Brow Beat

How David Fincher’s Advertisement Work Set the Stage for Seven

Fincher began cloaking his characters in shadow long before Seven.

Still from Vimeo

The folks at Raccord, who run an excellent video series on modern directors, have now fixed their analytical lens on David Fincher. The first segment of their Fincher study covered his initial foray into directing; the second, seen below, picks up with the failure of Alien 3, Fincher’s first feature film, and focuses on the director’s subsequent redemption through commercial work and 1995 hit Seven.

This was perhaps Fincher’s most formative period. Seven’s head-in-a-box thrills put the director on the map, but the film’s cold, subdued aesthetic was first unveiled in the advertisements he made in the three or four years prior to production. Spots like “Blade Roller,” which was done for Nike, showcase not just Fincher’s debt to Ridley Scott but also his developing eye for color and composition.