Behind-the-scenes of “Bad Travelling”

Love Death & Robots’ “Bad Travelling” gave Blur Studio a chance to work alongside legendary director David Fincher. Find out what they learned in the process.

Henry Winchester
August 2, 2022
chaos

Cinema is often referred to as painting with light — but it could be said that David Fincher’s movies paint with darkness. Beginning with Alien 3, and moving on through Se7enFight ClubZodiacMank, and the TV series Mindhunter, the acclaimed director has made use of low-key lighting and anemic palettes to explore the darker recesses of the human mind.

Now, Fincher has taken his characteristic chiaroscuro to “Bad Travelling,” a grisly maritime adventure involving a dishonest, paranoid crew — and a giant crustacean lurking below decks. The Love, Death & Robots episode marks Fincher’s first completely computer-animated short film, as well as his first directorial contribution to the Netflix anthology series he executive produces alongside fellow director Tim Miller.

To create the nautical world of “Bad Travelling,” Fincher teamed up with Blur Studio, the animation and VFX production company founded by Miller. We spoke to Compositing Supervisor Nitant Ashok Karnik and Co-CG Supervisor Jean Baptiste Cambier about working with a living legend of modern cinema, and how V-Ray’s lighting tools helped Fincher embrace the darkness.

Read the full interview in two parts:

Behind-the-scenes of “Bad Travelling,” part 1: Collaborating with David Fincher

Behind-the-scenes of “Bad Travelling,” part 2: How to light like David Fincher

Love, Death, Robots + Books

Love, Death + Robots: The Official Anthology. Volume One

The sixteen stories and two screenplays that make up Volume One of the Emmy® award-winning Netflix Original series Love, Death & Robots.
Featuring best-selling authors and screenwriters from all over the globe, curated by filmmakers Tim Miller and David Fincher.

Stories and screenplays by: Alastair Reynolds, Alberto Mielgo, Claudine Griggs, David W. Amendola, Joe Lansdale, John Scalzi, Ken Liu, Kirsten Cross, Marko Kloos, Michael Swanwick, Peter F. Hamilton, Steven Lewis, and Vitaliy Shushko.

Imprint: Cohesion Press
Publication Date: May 14, 2021

PAPERBACK
ISBN-10: ‎ 1925623386
ISBN-13: 978-1925623383
Page Count: 310
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches (13.97 x 21.59 x 1.78 cm)
Weight: ‎ 13.7 ounces (388 g)
Price: $14.95, £9.95

EBOOK
ASIN‏: ‎ B0923HJQ5G
Page Count: 312
Price: $6.97 / £5.49 (Kindle)

Love, Death + Robots: The Official Anthology. Volumes Two & Three

The seventeen stories and screenplays that make up Volumes Two and Three of the Emmy® award-winning Netflix Original series Love, Death & Robots.
Featuring best-selling authors and screenwriters from all over the globe, curated by filmmakers Tim Miller and David Fincher.

Stories and screenplays by: Neal Asher, Paolo Bacigalupi, J. G. Ballard, Alan Baxter, Justin Coates, Harlan Ellison, Joachim Heijndermans, Joe Lansdale, Richard Larson, Alberto Mielgo, Jeff Fowler & Tim Miller, John Scalzi, Bruce Sterling, and Michael Swanwick.

Imprint: Cohesion Press
Publication Date: May 20, 2022

PAPERBACK
Coming Soon…

EBOOK
ASIN‏: ‎ B09XKRQ6NJ
Page Count: 318
Price: $6.97 / £5.49 (Kindle)

The Art of Love, Death + Robots

By Ramin Zahed

Love Death + Robots is a Netflix series like no other—a breath-taking journey of mature, high-concept tales told with seductive characters, astounding plots, and explosive action. With each episode crafted by different animation teams across the globe, the thought-provoking anthology covers a vast range of animation styles from edgy 2D to stop-motion to anime to hyper-realistic 3D CG.

In this luxury book, discover the wealth of artwork and stories behind the creation of the series’ first three volumes. Includes interviews with key artists and creatives such as series creators Tim Miller and David Fincher, and is full to the brim with everything from beautiful concept art, character studies, costume sketches, paintings, vehicle designs, storyboards, and early vision decks, through to finished frames. Perfect for any fan of animation.

Imprint: Titan Books
Publication Date: July 26, 2022

HARDCOVER
ISBN-10: ‎ 1789098645
ISBN-13: 978-1789098648
Page Count: 256
Dimensions: 9.06 x 11.63 inches (23 x 29.5 cm)
Weight: ‎ 1.25 pounds (0.57 Kg)
Price: $40.50, £34.99

EBOOK
ASIN‏: ‎ B09VX91VQX
ISBN-13: 978-1803360812
Page Count: 256
Price: $20.06 / £14.58 (Kindle), $22.99 (NOOK Book)

‘Zodiac’ Turns 15: Behind-the-Scenes Facts You Didn’t Know About the David Fincher Movie

David Fincher’s legendary attention to detail on the serial killer film inspired plenty of on-set drama.

Christian Zilko
March 03, 2022
IndieWire

This week marks 15 years since “Zodiac” was released in theaters, and save for the actors looking 15 years younger than they do now, the film still feels like it could be released today. If anything, “Zodiac” feels more like a product of 2022 than 2007. The country is more obsessed with serial killers than ever before, with true crime podcasts and documentaries continuing to draw massive ratings, Zodiac killer memes being used in presidential primaries, and the latest Batman movie taking the form of a serial killer drama.

That makes it a great time to revisit “Zodiac,” as well as a good opportunity to take a deep dive into the making of the film. “Zodiac” attracted as much attention for its painstaking production process as it did for the finished product, as the always detail-oriented David Fincher went above and beyond to make sure everything in his film was historically accurate. Sometimes his methodical process hurt his relationships with the cast, but one thing is for certain: They made a great movie.

Read the 15 facts about the making of “Zodiac” that you may not have known.

Zodiac: The Hidden Meaning of Yellow

Adam Tinius
September 20, 2021
Entertain The Elk (PatreonYouTubeTwitterInstagram)

In this video, I explore David Fincher‘s 2007 film Zodiac, and how yellow is secretly used to help tell the story.

MUSIC IN THIS VIDEO: Astral ProjectionAstronomyUnsolved Mystery – by White Bat Audio

Team Deakins: Donald Burt, Production Designer

Roger Deakins and James Deakins
September 5, 2021
Team Deakins (rogerdeakins.com)

The Team Deakins podcast is an ongoing conversation between acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins and James Deakins, his collaborator, about cinematography, the film business and whatever other questions are submitted. We start with a specific question and end….who knows where! We are joined by guests periodically. Followup questions can be posted in the forums at rogerdeakins.com.

Team Deakins delves into the craft of production design with the great production designer, Donald Burt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hostiles, Mank). We loved hearing about his path to the film business! We talk about his first movie as production designer, Joy Luck Club – quite a film to start on! He shares his methods of working with a director and how he doesn’t want to draw attention to what he is doing and that he wants to be supportive and serve the story first. We also touch on how restrictions and limitations breed imagination, his approach to sets vs locations, and how you can’t be afraid of articulating a stupid idea. And, we also speak about the making of Mank, The Outlaw King, and Zodiac. As well as much, much more!

Listen to the podcast

Passion and Persistence: Bringing Mank From Script to Screen

SLM/Co-Producer Bill Doyle partners with director David Fincher to bring  Hollywood’s Golden Age to life

Shaun O’Banion
July 2021
LMGI Compass Magazine (Location Managers Guild)

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.”

Read the full profile:

Location Managers Guild
LMGI Compass Magazine

Art Of The Frame Podcast: “Mank” Set Designer Cassidy Shipley

Damian Allen
June 2, 2021
Art Of The Frame Podcast (ProVideo Coalition)

The Art of the Frame Podcast brings in-depth conversations with the top creators of your favorite films and shows into your car, living room and beyond. In each episode, we talk with creators ranging from emerging stars to Oscar and Emmy winners. Hear from the top editors, cinematographers, directors and more about their careers and about their work on some of the biggest films and TV shows of the year.

On todays episode of the Art of the Frame Podcast, Damian Allen talks with Cassidy Shipley about his work on the Oscar winning film “Mank.” Cassidy has had an illustrious career having worked as a set designer on films such as “La La Land”, and the upcoming film “Thor: Love and Thunder” as well as shows like “Mindhunter”, “Them” and the new Amazon series “Solos.”

Make sure to check out Cassidy’s full IMDb for more info about his career and head over to Amazon to watch “Solos!”

Todays episode of the Art of the Frame Podcast is brought to you by Filmtools.com, Hollywoods trusted one-stop shop for all things production and post.

Art Of The Frame Podcast is available on:

ProVideo Coalition
Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Anchor
Google Podcasts
Breaker
Pocket Casts
Overcast
Radio Public

If you like the podcast, make sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast app and tell a friend.

‘Mank’ Wins Oscar for Best Production Design

MANK Accepts the Oscar for Production Design

Production Designer Donald Graham Burt and Set Decorator Jan Pascale received the statuette at the Academy Awards for their work on Mank.

They had already won the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design, Best Picture and Best Achievement in Decor/Design of a Period Feature Film at the inaugural Set Decorators Society of America Awards, a BAFTA Award and a Critics’ Choice Award.

The other nominees were Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Production Designer Mark Ricker, Set Decorators Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton), The Father (Production Designer Peter Francis, Set Decorator Cathy Featherstone), News of the World (Production Designer David Crank, Set Decorator Elizabeth Keenan), and Tenet (Production Designer Nathan Crowley, Set Decorator Kathy Lucas).

Mank was nominated in 10 categories: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Production Design, Cinematography, Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound and Original Score. Director of Photography Erik Messerschmidt also won in the category of Best Cinematography.

Pascale had been previously nominated in 2006, for her work on George Clooney‘s Good Night, and Good Luck (another black & white film) but this was Burt’s second Oscar, after his triumph in 2008 with David Fincher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, so he let Pascale have the full time for her acceptance speech:

“It’s a long way down here! First of all, thank you to David Fincher, Ceán Chaffin, and Don Burt, for trusting me with this amazing project. It was such an honor to work with such an amazing group of people. Thank you to my crew, who worked their tails off on this just to make it right. When I was young, I never realized that this was a career that was even a possibility. There were so many people who helped me along the way, and guided me, and I’m so grateful to all of them, and especially to my wife, Louise, who inspires me every day. Thank you so much.”

Don Burt could give his speech in the backstage:

MANK’s Thank You Cam Speech: Production Design

The Art of Production Design: A Panel Discussion with the Oscar Nominees

Thomas Walsh, Jan Pascale
April 24, 2021
Variety / American Cinematheque

Join us for a panel discussion with this year’s Academy Award-nominated production designers and set decorators. Nominated films are: MANK (production design: Donald Graham Burt; set decoration: Jan Pascale), MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (production design: Mark Ricker; set decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton), NEWS OF THE WORLD (production design: David Crank; set decoration: Elizabeth Keenan), TENET (production design: Nathan Crowley; set decoration: Kathy Lucas) and THE FATHER (production design: Peter Francis; set decoration: Cathy Featherstone). Moderated by Thomas A. Walsh and Jan Pascale Presented by the American Cinematheque and the Art Directors Guild and Set Decorators Society of America. Sponsored by Variety.

How ‘Mank’s’ Production Designer Recreated Old Hollywood

Bianca Rae, Los Angeles
April 21, 2021
Spectrum News 1

Since his early life, production designer Donald Graham Burt never really had his eyes on Hollywood.

Burt grew up in Kansas and became a janitor right after college, but after living in Los Angeles for 40 years, he now has the chance at winning his second Academy Award.

“There are so many places in LA that are undiscovered, and sometimes they’re in the periphery and you don’t even notice them because you’re looking at the other things,” he said.

LA, however, does see Burt. In all his glory, like the Huntington Library Art Museum and Botanical Gardens — the gem that helped him embark on a nearly impossible journey to recreate old Hollywood.

Read the full article and watch the featurette