How to edit a scene, by Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter for Fincher’s GWTDT.
Angus Wall has edited the last five movies directed by David Fincher — the three most-recent (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Social Network” and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) in partnership with Kirk Baxter. Earlier this year, Wall and Baxter won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Film Editing for “The Social Network,” and while they each work on outside projects — Wall created the arresting title sequence for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” — they spend much of their time in adjacent rooms, cutting and splicing copious amounts of Fincher’s footage. Wall explains the key to editing like this: “The human brain wants to put things together; it wants to create a narrative.” Their job is to facilitate that desire.
David Fincher on Charlie Rose tonight
This is the lead up to all lead ups people.
Everyone in the cast is at the round table. Daniel Craig is doing a strong job at the rugged mountain cattle man with his blue jean jacket (or walked off the set of Brokeback Mountain), and Rooney Mara is well poised to be a remarkable star with a black on black aura. And Fincher is the cat’s meow.
But the truth is,” Fincher continues, “film is too expensive to teach. You can’t teach how to make Hollywood movies. What you can do is make people look at the language of cinema. Why do we need a close-up? I got a master, I got an over, I got close-up – what’s the best, what’s the most effective way to move people who are watching it, who don’t know what this person is or don’t know what the circumstances are; how do I engage them? And you can do that anywhere. You don’t have to go to London, you don’t have to go to Pinewood, you don’t have to go to SC. Creativity happens on the fringe. It does. It’s too bad. But you can get there. Start in the fringe, meet those people, write your scripts.
I always wanted to give a lecture at filmschools. You go in and you see all these fresh faces, and you say: ‘You! Stand up, tell me your story. Tell me what your film is going to be about.’ And they start, and you go: ‘Shut up and sit the fuck down!’ And if they do, you go: ‘You’re not ready.’ Because the film business is filled with shut-up and sit-the-fuck-down. You got to be able to tell your story in spite of sit-down and shut-the-fuck-up. If you are going to let something like that derail you, what hope do you have against transportation department? What hope do you have against development executives?
“I believe in casting people whose core—that essential personality you can’t beat out of them with a tire iron—has to work for the character.” He needed someone who was dissociated, antisocial—the exact opposite of Erica Albright (Social Network). But when he saw Mara’s audition, he was “struck by how different it was from what I felt I already knew about her.”
Mara pipes up: “You didn’t really know me at all, though.”
“I worked with you enough to have an opinion,” he says.
“I was only on The Social Network for four days, so I didn’t really get to know anyone,” says Mara.
“Twenty-four hundred takes,” says Fincher.
“Twenty-four hundred takes but only four days,” says Mara.
“It was a foundation,” says Fincher. “It was a, Wow, here’s someone who just keeps trying. Try this, try this, try this. . . . ”
Yes, please. New trailer for GWTDT.
Did Angus get to cut this redband trailer for Girl W/ The Dragon Tattoo, dir. by Fincher? Led Zeppelin cover by Trent Reznor and Karen O.
(edited/updated w/ official trailer released)