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There’s a reason that David Fincher movies have such an almost hypnotic effect on the viewer, and the video essay ‘How David Fincher Hijacks Your Eyes’ from YouTuber Nerdwriter explains exactly how he does it.

It all comes down to how the characters’ on screen actions and the camera movements are synced together. So if a character stands up and moves to their right, the camera will also move upwards and verge to the right. And while it may not be realistic in terms of how we view life in our day-to-day, on screen in cinema what it does is aide and immerse the viewer, helping them to empathize with the characters in David Fincher movies.

As Nerdwriter notes, it’s also the reason that sometimes David Fincher movies are seen as quite cold in their cinematography. It’s because the camera movements are so succinct and perfectly timed that the images can appear somewhat robotic. But, conversely, what’s it’s actually doing is bringing you into the story in a subtle and entrancing way.

The Techniques Behind David Fincher Movies

How David Fincher Movies Hijack Your Eyes 01.How David Fincher movies hijack your eyes / Image credit: Nerdwriter1 / YouTube

The method also feeds into Fincher’s reputation for being a perfectionist and also why he is known to often demand as many as fifty takes from his actors for one scene. It’s because it takes that long to get the actor perfectly synced with the camera. Nerdwriter briefly notes how he tried a little experiment using this technique, and was immediately struck by how difficult and time consuming it was.

But it’s these precise camera movements that your mind picks up on when watching David Fincher movies, helping entice you deeper and deeper into the film and the narrative. Helping you suspend your disbelief and engage with the world presented before you, be it the mind of a serial killer or a man ageing in reverse.

For more on how David Fincher movies engross the viewer with the simple genius of his filmmaking, check out how he uses hidden VFX along with some other stylistic tricks and tropes in his director tool bag.

And check out Nerdwriter’s YouTube page for more intriguing video essays on popular culture.

How David Fincher Movies Hijack Your Eyes 02.How David Fincher movies hijack your eyes / Image credit: Nerdwriter1 / YouTube

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