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July/August 2020

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Page 13 of 35 12 POST JULY/AUG 2020 etflix's Mindhunter series is in- spired by true events. Directed by David Fincher, the show focuses on FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench, who try to understand the psyches of notori- ous serial killers. Mindhunter's first season debuted in 2017, and the second season returned in the summer of 2019. Season 2 stars Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, Joe Tuttle, Albert Jones, Stacey Roca, Michael Cerveris, Lauren Glazier and Sierra McClain. While Fincher was the series' primary director, Andrew Dominik and Carl Franklin also directed episodes. SHOOTING Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, ASC, had worked with Fincher in the past. He was a gaffer on the filmmaker's Gone Girl, and was excited to receive a call, inviting him to come onboard to reshoot part of the pilot and second epi- sode back in 2017. The show was already shooting with a Red camera for Season 1, and upgraded to the newer Helium 8K sensor for Season 2 "It's the same in terms of sensor size, but it is substantially higher resolution," Messerschmidt explains. "And it has different color fidelity characteristics or color pipeline characteristics." In the case of Mindhunter, the produc- tion shoots with a center extraction that allows for approximately 20 percent of a buffer along the frame's edge. "We do a fairly substantial post pro- cess on the show, in terms of applying barrel distortion, chromatic aberration, some flare effects, things like that, so having a little bit of extra information on the outside helps. And then, of course, the high resolution to pull from helps immensely with the noise floor, low light noise, grain, etc." The show's second season developed a workflow that included HDR monitor- ing on-set. "We were able to monitor at 600-nits in HDR in Dolby PQ gamma, but in 1080, so it's regular HD resolution," he explains. "I was primarily worried about color gamut and gamma, in terms of QC…so resolution actually isn't so important to me in that instance — but contrast and color gamut are." The production and post team created an ACES workflow throughout — from capture and on-set monitoring into post for editorial, the DI and conform. Even though they are capturing in 8K, they are seeing a live debayer in 1080. "The camera does a debayer and then you can put that debayered im- age into any encoded space you like," Messerschmidt explains. "In our case, we have the camera output ACES CC, which is essentially ACES log…Then we apply a transform in the monitor to that ACES log and we transform it into Dolby PQ HDR and Rec 20/20. We built a series of LUTs that allowed us to monitor it in PQ and Rec 20/20." The colorist can then focus on cre- atively graded the footage, knowing it is arriving with a look that represents what was intended during acquisition. From the first season to the sec- ond, Messerschmidt says the show has evolved stylistically too. "We worked hard to maintain a very kind of subtle, stylized [look]," he explains. "We tried very hard not to draw attention to ourselves. Ideally, no one notices what we're doing. They're engrossed in the story — in the performance." Messerschmidt says Mindhunter's look is based around composed frames and relatively wide lenses. "We don't move the camera very much," he notes. "When we do, it's gen- erally motivated by the actors' move- ment. It's mostly naturally lit, and it's fairly minimalist." FotoKem provided the production team with a NextLab system that was used for creating files for editorial. EDITING Kirk Baxter of Santa Monica's Exile (www. also has a long-standing relationship with David Fincher. He's cut The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) — all of which won the Oscar for Best Editing, a credit he shared with Angus Wall. He also cut 2014's Gone Girl (2014), and is current- ly working on an upcoming Netflix feature with the director, titled Mank. STREAMING NETFLIX'S MINDHUNTER BY MARC LOFTUS DIRECTOR DAVID FINCHER CALLS ON TRUSTED COLLABORATORS N Editor Kirk Baxter Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt

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