‘Mank’ Dp Erik Messerschmidt on Influence of Gregg Toland, Working With David Fincher
David Fincher’s keenly anticipated Netflix original “Mank” is a valentine to old Hollywood glamor in the shape of a character study of the larger-than-life screenwriter of Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane,” Herman J.
Mankiewicz, played with gusto by Gary Oldman.Speaking in an online seminar at the EnergaCamerimage Film Festival, cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt described the production team’s obsessive pursuit of the lustrous black-and-white look and feel for the period project, which brought together the in-depth research of production designer Donald Burt and costume designer Trish Summerville.Getting pre-war Hollywood right while paying homage to one of cinema’s most iconic films, said Messerschmidt, was no easy task, even with the incredible range of digital camera technology now on offer.The original cinematographer for “Citizen Kane,” Gregg Toland, “is incredibly influential,” said Messerschmidt.
“Obviously we looked at ‘Citizen Kane’ and looked at his work.”“Mank” pays homage to his signature techniques – “deep focus,
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