Shooting digitally, in native black and white, Messerschmidt would place viewers inside Mankiewicz’s era by playing with the vocabulary of films from the 30s and?40s. At the same time, he would look to pay homage with his choices to Gregg Toland, the pioneering DP behind Kane, who popularized deep-focus photography. ?I think it was a more [loose] inspiration, and we certainly weren’t recreating anything from Citizen Kane directly,? Messerschmidt notes. ?When I was feeling insecure about the choices I was making, I’d be like, “Okay, what would Gregg Toland have done?” But we were certainly making our own movie?

‘Mank’ Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt Aims For Subtle Use Of Period Technique On Old Hollywood Drama: “You Don’t Want It To Be A Parlor Trick”

On David Fincher’s , cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt channeled the aesthetics of Hollywood’s Golden Age, in order to tell the story of one of its legendary figures. Written by Fincher’s late father, Jack, the drama follows brilliant, alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), as he pens the script for Citizen Kane.

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