From a studio’s perspective, there’s no doubt David Fincher can be an exacting man to work with. From his strict demands regarding the upcoming Aaron Sorkin-penned “Jobs” biopic to the troubled production surrounding “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” from three years ago, to battles way back when surrounding “Fight Club,” the filmmaker has a reputation. But if there’s one thing you can always count on with David Fincher, it’s his love and support for other filmmakers, especially directors who are just starting out.
Fincher gave casting suggestions to director Steven Knight on his directorial debut, he supported Shane Carruth when he was trying to make “A Topiary,” and now “Friends” alum Courteney Cox has revealed that she’s had some in-depth conversations with the director in the midst of making her first feature film. In an interview with Indiewire at the Tribeca Film Festival where Cox premiered her film, “Just Before I Go,” she talks about how Fincher influenced the tone of the movie:
“I sent him the movie. First of all, he helped me a lot with [TV movie] ‘TalhotBlond,’ with getting me to focus on what I wanted it to look like. He puts things simply so you go in with a really strong vision. That was the first time I had directed, so that was really an important four hour dinner that he had with me,” she explained. “I sent him this movie, and he was very encouraging, but it was about tone. So I ended up doing some reshoots—just one day, in my backyard, just to try to condense it and not give so much background. It was too dramatic, and there wasn’t as much humor at the beginning of the movie. So I tried to condense it and tell the story as fast as possible but still giving you a sense of his living in the middle, without passion or aspirations. [Fincher] was very helpful with asking me, ‘What do you want the audience to feel right now, at this moment?’”
Cox’s “Just Before I Go” is a dark comedy which stars Seann William Scott as a man who returns to his hometown to settle some unfinished business before he commits suicide. Its premiere at Tribeca has been met with lukewarm reception, nevertheless, it’s nice to hear how David Fincher helped Cox find her voice as a director.