I am Sitting in a Room, Listening to Mank

Cormac Donnelly
October 2021
Screenworks

This video essay examines the innovative use of sound recording and mixing in David Fincher’s Mank (2020). Whilst Mank received a limited theatrical release, the film is most widely available via the Netflix streaming platform. The essay takes as a starting point the rerecording and spatialisation of the soundtrack, with a focus on the home viewing experience. Donnelly argues that the re-recording process used on Mank’s soundtrack could potentially suggest a method by which films released into the domestic market could retain the reverberant sonic signature of cinematic exhibition. The published screenwork draws upon interviews with Fincher’s sound designer Ren Klyce, as well as the work of experimental composer, Alvin Lucier in order to better understand the experience of listening to Mank in our own rooms.

Watch the video essay and read the research statement

Read the original in-depth interview with Ren Klyce:

Making Mank’s Vintage Hollywood-Magic Sound

Why Does It Always Rain In David Fincher’s Films?

Gray Kotzé (Director of Photography)
November 7, 2021
In Depth Cine

After watching a few David Fincher films I realised that one way he presents a cinematic world which is an exaggerated version of real life is through the weather.

0:00: Introduction
0:50: Seven
4:08: Sponsored Message
5:06: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
7:48: The Social Network
9:00: Conclusion

Music:
Rhythm Scott‘Tribal Splash’
Dear Gravity‘Finish Remember Begin Again’
Doug Kauffman‘The River Brethren’
We Dream Of Eden‘After the Storm’
Ottom‘Quiet Street’

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Cinematography Style: Jeff Cronenweth

Gray Kotzé (Director of Photography)
October 17, 2021
In Depth Cine

In this edition I’ll look at Jeff Cronenweth, who, to a large extent, is responsible for popularising a style of ‘dark cinematography’, through his work on movies such as Fight Club or The Social Network.

0:00: Introduction
1:03: Background
2:36: Philosophy
5:23: Sponsored Message
6:18: Gear
11:57: Conclusion

Music:
Liquid Memoirs‘Through The Portal’
Bosnow ‘Bangkok Rain’
Liquid Memoirs‘Altered States’
Salt Of The Sound‘Awake My Soul’
Liquid Memoirs‘Hazy Evenings’
Ottom ‘Raining In Kyoto’
Trevor Kowalski‘Katydid’

Source: Fight Club (American Cinematographer, November 1999)

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Gear I use: YouTube Gear, Editing Software, Music, Stock Footage, Cinematography Gear

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3 Things That Working With Jeff Cronenweth Taught Me About Cinematography

Gray Kotzé (Director of Photography)
June 19, 2020
In Depth Cine

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

Cinematography Style: Darius Khondji

Gray Kotzé (Director of Photography)
May 16, 2021
In Depth Cine

Darius Khondji is a cinematographer who is able to adapt images into almost any form to mimic the style of whichever director he works with, while subtly mixing in some of his own photographic traits. In this episode of cinematography style, I’ll break down the work of Khondji by examining his philosophy on photography as well as some of the gear which he uses to execute these ideas.

0:00: Introduction
1:23: Background
2:26: Philosophy
5:09: Gear
9:01: Conclusion

Music:
Liquid Memoirs‘Shimmer’
Eill‘The Horizon’
Isben Producer ‘Dream’
The Cliff‘Terms Of Motion’
Norvik ‘Walking The Universe’
Lalinea‘Will You Dance With Me’

Sources:
Conversations with Darius Khondji (American Cinematographer, November 2018)
Bedazzled (British Cinematographer, April 2020)

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DISCLAIMER: Some links in this description are affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with these links I may receive a small commission without an additional charge to you. Thank you for supporting my channel so I can continue to provide you with free videos!

BAFTA Film Sessions: Make Up & Hair

March 23, 2021
BAFTA Guru (BAFTA)

Make Up and Hair design transforms characters, sometimes into new people, this is a fantastic opportunity to hear from this year’s nominees.

Speakers include:

  • Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle, Hillbilly Elegy
  • Gigi Williams, Mank
  • Matiki Anoff, Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Larry M. Cherry, Mia Neal, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Mark Coulier, Pinocchio

Supported by Lancôme

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (‘Mank,’ ‘Soul’ composers): Working with David Fincher and Pete Docter because they are ‘geniuses’

Chris Beachum
January 26, 2021
Gold Derby

2020 was certainly a tough year for everyone, but there were some bright spots for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The composer duo won their first Emmy Award in September for “Watchmen.” Their band Nine Inch Nails was inducted (although virtually) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in November. And the end of the year brought the film releases of “Mank” for Netflix and “Soul” for Disney/Pixar, for which they composed the score of each.

In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), Reznor says, “When I heard you say that about the list of accomplishments this past year, set against the backdrop of the brutality and relentlessness of the pandemic and politically what’s happening. As parents trying to keep our kids safe and sane and happy and some sense of normality, it has been a weird juxtaposition of accolades set against this year we’d all like to put in the rear-view mirror.”

Reznor and Ross won an Oscar for Best Original Score on their first feature film (“The Social Network,” 2010). They have teamed with that movie’s director, David Fincher, several times, including for “Mank,” the behind-the-scenes story of writer Herman J. Mankiewicz and his work on the classic 1941 film “Citizen Kane.” They have collaborated for the first time with Pixar chief Pete Docter on his animated feature “Soul,” about a jazz musician who wants to navigate his way back to his body from the afterlife.

On working with two such distinctive and varied directors, Reznor adds, “The similarities of Pete and David are that they’re both geniuses, different styles of genius, but they’re both the very best at what they do. Being around them is… that we thrive on that. We’re searching out excellence because we are inspired by it.”

How David Fincher Faked an Old Movie

Danny Boyd
December 13, 2020
Danny Boyd (YouTube)

Today, let’s dive into the filmmaking mind of director David Fincher, and his 2020 film Mank.

David Fincher loves CGI and VFX, and that is on full display just as much in Mank (2020) as it is in all his past films. Only this time, for Mank, David Fincher had to use those tools, along with an old school cinematography and directing style, and smart editing, not only to create a convincing 1930’s Hollywood world, reminiscent of movies like Orson WellesCitizen Kane, but also a convincing golden age Hollywood movie. Let’s see how David Fincher faked Mank.

Video written & edited by Danny Boyd (Instagram, Twitter). Support me on Patreon

Music:
Marty Gots a Plan by Kevin MacLeod (license)
Deadly Roulette by Kevin MacLeod (license)

Sound effects:
Single Electric Typewriter Carriage Return by lonemonk (license)

The Controversy Behind David Fincher’s MANK

Andrew Saladino
November 30, 2020
The Royal Ocean Film Society

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Sources / Further Reading:

Raising Kane by Pauline Kael
The Citizen Kane Book
The Kane Mutiny by Peter Bogdanovich
Bogdanovich’s Interviews w/Orson Welles
The Scripts of Citizen Kane
by Robert L. Carringer
Films in Focus by Andrew Sarris

Music: “Highlight Reel”, “Rollin at 5”, “Faster Does It”, “Night in Venice” by Kevin MacLeod

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The Social Network. Ten Years Later

Andrew Saladino
September 23, 2020
The Royal Ocean Film Society

Watch it on vimeo

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Want to see every new Royal Ocean video EARLY? Check out our Patreon page!

Sources / Further Reading:

Inventing Facebook by Mark Harris
Mark Zuckerberg Tried To Stop The Social Network From Being Made by Alyson Shontell
Did Network Predict the Future of Television? by Steven Rosenbaum

Music: Chris Zabriskie – “Candlepower”

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