“And the Other Way is Wrong”: An Exploration of David Fincher’s Genius

Let’s not mince words: Gone Girl was straight brilliant. Easily top-five material for 2014, at least as of this writing.

And while I’m sure much of the movie’s brilliance should be attributed to novelist/screenwriter Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is nevertheless a David Fincher movie to the marrow. His deft manipulation of tone and ironclad technique let the lurid story pretty much explode off the screen. There’s just one question How does he do it?

Well, I’m sure no one can completely answer that in less than eight minutes, but Tony Zhou — remember him? — comes pretty damn close. Hit that video up there and enjoy the kind of filmmaking breakdown that will make you want to rewatch everything Fincher ever made.

Now if I can just find my copy of Zodiac

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  1. I’ve expressed my love for David Fincher time and time again – and this little explanation behind his craft is terrific. Thanks for sharing David.

  2. I’ve always loved his steady shots, because despite their almost robotic motion, they always feel alive. I was in my final year of film school when I watched Dragon Tattoo something like five times, then the special features showing him and the crew in the effects room getting rid of any unintended camera shake. All my film school pals were obsessed with hand-held work (and I’ve had my moments of that too), but seeing the power of a disembodied camera changed my tune.

    Zodiac and The Game I should watch again. Like Gone Girl, they weren’t my favourites immediately, but I think with a second watch I could appreciate the subtleties.

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