Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fincher on New Orleans!

New Orleans is still in a state of recovery.

Let's take a look beyond the glitzy showbiz side of movie making and find out what the filming of the Curious Case of Benjamin Button means to the people of New Orleans. After four months of intensive shooting the movie is set to wrap in the flood ravaged city. The following extracts are from an excellent interview with director David Fincher:
On Brad Pitt:

"There's something amazing about him," Fincher said. "He can say horrible (things) and if he smiles at you, you say, 'Oh, OK.' "I trust him. When he says I've got to do this this way, you go, 'OK.' "
On what Benjamin Button is about:

"I think it's a story about death," he said, "to love somebody enough to be there when they breathe their last breath." Fincher said his father died two years ago at about the same time some of his friends were having their first child. "It's easy to have babies; it's hard to be there when somebody dies," he said.
On why New Orleans was picked as the location:
Fincher said he considered shooting the Victorian-era period piece in Baltimore, where the short story was set, but decided on the Crescent City instead. "We looked at Baltimore," he said. "It lacked a certain warmth. It lacked the sense of history and patina of New Orleans." Fincher praised New Orleans as a location, noting that both rural and urban sets were easily available. To realize the city's "enormous potential," as a movie-making magnet, Fincher said, "you need four or five large, workable sound stages, an influx of cash to make a real workable physical plant." Asked to discuss the complications of filmmaking in the post-Katrina environment, Fincher minimized the hardship. "The challenges of shooting after Katrina," he said, "were the same as for anybody moving back: getting labor, getting plywood."
Well done to the production crew for sticking with the location after th floods - the least this movie can do is restort some lost pride in the disaster stricken city.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Big Ass Update!

Zodiac is released - done, in the can, its a wrap. So that can mean only one thing - all the Fincher fanatics now move on to the next project - the massively hyped (and budgeted) - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button! Here is a low down on all that has been happening with this major production.

New set pics are up from our fave leading man - Brad Pitt! But he's in the arms of another woman! What will Angelina think? Head to Just Jared to find out more - and also see a cool video from the set. It's really interesting that Fincher made Zodiac which really was under the radar and had very little leaks from the set and now with Pitt on the scene every day represents paparrazi mayhem!

Picture courtesy of Just Jared.

While doing press for Zodiac Fincher's been talking about Benjamin Button and the huge scale and ambitious scope of the project. This taken from an excellent Esquire article where Fincher is talking about how they will make Brad Pitt age backwards (without using different actors!):

Instead of using different actors for Benjamin Button and asking the audience to make the mental leap, he will be played at almost every age by Brad Pitt, with his head put onto other actors' bodies. Fincher plays a demo scene, and it's a little freaky and utterly believable. A man sits at a table tapping a spoon, and then the head changes. Same scene, same body, but a new head, flawlessly switched. When Benjamin is aged and decrepit--or young and decrepit, in this case--the role will be played by a smaller actor. The same scene will be reshot with Pitt playing Benjamin. The movements of both actors' faces will be tracked, with Pitt's replacing the original. That's the plan at least. "I sure hope we're right," he says. "Or it's going to be terrible."

Another great insight into Fincher's creative juices comes via this interview with MTV's Kurt Loder:

Loder: How did you become involved with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"?
Fincher: I read a script many, many years ago. It's a really beautiful story, but I didn't feel that it was makeable in that incarnation. I told Brad [Pitt] about it years ago, and then it was being offered to him, but they didn't have a director, so they brought it to me, then I worked on it for about four years, and now it's finally at a place where the studio wanted to throw the kind of money that it would take to execute it. So here we are in New Orleans, making it.

Loder: You obviously have an affinity for the serial-killer genre. I'd imagine you don't want to make a career of it, but you are considering making a film version of "Torso," aren't you?
Fincher: I'm interested in that. I'm not interested in the serial killer thing, I'm interested in Eliot Ness. I'm interested in the de-mythologizing of Eliot Ness. Because, you know, "The Untouchables" was only two or three years of the Eliot Ness story. There's a whole other, much more sinister downside to it. And so that's of interest to me. We want to make it the "Citizen Kane" of cop movies. I also want to make a CG animated movie. And I've been talking about doing a remake of a movie I really liked in the '70s, "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud." Ever see that? And there's a World War II movie that Robert Towne is writing that I really love. All kinds of stuff.

Looks like Cate and Brad will be in Montreal come the end of May - with 8 days of shooting scheduled - with producers planning to make a part of the city look like Moscow and Paris in winter, with the streets covered in fake snow. Whoa doesn't this film get more interesting by the day?!

Thats a wrap guys - the movie looks to well under way but don't hold your breath - keep in mind Fincher is a perftionist and will work on every single second of the frame before letting it out in the world, oh and don't forget those crazy digital special effects they have to be completed! The waiting game begins fans!
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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