Wednesday, November 9, 2011

David Fincher and The Social Network

The Social Network is an award winning film by David Fincher. It tells the story of how the social-networking site of Facebook was founded but it is also so much more than that. It uses this story as a backdrop of friendship and betrayal. Based on the novel The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, The Social Network is arguably one of the best films from the last few years.

David Fincher known for movies like Se7en and Fight Club is considered a visual artist. His films are very stylized in terms of color and composition. Looking past the technical side he also works well with actors. Not only does he allow and plot time for experimentation for the actors, he is also determined to get their best performances. In the opening scene between Mark and Erica, which was over eight pages of straight dialogue, he took 99 takes. He did this to break the actors and strip the acting away from them. Instead of sounding like rehearsed lines it looks and feels like two college kids simply talking as their characters. There is no acting going on. They know the lines inside and out and now Jesse Eisenberg and Rooney Mara have become Mark Zuckerberg and Erica Albright.

Fincher is also great with special effects. Actor Armie Hammer played both the Winklevoss twins but there are many people out there that think that there are two Armie Hammers in the real world. Josh Pence actually played one of the twins from the neck down and had Armie’s face digitally replaced over his. To further match each other’s movements and rapport they spent 10 months in twin boot camp together. This makes scenes like the rowing scene at the Henley Sequence possible.

My friends and I were so excited for this movie to come out that we even decided to recreate the amazing trailer shot for shot all in one 24 hour span during finals week of last year. Without telling our friend who looks like Jesse Eisenberg (so he would not know what he was doing) we ran around campus recreating the scenes from the movie. We later spent weeks editing it all together to make it match with the original trailer. If played side by side with the original they would match perfectly (which I have actually created a file doing so). Even though it is filled with inside jokes between friends it was posted online and have since received a large number of views (currently we just hit 800). A few weeks ago I was even asked to talk about the trailer on Ithaca College’s television show The Screening Room: Director’s Corner. If you are interested you can check out the interview here. I am the third and last person interviewed in episode five from the Fall 2011 season.

The Social Network is a brilliant film by David Fincher that I cannot speak more highly of. The acting, directing, writing, and soundtrack are just amazing. This film actually made me want to go back and re-watch other Fincher films and currently has me very excited for the upcoming Fincher release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If anything like Fincher’s previous work I am sure it will be spectacular.

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