Love, Death and Robots Volume 3: David Fincher Wanted His Episode to ‘Feel Like Alien’

David Fincher chats with IGN about directing his first animated episode for Love, Death and Robots Volume 3.

David Griffin
May 20, 2022
IGN

After nearly 40 years in the entertainment business, 3-time Oscar-nominee, David Fincher, has seemingly done it all. From his early years directing music videos for Madonna and Aerosmith, crafting memorable films like Seven and The Social Network, and working on acclaimed TV shows such as House of Cards and Mindhunter, Fincher’s resume appears to be complete. But what about animation?

With the launch of Volume 3 of Netflix‘s mind-bending Love, Death and Robots anthology series, Fincher can finally check animation off his bucket list with his episode, titled “Bad Travelling.” In this seafaring horror story, a group of Jable shark hunters on a far-away planet are attacked by a giant crustacean. With the sailors’ lives in jeopardy, chaos and mutiny ensue.

Although Fincher has decades of experience working behind the camera on live-action projects, we wanted to know if animation brought any new challenges to the seasoned director.

“Ultimately, directing comes down to understanding context and sculpting time, light, and behavior with that innate understanding,” Fincher told IGN. “In some cases, like in the case of motion capture, there are people in onesies with ping pong balls hanging off them, and you’re going, ‘Okay, now remember the ship is rocking and all…’ You’re there to add a little imagination sauce to all the other shit that they’re trying to keep in their heads. I mean, it does tend to look a little like Saturday Night Live. It’s a ridiculous thing to be asking somebody to do a one-act play, dressed in pajamas. So that aspect of it, it’s the same thing. You’re playing dress up, right? And you’re trying to say, ‘Look, from the audience’s standpoint, this needs to happen a little faster here, a little… This can go a little slower. Find that word.’ It’s all the same shit.”

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David Fincher Tells You Everything You’d Ever Want to Know About Making ‘Love, Death + Robots’ and Directing ‘Bad Travelling’

Fincher also talks about his love of director Alberto Mielgo’s ‘Jibaro’ and how he’s “never seen anything like it. I’ve never been that mesmerized.”

Steve Weintraub
May 20, 2022
Collider

If you’re a fan of David Fincher and Love, Death + Robots, you’re about to be very happy. Not only is Love, Death + Robots Volume 3 now streaming on Netflix, David Fincher directed one of the episodes, Bad Travelling, and it’s fantastic. Written by Se7en screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, it’s about a giant crustacean and a shark-hunting sailing vessel. I’d love to tell you more…but the best thing about Love, Death + Robots is not knowing anything about what you’re going to watch and just letting it happen.

Shortly after watching the episode, I was able to get on the phone with Fincher for a deep dive conversation about directing Bad Travelling and the making of Love, Death + Robots. During the sprawling conversation, Fincher talked about his history with animation, how he decided on the style of animation for his episode, how they decided where something should end, how everyone involved in the series is doing it for the love of the genre, and if they’ve thought about making a Love, Death + Robots feature film or doing a live-action version. In addition, he talked about his love of director Alberto Mielgo’s Jibaro (another Love, Death + Robots Volume 3 episode) and how he’s “never seen anything like it. I’ve never been that mesmerized.”

Trust me, if you’re a fan of Fincher and this amazing series, you’ll learn a lot about how it’s made.

Check out what he had to say.

LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3: Final Trailer

May 19, 2022
Netflix

If you awaken, from this illusion…

Love, Death + Robots Vol 3. EXTREMING TOMORROW. May 20, 2022 ❤️💀🤖

Alan Watts – “Dream
Music: Apache Lord & Master

Emmy-winning animated anthology LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS returns with a third volume executive produced by Tim Miller (Deadpool, Terminator: Dark Fate) and David Fincher (MINDHUNTER, Mank). Terror, imagination and beauty combine in nine new episodes which stretch from uncovering an ancient evil to a comedic apocalypse, telling startling short stories of fantasy, horror and science-fiction with trademark wit and visual invention.

Read the LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3 guide

Watch LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS on Netflix

David Fincher Tries Animation in ‘Love, Death + Robots’

Fincher, left, directed the short under Covid protocols. “I didn’t quite realize how much I communicate through my face,” he said.

Noel Murray
May 19, 2022
The New York Times

The director made his first animated short for the new season of this Netflix anthology. “It was an incredibly freeing, eye-opening, mind-expanding way to interface with a story,” he said.

Before David Fincher became an A-list director and multiple Oscar and Emmy nominee — lauded for of-the-moment films like “Fight Club” and “The Social Network” and the TV series “House of Cards” and “Mindhunter” — he was one of the co-founders of the production company Propaganda Films. Propaganda was known for its visually dazzling TV commercials and music videos, and Fincher honed his craft in dozens of miniature movies made in myriad styles.

Yet until recently, he had never directed animation, even though he loves the medium so much that he signed on a few years ago to be an executive producer of the Netflix anthology animation series “Love, Death + Robots,” which returns for its third season on Friday.

Love, Death + Robots” sprung from the ashes of a project Fincher had been developing with the “Deadpool” director Tim Miller since the late 2000s: a revival of “Heavy Metal,” the animated movie series inspired by the adults-only science-fiction and fantasy comics magazine. The first season of “Love, Death + Robots” debuted in 2019, featuring 18 episodes (ranging in length from 6 to 17 minutes) that adapted short stories by genre favorites like Peter F. Hamilton, John Scalzi and Joe Lansdale. An eight-episode second season followed in 2021.

Despite his involvement, Fincher never made a short of his own until Season 3, when he and the screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (who wrote Fincher’s crime thriller “Seven”) tackled a tale by the British science-fiction author Neal Asher called “Bad Travelling.” Set on the high seas on a distant planet, the story follows a merchant ship as it is tormented by a giant, intelligent crab that manipulates the crew members and then eliminates them one by one. Fincher described the short as “like a David Lean movie crossed with ‘Ten Little Indians.’”

Read the full interview

‘Love, Death + Robots Volume 3’: David Fincher Directs A Short That Ties Back To His Failed ‘Heavy Metal’ Revival

Christopher Marc
May 9, 2022
The Playlist

This month will see the return of “Love, Death + Robots” on Netflix, which is produced by Tim Miller and David Fincher. With the third volume arriving, something special is happening. Fincher will be helming his first animated short for the anthology streaming series.

Netflix has released a new trailer and announced Fincher is directing the segment “Bad Travelling” which was written by screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (“Se7en”) and based on a short story by Miller’s longtime pal, author Neal Asher. This marks Fincher’s first time directing something for the streaming series.

Netflix has also included a synopsis that reads as follows:

“A jable shark-hunting sailing vessel is attacked by a giant crustacean whose size and intelligence is matched only by its appetite. Mutiny, betrayal, and ventriloquism with a corpse.”

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LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3: Official Trailer & Poster

May 9, 2022
Netflix

Emmy-winning animated anthology LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS returns with a third volume executive produced by Tim Miller (Deadpool, Terminator: Dark Fate) and David Fincher (MINDHUNTER, Mank). Terror, imagination and beauty combine in nine new episodes which stretch from uncovering an ancient evil to a comedic apocalypse, telling startling short stories of fantasy, horror and science-fiction with trademark wit and visual invention.

EXTREMING May 20, 2022.

Read the LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3 guide

Watch LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS on Netflix

Neil Kellerhouse (Netflix)

LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3: Official Teaser & Release Date

April 19, 2022
Netflix

From the streamer that brought you The Crown (Winner 21 Emmy® Awards) and The Queen’s Gambit (Winner 11 Emmy® Awards), comes the return of the 11-Time Emmy® Award-winning (yes, look it up!) LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS.

EXTREMING soon.

Global release date: May 20, 2022

Watch LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS on Netflix

Read the series guides:

2019. LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 1

2021. LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 2

2022. LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Volume 3

David Fincher’s “The Goon”. Development Hell

Andrew S. Baldwin
January 30, 2022
Supervoid Cinema (YouTube)

The Unmaking Of Movies. In-depth accounts of the ‘Greatest Movies Never Made’, Prominent ‘what ifs?’. Behind the scenes looks at canceled movies, lost projects, and the reasons why some projects went down in flames of development hell… Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, He-Man, Aliens, Hellboy, Robocop, and many more!

David Fincher has long been signed to produce a movie adaptation of Eric Powell‘s cult comic book: The Goon, published by Dark Horse, to be co-directed by Tim Miller and Jeff Fowler of Blur Studios with an original screenplay by Powell.

Video contains test animation for the David Fincher / Blur Studios / Dark Horse Entertainment produced film The Goon. Based on the Dark Horse Comic series by Eric Powell. Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti provided the voices for this test. All artwork & footage belongs to its respective creators.

‘Love, Death & Robots’: Season 2 Anthology Offers Deeper Explorations into Adult Sci-Fi Animation

The Netflix animated anthology, which was awarded four juried prizes on Wednesday, stepped out of its comfort zone in Season 2.

Bill Desowitz
August 25, 2021
IndieWire

In Season 2 of Neflix’s “Love, Death & Robots,” the adult animated anthology from executive producers David Fincher and Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) continued its embrace of survival and immortality in strange dystopian environments. However, there were eight shorts instead of 18 and a greater emphasis on philosophizing, with some directors stepping out of their comfort zones.

Indeed, the sci-fi anthology, produced by Blur Studio for Netflix, so impressed the TV Academy that it was awarded four juried prizes on Wednesday: Robert Valley, production designer (“Ice”); Patricio Betteo, background artist (“Ice”); Dan Gill, stop-motion animator (“All Through the House”); and Laurent Nicholas, character designer (“Automated Customer Service”).

“We tried to elevate the stories further and to give deeper explorations of some of these adult themes,” said supervising director Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“The Darkest Minds” and the “Kung Fu Panda”sequels). “So it was very much like a curating process to go from finding these amazing stories and these amazing authors [including Harlan Ellison and J.G. Ballard] and then matchmaking really interesting and talented directors to let them do something [different].”

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The DeviantArt Podcast: Love, Death and Robots with Tim Miller and Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Matt Buchholtz and Khalyle
May 26, 2021
DeavianArt

This month we’re joined by Netflix‘s Love, Death & Robots’ Executive Producer Tim Miller and Supervising Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson!

Learn about their journey from college illustration majors to sought-after filmmakers. They talk about the freedom granted with anthology storytelling and everything they read while working on the new volume of Love, Death & Robots. From priceless career advice and tales from the early days of computer animation, this is an episode you won’t want to miss.