Interviewer: I have to be honest with you. A while ago when I heard about your way of doing business, for filmmaking and doing so many takes, I sort of questioned it. But the more I’ve learned about the art of the industry, you have a very rare luxury of having the time to do this many takes and the way you describe your editing process, I don’t think you could do it with only four takes.
David Fincher: Well, I’ll go you one further which is… “What the fuck are you doing?” If you’re flying out actors from all over the fucking place, because they’re the right person to read that text, and you’re spending weeks with them in rehearsal, and then you get there and you’re going, “OK, trained monkey, do that thing.” How unbelievably disrespectful is it to everybody’s time? I look at it this way. There are a lot of directors who like having a Technocrane on the truck. So if they decide they want to do a crane shot, Technocrane’s there. OK, well, Technocrane’s fucking $3,000 a day. So, if you don’t have that, you can go another 15 or 20 minutes right before lunch in order to allow for that person to do something better. So I look at it as, I’ll always trade helicopter shots, steadicams, and that stuff in order to have the time to let somebody fail upward. To let somebody… they know what they’re doing, they’ve figured out who their character is. They’re coming from a solid place of contributing, and now you want to get them to a point where they are no longer thinking about, “Which hand is it? I didn’t pick up the thing…” It’s like, you do something 16 times, you can do it in your fucking sleep. Now, once you can do it in your sleep, now let’s get the words to come out of your mouth like it’s the first time you said it and you always talk like this. That’s what we were doing. So you sit there and you go, “Couldn’t the Winklevosses’ attorneys’ conference room be more marble, more carved wood?” Yea, it can be a much more elaborate thing. Does it need to be? No. Would I rather have eight days in there to shoot that stuff than six days? So if I take some of the elaborateness out and I don’t relight as much, and if I take some of the green screen stuff that I wanted to see out the windows of San Francisco and I take that out of my budget. I go, “OK, the windows can be blown out and just be a glow outside because that’s often what it looks like when you try to balance exposure for the real world to the real outside world.” Am I OK with that? Does it get me two more days with Andrew Garfield? Yea. OK, well, I’d rather have two more days with Andrew Garfield. I’d rather give him nine more bites at the apple on every setup.