3 Pieces Of Filmmaking Advice From David Fincher!

By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on September 24, 2015

David Fincher is a perfectionist. From avoiding unnecessary camera movements to playing with lights, to his use of cinematography; he tries his best to extract perfection. Fincher's films are characterized by intense themes, be it romantic fantasy dramas (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) or psychological thrillers (Fight Club). Tyler Durden, Lisbeth Salander, Detective Lieutenant William Somerset, and Amy Elliott-Dunne, stand out as enigmatic examples of Fincher's characterization.

Every filmmaker wants to emulate what Fincher does in his movies. I came across this post by Film School Rejects where they've highlighted filmmaking tips from Fincher. I've listed down three tips and you can read them right here:

1. Take the Call

What you learn from that first – and I don’t call it ‘trial by fire’; I call it ‘baptism by fire’ – is that you are going to have to take all of the responsibility, because basically when it gets right down to it, you are going to get all of the blame, so you might as well have made all of the decisions that led to people either liking it or disliking it. There’s nothing worse than hearing somebody say, ‘Oh, you made that movie? I thought that movie sucked,’ and you have to agree with them, you know?

2. Know That It Might Not turn Out The Way You Want It To

I never fall in love with anything. I really don’t, I am not joking. ‘Do the best you can, try to live it down,’ that’s my motto. Just literally give it everything you got, and then know that it’s never going to turn out the way you want it to, and let it go, and hope that it doesn’t return. Because you want it to be better than it can ever turn out. Absolutely, 1000 percent, I believe this: Whenever a director friend of mine says, ‘Man, the dailies look amazing!’ … I actually believe that anybody, who thinks that their dailies look amazing doesn’t understand the power of cinema; doesn’t understand what cinema is capable of.

3. Films And Movies Are Different

A movie is made for an audience and a film is made for both the audience and the filmmakers. I think that The Game is a movie and I think Fight Club‘s a film. I think that Fight Club is more than the sum of its parts, whereas Panic Room is the sum of its parts. I didn’t look at Panic Room and think: Wow, this is gonna set the world on fire. These are footnote movies, guilty pleasure movies. Thrillers. Woman-trapped-in-a-house movies. They’re not particularly important.


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