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Director David Fincher, in the DVD commentary for Se7en, mentions something that he learned while working at special effects company Industrial Light and Magic: that a director should look at a scene with the left eye for composition, because it goes to your right brain. Focus or technical side of a shot should be looked at with the right eye or left brain, as it’s more of a technical eye (x).

Director David Fincher, in the DVD commentary for Se7en, mentions something that he learned while working at special effects company Industrial Light and Magic: that a director should look at a scene with the left eye for composition, because it goes to your right brain. Focus or technical side of a shot should be looked at with the right eye or left brain, as it’s more of a technical eye (x).

The crowded urban streets filled with noisy denizens and an oppressive rain that always seems to fall without respite were integral parts of Se7en, as Fincher wanted to show a city that was “dirty, violent, polluted, often depressing. Visually and stylistically, that’s how we wanted to portray this world. Everything needed to be as authentic and raw as possible.” To this end, Fincher turned to production designer Arthur Max to create a dismal world that often eerily mirrors its inhabitants. “We created a setting that reflects the moral decay of the people in it”, says Max. “Everything is falling apart, and nothing is working properly.” The film’s brooding, dark look was achieved through a chemical process called bleach bypass, wherein the silver in the film stock was not removed, which in turn deepened the dark, shadowy images in the film and increased its overall tonal quality (x).

The crowded urban streets filled with noisy denizens and an oppressive rain that always seems to fall without respite were integral parts of Se7en, as Fincher wanted to show a city that was “dirty, violent, polluted, often depressing. Visually and stylistically, that’s how we wanted to portray this world. Everything needed to be as authentic and raw as possible.” To this end, Fincher turned to production designer Arthur Max to create a dismal world that often eerily mirrors its inhabitants. “We created a setting that reflects the moral decay of the people in it”, says Max. “Everything is falling apart, and nothing is working properly.” The film’s brooding, dark look was achieved through a chemical process called bleach bypass, wherein the silver in the film stock was not removed, which in turn deepened the dark, shadowy images in the film and increased its overall tonal quality (x).

In the 1995 film Se7en, actor Leland Orser, in preparation for his traumatic scene in the interrogation room, would breathe in and out very rapidly so that his body would be overly saturated with oxygen, giving him the ability to hyperventilate. He also did not sleep for a few days to achieve his character’s disoriented look (x). 

In the 1995 film Se7en, actor Leland Orser, in preparation for his traumatic scene in the interrogation room, would breathe in and out very rapidly so that his body would be overly saturated with oxygen, giving him the ability to hyperventilate. He also did not sleep for a few days to achieve his character’s disoriented look (x). 

DAVID FINCHER: A FILM TITLE RETROSPECTIVE

Check out this video from Art of the Title devoted to the stylings of filmmaker David Fincher. Read the accompanying article here as well for some insightful information from the director regarding his aesthetic choices for title sequences.