The REAL reason David Fincher gets insane performancesFeb 22, 2022
gotta burn this place down it looks like people are trying jason i've seen this girl around here oh yeah roseman pike was nominated for best actress but i don't know how
fincherdidn't get a nomination honestly he's a beast at leading actress so yeah you're a
fincherfan like me, you've probably seen a million videos about what makes him such a great director, there are videos about how he directs a set, his filmmaking style, the colors he uses, how he does so many takes and all the things The meticulous care he puts into crafting his movies, but one thing that always stood out to me about David Fincher was how good his
performancesare in his movies and I feel like not many people talk about how good he is at interacting with actors. and getting the most out of his performance, so a few days ago i sat down and opened every tab i could find behind the scenes of
I hit a gold mine in the first video and I should have known because it was the social one. opening scene of the ne network and this is probably the scene of his entire career where his ability to direct actors shines the most. I was blown away by the value of this video, so what I want to do is put it out there for you to see what he's doing. and translate that into actionable tips you can take to direct your next scene, so today we're looking behind the scenes of the social network every time there's something that could hurt his ego, just take it out, it's like turning it off quickly. that fire, of course not, i don't like pitchers, giant, strong, rippling biceps, to say that, to rooney mara it means that whenever she finds the time to feed mark zuckerberg's ego, um, she can do that , it gives you creative freedom, well, I can't. do that i was kidding fincher is giving her these boundaries with a general direction and jesse when she says we're not dating anymore sorry just kidding
really everything needs to stop and i
really need to focus on this for a second and i really I need to understand what you just said and it doesn't have to be fast I mean you want to be aware but as far as speed you can modulate that down so it's like oh take it easy because that's almost more annoying. when someone buys tickets take these you go oh they care it's like taking it easy oh it's like irregularity and it's unintentional it's like you're just terrible so you just let it go no but I I'll give you five seconds this is gold I've always wanted to hear Fincher doing I can't if I haven't seen this before The way you talk to an actor You have to be emotionally intelligent but I think what helps is when he says modulate it down how to do it a little A slower speed is always a clear indicator to the actors of what to do if you tell them to be more arrogant, that could mean anything and it also makes them think of themselves, but he gives a simple way to be arrogant. slow it down it's even more annoying and you see jesse eisenberg rg he's like oh so he patronizes he understands he has to patronize her i think telling them how fast or how slow is a good way to give a rooney direction in which you can really wrap up yeah that can be extremely direct for that to be so really makes it go i have to stop and notice that for a second it seems like another type of communication more than just words which is really where i feel most comfortable in so interesting, so he gives each of the actors their own subtextual thought behind a line, he told her that she wanted, he really wanted her to finish and point that out, he's encouraging her to emphasize that line and her kind of Motivation for that line is to make him stop and notice that he then gives jessie a I thought behind that line, which is I have to stop and notice that because that's another type of communication that I'm not usually this with and familiar, I love how Fincher talks and explains the thoughts that are going on and he's just speaking something verbatim. he's really talking about the subtext and i also like the fact that you never speak out loud i feel like the last thing you are is an apple i should be almost the quietest thing you say so it's like i'm leaving to leave you a little secret about you but you should remember next time you look in the mirror and that will be because yeah he talks about volume like volume is pretty easy to achieve and then gives him a
reason. and it's through this subtextual thought that is i want to leave you a little secret to think about when you look in the mirror and that's why she wants to whisper it so that it's so easy to hit these specific points in each line where fincher is fully elaborating the acting, but it's giving you the thoughts and subtext behind it, so I noticed something very interesting about some of my favorite directors is that they actually give line readings, let me save my ass before you start freaking out. t I'm saying line readings or even something you should be doing because line readings can be the worst things in the world in the first place, you shouldn't use line readings because in their worst form it's more or less asking an actor copy how you're saying it's bad line reading but what i see with fincher and tarantino and other directors is they can give a little bit of line reading but they're not forcing the actor to copy them and they're also giving subtext and
reasons behind this so the reading of the line is more like a hint but mainly to give him the feeling that he is looking for so obviously you have to learn the rule before you start breaking it but there is no hard fast like the right and wrong when it comes. to communicate with the actor you just have to realize that you don't want to force him into a frame, you want to communicate the subtext and if you say line reading isn't the end of the world, it's about how you make the actor feel. collaborating with the I think it's weirder if as a director you're scared why tell them when you're really just discussing the subtext of the character.
There are times when he says it's fun and interesting and he's fun. and interesting that it's damaged well but it's also like you know what I've done making this work here we go I feel like I was really going to finish eating but I had to put everything back in place it was like I'm going to have a I gulp, except now I hate beer and I'll never drink it right because it's ruined. You ruined it. I hope you are happy. Here we go. This is something you don't even think about. as a human that's what you do but he communicates it through the subtext so it comes out the other side it feels natural and i think so he does a lot of takes and sometimes he tries something different but usually he tries more deeply. to get to that performance in a clearer way so that he just referred refining refining refining refining he's not just taking shots to get different options and he'll look at what they're doing and there's one thing here that needs a little bit of fine tuning and then he'll look again and add this setting and by the The 80 shot or whatever they're nailing it all the time.
Another thing I want to point out here is that I really think Fincher doesn't have all these notes written before he starts talking to the actors. I think he has a couple of notes. to start but as the
performanceshappen the actors add something, he tells him what he likes, what he doesn't like and he helps direct them because you can't drive a car until it's moving. I think that's very important because it takes the pressure off you as a director to act and make sure you're putting this front up for the actors, you just have to trust your instincts that as you go along you'll get ideas the first take we did david let it all the people in the bar talk so that Another reason it was so satisfying is because it tried to create a sense of realism beyond what the movies logistically guarantee for me and rooney lent this great feeling of having to speak at a volume high but on a more psychological level at its most basic level. level of feeling like you're actually in this bar and feeling like you're actually yelling at this girl who's breaking up with you and it's confusing and you're listening to other people talk and that's also confusing and all that kind of stuff adds to the complete experience, everything on set is to help the actors feel realistic, to have the background extras really talking, you're not meant to do that, but it puts them in the environment, even filming with two camera angles at the same time is simply there to support the performance he puts his actors in an environment so they feel like they're really there you've come to find a place where you can purge and then and be careful not to use too many hand gestures to frame what is being It's about the head, okay, it's about what the head sees and watches it come off the wall because it's more like boom, he's here and he stops talking, yeah, and gives the information without looking at him, so when he says I can't or bring my legs i know its like that because i didnt read this yeah thats exactly what it was like a really cool block or just a physical direction he is telling her to just use the head of him.
Don't use your hands and don't look at it, that helps frame the performance but it gives the actor a bit of playing area of how he's going to understand this just by using his head, it's clear to the actor and conveys like a stage trick very specific character you may think you can talk as fast as he just hangs on and you're supposed to hold that's like yeah we should have split up ok ok ok here we go he's not telling them how to talk but he's telling them how feel how to think like you're in a competition with Mark Zuckerberg to show how smart he is and it's letting him realize that you may actually think you're just as smart as him that's going to bring confidence to the character who's going to get speed out of the character finch is just thinking about The character likes what he should be thinking, so let's recap what we've learned.
First, one is giving general instructions for a scene. Talking about speed. Speaking only in subtext. Talking about the volume. using physical or blocking directions choose thoughts from actions so that's a lot of advice and I don't think we need to remember all of this when we're on set with actors the main thing I take away from this is to focus on Talking about subtext so that if you want to see us put things into practice and you want to learn more about how to direct actors, you should watch this video, we actually redid a scene from social media.
It's also great to see. Your version of the scene, but if you want to see how other directors work with the actors, check out this video here about how Tarantino directs the actors. Alright guys, see you in the next video.
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