David Fincher’s a unique filmmaker with a style all his own; uncompromising and methodical in his approach to directing actors and crew. That reports are emerging from the set of Gone Girl, via the redoubtable Southeast Missouran, of the director requiring multiple takes of seemingly innocuous scenes is entirely unsurprising, given his previous history in this area of behaviour. When it results in movies like Zodiac or The Social Network though, do we really care about how many times Fincher wants to redo the scene? Do we really?
Well, yes, we do. Especially when it’s fifty takes, because that seems a little excessive, even for David Fincher. Stanley Kubrick famously shot one scene in The Shining 148 times, so we’re not quite at the crazy Kubrickian levels of shot takery yet, but if Fincher doesn’t rein it in a little bit then he’s going to find himself in a hell of a pickle time-wise. In what was more just a basic piece on the business of big-budget movie making, the Southeast Missouran’s reporter spoke to one of Gone Girl‘s producers, Cean Chaffin:
Chaffin said the movie crews that work with Fincher calculate an average number of takes for each movie when filming is finished. On previous movies, Fincher has averaged about 27 takes per scene. But for “Gone Girl,” which covers the tale of the missing Amy Dunne in the fictional Missouri town of North Carthage and the resulting suspected involvement of her husband in her disappearance, Chaffin said she believes the average number of takes for each scene may end up closer to 50.
After which a local man, Chuck Martin, was reportedly brought in on the multiple take fun:
Martin’s role in the movie was to act as a volunteer coordinator in a search for the Amy Dunne character. More than 30 times, he shook Affleck’s hand for a scene.
You shake Ben Affleck’s hand thirty times and don’t mention Batman once? What is he, executive director of the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau? Oh wait, yeah, that’s exactly what he is.
Tune in next week for more exciting tales from the set of Gone Girl!