As a director and producer, David Fincher has been a proponent of some of the best digital cinematography seen today and is responsible for some of the most masterful thrillers of the last two decades.
His recent directorial work along side Jeff Cronenweth for the film adaptation of “Gone Girl” saw the RED DRAGON 6K camera implemented for the first time in a feature, and his produced American adaptation of BBC’s “House of Cards” for Netflix was shot with the RED EPIC 5K camera for it’s second season by Oscar-winning cinematographer Igor Martinovic. Heading into 2015, Fincher is due to bring his next UK-bred series to America: Channel 4’s cinematic conspiracy thriller Utopia.
While Utopia was recently cancelled after airing for two seasons by Channel 4, the legacy it leaves is one of gritty storytelling, fantastic acting, poetic scoring, and most notably in my opinion, the masterful cinematography of Ole Bratt Birkeland. As the characters and plot of the show keeps a surreal and vibrant narrative in play, the visuals maintain that philosophy throughout.
From framing designed to weaken each character, to use of colour and shadow that felt equal parts Cronenweth and Storaro, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many other shows that take the “Every frame a paining” mantra this seriously.
In February it was announced that Fincher would be overseeing the recreation of the series for the American audience, and we now know thanks to Entertainment Weekly, he will be directing every episode of the show’s first season. With his visually-striking pedigree to date alongside some of the best cinematographers and DPs in the industry, it will be exciting to see who’s chosen to paint the light in this project.
Development is still underway and a cast & crew have yet to be announced, in the mean time Utopia’s first two series’ are available on DVD & Blu-ray for those interested in seeing the source material. Here’s the trailer for the UK version of Utopia: