Presentation on theme: "David Fincher as Auteur Film Style in Fight Club."— Presentation transcript:
David Fincher as Auteur Film Style in Fight Club
David Fincher David Fincher has proven himself to be a master filmmaker over the years with a filmography including Fight Club, Se7en, Zodiac, The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. His films are unique and iconic and have been praised by many.films
David Fincher Trade Mark Single frame insert: His movies often features several single frames that flash on the screen in the middle of a scene Fluid tracking camera which can access anywhere; a digital age innovation in camera movement pioneered by David Fincher and Kevin Tod Haug along with BUF Paris Silhouettes: Frequently has characters in the shadows where you cannot make out their face (Kevin Spacey in Se7en (1995) and Brad Pitt in Fight Club (1999)). His films often end in a suicide, either attempted or successful His films often have low-key lighting with green or blue tinted colour temperature. Wide shots Frequently casts Brad Pitt (Se7en (1995), Fight Club (1999), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)). Downbeat endings Often displays end credits as slide shows (Fight Club, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) or scrolling downward (Se7en) rather than the traditional upward scroll. Low angles Backstories filled with flashbacks Stationary shot, unfocused background with character walking into focus Posters almost always feature close-ups of characters' faces Frequently collaborates with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for musical scores (Social Network & The girl with the dragon Tattoo)
The following videos are from film critics Matt Zoller Seitz and Aaron Aradillas takes a critical approach to the opening credits/title sequences to the films of American auteur David Fincher Panic Room, Alien 3, Se7en, Fight Club & Zodiac David Fincher, is a master of form; there's usually a reason behind every shot and cut in his movies—a big-picture sensibility that explains every choice. That includes credit sequences, an aspect of Fincher's filmmaking that's examined in this five-part series of video essays. From the brazenly spectacular sequences that open Se7en and Fight Club to the more sedate, elegant openings of Alien³, Panic Room, and Zodiac, Fincher cements his reputation as a big-budget utility infielder, trying his hand at many different genres, but always letting the story dictate how he tells it
What do they opening sequences tell us about Fincher's approach to film making? Why do you think he invests so much time and creative energy into the opening sequences of his films? How well do they capture the essence of his films and establish key themes? To understand the ideological complexities of Fight Club we need to seriously consider Fincher's status as an auteur and if the film does represent a repeated concern with specific themes and characters
Studio executives Mechanic and Ziskin planned an initial budget of $23 million to finance the film, but by the start of production, the budget was increased to $50 million. Half was paid by New Regency, but during filming, the projected budget escalated to $67 million. New Regency's head and Fight Club executive producer Arnon Milchan petitioned Fincher to reduce costs by at least $5 million. The director refused, so Milchan threatened Mechanic that New Regency would withdraw financing. Mechanic sought to restore Milchan's support by sending him tapes of dailies from Fight Club. After seeing three weeks of filming, Milchan reinstated New Regency's financial backing. The final production budget was $63 million.
The filming lasted 138 days, during which Fincher shot more than 1,500 rolls of film, three times the average for a Hollywood film. The locations were in and around Los Angeles and on sets built at the studio in Century City. Production designer Alex McDowell constructed more than 70 sets. The exterior of Tyler Durden's house was built in San Pedro, California, while the interior was built on a sound stage at the studio's location. The interior was given a decayed look to illustrate the deconstructed world of the characters. Marla Singer's apartment was based on photographs of the Rosalind Apartments in downtown LA. Overall production included 300 scenes, 200 locations, and complex special effects.
Fincher hired Jeff Cronenweth as cinematographer and they applied a lurid style, choosing to make people "sort of shiny". The appearance of the narrator's scenes without Tyler Durden were bland and realistic. The scenes with Tyler were described by Fincher as "more hyper- real in a torn-down, deconstructed sense—a visual metaphor of what [the narrator is] heading into". The filmmakers used heavily desaturated colours in the costuming, makeup, and art direction. Helena Bonham Carter wore opalescent makeup to portray her romantic nihilistic character with a "smack-fiend patina". Fincher and Cronenweth drew influences from the 1973 film American Graffiti, which applied a mundane look to night-time exteriors while simultaneously including a variety of colours.
Fight Club was filmed mostly at night and Fincher purposely filmed the daytime shots in shadowed locations. The crew equipped the bar's basement with inexpensive work lamps to create a background glow. Fincher avoided stylish camerawork when filming early fight scenes in the basement and instead placed the camera in a fixed position. In later fight scenes, Fincher moved the camera from the viewpoint of a distant observer to that of the fighter.
The scenes with Tyler Durden were staged to conceal that the character was a mental projection of the nameless narrator. The character was not filmed in two shots with a group of people, nor was he shown in any over the shoulder shots in scenes where Tyler gives the narrator specific ideas to manipulate him. In scenes before the narrator meets Tyler, the filmmakers inserted Tyler's presence in single frames for subliminal effect. Tyler appears in the background and out of focus, like a "little devil on the shoulder". Fincher explained the subliminal frames: "Our hero is creating Tyler Durden in his own mind, so at this point he exists only on the periphery of the narrator's consciousness."
The film's title sequence is a 90-second visual effects composition that depicts the inside of the narrator's brain at a microscopic level; the camera pulls back to the outside, starting at his fear centre and following the thought processes initiated by his fear impulse. The sequence, designed in part by Fincher, was budgeted separately from the rest of the film at first, but the sequence was awarded by the studio in January The company mapped the computer-generated brain using an L- system, and the design was detailed using renderings by medical illustrator Katherine Jones. The pullback sequence from within the brain to the outside of the skull included neurons, action potentials, and a hair follicle. Haug explained the artistic license that Fincher took with the shot,title sequence "While he wanted to keep the brain passage looking like electron microscope photography, that look had to be coupled with the feel of a night dive—wet, scary, and with a low depth of field." The shallow depth of field was accomplished with the ray tracing process.
Other visual effects include an early scene in which the camera flashes past city streets to survey Project Mayhem's destructive equipment lying in underground parking lots; the sequence was a three-dimensional composition of nearly 100 photographs of Los Angeles and Century City by photographer Michael Douglas Middleton. The final scene of the demolition of the credit card office buildings was designed by Richard Baily of Image Savant; Baily worked on the scene for over fourteen months
His visual style is unique, always dark and gothic. Always flashy - and Fight Club is his masterpiece in that account. Its story might be not as straightforward as the one of Seven but the style just carries you away - from the masterful opening sequence to the end. Fincher uses a couple of really cool ideas: Voice over: Done a lot, but seldom this well. Ed Norton comments the scenes, explains - and makes fun of characters etc. Back jumps: Within the movie, the film sometimes just stops for Pitt / Norton to explain something. E.g.; "let me tell you something about Tyler Durden". Freaky inserts: we see Brad Pitt for just one frame about 4 times in the movie. Blink and miss. Special Effects: Some neat effects like a penguin, collapsing buildings, the interior of a brain, a plane crash - and Ed Norton inside an Ikea-catalogue. His visual style is unique, always dark and gothic. Always flashy - and Fight Club is his masterpiece in that account. Its story might be not as straightforward as the one of Seven but the style just carries you away - from the masterful opening sequence to the end. Fincher uses a couple of really cool ideas: Voice over: Done a lot, but seldom this well. Ed Norton comments the scenes, explains - and makes fun of characters etc. Back jumps: Within the movie, the film sometimes just stops for Pitt / Norton to explain something. E.g.; "let me tell you something about Tyler Durden". Freaky inserts: we see Brad Pitt for just one frame about 4 times in the movie. Blink and miss. Special Effects: Some neat effects like a penguin, collapsing buildings, the interior of a brain, a plane crash - and Ed Norton inside an Ikea-catalogue.
Homework Research Art Linson – Fight Club PRODUCER Look at his filmography If you can, watch the film ‘What just Happened’ or read the book of the same name. Written by Art Linson himself, he details his life during the making of fight club and his life after
Bibliography Museum of moving image: Grand Openings