Watch: How Did Steven Spielberg Influence David Fincher?

Watch: How Did Steven Spielberg Influence David Fincher?

Steven Spielberg and David Fincher make for a more likely chain of influence than one might think. It might boil down to this: same audience, different focus. Spielberg reaches towards broad themes intended for a wide audience; Fincher seems to have made it his mission to bring the dark side of humanity (the torment, the obsession, the rage, the calumny) to, like Spielberg, as wide a viewership as possible, with films like ‘Seven‘ and ‘The Social Network‘ in particular. Michael Bryant has narrowed this comparison considerably in this pithy video, bringing these two cinematic minds together in a rare and convincing way. So: how did Spielberg influence Fincher? Fincher seems to have absorbed Spielberg’s filmmaking techniques and presented them to us transformed. Look and see…

5 thoughts on “Watch: How Did Steven Spielberg Influence David Fincher?”

  1. Other similarities worth noticing: they both use cameras and actors. Spielberg’s influence on Fincher is undeniable in the area of dialogue in that they both use it. Dialogue conveys information. Fincher has mastered Spielberg’s dialogue technique and made it his own. They both feature clothes in their films, trees, cars, jackets, and hair.

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  2. The tracking shot and close-up comparisons are so generic and inaccurate. You could say the same for dozens of other filmmakers around the world who have used such techniques in similar ways to the ones described in this essay, many even prior to Spielberg (Bergman, Ophuls, Kubrick, Scorsese, etc). If anything, I would say Fincher was probably more influenced by someone like Ridley Scott or Kubrick. There’s a reason why he worked with Jordan Cronenweth (if very briefly, on "Alien 3") and his son, Jeff Cronenweth (Jordan being the cinematographer for Scott’s landmark film "Blade Runner", and Jeff being Jordan’s son). Even Fincher himself has admitted to that influence. And the close ups/tracking shot influence referred to in this video essay probably come more from Kubrick than anyone else, at least in Fincher’s case. That without mentioning that the pessimistic/nihilistic/subversive edge on Fincher’s films couldn’t be further apart from Spielberg’s more "candy coated" approach to storytelling (give or take a few exceptions in Spielberg’s filmography). Anyway, here’s my two cents.

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