You never want to do an email interview. When doing an interview in person you can read body language or tone of voice to figure out where to go next. You can have a list of questions but also freeform based on information the subject gives you. I have historically turned down all email interview requests in the past.
But this is David Fincher.
I have actually interviewed Fincher in the past and found him engaging and loquacious. The guy likes talking. But now he’s busy; with The Social Network about to debut and with him off filming The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo you just sort of take the time where you can find it. And I was able to find it in this quickie email interview.
The film tells the story in a non-linear way, jumping from deposition to deposition and to events in the past. Was that structure scripted, or was it something you had to find in editing? How important is that structure for giving the film momentum?
AARON CAME UP WITH IT. I JUST READ IT AND THOUGHT I’D LOVE TO GET SOME CREDIT FOR THAT...
You’re telling a true story, but you’re also making a narrative film. This isn’t a documentary. You’re a director known for your attention to detail and verisimilitude, so how important is it to you that THE SOCIAL NETWORK be completely factually correct versus being emotionally correct?
I MADE ZODIAC AS FACTUALLY CORRECT AS I THOUGHT POSSIBLE, BUT EVERYONE WANTED BLOOD BECAUSE OF THE POINT OF VIEW THAT WAS TAKEN. I KNEW I COULDN’T WIN, SO I DECIDED TO HAVE EVERYONE DISOWN THIS…
One of the more visually striking sequences is the race. What attracted you to tilt shift photography, and why did you choose to use it in that sequence?
WE COULD ONLY SHOOT 3 RACES AT THE HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA. WE HAD TO SHOOT 4 DAYS OF BOAT INSERTS IN ETON. THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE THE DATE FOR RELEASE WAS TO MAKE THE BACKGROUNDS AS SOFT AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. I DECIDED IT MIGHT BE MORE “SUBJECTIVE” IF THE WORLD AROUND THE RACES FELL AWAY IN FOCUS, LEAVING THE ROWERS TO MOVE INTO AND OUT OF PLANES OF FOCUS TO ACCENTUATE THEIR PISTON-LIKE EFFORT.
There’s a very delicate balancing act in the film, where we can understand where each of the parties in the different lawsuits are coming from. That’s made even trickier by Mark Zuckerberg’s less than winning personality. How do you create that balance?
I DIDN’T. AARON SORKIN DID… I JUST HAD A GREAT SCRIPT THAT COULD ATTRACT FANTASTIC YOUNG ACTORS, AND I GOT THE STUDIO TO SUPPORT US WITH THE REQUISITE TIME TO MAKE THE WHOLE THING RUN ON RAILS…