FilmLight, Colour Online: Film Awards Season Webinar

Also available on YouTube

Daphné Polski, Andy Minuth
March 29, 2021
FilmLightColour Online

FilmLight hosts a discussion with the talents who have contributed to the stories that are entertaining us the most. Four prestigious colourists from Los Angeles, London and Cape Town present their outstanding work and share their artistic journey.

Discover amazing projects, including provocative comedy thriller ‘Promising Young Woman’, the Netflix original documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher’, multi-nominated biographical drama ‘Mank’ from David Fincher and the superb coming of age drama ‘Rocks’.

Guest colourists: Kyle Stroebel (Refinery); Katie Jordan (Light Iron); Jateen Patel (Molinare); and Eric Weidt.

Eric Weidt spent years in Paris working with fashion photographers transitioning from traditional film to digital capture workflows. He created custom film-emulation ICC profiles, and mastered color work and compositing techniques for print stills and fashion films.

Clients included Mario TestinoDavid SimsPatrick DemarchelierMert Alas and Markus PiggotSteven MeiselHedi SlimaneKarl Lagerfeld. His motion picture work for David Fincher includes responsibilies as VFX artist (Gone Girl), and Digital Intermediate Colorist (Videosyncracy and Mindhunter).

He holds a BA in Theater Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz and is both an American and French citizen.

‘Mank’ Wins Oscar for Best Cinematography

MANK Accepts the Oscar for Cinematography

Director of Photography Erik Messerschmidt received the statuette at the Academy Awards for his work on Mank.

He had already won the American Society of Cinematographers’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Feature Film, and the Satellite Award.

The other nominees were Joshua James Richards (Nomadland), Dariusz Wolski (News of the World), Sean Bobbitt (Judas and the Black Messiah), and Phedon Papamichael (The Trial of the Chicago 7).

Mank was nominated in 10 categories: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Production Design, Cinematography, Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound and Original Score. Production Designer Donald Graham Burt and Set Decorator Jan Pascale also won in the category of Best Production Design.

Erik’s acceptance speech:

“Wow! I wish I could cut this into five pieces because it’s such an honor to be nominated amongst all of you. It’s an incredible honor. David, thank you for creating an environment where we could do our best work. I got to go home and feel like I gave it my all, every night (David Fincher: ‘You did’). Ceán [Chaffin], thank you for the endless support. Eric Roth, thank you for the guidance. Amanda, Gary, what a privilege and a joy to watch you work. The entire cast, thank you for hitting your marks. It mattered! This really belongs to an extraordinary crew who I could not do anything without: Brian, Will, Alex, Dave, Gary, Dwayne, Danny, Jerry, and all of your team. You make my job easy. Thank you. And thank you to my beautiful wife, Naiara, who tolerates this crazy business and helped me get through this movie. So thank you so much. Thank you.”

MANK’s Thank You Cam Speech: Production Design

Erik Messerschmidt Backstage Interview

Erik Messerschmidt ‘Oscars: After Dark’ Winner Interview

How ‘Mank’ Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt Illuminated a Monochrome Palette

We pull back the curtain on David Fincher’s nod to Citizen Kane.

Daron James
April 23, 2021
No Film School

Heading into Oscar weekend, Mank cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, a first-time nominee and ASC winner, is already deep into his next project. The Emerson College grad earned his chops as a best boy and gaffer before moving into cinematography full-time.

He spoke with No Film School via phone about working on one of this year’s biggest films.

It was the series Mindhunter where Messerschmidt teamed with director David Fincher, pushing the boundaries of digital workflows. With Mank, audiences are taken back in time to the 1930s as the story follows how Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) finishes the screenplay for Orson Welles in a gripping biographical drama.

Read the full profile

Creating Mank in Dolby Vision

Tom Graham, Head of Dolby Vision Content Enablement. Dolby Laboratories
April 3, 2021
Dolby Professional (Dolby)

Hear from Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt ASC, Colorist Eric Weidt, and Co-Producer Peter Mavromates as they share their insights and experiences creating the stunning visuals for David Fincher’s Oscar nominated movie Mank in Dolby Vision HDR. This session provides insights into their methodology and workflow for creating this stunning black-and-white Hollywood epic Netflix movie.

Connect with Dolby: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn

Celebrating Enduring Cinematography: The 35th Annual ASC Awards

MankTwo of UsThe Truffle HuntersThe MandalorianMotherland: Fort Salem, The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit take top honors in this year’s ceremony.

Samantha Dillard
April 19, 2021
The American Society of Cinematographers

Hosted by Turner Classic Movie’s Ben Mankiewicz, this year’s ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography celebrated spectacular imagery, masters of the craft, and the ways in which the industry has adapted in the wake of Covid-19.

One such way that was recognized, celebrated and even employed to produce the awards show was virtual production. Cinematography’s biggest night, which typically takes place in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland complex, was instead held in the virtual space on Sunday, April 18, with special live moments captured at the historic ASC Clubhouse. This marked the first time in the show’s history that it was livestreamed to a global audience.

The event kicked off with a performance from the show’s live orchestra while a reel played, showcasing the indelible cinematography captured by ASC members — as well as some of this year’s honorees and nominees. Mankiewicz and ASC Awards Chair Dana Gonzales, ASC then welcomed nominees, guests, sponsors and audience members.

[…]

The final award of the day — in the Feature Film category — was presented by filmmakers Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC and James Deakins to Erik Messerschmidt, ASC for his work on Mank. This category was sponsored by Keslow Camera. This is Messerschmidt’s first ASC nomination and win.

Read the article and watch the full event

Shot Talk: Mank, with Director David Fincher and Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt

Lawrence Sher, ASC
April 18, 2021
Shotdeck

We’re extremely excited to share with you the latest addition of our Shot Talk interview series. Legendary filmmaker David Fincher and his incredible cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt sit down with cinematographer Lawrence Sher to discuss their 10x Oscar-nominated film Mank.

This episode has the kind of technical deep-dive discussions that you’re not gonna get anywhere else, including the philosophy of black and white vs. color cinematography, detailed FX breakdowns on several important scenes from the film, and why Fincher avoids Steadicam at all costs.

Along with the interview, we’re also releasing a bunch of great shots from the film, so you can start adding them to your decks and getting inspired right away!

But before you dive in and watch the filmmaking mini-masterclass above… make sure to go check out Mank, streaming now on Netflix.

Sign up for an account at ShotDeck, the world’s first fully-searchable film image database. It’s an invaluable research and educational resource that makes life easier for anyone in Film, Media, Advertising, and Education.

If you are creative, Shotdeck is the place to get inspired and discover new films and talented artists through our meticulously tagged database of still images, all while saving you time.

Search by film title, keyword, location, color, or a dozen other criteria to quickly find the exact “shots” you need to communicate your vision for your next project.

Shotdeck also on: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter

In conversation with Donald Graham Burt, Erik Messerschmidt and Ren Klyce

John Horn
April 13, 2021
Netflix Awards FYC

A conversation with Production Designer Donald Graham Burt, Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt and Sound Designer Ren Klyce on behalf of Mank. Moderated by John Horn.

Watch the full conversation

Erik Messerschmidt ASC / Mank : Masterclass in Monochrome

Black-and-white biopic Mank sees another successful collaboration between cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt ASC and director David Fincher as they craft an authentic portrayal of Hollywood’s golden age and explore the turbulent development of the script for Citizen Kane.

Zoe Mutter
April 12, 2021
British Cinematographer

“This was not an offer I had to consider; the answer was an immediate yes,” says cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt ASC when thinking back to the moment he was asked to film director David Fincher’s Mank which depicts the life of screenwriter Herman J. ‘Mank’ Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) as he develops the script for director Orson Welles’ 1941 classic Citizen Kane.

“I was thrilled when David called me,” he says. “I was nervous too of course as I felt a tremendous responsibility to be considerate and respectful to the film, but it’s a cinematographer’s dream to get the opportunity to make a movie like this.”

As Citizen Kane is widely regarded as one of cinema’s masterpieces, the pressure was on to capture the essence of Gregg Toland ASC’s cinematography and to faithfully encapsulate the distinctive mood, lighting and composition reminiscent of a golden era of filmmaking.

Mank, which received a limited theatrical release before streaming on Netflix, is based on a script written by Fincher’s late father, the journalist and writer, Howard “Jack” Fincher which focuses on the controversy surrounding who had creative ownership of Citizen Kane – Welles or Mankiewicz.

The film uses flashback sequences to explore the prolific talent of Mank as well as his alcoholism and tumultuous relationships with Hollywood executives such as film producer and MGM Studios co-founder Louis B. Mayer (Arliss Howard) and Irving G. Thalberg (Ferdinand Kingsley) and publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance), who is widely claimed to be the inspiration for Citizen Kane’s protagonist.

Fincher was clear from the beginning that the film would be shot in black-and-white. “We never even considered what the movie would look like in colour,” says Messerchmidt. “Part of David’s intent was to transport the audience back to the classic ‘30s and ‘40s Hollywood era. Black-and-white was an excellent way to do that.”

Ensuring black-and-white was used as a homage or a pastiche rather than a parody was a priority. “When they approach black-and-white, cinematographers can tend to reach for noir as they are excited by its gestured, stylised lighting which you don’t get to use very often when shooting in colour,” adds Messerschmidt.

Read the full profile

‘Mank’ Cinematographer: ‘My Memories of Making the Film Are All in Black and White’

Erik Messerschmidt, Oscar nominated for his debut feature film as a cinematographer, talks to TheWrap about working with David Fincher on the 1940s-era period piece

Joe McGovern
April 13, 2021
The Wrap

Though he’s been active in the industry for nearly two decades, cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt made his feature film debut last year with David Fincher’s silvery period drama “Mank.” Messerschmidt’s credits include television work in projects as diverse as “Everybody Hates Chris,” Ridley Scott’s “Raised by Wolves,” and Fincher’s “Mindhunter.” Fincher, in fact, had hired Messerschmidt three years ago to lens his sequel to “World War Z,” but after that project was cancelled in early 2019, the director called the cinematographer with a different proposal.

“David said, ‘I’ve got this black and white movie I’m thinking about. Do you want to do it?” Messerschmidt recalled to TheWrap. “He’s kind of coy like that. So I didn’t really know anything about what the film was. But I said, ‘Sure.’”

The film, of course, was Fincher’s biopic of “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (played by Gary Oldman), and “Mank,” which is available for streaming on Netflix, led the pack in terms of total Oscar nominations with 10, including Best Picture, Best Director, and one for the 40-year-old Messerschmidt.

The cinematography category is a fresh crowd this year. Messerschmidt, Dariusz Wolski (“News of the World”), Joshua James Richards (“Nomadland”) and Sean Bobbitt (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) are all first-time nominees. Only Phedon Papamichael (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) has ever been nominated before. For context, at the previous Oscars, two nominees (Robert Richardson and eventual winner Roger Deakins) had a tally of 25 career nominations between them.

Messerschmidt is currently working in Georgia on the upcoming Korean War drama “Devotion.” We caught up with him to talk about his work on “Mank” after a long week of night shoots. “If my answers are incoherent,” he said with a laugh, “just ask me to clarify.”

Read the full interview

Deep Focus: Erik Messerschmidt, ASC

Portrait by Eli Ade on the Savannah, GA set of Devotion

Director of Photography – Mank

Erik Messerschmidt, ASC (Instagram)
April 2021
ICG Magazine

On set, David Fincher prioritizes time with the actors more than anything else, so most of our work is done in the prep. In terms of Mank, we spent much of that prep time discussing how we could incorporate the visual language of black and white cinema into our own version of the story. We wanted to transport the audience to the time period without too much pastiche. It was a delicate balance.

Read the full article:

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