Why David Fincher’s ‘Mindhunter’ DP Believes ‘There Are No Rules’ in Lighting

Hawkins DuBois
October 13, 2017
No Film School

‘Mindhunter’ DP Erik Messerschmidt shot the darkly intimate show with custom-made RED Xenomorphs.

When it comes to cinematography, every filmmaker, every movie or show, and every shot is different. While there may be a “textbook” way to approach a scene, there is no “correct” way. Even so, patterns and styles always emerge, and few filmmakers have developed a look as distinctive as David Fincher‘s. While Fincher is best known for his mysterious and gritty films, ranging from Fight Club to The Social Network, he’s recently ventured into the realm of streaming television, where he has produced and directed the critically-acclaimed House of Cards, and now seeks to expand on that success with the recently-released Mindhunter for Netflix.

Mindhunter tells the story of a pair of FBI agents, played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, as their work in the Elite Serial Crime Unit leads them down a dark path where they interrogate and explore the mindsets of serial killers and rapists. It’s another psychologically tense world from the mind of Fincher, and a significant part of what brings this world to life is the work of cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, who keeps audiences grounded and in the moment.

Messerschmidt, a longtime gaffer in the industry, built up years of knowledge while working alongside some of the best DPs in Hollywood, and his unique background allowed him to creatively solve problems and accentuate story with his camerawork. No Film School recently sat down with Messerschmidt to talk about his career and Mindhunter, including his decision to come up through the lighting department, mastering crew-management skills, and how to incorporate natural lighting into your shots.

Read the full interview

‘Mindhunter’ DP Recounts Rise From ‘Gone Girl’ Gaffer to Cinematographer on Netflix Series

(Merrick Morton, Netflix)

By Valentina I. Valentini
October 12, 2017
Variety

When Erik Messerschmidt stepped into the role of David Fincher’s cinematographer on “Mindhunter” — a series centered on an elite FBI serial crime unit that premieres on Netflix on Oct. 13 — he and the director were already in sync.

“David and I see the world in a similar way,” says Messerschmidt, who was Fincher’s gaffer on “Gone Girl.” “I felt like I had a lot of freedom to try things visually and take some calculated risks. He was a huge supporter of that.”

Read the full profile

A little behind the scenes teaser for Mindhunter

Christopher Probst (Instagram)

It has mutated and spawned…

From Jarred Land, President at RED:

“RED/FINCHER XENO 2.0”

RED/FINCHER XENO 2.0. @matttremblay_at_red @instajarred

A post shared by Jarred Land (@instajarred) on

The Xenos be multiplying….. #Fincher #R3D #leica #foolcontrol #rtmotion #teradek #zaxcom

A post shared by Jarred Land (@instajarred) on

From Matt Tremblay, Chief Designer at RED:

New #burningtie #globaldynamicsunited hat. #fuckformal #R3d Sold at globaldynamicsunited.com 📸Photo by @instajarred

A post shared by MATTHEW TREMBLAY (@matttremblay_at_red) on

More pictures of the beast from other Instagrammers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Has the “Xenomorph” mutated?

Last year, RED built a fully customised camera for David Fincher to shoot his upcoming series “Mindhunter” for Netflix:

David Fincher’s Custom RED Xenomorph for Netflix’s “Mindhunter”

by Richard Lackey | 6th May 2016
Cinema5D

Read the article

 

Has it mutated?: