David Fincher has a list of hits that is almost unrivaled. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Gone Girl, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network, and Seven have all been huge successes, from both a critical and commercial perspective. How does he move from strength to strength? Well, in this video the ever-insightful Nerd Writer unpicks one of Fincher’s most uncanny qualities — his ability to hijack your eyes.
While camera tilts, pans, and tracks are a totally normal part of any film, Fincher’s use of these three basic building blocks of camera technique is unique. Fincher has a reputation for being a perfectionist — one whose perfectionism pays off — and in this case that quality translates into stunning control of the camera. In his films, the camera seamlessly and perfectly follows the movement of the moving actor on screen. When they walk, nod, stop, and start, the camera subtly does the same. With this, he creates a singular sensation in the viewer, forcing you to engage with every moment.
To get more insight into how he his technique plays out, you can see the whole film here:
Though the filmmaker has gotten a reputation for his sometimes impersonal camera work, this video breaks down how Fincher is actually creating just the opposite. Sometimes, perfectionism pays big.