Because We Love Making Movies: Production Designer Donald Graham Burt. Pt. 2, Mank

Eren Celeboglu
February 14, 2021
Because We Love Making Movies (Instagram, Facebook)

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, we have a special treat… Production Designer Donald Graham Burt returns to talk about designing and making MankDavid Fincher’s love letter to old Hollywood & California, and the portrait of a man in conflict with everyone. It is a masterclass in filmmaking and the power of limitations from the most humble of masters.

Recommended Viewing: Citizen Kane, Sunset Boulevard, and Mank.

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Listen to Pt. 1 of this conversation

Director Aaron Sorkin discusses The Trial of the Chicago 7 with David Fincher

A DGA Virtual Q&A

January 23, 2021
The Director’s Cut. A DGA (Directors Guild of America) Podcast

The counterculture movement of the 1960s clashes with the hostile Nixon administration in Director Aaron Sorkin’s historical drama, The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Set in the aftermath of what happened after a peaceful protest turned into a violent encounter with the police at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Sorkin’s film recounts the infamous 1969 trial of seven political activists – that included moderate Students for a Democratic Society led by Tom Hayden, militant Yippies led by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, and Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers – who were all charged with conspiracy in an unfair trial that transfixed the nation and sparked a conversation about mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government.

On January 23, Sorkin discussed the making of The Trial of the Chicago 7 in a DGA Virtual Q&A session moderated by Director David Fincher (Mank).

During the conversation, Sorkin spoke about how he came up with a plan to shoot the riot scenes despite his budgetary limitations.

“I find a constraint like that forces you to get creative,” said Sorkin. “It forces you to have an idea. So we came up with this plan, we were going to get a few wide shots and we were going to take advantage of the tear gas. We got smoke everywhere. I discovered what happens when you shoot light through smoke so I wanted smoke in every scene. I could not get enough smoke. It didn’t matter where we were.”

In addition to his directing work on The Trial of the Chicago 7, Sorkin was nominated for the 2017 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature for his debut film, Molly’s Game. He was also part of the producing team (which includes DGA President Thomas Schlamme) that won multiple Emmy awards for “Outstanding Drama Series” for their work on the series The West Wing. Sorkin also took home an Academy Award for “Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay” for David Fincher’s feature The Social Network.

Sorkin has been a DGA member since 2016.

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More Like This: Spotlight on Mank, featuring Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Erik Messerschmidt and more

Krista Smith
February 10, 2021
More Like This (A Netflix Queue Podcast)

A podcast from Netflix Queue, the journal that celebrates the people, ideas, and process of creating great entertainment on Netflix and beyond. Host Krista Smith is joined by a different co-host each episode – Franklin Leonard, Tre’vell Anderson, and others – to give an insider’s peek into the creation of your favorite films, series and documentaries and the incredibly talented people who make them.

More Like This gets the Mank treatment! In this very special episode, Krista takes us behind the scenes of David Fincher’s Mank, sharing interviews with key members of the creative team. Composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross talk about the power of storytelling through music, how they pulled inspiration from composers of the past, and how pandemic restrictions forced them to record a 70-piece orchestra one instrument at a time; set decorator Jan Pascale demonstrates how the smallest details make the biggest impact; cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt details how he combined classic and modern techniques to transport a 21st century audience back in time; and editor Kirk Baxter explains why David Fincher once called him 50% blacksmith and 50% poet. Enjoy this deep dive into the process of making movie magic with film collaborators at the top of their game, and be sure to see their work in Mank, now streaming on Netflix.

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Excerpt with Erik Messerschmidt:

Cinefade VariND

Designing Hollywood Podcast: Trish Summerville

Phillip Boutte Jr.
February 10, 2021
Designing Hollywood Podcast (YouTube)

Designing Hollywood Podcast new home edition with guest talented costume designer Trish Summerville known for her work on:

The Hunger Games ‘Catching Fire’ (2013)
‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ (2011)
‘Gone Girl’ (2014) & most recent
‘Mank’ (2020)

With Host Phillip Boutte Jr. Produced by Ceo & Founder Martika Ibarra.

Thank you to our sponsor Gardena Cinema, the only old-fashioned single-screen stand-alone neighborhood movie theater still in operation in the Los Angeles area. Owned and operated by Judy Kim and the Kim family since 1976.

Interview: Erik Messerschmidt Chats About David Fincher and ‘Mank’

Joey Magidson
February 10, 2021
Awards Radar

David Fincher film has a number of hallmarks to it, but one guarantee is some top-notch cinematography. His latest movie, Mank, is certainly another example of this. Fincher’s cinematographer here is Erik Messerschmidt, who is quickly becoming a major name in the business. Messerschmidt is a terrific up and coming DP, one who is a major reason why Mank is as good as it is. Given the talent on display, as well as the unique visual elements on display in Netflix’s likely Oscar juggernaut, an opportunity to speak with him was one I couldn’t pass up. Cinematographers are always great to talk to, and he was no exception.

Below, you can hear my conversation with Messerschmidt. I was fascinated to hear about working with Fincher, how Mank came together, and basically everything Messerschmidt had to say. He’s clearly a big cinephile, and that comes across in the discussion. He’s also very quick to express humility when praised, though he’s about to become an Academy Award nominee, so he should prepare for more kudos. Right before he gets cited by Oscar (and potentially wins the Best Cinematography category), take a listen to my chat with Messerschmidt. It’s a good one, especially for Mank fans, as he has some really interesting details to share.

Here now is my interview with Mank cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt. Enjoy.

Sound + Image Lab: David Fincher and Ren Klyce Transport Us to The Golden Age of Hollywood in “Mank”

Glenn Kiser, Director of the Dolby Institute
February 9, 2021
The Dolby Institute

Mank” has been a personal passion project for David Fincher for several decades now. His own father wrote the script, about the famously self-destructive writer of “Citizen Kane,” and Fincher was determined to make the film feel as authentic as possible. Almost like it was an undiscovered artifact from Hollywood’s “Golden Age,” insisting for years to film it in black & white, 1:33​, and in mono. He once again joined forces with his longtime collaborator, sound designer Ren Klyce, to do exactly that. But building this time capsule turned out to be a surprisingly challenging process.

“It’s beyond production value. Sound is a portal into a stranger’s mind that is incredibly influential. And if we don’t avail ourselves of this access, um… then we’re stupid and we should die (laughs).” – David Fincher, director of “Mank”

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Connect with Dolby on InstagramTwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn. Movie buff? Follow Dolby Cinema on Instagram.

Because We Love Making Movies: Production Designer Donald Graham Burt

Eren Celeboglu
January 22, 2021
Because We Love Making Movies (Instagram, Facebook)

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.

In the very first episode of my podcast, I sit down with Production Designer Donald Graham Burt. We explore the role of the Production Designer, a life in the arts, working with David Fincher, and learn to talk less and listen more.

Recommended Viewing: The Joy Luck Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Gone Girl, The Girl with Dragon Tattoo, and Mank.

Listen to the podcast:

Because We Love Making Movies
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Crew Call Podcast: How Composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Went From Sonic To Jazz in ‘Mank’

Anthony D’Alessandro
February 3, 2021
Deadline

Netflix’s drama Mank led all Golden Globe feature nominations this morning with a count of six, and one of those belonged to composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score for the David Fincher film. Mank reps the fourth feature between the filmmaker and the composers, the latter who immediately took home the Oscar and Golden Globe in the first noms for their score of 2010’s The Social Network.

Fincher’s new age noir in Social Network, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl is continually heightened by Reznor and Ross’ synthetic, metallic, pulsating tonal stylings, but in Mank the two composers pull a 180 and deliver a lively jazz score that pays deep homage to the cinema of the 1930s and 1940s.

We talk with them both on Crew Call today about their shorthand with Fincher, and how they sparked a fascinating rhythm about embattled scribe Herman J. Mankiewicz’s rage against Hollywood, and his once mentor and friend, media titan William Randolph Hearst.

Reznor and Ross were a double Golden Globe nominee today, also nabbing a second score nom for Disney/Pixar’s Soul.

Listen to the podcast

Art Of The Cut Podcast: “Mank” Editor Kirk Baxter, ACE

Steve Hullfish (Twitter)
January 27, 2021
Art Of The Cut Podcast (ProVideo Coalition)

The Art of the Cut podcast brings the fantastic conversations that Steve Hullfish has with world renowned editors into your car, living room, editing suite and beyond. In each episode, Steve talks with editors ranging from emerging stars to Oscar and Emmy winners. Hear from the top editors of today about their careers, editing workflows and about their work on some of the biggest films and TV shows of the year.

On this episode of the Art of the Cut Podcast, Steve talks with multi-award winning editor Kirk Baxter, ACE about editing the Netflix film “Mank.” You likely know Kirk from his Oscar winning work on “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Social Network” as well as his Oscar nominated work on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” In addition to his feature film work, Kirk was nominated for Prime Time Emmy’s for “House of Cards” and “Big Love.” All of this just scratches the surface of Kirks filmography, check out his IMDb page for a full breakdown!

This episode of the Art of the Cut Podcast is brought to you by Filmtools.com, Hollywood’s trusted one-stop shop for all things production and post.

Want to read/ listen to more interviews from Steve Hullfish? Check out The Art of the Cut Archive for more than 200 interviews with some of the top film and TV editors of today!

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If you like the podcast, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes and tell an editor friend.

Read the transcription of this interview:

ART OF THE CUT with Kirk Baxter, ACE on editing Fincher’s “Mank”

Steve Hullfish
February 2, 2021
ProVideo Coalition

David Fincher & Kent Jones on Mank, Hollywood History, and Filmmaking

Kent Jones
January 27, 2021
Film at Lincoln Center

This week on the Film at Lincoln Center podcast, we’re presenting a special conversation between filmmakers David Fincher and Kent Jones on Mank. Fincher’s first film since his NYFF Opening Night selection Gone Girl follows the 1930s Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, played by Gary Oldman, as he develops the screenplay for Citizen KaneMank is now available on Netflix.

This talk was first available to FLC members, who play such a vital role in all we do. Memberships start at just $85 and offer year-round discounts to films and festivals, exclusive invitations to sneak previews, filmmaker conversations, Film Clubs, and much more. If you’re interested in supporting FLC by becoming a member, learn more here.

Listen to the conversation:

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