Pic of the Day – Harris Savides on the set of Zodiac (2007)

A pair of production stills featuring cinematographer Harris Savides (Milk, Elephant, American Gangster) on the set of David Fincher’s Zodiac (2007). Both pics were taken by unit stills photographer Merrick Morton. Zodiac was one of the first movies to use Thomson’s Viper FilmStream high-definition digital cameras. Here’s Savides’ thoughts on the camera, from the May 2007 issue of American Cinematographer Magazine:

“I didn’t like the viewfinder, the umbilical cord to the recorder, or the need for a digital-imaging technician just so you can turn the camera on. But someone’s got to start using these systems to help make them better, and, of course, film has its problems, too. Nothing is perfect. But what is the net gain of shooting digitally? So far, from my perspective, any benefit of using digital cameras lies in postproduction, not production. In the future, I see smaller, better cameras; fewer crewmembers needed to service them; and a method of production that’s freer and less encumbered by technology. But that’s not the situation right now.”

An interview with Gone Girl cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth

 

“Why would you even want this? Yes, I loved you, and then all we did was resent each other and try to control each other and cause each other pain.” – Nick Dunne in Gone Girl

“That’s marriage.” – Amy Dunne

Even by David Fincher’s misanthropic standards, the jaundiced view of marriage in the director’s latest film Gone Girl is bleak. Based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, the twisting murder mystery centers on a couple (played by Rosamund Pike as the titular missing wife and Ben Affleck as her possibly homicidal husband) whose union is so festeringly rancorous that by the time the quote above is uttered it draws a laugh from audiences.

Fincher may be a misanthrope, but he hasn’t lost his sense of humor when it comes to human foibles. In Gone Girl, he swells the matrimonial acrimony until it reaches the absurd heights of pitch black comedy.

“That’s David’s sense of humor,” said Gone Girl cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth. “(He wants) laughs that, after you’ve made them, you have to ask yourself, ‘Was that appropriate for me to laugh at?'” Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes: The films of David Fincher

“I don’t know how much movies should entertain. To me, I’m always interested in movies that scar. The thing I love about Jaws is the fact that I’ve never gone swimming in the ocean again.” – David Fincher in a 2010 interview with The Independent

With Gone Girl out on home video tomorrow, Deep Fried Movies takes a look back at the career of David Fincher via this gallery of set stills encompassing each of this 10 films as director. Continue Reading ›

The Special Effects of Gone Girl

(Above left) The set-up for a “Dry-for-Wet” shot from David Fincher’s Gone Girl (2014) depicting the imaginary watery grave of a sociopathic femme fatale (played by Rosamund Pike). (Above right) The final images from the film. The behind the scenes pic comes courtesy of the November issue of American Cinematographer magazine. Read the mag’s feature on the film here.

An early adopter of digital camera technology, director David Fincher continued to push the pixel boundaries by making Gone Girl (2014) the first major film to use the Epic Red Dragon as its main production camera. The Dragon sensor allowed Fincher to capture footage in 6K resolution. Though most audiences will experience the film in either a 4K or 2K version, that extra information gives additional leeway in post-production to create the type of invisible computer generated effects shown below. Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Photo courtesy of the Facebook page Cinema Behind the Scenes, a great resource for production stills.

(Above) The water tank sound stage used to shoot the squid attack sequence in Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). The squid battle was initially set at sunset, but the creature looked too artificial and the scene was reshot with a night setting. Check out the original version and the final, reshot version below: Continue Reading ›

A gallery of production stills from David Fincher’s Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl (Flicks and Bits)

Ben Affleck (left) and David Fincher (right) discuss a shot from the upcoming release Gone Girl, via Flicks and Bits. Photo by Merrick Morton.

Having just finished reading Gillian Flynn’s 2012 best-seller Gone Girl, I can’t fathom what inspired director David Fincher to take on the pulpy page turner as his next project. Particularly considering Fincher’s last film – 2011’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – was another twisty genre thriller. Gone Girl tells the story of a writer (played by Ben Affleck) who becomes the chief suspect when his estranged wife goes missing on their wedding anniversary.  Continue Reading ›