UPS Guy “Dave” delivers to Erik “Messengerschmidt” the new RED V-RAPTOR ST Cinema Camera.
Fincher on Fincher — How David Fincher Directs a Movie
Director David Fincher explains his personal approach to film directing.
Special thanks to:
Variety’s David Fincher Interview
Escuela Universitaria de Artes TAI
FilmIsNow Movie Bloopers & Extras
Moog Music Inc
Akai Pro Video
00:00 Intro — How David Fincher became a Filmmaker
02:01 Early Career & Return of the Jedi
03:18 Shot Composition and Blocking
06:19 “Relentless” Number of Takes
11:02 Directing with Precision
13:43 Color Theory & Creating the Look
15:48 Create a Feeling (Production Design & Music)
19:35 Final Takeaways
David Fincher is a director’s director. His reputation for having complete control over his work is well-known but many directors have had similar power. So, what makes his approach to film directing so captivating? In this David Fincher video essay, we’ll let the man speak for himself. Through a collection of interviews from throughout his career, Fincher guides us through some of the strongest characteristics of his directing style.
To date, over the past four decades, David Fincher has directed a plethora of music videos, commercials, and 11 feature films. Along the way, he has refined his directing style which can be summed up in two words: precise and purposeful. When watching any David Fincher movies, you would be hard-pressed to find an out-of-place camera movement, or a lazy frame composition. One lesson we learned from Fincher is how he balanced and imbalanced the frame during Nick and Amy’s first meeting in Gone Girl to show the “push and pull” of their flirting.
Another well-known staple of the David Fincher directing style is his predilection for shooting multiple takes. He famously shot 99 takes of the opening scene in The Social Network, for example. But there’s a method to his madness — he wants the actors to move “beyond muscle memory” especially in their domestic environments. In Fincher’s logic, when the actor sits on their couch, they need to have sat in it a hundred times to make it look like they’ve sat in it a hundred times.
Fincher also explains how he creates mood and tone with lighting, color, and music. With a darker frame, desaturated color, and the brooding tones of Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor, there certainly is a distinct experience watching David Fincher films. While all of this sounds extreme, the proof that he’s doing something right is visible on-screen.
♬ Songs used:
“Father / Son” — Makeup and Vanity Set
“Subdivide” — Stanley Gurvich
“Switchback” — Nu Alkemi$t
“Battle in the Forest” — Charles Gerhardt – National Philharmonic Orchestra
“Chasing Time” – David A. Molina
“Sugar Storm” – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“Soul Sacrifice” – Santana
“Graysmith Obsessed” – David Shire
“Intriguing Possibilities” – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“Wendy Suite” – Jason Hill
“Under the Midnight Sun” — Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“14 – Ghosts II” – Nine Inch Nails
“Corporate World” – The Dust Brothers
“Appearances” – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“With Suspicion” – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“What Have We Done to Each Other” – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“Cowboys and Indians” – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“San Simeon Waltz” – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“Fool” – Ryan Taubert
“Where Is My Mind” – The Pixies
“Panic Room” EPK (2002)
STARRING… DAVID FINCHER
David Fincher (1995)
David Fincher as “John Doe” (Promo clip alternative audio)
BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
Spike Jonze (1999)
David Fincher as “Christopher Bing” (Uncredited)
Steven Soderbergh (2002)
David Fincher as “Film Director”
DIRT. Season 1, Episode 1
Matthew Carnahan (2007)
David Fincher as “Himself”
François Alaux & Hervé de Crécy (2009)
David Fincher as “Pringles Original” / Andrew Kevin Walker as “Pringles Hot & Spicy”
SLM/Co-Producer Bill Doyle partners with director David Fincher to bring Hollywood’s Golden Age to life
Mank, director David Fincher’s much anticipated take on the behind-the-scenes drama that shaped the making of Citizen Kane, was released last November after a journey to get it made that began almost two decades ago.
Is there any reason to believe that a story about the making of a movie about the making of a movie is any less intriguing than that of its fabled subject?
In terms of finding classic locations in Los Angeles that have survived the moving hands of time, Fincher couldn’t have found a better guy for the job than LM William “Bill” Doyle/LMGI. L.A. is a classic example of a city in a near-constant state of reinvention, but despite the years, some amazing original sites still remain, and Doyle knows most of them.
“I’ve always loved reading about how cities develop,” Doyle says. “Understanding a city… How it was developed or why it was founded, how it was built and when it expanded… Knowing how these things happened can help you make sense of any city anywhere in the world when you’re looking for something specific.”
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Today, I sit down with legendary screenwriter Eric Roth.
We talk about his life and his craft and why we should all be more generous of spirit. Truth be told, Eric has been involved in creating so many iconic films that it would have been impossible to try… so I asked him about the films of his that meant the most to me, and he held court and digressed in the loveliest of ways. I hope you have as much fun listening as I did recording this interview. Enjoy!
Eric’s credits include: The Nickel Ride, The Drowning Pool, The Onion Field, Forrest Gump (for which he won an Oscar), The Postman (for which he won a Razzie), The Horse Whisperer, and then one of my favorite films ever, The Insider, followed by Ali, Munich, The Good Shepherd, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. He’s also worked in Television, and seen not one but two sea changes, first with HBO, and then with Netflix and House of Cards. And much more recently he wrote A Star Is Born, Dune, and the new Western being Directed by Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon. He was also a producer on the Oscar nominated Mank, directed by David Fincher, from a script by Fincher’s father.
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Because We Love Making Movies is an ongoing conversation with filmmakers who work behind the scenes to make the movies we love. These are the invisible warriors we don’t think of: Production & Costume Designers, Cinematographers, Editors, Producers, and the whole family of artists who make movies with their hands and hearts.
Today I talk with Gigi Williams, an Oscar Nominated Makeup Artist, and longtime collaborator with the brilliant David Fincher. Her credits are very long, but to name a few: Rock N’ Roll High School, The Howling, The Professional, as well as Single Man, Argo, The Master & Inherent Vice, not to mention her work with Fincher: Gone Girl, Mindhunter, and now Mank.
We talk about going through doors in life when they open, how her craft is misunderstood, how she cherishes working with Actors, and how she doesn’t do personal makeup, she does the movie. We also talk about Gigi’s incredible beginnings in the New York fashion world before she became a Makeup-Artist, which included working with Andy Warhol & Diane Von Furstenberg… She’s had quite a journey, and she’s still on it. It’s an amazing talk so check it out and share!
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June 2, 2021
Love, Death + Robots creator and Executive Producer Tim Miller, Executive Producer David Fincher, Supervising Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Director of “Ice” Robert Valley discuss Vol. 2 of the adult animated anthology.
Tim Miller, David Fincher, Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Jerome Denjean Talk ‘Love, Death & Robots’ Season 2 from Annecy
June 15, 2021
On Tuesday afternoon, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival streamed a candid, hour-long conversation between four of the key minds behind Netflix’s second season of “Love, Death & Robots.” Creator and executive producer Tim Miller (“Deadpool,” “Terminator: Dark Fate”), executive producer David Fincher (“The Social Network,” “Fight Club”), supervising director Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda” 2 and 3) and visual effects supervisor Jerome Denjean from France’s Blur Studio engaged in an unmoderated conversation about the adult animation series, from its origins to its upcoming third season.
DAVID FINCHER: MIND GAMES
By Adam Nayman
Foreword by Bong Joon-ho
Produced by Little White Lies
David Fincher: Mind Games is the definitive critical and visual survey of the Academy Award– and Golden Globe–nominated works of director David Fincher. From feature films Alien 3, Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, and Mank through his MTV clips for Madonna and the Rolling Stones and the Netflix series House of Cards and Mindhunter, each chapter weaves production history with original critical analysis, as well as with behind the scenes photography, still-frames, and original illustrations from Little White Lies’ international team of artists and graphic designers. Mind Games also features interviews with Fincher’s frequent collaborators, including Jeff Cronenweth, Angus Wall, Laray Mayfield, Holt McCallany, Howard Shore and Erik Messerschmidt.
Grouping Fincher’s work around themes of procedure, imprisonment, paranoia, prestige and relationship dynamics, Mind Games is styled as an investigation into a filmmaker obsessed with investigation, and the design will shift to echo case files within a larger psychological profile.
About The Author
Adam Nayman is the author of Paul Thomas Anderson: Masterworks (Abrams, 2020) and The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together (Abrams, 2018) and is a contributing editor to Cinema Scope.
Little White Lies is one of the world’s pre-eminent film magazines, pairing a unique editorial angle with beautiful illustrations and world-class design.
Imprint: Abrams Books
Publication Date: November 2, 2021
Trim Size: 9 x 10 7⁄8
Page Count: 304
Illustrations: Full-color photographs and illustrations throughout
Page Count: 304
Parce que son œuvre n’a pas encore livré tous ses secrets, Rockyrama vous entraîne pour un voyage à travers le cinéma de David Fincher.
De Seven à Zodiac, en passant par The Social Network ou Millenium, David Fincher s’est imposé, depuis son émergence à l’aube des années quatre-vingt-dix, comme l’un des cinéastes les plus accomplis de sa génération. Réalisateur majeur et véritable artisan de l’image, il a bâti en seulement une dizaine de films une œuvre complexe, sombre et nourrie d’obsessions, portée par une mise en scène d’une précision sans pareil.
Alors que son dernier film, Mank, sortait sur les écrans en 2020, Rockyrama se penche ici sur la carrière du réalisateur américain. Du polar retors et glaçant de Millenium à l’électrochoc de Seven, de l’enquête foisonnante de Zodiac au dédale de The Game et jusqu’à l’œuvre paranoïaque et contestataire qu’est Fight Club, retour sur le cinéma virtuose, cérébral et hypnotique de David Fincher.
James Badge Dale and Sasha Frolova
David Prior’s creepy and impeccably crafted directorial debut was abandoned by the studio but has since been embraced by now devoted fans.
Over and again throughout The Empty Man, we see characters sitting in the lotus position, cross-legged and attentive, a pose connoting receptivity. It is in the migration of this mindset from snowy Bhutan to small-town Missouri, muled from East to West by the unlucky occidental tourist who doubles as its title character, that David Prior’s film locates both its celestial sense of scale and a fine-grained gestural specificity. After literally stumbling into a cliffside cavern—the first unexpected plunge in a movie whose characters constantly find themselves either on shaky ground or descending into a darkness of their own volition—Paul (Aaron Poole) becomes transfixed by a skeletal figure whose meditative posture he adopts, seemingly permanently and much to the bewilderment of his fellow backpackers. Dragged back to the surface, he has become a husk, limbs locked and rapidly atrophying, staring out at the world with eyes wide shut. It would seem that he’s been hollowed out. Or is he suddenly full up?
The old Zen proverb about the philosopher who tells his overzealous visitor to return to him with an empty cup—the better to receive the flow of wisdom—comes eerily to mind in the image of a hiker mutated into a hapless Buddha. The story lying beyond The Empty Man’s gorgeous anamorphic frames is also akin to a kind of koan: if a great cosmic horror movie gets (barely) released in the middle of a global pandemic, and nobody sees it, does it really exist?