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Geekery: How Fincher Uses Camera Movement to Pull Audiences In

2 Minute Read
Oct 21 2017

If you – like me and a bunch of other people – are watching Mindhunter right now, you’ll find this interesting.

Evan Puschak aka Nerdwriter takes a close look at how David Fincher (and cinemotographer Jeff Cronenweth) uses camera movement to get the audience into the story and relate to the characters.


Fincher and Cronenweth have been working with each other with years and it shows in their ability to do this. The camera mimics natural eye movement – the camera moves in the way we do when we’re paying attention to someone/thing moving through a space, which make us feel like we’re in the same room with the people on screen. It’s subtle, and it’s brilliant.

Jeff Cronenweth (with the tape measure) & David Fincher on the set of Fight Club


Cronenweth – whose father is Jordan Cronenweth, the DP on Bladerunner – talked about his work with Fincher with Indiewire a few years back (the full interview is worth your time):


With the most recent movies that we’ve had the opportunity to shoot, we’ve taken reality and have responsibly made the visuals as compelling and important as the contents of the story allow you to do. I don’t want to sound like I’m recreating what the reality is, but a lot of the movies are so grounded in human experiences that to really push one style would get in the way of it, especially if it was too heavy handed. As elegantly and contemporary as these movies seem, it’s about finding what’s in them to push the boundaries of the style so that it’s still coherent to the context. It’s always been that way for me. I kind of follow my father’s photography, which I fell in love with, and to some degree it was that with a little magic added to it. It’s all story driven, but the last few films I’ve done have all presented the story in a very naturalistic way.

That focus on human experience is evident in how they use cameras.


What is your favorite Fincher project?

Author: Mars Garrett
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