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David Fincher

David Fincher

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Also Known As: David Leo Fincher Died:
Born: August 28, 1962 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Denver, Colorado, USA Profession: film director, commercial director, music video director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of cinema's most dazzling visual stylists, whose dark view of human nature often overshadowed the stark images of his films, director David Fincher established himself in the world of commercials and music videos before becoming one of Hollywood's most respected talents. After an inauspicious debut with the critically maligned "Alien 3" (1992), Fincher made his mark with the unforgettable, "Se7en" (1995), a stunningly dark and morose thriller that contained perhaps one of the most gut-wrenching endings of modern filmmaking. With his bona fides set in stone, Fincher went on to direct another challenging - and brutally violent - film, "Fight Club" (1999), which allowed the director a full palette in which to display his stylish gifts. He occasionally settled back into standard thriller territory, as he did with "Panic Room" (2002), or saw an otherwise excellent film fail at the box office like with "Zodiac" (2007), but later emerged as a perennial Oscar contender with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2009) and "The Social Network" (2010), both of which were radical departures from his previous gritty and violent films. By the time he directed the highly anticipated adaptation of "The Girl...

One of cinema's most dazzling visual stylists, whose dark view of human nature often overshadowed the stark images of his films, director David Fincher established himself in the world of commercials and music videos before becoming one of Hollywood's most respected talents. After an inauspicious debut with the critically maligned "Alien 3" (1992), Fincher made his mark with the unforgettable, "Se7en" (1995), a stunningly dark and morose thriller that contained perhaps one of the most gut-wrenching endings of modern filmmaking. With his bona fides set in stone, Fincher went on to direct another challenging - and brutally violent - film, "Fight Club" (1999), which allowed the director a full palette in which to display his stylish gifts. He occasionally settled back into standard thriller territory, as he did with "Panic Room" (2002), or saw an otherwise excellent film fail at the box office like with "Zodiac" (2007), but later emerged as a perennial Oscar contender with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2009) and "The Social Network" (2010), both of which were radical departures from his previous gritty and violent films. By the time he directed the highly anticipated adaptation of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (2011), there was no disputing Fincher's ink black vision and refusal to believe in mankind's better nature marked him as a unique and refreshingly honest filmmaker worthy of considerable praise.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Gone Girl (2014)
5.
  Zodiac (2007)
6.
  Panic Room (2002) Director
7.
  Fight Club (1999) Director
8.
  Game, The (1997) Director
9.
  Se7en (1995) Director
10.
  Alien 3 (1992) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Side by Side (2012)
2.
 Full Frontal (2002) Film Director
3.
 Murder By Numbers (2002) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Entered the film industry by getting a job with an animation company loading cameras
:
Worked at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), George Lucas' special effects production company
1984:
Left ILM to begin making commercials
1985:
First commercial was a spot for the American Cancer Society, which showed a fetus smoking
1986:
Co-founded Propaganda Films with Steve Golin
:
Directed music videos for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones and Nine Inch Nails
1992:
Feature directorial debut, "Alien3"; became involved with several disputes with Fox, which led Fincher to disassociate himself with the production
1994:
Earned a Grammy for helming the Rolling Stones' music video "Love Is Strong"
1995:
Had surprise box office success with the psychological thriller "Se7en" featuring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt
1997:
Helmed third feature, "The Game" with Michael Douglas; produced by Steve Golin
1999:
Helmed "Fight Club," a screen adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton
1999:
Feature film debut with an uncredited role in "Being John Malkovich"
2001:
Executive produced a series of short film advertisements for BMW shown over the Internet at bmwfilms.com
2002:
Directed the thriller "Panic Room," starring Jodie Foster
2002:
Played a film director in Steven Soderbergh's "Full Frontal"
2005:
Executive produced "Lords of Dogtown," a feature film based on the documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys" about 1970s skateboarders
2007:
Helmed an adaptation of Robert Graysmith's books about the hunt for the Zodiac Killer titled "Zodiac"
2008:
Re-teamed with Brad Pitt to direct him in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story; received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Directing; also earned a nomination from the Directors Guild of America
2010:
Directed "The Social Network," about the founding of Facebook; screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Director ¿ Motion Picture ("Social Network")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film ("Social Network")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Director ¿ Motion Picture
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing
2011:
Directed the U.S. adaptation of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," based on Stieg Larsson's novel and Steven Zaillian's screenplay; film starred Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara
2013:
Helmed the first two episodes of the Netflix series "House of Cards"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Ashland High School: Ashland , Oregon -

Notes

"I don't know how much movies should entertain. I'm always interested in movies that SCAR. The thing I love about 'Jaws' is the fact that I've never gone swimming in the ocean again." --David Fincher quoted in EMPIRE, February 1996

"David Fincher is a Baudelairean aesthete in reverse: a modernist with stunning control over the great modernist medium, abandoning himself to romanticism, finding beauty in rotting corpses and reeking cities. Now in his early thirties, Fincher has made two features--'Alien3' and 'Seven'--and each of them has at least one sequence (Sigourney Weaver's final plunge into the abyss in 'Alien3' and the shadowy Brad Pitt/Morgan Freeman/Kevin Spacey chase in 'Seven') that's as ravishing as anything in the history of American movies." --From "Seven Seal" by Amy Taubin in VILLAGE VOICE, January 9, 1996

On his music video work: "I just make these things and try to live them down. It's just creating a context for understanding a song. These are not windows into somebody's soul. For me, this is my film school, and, quite honestly, I'm embarrassed by a lot of my work." --Fincher to David Wild in ROLLING STONE, October 17, 1996

"I had a meeting once with a famous commercial director who was running off to direct a movie, and he wanted me to join his company. He said, 'I'm going off to do this movie.' I said, 'Well, what is it?' 'Oh, it's this cop thing.' I thought to myself, 'Oh, my God, I don't ever want to be in a situation where I'm going off to do some 'cop thing.'

"You know, the best analogy for moviemaking is you're doing a watercolor from three blocks away through a telescope, with 40 people holding the brush, and you have a walkie-talkie." --Fincher to Fred Schruers in ROLLING STONE, April 3, 1997

"I look for patterns in coverage, and for ways to place the camera to see what you need to see, from as far away as possible. I try to remain semi-detatched; I want to present the material without becoming too involved. I'll say to myself, 'Am I getting too involved in the action? Am I presenting this to someone who's uninitiated to these people, and doesn't want to be in the middle of this argument? Maybe we should be doing over-the-shoulders, as if the spectator is experiencing the scene after returning from the water cooler.' My visual approach comes from a more voyeuristic place." --Fincher quoted in AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER, September 1997

"I thought 'Alien3' was an opportunity to make my mark, but it didn't quite work. I learned a lot: never to shoot a movie without a script, and the more money you have, the more trouble you're likely to run into." --Fincher to David Hochman in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, September 19, 1997

" . . . to hear Fincher's friends and associates tell it, [Michael] Douglas' character [in 'The Game'] isn't so different from the director himself, whom they describe as intense, controlling, manipulative, arrogant and--oh, yes--extraordinarily talented. . . ." --From "'The Game' Spins Into David Fincher's Control" by Patrick Goldstein in LOS ANGELES TIMES, September 17, 1997

"I never feel comfortable on set. I don't know why I do it--honestly, I don't know. It's the most unpleasant part of the whole thing--collecting all the stuff and going through it like the military part of an operation when you have to show up early and marshall the forces and shoot stuff and argue with people and cajole and cheat and do whatever you have to do . . .

"I like the initial design and rehearsal, all the possibilities. Then when you go to shooting, it's, 'We can't put a wide enough lens on,' or, 'We can't get the wall further back.' That's always so unpleasant and has not gotten any easier." --Fincher quoted in EMPIRE, November 1997

"I've had days of shooting where I went, Wow, that's what it is, that's what it's like to be making a movie. Everything's clicking, people are asking questions, and the clock's ticking, but you feel like you're making progress. But most of the time it isn't that. Most of the time it's, How do you support the initial intent of what it is you set out to do, and not undercut that by getting pissed off and letting your attention get away on that? It's priority management. It's problem solving. Oftentimes you walk away from a scene going, Wasn't what I thought it was going to be. Often. But it's also knowing that you don't have to get it exactly the way you see it." --From "Inside Out, Gavin Smith Goes One-On-One with David Fincher" in FILM COMMENT, September-October 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Donya Fiorentino. Photographer. Divorced; mother of Fincher's daughter; later married Gary Oldman.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jack Fincher. Journalist. Worked as a writer and bureau chief for <i>Life</i> magazine.
daughter:
Phelix Imogen Fincher. Born in April 1994; mother, Donya Fiorentino.

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