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David Fincher Explains His Multiple Take Philosophy

Thompson on Hollywood’s Mark Salisbury reports from BAFTA’s “Life in Pictures” event where David Fincher took the stage last week to discuss his career along with his latest film, Gone Girl.

Among the many insightful moments he touched upon, Fincher explained why he’s become known for doing multiple takes. “Here’s my philosophy. You spend $250,000 on a set, you’re putting on a soundstage that costs $5,000 a day, you put in $8,000 worth of lights, and you’re going to bring in $150,000 crew in. You’re going to bring in actors from all over the world, put them in hotels, and they’re going to come there with the idea to get them out as soon as possible. That doesn’t make sense to me, because we watch movies to see behavior that we can relate to,” he says.

The lauded director also had some inspiring words about the artform of cinema itself. “We tell stories. It takes titanium and aluminum and steel and glass and lasers to do one thing, to impart feeling, that’s all we do, to strangers. We want to impart that feeling for everyone in the audience at the exact same time. That’s the magic of cinema,” he said. “Cinema is when you put an idea in somebody else’s head. Or you put an idea in 700 people’s heads at the same time.”

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