David Fincher on Fight Club: I havent seen it in 20 years. And I dont want to
Some studios have pushed back certain films’ release dates because of the SAG-AFTRA strike, and the need to have actors promoting the bigger films. But the mid-budget and indie films are mostly being released regardless of SAG-waivers. That means that un-waivered films need to be promoted somehow, which is why there are suddenly tons of interviews with directors. I don’t know the last time a men’s magazine interviewed David Fincher, but here we are. Fincher spoke to British GQ about his new film, The Killer, starring Michael Fassbender. It doesn’t sound like Fassbender will be doing much or any promo. So we get Fincher talking about AI and sh-t. Some highlights:
He loves making B-movies: “I’ve always liked B-movies. And Fight Club to Panic Room, what’s that about? I don’t know, it’s kind of where your interests take you. And I spend a lot of time developing three or four things for every one thing I end up doing.”
On Fight Club: “I haven’t seen it in 20 years. And I don’t want to… It’s like looking at your grade school pictures, or something. “Yeah, I was there.”
The Killer’s soundtrack is heavy on The Smiths: “I always knew that I wanted to use “How Soon is Now?” because I love the guitar. And I love the idea of somebody going, “what Johnny Marr is doing here is my meditation.” I just thought it was amusing. But originally, we had an entire soundtrack that was Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, full-on pre-goth. It was really cool, and really interesting, but you kept asking yourself, “Is he a music critic?”…I love the idea of a guy who has a mixtape to go and kill people. But if we have all of these disparate musical influences, are we missing an opportunity to see into this guy is? So The Smiths became a kind of stained glass window into who this guy was.
His thoughts on AI: “I think AI’s a really powerful tool. And for my money, I have not heard an AI Beatles song that compares to “Eleanor Rigby.” So until somebody plays an AI song that knocks me out… maybe that’s just where we’re at now, and I may be eating my words in a year, but I think ultimately, the thing that we respond to in poetry, and writing, and songwriting, and photography, is the personal bent. The thing that’s making it…[human].”
On AI for actors: “As it relates to actors… look, we had a few lines of dialogue in The Killer that we had looped but we couldn’t get right, with Michael, so he said it into an iPhone in an environment that was not conducive to being used as a voiceover, and we could take it and process it through the hours of voiceover that we had, and spit back out, and it was clean, and it was the music of his voice. And that’s incredibly handy to have.
[From British GQ]
This goes to the heart of something I have never understood about AI – “so he said it into an iPhone in an environment that was not conducive to being used as a voiceover, and we could take it and process it through the hours of voiceover that we had, and spit back out…” Like, how inefficient is that, honestly? You could make an arrangement for Fassbender to speak the dialogue you need in a better situation (into an iPhone!) wherever he was or you could spend hours and hours coming up with this funky AI work-around? That’s what I don’t get about using AI actors in general too – would it not be simpler and more reasonable to just hire actual actors? As for never watching Fight Club… that film was well-made, but I would imagine the fans’ cultish devotion to it is a turnoff for Fincher too.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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