30 Really Surprising Facts About David Fincher - ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ Director


David Andrew Leo Fincher, an American director and producer, famous for his work on films, television series and music videos, has two Academy Award nominations to his name. He was born on August 28, 1962, in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. Here are some interesting facts about the first-time director, who disowned his movie:

  1. Fincher is one of the directors, described as a perfectionist, who shoots every scene a dozen to even hundred times to get it perfectly right.
  2. He is the only director in the history to have twice achieved the feat of being nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for three different music videos in a single year. He is the second director only after Steve Barron to receive a MTV Video Music Award nomination for three different music videos within a single year.
  3. The famous director George Lucas was one of his neighbors, while he grew up in Marin County. It was reported that he was a part of the special effects crew that worked on "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi," in the year 1983.
  4. He holds the record of most nominations received by any director in the history of MTV Video Music Award, with a total of eight nominations. He also sets the record of nominations in three consecutive years.
  5. In the movie "Fight club," the layout of the apartment in which The Narrator resides, was actually based upon an apartment in which Fincher lived when he first moved to LA. He claimed that he modeled the location on this apartment because, though he lived there, he had always wanted to blow it up.
  6. In the year 2002, he was offered to direct the famous movie "Catch Me If You Can," but he had to turn down the offer as he opted to direct "Panic Room."
  7. His video for Madonna's "Express Yourself" was ranked at #1 in Slant Magazines list of "Top 100 Videos," on January 19, 2003. Two other Madonna videos made by him also made it within the top 15 - "Vogue" at #4 & "Oh, Father" at #11.
  8. He is known to have his characters' silhouettes in almost all his movies, where they are in the shadows making it impossible to make out their face.
  9. He disowned his very first movie "Alien 3," in 1992, citing constant studio interference and is said to have actually walked out of production before final editing began.
  10. Once in an interview, the American actor Jake Gyllenhaal publicly expressed the difficulty of working in Fincher's style, stating the challenge of doing numerous takes for every scene only to have the director order the deletion of most of the previous takes.
  11. It was the 1969 feature film, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" that inspired Fincher to pursue a career in cinema.
  12. In the movie "Fight Club," he shot around 38 takes of the scene in Lou's Bar, where the characters Tyler Durden and The Narrator get into a conversation after The Narrator's apartment has blown up. Each take is said to have been filmed with two cameras.
  13. Fincher is one of the first music video directors to have become a major Hollywood feature-filmmaker. Several directors like Zack Snyder, Spike Jonze, Alex Proyas, Marc Webb, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, F. Gary Gray, Francis Lawrence have since then followed his footsteps.
  14. Some of his trademarks include downbeat endings, wide shots, low-key lighting with green or blue tinted color temperature, back stories filled with flashbacks, low angles, and so on.
  15. It was reported that he spent a year attempting to edit the film "Alien 3." Certain sources claim that he was locked out of the editing suite by the studio. However, he walked away for good from the project, when reshoots were done in Los Angeles with an entirely new crew.
  16. He was initially set to direct some of the famous movies like the 1991 "Madonna: Truth or Dare," 2006 "The Clack Dahlia," and "Mission: Impossible III," however had to drop out in the early stages itself.
  17. Foe the movie "Fight Club," Fincher is said to have shot over 1,500 reels of film, which is almost three times more than the usual amount for a 120 minute film.
  18. Fincher is often known to end his movies in a suicide, either attempted or successful. He is also famous for his displays of end credits, either as a slide show or in a scrolling down format, instead of the traditional upward scroll.
  19. After casting for the 2010 movie "The Social Network," he forbade principal actors from meeting their real-life counterparts until filming was completed, as he did not want any influences on the actors.
  20. In the year 1999, he was offered to direct the most popular movie "8MM," but he turned down the offer to direct "Fight Club."
  21. In the 1992 movie "Alien 3," he was denied permission to shoot a crucial scene in the prison understructure between Ripley and the alien. He, however, grabbed Sigourney Weaver, against the film producers' orders, and shot the scene anyway with a camera.
  22. He claims that in every shot of the 1999 movie "Fight Club," a Starbucks coffee cup can be seen. This was the second time, the director did something like this, as in his 1997 movie "The Game," there is a can of haggis visible in every scene of the movie. This was done as a joke, because "Haggis" is the nickname of cinematographer Harris Savides.
  23. After walking out of his first movie "Alien 3," he was determined to make his second film "Se7en," without compromising his vision. Initially, he did not read the script for over a year and a half, due to the frustrating experience with "Alien 3," but when he read "Se7en's" script, he was drawn to it, and agreed to direct it.
  24. Most of his movies often feature a shot looking inside a character's refrigerator. In some movies, there were several single frames that flash on the screen in the middle of a scene, like the 1999 "Fight Club." His movie posters always feature close-ups of characters' faces.
  25. Initially, Fincher had wanted to shoot the entire movie "Panic Room," in pitch darkness, which proved to be too impractical. Through the filming process, the lighting issue was particularly difficult due to the complexity of the security cameras used in the mansion that send surveillance images to the television in the panic room.
  26. In the "pillow talk"-scene from the "Fight Club: movie, originally the character Marla had to say "I want to have your abortion," which was objected by Laura Ziskin, Fox 2000 Pictures' President of Production. Fincher changed the line on the proviso and said the new line couldn't be cut. However, Ziskin was even more outraged with the replacement line "I haven't been fucked like that since grade school" and asked him to have the original line back, which Fincher refused.
  27. For the 2007 movie "Zodiac," he had trees helicoptered in to the Lake Berryessa location, in an effort to make it resemble the murder site as closely as possible, as the area has changed substantially since 1969.
  28. Fincher is famous for his stationary shot, with an unfocused background, with the character walking into focus. He reportedly has all his camera positioned statically or has high control over the camera movement.
  29. For the 'soap slam on dish' shot in the "Fight Club" movie trailer, Fincher took around 41 shots to get it perfect. It was reported that he realized that the soap was sliding out of frame after the 40th take and settled for a fake soap prop for the last take.
  30. For the movie "Gone Girl," Fincher reportedly shot an incredible five hundred hours of material over the one-hundred-day shoot, an average of five hours per day.
  31. David Fincher Net Worth: $65 Million

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