Students of the United Kingdom’s National Film and Television School got the surprise of a lifetime when David Fincher showed up on video chat to give a masterclass in filmmaking. The “Zodiac” and “Gone Girl” director famously does not partake in many press appearances or public events, which means his video masterclass was a rare opportunity to get face time with the filmmaker. The United Kingdom went into lockdown this week in an attempt to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Fincher’s masterclass was broadcast online through Zoom to 450 quarantined film students.
“It’s been a tough week so we wanted to do something to lift the spirits of the National Film and Television School students,” the school’s director Jon Wardle said in a statement. “So this afternoon 450 students sat down for a masterclass via Zoom with THE David Fincher. David is a legend.”
Fincher is currently at work on “Mank,” a biographical drama starring Gary Oldman as Oscar-winning “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. “Mank” is Fincher’s first feature directorial effort since 2014’s “Gone Girl.” The director worked on the Netflix serial killer drama series “Mindhunter” in the interim, both as an executive producer and the director of several episodes across the show’s two seasons. Fincher’s return to moviemaking is a big get for Netflix, which for now is still planning to release the film in 2020. Fincher also serves as a producer on Netflix’s animated anthology series “Love, Death, & Robots.”
Netflix shut down filming on all of its projects this month in the midst of the pandemic, but Fincher had already wrapped principal photography. The director’s longtime location manager William Doyle said in December that filming was past the halfway point at the time. “Mank” is written by Fincher’s late father and follows Mankiewicz as he struggles to overcome addiction and finish the “Citizen Kane” script. Doyle assured Fincher fans that “Mank” would be “not just a biopic about” the legendary writer. No official release date has been set.
A Masterclass with the one and only directing legend David Fincher has 100% lifted the spirits of @NFTSFilmTV students! A huge thank you to David for being so generous with his time and knowledge today 🙌 https://t.co/E7QxKRlASC
— National Film and Television School (@NFTSFilmTV) March 24, 2020