How and Why David Fincher Uses so Much CGI

How and Why David Fincher Uses so Much CGI


When we mention CGI and VFX, we think in-your-face effects from Fantasy films. And yet, we know that even in Game of Thrones these techniques are used beyond the obvious dragon-making and army-multiplying necessity.

Through his excellent video essay about how David Fincher’s heavy and yet discrete use of CGI helps built a universe recognizable from one film to another, Kristian Williams reminds us that CGI can be used as a powerful storytelling weapon; if you have the vision and the budget to use to it wisely of course.

We had seen before how and why Fincher uses invisible split-screens, Williams video goes one step further and talks about Fincher’s overall tendency to use CGI for different purposes.

Remember that Fincher started working in VFX at an early age, which means he’s had a good grasp of the craft’s evolution, which explains how he can easily add layers of details and  substract those that can be added later on.

4 reasons why Fincher uses so much CGI

1 – Let the viewer know where they are in a scene

2 – Historical Accuracy

3 – Bringing Depth to the Storytelling

4 – Freedom to shoot as many takes as he likes (see the systematic use of CGI blood in his films)

Watch the video below to see how Fincher integrates seemless CGI in his films

To quote this excellent piece, Fincher “visual effects are always in service of the story. They’re not there to be recognized, they’re not there to impress, they’re there to immerse.

Fincher is the filmmaker featured the most on this site, if you want to dig deeper and refresh your memory about either his work or personality, check out this list: