Do sweat the technique

Have you ever wondered why you love films by a particular director? That question popped into my head after watching David Fincher’s excellent Gone Girl earlier today.

I wouldn’t say that I’m the kind of person who revels in the dark or foreboding aspects of the human condition (I wasn’t one of the goth kids in high school). And yet, I absolutely love David Fincher’s films, including the very dark Se7en and the perhaps even more sinister Zodiac.

The stories our favored directors choose to tell certainly play a role in the cultivation of our attachments, but, with all due respect to Messrs. Eric B & Rakim, I’ve come to believe that the way they choose to tell their stories—their particular applications of technique—are just as important. So I was very excited when I came across the video embedded below, which provides an insightful analysis of the techniques that contribute to David Fincher’s distinctive and arresting style of storytelling.

I love Fincher’s own observation that his style is defined not by what he does, but by those things that he chooses not to do. Very Zen, and, as a follower of the tech industry, it reminded me of Apple’s approach to product creation, i.e. “a thousand no’s for every yes.”

Note that this video was created by an independent filmmaker and editor named Tony Zhou, who maintains a fantastic blog called Every Frame a Painting. If you enjoyed this piece, make sure to check out Zhou’s other videos or, better yet, contribute to his work.

BTW, there is something of a sneaker connection here in that Fincher has directed a number of spots for Nike on behalf of my former mates at Wieden+Kennedy. My favorites are the wonderfully evocative Speed Chain from 2004 and the uncharacteristically upbeat Instant Karma from way back in 1993. 

(via Kottke