Reported by Joe Frady
Breakdown reel showcasing David Fincher‘s invisible visual effects in the Netflix Original Series Mindhunter.
David Fincher‘s new Netflix series is edited with an all-Adobe workflow, including Premiere Pro and After Effects, bringing VFX and editorial under one roof.
David Fincher is known for directing many successful films, including Gone Girl, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, as well as the Netflix hit series House of Cards. With each new project, he mesmerizes audiences with his unique storytelling and visual style. His latest project, the 10-episode Netflix series Mindhunter, is no exception.
One of the keys to David Fincher’s success is a talented post-production team that shares his work ethic, passion for filmmaking, and willingness to push boundaries. Peter Mavromates has served as a producer and post-production supervisor on multiple Fincher projects, while Editors Kirk Baxter and Tyler Nelson, along with Assistant Editor Billy Peake and In-house VFX Compositor Christopher Doulgeris, are all veterans on the team.
10 years after releasing the “VES 50: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time“, a list voted by its members, the Visual Effects Society (VES) has celebrated its 20th anniversary with an expanded list (of 72 films in total, due to ties), which now includes The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008):
300 (2007), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), A Trip to the Moon (1902), The Abyss (1989), Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Apollo 13 (1995), Avatar (2009), Babe (1995), Back to the Future (1985), Blade Runner (1982), Citizen Kane (1941), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1958), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), District 9 (2009), E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Ex Machina (2015), Fantastic Voyage (1966), The Fifth Element (1997), Forbidden Planet (1956), Forrest Gump (1994), Gertie the Dinosaur (1914), Ghostbusters (1984), Godzilla (1954), Gravity (2013), Inception (2010), Independence Day (1996), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Jaws (1975), Jurassic Park (1993), King Kong (1933), King Kong (2005), Life of Pi (2012), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), The Lost World (1925), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Mary Poppins (1964), The Mask (1994), The Matrix (1999), Metropolis (1927), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Planet of the Apes (1968), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Return of the Jedi (1983), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Sin City (2005), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Star Wars (1977), Starship Troopers (1997), Superman: The Movie (1978), The Ten Commandments (1956), The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), The Thing (1982), Titanic (1997), Total Recall (1990), Toy Story (1995), Tron (1982), Transformers (2007), Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), The War of the Worlds (1953), The Wizard of Oz (1939), What Dreams May Come (1998), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).
VES Board Chair Mike Chambers said:
“The VES 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling.”
“We see this as an important opportunity for our members, leading visual effects practitioners worldwide, to pay homage to our heritage and help shape the future of the global visual effects community. In keeping with our mission to recognize and advance outstanding art and innovation in the VFX field, the VES 70 now forms a part of our legacy that we can pass down to future generations of filmmakers as a valuable point of reference.”
Christopher Probst: “The idea behind the setup is, 11-12 cameras are rolled simultaneously covering all pre-determined angles, focal lengths, heights and degrees of tilt that will be shot of the actors in the corresponding picture car on our custom greenscreen process stage.”
Jarred Land (President at RED):
David Fincher‘s insane Plate Van for Mindhunter. 11 Epic Dragons on Global Dynamics United Tilt Plates all triggered by one detonator. Great Design Colab between Fincher, Myself and Christopher Probst.
All things considered, this wasn’t actually as expensive as it would seem.
I had a bunch of the 80/20 extrusions left over from previous projects and those Black Magic monitors I bought for super cheap online. My engineers built the 11 camera trigger out of a left over battery shell for about $40 in parts.
The initial design process was super efficient because 80/20 has plugins for SolidWorks so Fincher and I spent a lot of time on the computer pre-visualizing everything and we could figure out the weak links very quickly before we even had the van.
The GDU low profile bombproof tilt plates which Fincher, Matthew Tremblay and I designed we built just for this (which became the GDU tilt plates) seemed exotic but was actually way more cost effective than buying or renting dutch or tango heads that were expensive and not really made for what we were using them for. Remember this is a multi-year show so they actually are saving a ton of money designing it and building it rather than just renting everything for such a long period of time… it likely has already paid for itself.
This is just the prototype of something Fincher and I have been working on for a few years now and it’s going to get way way more badass as time goes on.
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A Video Essay by Conor Bateman
Conor Bateman observes how analogue and digital, real and constructed, bleed into a paranoid, video-game vision of 1970s San Francisco in David Fincher’s classic crime procedural, Zodiac.
Commissioned by Open City Inc, publisher of RealTime 2017, ©RealTime
Are computer generated visual effects really ruining movies?
We believe that the reason we think all CG looks bad is because we only see “bad” CG. Fantastic, beautiful, and wonderfully executed CG is everywhere – you just don’t know it. Truly great visual effects serve story and character – and in doing so are, by their very definition, invisible.
Written and Narrated by Freddie Wong
Edited by Joey Scoma
Assistant Editor – Joshan Smith