David Fincher segment CityTV’s good old Movie Television.
I am a contrarian by nature, so all it does is make me want to take real risks. I am like, ‘If we are not out on the ledge juggling chain saws, then we are doing ourselves a huge disservice.’
15 minutes of Fincher discussing filmmaking.
I went to a place called the Berkley Film Institute for a summer program with a grade school friend of mine, and we just thought it was a joke. It was very impressionist, very Berkley. There were all these people who were there to communicate and change the world, to do all these lofty things — and then they made these really shitty, stupid little movies. And we were kind of like, “I’m not here for this, I’m just here to pull cable.” We were the youngest people there and we ended up being the grips and electrics on everybody else’s movies, and it was pretty good those six or seven weeks, we got to shoot Panaflex cameras and make a married print – it was in black and white and you made these little cheese-ball movies, but at least you were making “something.” It was kind of like film school in that way, but those who can’t do, teach, and those who couldn’t teach, taught there. They tried, they just didn’t want to get dirty with it, they didn’t want to get in up to their necks. It was all very patrician.
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Previously on Cinephilia & Beyond:
David Fincher, Brad Pitt, and Morgan Freeman lend their voices and insight into this commentary track for Se7en:
“The underlying truth of all of these characters is they are in the violent business.” – Morgan Freeman
“If the ultimate journey is truth, or quest defined in a scene, then don’t fight it. At least, at its worst, you’ll have something that’s truthful.” – Brad Pitt
“To me, this is the closest I’ve been to a perfect film. Can we end on that?” – Brad Pitt
“What about Fight Club?” – David Fincher
Se7en Script by Andrew Kevin Walker for your downloading and reading pleasure:
This isn’t going to have a happy ending.
Art of the Title: Se7en (1995)
This is the part when they’re visiting John Doe’s apartment. The shots are happen at the stairways and the 6th floor hallway of the apartment building. The following shot after is Mills shouting “The Fifth Floor” as he’s getting down to the 5th floor. I saw things I simply didn’t notice before although I’ve watched it quite few times.
In the links to the following pages, you will see the unshot alternative ending that was included on the Criterion LaserDisc in storyboard format. Additionally, there is a very detailed diagram as to the horrific device used for the “Lust” crime.
Fincher Film School: On Directing
Director David Fincher and actors Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter talk about making the cult classic Fight Club.
Fight Club screenplay by Jim Uhls [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only)
Jim Uhls is not your average screenwriter. For one thing, his nickname is “Professor Peculiar.” For another, as this exclusive off-kilter discussion of his craft demonstrates, Uhls is eager to break the first rule of Fight Club: He talks about Fight Club. A lot. That seminal film, directed by David Fincher (Se7en, Panic Room), pushed every boundary possible for a studio movie, and Uhls’ darkly funny script, adapted from the Chuck Palahniuk novel, is a wickedly subversive example of how to successfully adapt an “unadaptable” book. Step inside the mind of the man who figured out how to do it, as Professor Peculiar explains how to use a newspaper story approach to build a brilliant pitch, why you should interview your characters, how to know when to “stick a fork” in your screenplay, and the macabre particulars of how and why he had to murder his brother’s cat.
11 Hidden Secrets in Fight Club
David Fincher has been behind the camera for some of the most original, innovative and technically masterful commercials, music videos and feature films in the last twenty years. His work has a singular look and passion that has elevated him to the highest ranks of creative artists working in motion pictures. Join John and Andy for the 1st edition of MasterClass, a new series dedicated to a single filmmaker whose work has risen above the industry standard to achieve signature status.
If you want to learn from the man who won an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for his 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, then you are in the right place. The selection of films he has directed really shows his dedication as a director, he seems to have the drive of a poker player and the artistic talent of a true artist. Having an opportunity to hear from such a legendary man is a real honour and will certainly help with your own ambitions.
This is a copy of an actual Chinatown shooting script. The Adobe Acrobat file is somewhat large because it’s an image rather than a text file, so save it to your desktop, read it at your leisure, and if you’d like print it for your script library. This document may be difficult to read in places and it doesn’t reflect correct spec (or reading) script format, but it’s an opportunity for beginning screenwriters to see what an original shooting script looks like.
According to the industry’s most-respected screenwriters, this script reflects some of the best writing in the history of film. —Lex Williford
(NOTE: All material for educational purposes only)
Roman Polanski gives a masterclass on the making of Chinatown. Hear why he believes it to be his best film, and learn the stories behind his approach to script construction, mise en scene, directing difficult actors, and unhappy endings.
Full program: Scene By Scene – Roman Polanski
A storyboard impression of David Fincher’s ‘Seven’ - The Desert Sequence. Key scene in David Fincher’s ‘Se7en’.
Better than film school: David Fincher talks about his adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s TGWTDT (Audio Commentary).