Quint's Five Questions with David Fincher about The Social Network!
Published at: Sept. 15, 2010, 1:19 p.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a brief back and forth with Mr. David Fincher regarding THE SOCIAL NETWORK. After seeing the film a couple weeks ago my small group was supposed to rub shoulders with Fincher and discuss the film, but unfortunately he had to bail. Something about flying to Sweden… now what could he possibly be doing in Sweden? (Yes, that’s facetious).
So, our consolation prize was to get a small number of questions answered via email.
This doesn’t constitute a full interview, or even a brief one. Email interviews have a particular pace to them and feel stilted. I’m very conversational, sometimes to a fault, when I interview someone, so these always feel off. There aren’t any tangents, no possibility for surprise.
However, any word from Fincher is worth noting, especially when he goes into the casting. If this were a live interview I probably would have forced the marketing question a little bit more and tried to get him to expand on his favorite movie marketing.
Also, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the spoiler box when clicking to read this article. I will say the spoiler isn’t so much a plot spoiler as it is revealing an effect in the film, something I intentionally avoided in my review.
The reason for the secrecy is I was hoping a lot of you would share the same feeling I had when I found out that I had seen an effect through the entire movie that went completely unnoticed.
But since Fincher don’t care, neither do I! If you feel squeamish about learning anything more, kindly skip this next part and the first question.
Gone? Good. Let’s talk.
Young actor Armie Hammer plays Cameron Winklevoss, a rich kid that brings Mark Zuckerberg in on an idea for a college network site and later believes that the idea for Facebook sprang from that meeting.
Here’s the thing. There are two Winklevosses. Cameron and Tyler are twins and Fincher used face replacement to pull the effect off. The small group that watched the movie, myself included, were completely duped and we’re not exactly pushovers when it comes to spotting digital effects.
It’s a perfect storm of flawless technique, an actor that isn’t so well known that you know right away that he doesn’t have a twin and all in a film where most aren’t going in looking for an effect.
So, now that’s clear. I didn’t want the question to cause any confusion. Now that that’s out of the way, here are my five email questions with David Fincher! Enjoy!
Quint: I have to start off asking about the casting. I think it was Altman who said that casting is 90% of a director's job and while I wouldn't take that literally when I see a movie like The Social Network I grasp what he's getting at. How important was it to you find this group and make sure they all worked with each other? Jesse and Andrew are fantastic together. Armie is amazing and even Timberlake knocks it out of the park. I know it's important that individually these guys need to bring it, but did you test them together before choosing them for their roles?
David Fincher: WE CAST THEM VERY QUICKLY -- WE JUST WENT WITH THE BEST ACTOR'S INITIAL TAKE, KNOWING THAT WE WOULD BUILD A SCHEDULE THAT WOULD ALLOW FOR THE KIND OF “FRACTAL EXPLORATION" I WANTED TO DO WITH AARON'S TEXT. ARMIE WAS THE LAST BECAUSE WE NEEDED TO FIND ANOTHER ACTOR TO LEND HIS BODY TO THE FACE-REPLACEMENT TECHNIQUES WE EMPLOYED IN SOME OF THE TWINNING SHOTS, AND SO WE COULDN'T REALLY COMMIT TO ARMIE UNTIL WE HAD JOSH PENCE WHO WAS UTTERLY FANTASTIC AS THE "FROM THE CLAVICLES DOWN” TYLER WINKLEVOSS.
Quint: Did you get to work very closely with Aaron Sorkin on the adaptation of Ben Mezrich's book or was he off doing his own thing? If you did work closely with him, what was that collaboration like?
David Fincher: THE SCRIPT WAS FINISHED WHEN I GOT IT, AND I PRETTY MUCH SHOT THE FIRST DRAFT -- MINUS A FEW TWEEKS HERE AND THERE FOR MY CYNICISM...
Quint: The trailers for The Social Network have been outstanding. I think there's a nearly lost art to the teaser trailer. We don't really get trailers like we used to... A Clockwork Orange, An American Werewolf in London and The Shining come immediately to mind. How important is a trailer to you and what are some of your favorite trailers?
David Fincher: I LOVE WHAT MARK WOOLLEN DID FOR "SOCIAL NETWORK" AND I THINK HE'S AS GOOD AS THEY GET RIGHT NOW. I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT "ALIEN" HAD THE MOST ELEGANT AND PROVOCATIVE MATERIALS EVER.
Quint: I loved Trent Reznor's score! This is his first feature score, right?
David Fincher: I THINK SO. IT WAS A TOTAL COOP TO GET HIM, AND HE HELPED IMMEDIATELY TO PUT THE FILM IN THE PROPER PERSPECTIVE FOR ME. HE SOLIDIFIED IT. I THOUGHT HE'D BE GREAT, BUT I NEVER DARED TO DREAM HE WOULD BE THIS GOOD...
Quint: Can you talk about how you came to bring him on board, what made you think he'd be the guy to score this film and what that collaboration was like?
David Fincher: HE WAS VERY TIRED WHEN I CONTACTED HIM AND INITIALLY TURNED ME DOWN, BUT I AM NOTHING IF NOT KNOWN FOR MY DIFFICULTY WITH THE WORD "NO," SO I JUST STALKED HIM. EVENTUALLY HE RELENTED.
And there you have it. I’m working on a few other possible Social Network interviews that should be in person and significantly more than five questions. Keep your eyes peeled!
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