One of the most technically minded directors out there is David Fincher. But the things that make him stand out, might not be so obvious.
There are a number of reasons that Fincher is an iconic director, however, looking past the flash and all the technical aspects of his films, there are specific scenes that are masterful. Conversations. The way Fincher is able to create intriguing, and engaging conversation pieces through his blocking, use of shots and the way the actors are directed, is second to none.
One of the best examples of his conversation pieces is the first scene of ‘The Social Network’. Two giants of the film industry have fused to create this hugely engaging scene. With Aaron Sorkin writing a film, you are almost always guaranteed to have an impactful and captivating dialogue. Then, with Fincher at the helm, steering the ship with his (in)famous number of takes and technical mastery, even the most simple scenes are a marvel.
In this scene, we are thrown straight into the action of the conversation, in a dark, dingy student bar. It’s a date, but clearly, through lighting and the blocking of the extras in the background, it feels cramped and unromantic. Jumping straight into the dialogue, we are thrown into the relationship, and from the first few interactions, we can tell that there is something wrong.
This entire encounter sets up the character that we are about to embark on a 2 hour journey with. In short, he’s an asshole. This character is being portrayed as being so far ahead of others, that he is literally always one step ahead in converstaions; if you can’t keep up with him, then he doesn’t want to hear from you. In a short few minutes, we learn about the character of Mark; and this characterisation is prominent all the way through the film. Fincher has successfully been able to make you firstly learn about this character, but also to hate him, all in about five minutes.
But that’s not all that Fincher does well, if you want to hear more about Fincher we have made a whole podcast episode about him! You can watch/listen to the full podcast here: