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October 2014

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Page 19 of 51 18 POST OCTOBER 2014 avid Fincher fi rst arrived on the scene with his 1992 sci-fi thriller Alien 3, and followed that up with Seven and The Game. Since then, he's estab- lished himself as one of Hollywood's most versatile directors — and an Oscar favorite — thanks to such eclectic fi lms as Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and The Social Network. Fincher's new movie Gone Girl, based on the best-selling psychological thriller "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the screenplay, seems like an apt follow-up project to his last fi lm, the dark and suspenseful The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Starring Ben Affl eck and Rosa- mund Pike, it tells the story of an appar- ently happily-married couple, Nick and Amy Dunne, and what happens when, on their fi fth wedding anniversary, the wife mysteriously disappears. Family secrets are, once again, front and center as Fincher explores the murky moral depths of human nature. Here, in an exclusive interview, Fincher, whose credits include Zodiac and House of Cards, talks about making the fi lm, his love of post, and the importance of image stabilization. What sort of fi lm did you set out to make? "I don't think I set out to make a cer- tain type of fi lm and I don't think of this as a thriller. For me, it's a mystery that becomes a satire. So I don't really think in terms of genre — I just read material and respond to it. Then you ask yourself, is it worth spending two years of your life making it, and when I fi rst read the book — there was no script then — I was taken with the idea of how the writer had expressed the narcissism of seduction and coupling, and the idea of people presenting the best version of themselves in order to ensnare the best version of whom they see as their mate, and how that becomes problematic down the line. It was a very interesting notion to me." What were the main technical challenges of pulling all this together and how tough was the shoot? "It was a long shoot but not so tough, and there were no big technical challenges as we'd done it all before. It was more a question of recording the performances in the most optimal way and having enough coverage. I think it's a most delicate act of alchemy in any fi lm, fi nding the right tone, and this needed one that's both emotion- al and incendiary, that walks the line even if it's sardonic. You don't want to put an audience through 150 minutes with char- acters who are beyond redemption. You want them to be human and have charac- teristics that we can all identify with — but they're also extremely fl awed." This was shot by cinematographer and your frequent collaborator Jeff Cronenweth, who lensed Fight Club, The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. What did he bring to the mix? "We've worked together for 27, 28 years now, and he has great taste and is a great supporter of what you're trying to do. He doesn't freak out, he doesn't get overly stressed by problems, and he's always consistent and unfl appable. I really dislike working with people who suddenly change personalities under pressure, and it's great to have someone who instantly gets that this is an Ethan Allen aesthetic, not The Godfather." How early on did you integrate post and VFX with the production? "There's no real 'post' in our pipeline at all, as we start color, stabilization, discussing set extensions and all the rest of post on raw dailies. Right away we talk about hiding defects and so on, so there's not a traditional post. And [editor] Kirk does so much with split screens and time com- pression, and all our VFX start on day one. It's all happening on top." Did you do a lot of previs? "None at all on this. I like previs and I use it when I need exactitude and designing very specifi c shots on a stage, like swoop- ing into a window. But on location, it's very diffi cult to plan and use previs, and BY IAIN BLAIR D FAMILY SECRETS ARE FRONT AND CENTER AS FINCHER EXPLORES THE MURKY MORAL DEPTHS OF HUMAN NATURE DAVID FINCHER: GONE GIRL DIRECTOR'S CHAIR Fincher off ers direction to star Ben Affl eck in Gone Girl.

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