November 12, 2011

Kees van Dijkhuizen Jr.

A couple months ago, I discovered the brilliant editing practices of one Mr. Kees van Dijkhuizen.
He does a great job of creating these montage/trailer/dedication videos of popular film directors' movie works, the type you'd see on award shows, except these are better. I'll show off one of his videos every few days, today I'll start off with one of my personal favorite directors.

Here's a breakdown he made to show his process.

The video starts off with Kanye West’s Power, which was used in the TV campaign for The Social Network. I picked the song because I’d never worked with hiphop before and thought it would be challenging to match images to rap music.

The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.
Possibly the most known quote from any Fincher movie, I made a point of giving this speech a lot of space, which is why it’s the first quote.

Here’s something I never thought would work, a ballet shot with rap music. Turns out it looks pretty cool. Proof that you should never stop experimenting!

No one man should have all that power.
I added a shot of Michael Douglas in the beginning of The Game, where he’s a bit of a douche because of the power he has.

I love this montage in Zodiac, another reason why I think Fincher is so awesome is because there’s always these small things you’ve never seen before in his movies.

I didn’t know that. Tell me more.
Love this line in The Social Network.

Next track is Silent Melody by Working For A Nuclear Free City, which is from the soundtrack of inFamous, an amazing PS3 game. Power was a fairly upbeat sequence so I had to counter that with something really dark, because there’s always a really ominous tone in a Fincher movie. This sequence worked really well with Se7en and Fight Club.

I have a lot of these shots throughout the video because I love it when Fincher has these vast focus distances, I think he was really pioneering with that in Fight Club and Se7en so I added a lot of those shots.

Absolutely gorgeous shot here from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, somehow this really graceful composition worked well with the grimy bass-line from Silent Melody.

Scariest. Scene. Ever.

My body is a cage that keeps me from dancing with the one I love.
Great tune here by Arcade Fire from Neon Bible, My Body is a Cage. Of course this works really well with Benjamin Button because his body is literally a cage, he’s a young boy in an old man’s body, but without spoiling too much Fight Club also deals with being trapped and finding a way out.
The transition between Silent Melody and My Body is a Cage was a bit awkward so I pitched the “My body” lyric down a bit to make it more in key with the last notes from Silent Melody.

Font is Futura, it was used in the campaign for The Social Network. I like how epic it looks when you blow the font up.

OK now let me use this shot to just explain why I choose not to back away from spoilers; most of Fincher’s films have twists and turns and it’s impossible to make a good tribute without using a few. I thought about cutting this out for another reason, which is it’s pretty graphic, so I kind of darkened the blood to make it look more like mud.

I’m living in an age whose name I don’t know.
I matched these lyrics with shots from The Social Network and Zodiac that kind of represent the 21st century. The Social Network really sums up an entire generation and this bit hints to that film.

My favourite bit of the video. I love the break.

The things you own end up owning you.
Fight Club is a really controversial film and this is probably the most key line from that film. What I love is that Fincher presents a situation and then asks the viewer to judge for himself what he or she thinks about it, in stead of presenting something with an opinion already made for you.

Love this shot from Foster in Panic Room.

I absolutely love Zodiac, it’s such a tense and different movie. If you haven’t, you should definitely check it out.

I was thinking how nothing lasts, and what a shame that is.
Put two shots of Eduardo and Mark from The Social Network here, because their friendship is destroyed throughout the film.

Some things last.
No coincidence, this quote. I put this here because if you see Fight Club, Se7en or Panic Room, they could’ve been made a few months ago, which shows Fincher’s skill. His films are timeless and so I used this quote from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to symbolise that.


Ben said...

I found his stuff a few months ago too. I'm sure you'll post it eventually, but the one he did for Pixar is my favorite. His year in review edits are great too. I can wait till he does Spielberg.

Where did you get a breakdown of his process? Did you talk to him?

Ben said...

...and I just found his Tumblr. Thanks for posting this, or I would have never bothered to search.