to chat with David Poland to chat about their work on The Social Network, Watchmen, Mank, and Pixar‘s Soul.

Shot via Zoom, August 2020.

Earlier DP/30 with Trent Reznor: Gone Girl

β€˜Mindhunter’ Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt on Expanding the Scope in Season 2 and Fincher’s β€˜Mank’

Michele K. Short / Netflix

Adam Chitwood
June 30, 2020

The Netflix original drama series Mindhunter is one of the best shows on television. It’s compelling and challenging in the best way, as it traces the early days of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit through the eyes of a pair of ambitious yet troubled detectives who spend their time interviewing serial killers, looking for insight that could help them catch future killers. It’s also a wildly cinematic show, which should come as no surprise given that it hails from executive producer and director David Fincher.

Season 1 of the series was focused on the origins of the Behavioral Science Unit and found Jonathan Groff’s Holden Ford, Holt McCallany’s Bill Tench, and Anna Torv’s Wendy Carr working mostly out of Quantico and conversing in interrogation rooms. The tremendous second season of the series, however, saw Ford and Tench forced to move into the field as the FBI is called in to consult on the β€œAtlanta Child Murders” and help track down a serial killer in Georgia.

This posed unique challenges and wonderful opportunities for the Mindhunter production team, as cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt told me in an extended interview I conducted by phone back in April. Messerschmidt worked on Season 1 of the series and returned for Season 2, for which he served as director of photography on all nine episodesβ€”a rarity in the television world. During our interview, Messerschmidt talked about why they decided he should be the cinematographer on every episode and offered tremendous insight into how this impeccably crafted show is made. He discussed the intense planning that he and Fincher went through to map out the visual language of Season 2, specifically speaking to how they crafted that incredible interrogation scene set entirely in a car. He also talked about the challenge of shooting a show like Mindhunter on location as the show expanded into the outside world of Atlanta, and what his role as the β€œvisual constant” was like when working with directors Andrew Dominik and Carl Franklin on the season’s later episodes.

With reports having surfaced that a potential Mindhunter Season 3 is β€œon hold” for the moment while Fincher focuses on making a film, I also asked Messerschmidt about the likelihood of a third season happening. And since Messerschmidt served as Fincher’s cinematographer on his upcoming Netflix film Mankβ€”which is presented in black-and-white and chronicles the making of Citizen Kaneβ€”I asked about his experience working on that highly anticipated feature film.

If you’re at all interested in how the Mindhunter team was able to achieve such a handsome, controlled aesthetic this interview offers invaluable insight into that process, and what a collaboration between Fincher and his DP looks like on a longform series. With any luck this excellent show will be rightly recognized by the Emmys folks come voting time…

Read the full interview