The People Vs David Fincher
Empire Australasia|December 2019
FROM HIS LOVE OF MUSIC VIDEOS TO HIS AVERSION TO iPHONES, THE WORLD’S MOST METICULOUS DIRECTOR ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
NEV PIERCE
What is your biggest pet peeve on set? MATT WILLIAMS I think it’s hard for people to understand how little, incidental conversation just takes away from focus. Everybody just goes into pause mode instead of record mode. Also, when you shoot a lot of takes, as people do stuffrepetitively, you see in your peripheral vision people go to their iPhones. Might be the iPhone on set — biggest pet peeve.

If you could remake any film in history, which would it be?

PAUL LEACH I never thought about it. I mean, there are some films I feel like, “That was a great two-thirds of an idea and it didn’t stick the landing.” Some of those films I’ve actually made.

Whatever happened to your Arthur C. Clarke project Rendezvous With Rama?

STEVE DEMPSTER It was a gigantic, expensive movie that didn’t have any toys. There were no amusement-park rides that could be gleaned from it.

Who has been your main inspiration as a film director?

JANE BASS So many. Obviously George Roy Hill, Alfred Hitchcock, Roman Polanski, Steven Spielberg, Alan Pakula and Bob Fosse. All the normal greats. Hal Ashby. All the people that you would guess.

Which emerging filmmakers do you admire and why?

DYLAN JOHN There’s a lot. When you’re 12 years old and you haven’t seen 3,000 movies, you’re susceptible to the thing that’s going on that’s narratively essential. Then at a certain point you’ve seen so many stories that you can kind of go, “I have an idea where this is headed.” I think what’s interesting about emerging filmmakers is you thought you’d seen every approach to the dive, you thought you’d seen every set-up, and then you see something new. But I don’t wanna name any names ’cause then you get into that whole, “Why didn’t you say me?”

From Kristen Stewart to Rooney Mara and Jonathan Groff, you’ve given leading roles to relatively little-known actors, who have excelled. What do you look for?

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