transcript from the David Fincher Q&A session in London on the 18th January that I couldn't bloody go to.
DF: ... mean, I moved [to LA] in 1984 and started Propaganda Films in 1987, so I'd been doing commercials and videos for eight or 10 years before anybody gave me a shot at making a movie. And I wish they hadn't.
MS: The film we can't mention.
DF: Yeah, let's not.
MS: But there's this fantastic quote that I found, where you said of Alien 3 that "a lot of people hated Alien 3, but no one hated it more than I did."
DF: I had to work on it for two years, got fired off it three times and I had to fight for every single thing. No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me.
MS: At the risk of opening old wounds, what did you take from that experience that has subsequently helped you in your Hollywood career?
DF: It was a baptism by fire. I was very naive. For a number of years, I'd been around the kind of people who financed movies and the kind of people who are there to make the deals for movies. But I'd always had this naive idea that everybody wants to make movies as good as they can be, which is stupid. [audience laughs] So I learned on this movie that nobody really knows, so therefore no one has to care, so it's always going to be your fault. I'd always thought, "Well, surely you don't want to have the Twentieth Century Fox logo over a shitty movie." And they were like, "Well, as long as it opens." So I learned then just to be a belligerent asshole, which was really: "You have to get what you need to get out of it." You have to fight for things you believe in, and you have to be smart about how you position it so that you don't just become white noise. On that movie, I was the guy who was constantly the voice of "we need to do this better, we need to do this, this doesn't make sense". And pretty soon, it was like in "Peanuts": WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP! They'd go, "He's doing that again, he's frothing at the mouth, he seems so passionate." They didn't care.
MS: Have you grown to like it since then, Alien 3?
DF: God, no! [audience laughs] But I don't look at anything after it's done.
MS: So that alternate cut on the DVD special edition whatever it is – that's not yours?
DF: I don't know who did it, I've never seen it, I can't comment on it.
MS: So after that experience, you went back to making videos. Did you think that was it as far as features were concerned?
DF: No. The great news about Hollywood is that there is no better place to fail upward. I figured that there were people who had made worse films than I had and they were still working, so I figured I'd get one more shot.
MS: Talking of fist-fights, we're going to skip The Game, which I think is a fantastic film, and talk about Fight Club. Clearly you were reticent to go back to Fox after your Alien 3 experience, but they supported your thing.
DF: But they were all fired, that's the beauty of it. [audience laughs] Every time somebody comes and says, "You've gotta scratch our backs," I say, "Why? You're not going to have this job in 11 months. I wanna talk to your assistant." [audience laughs]http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/feb/03/david-fincher-interview-transcript
And just for fun...
MS: So you worked on Return of the Jedi, but nothing to do with the Ewoks, I hope.
DF: I did, but I actually worked on the tanks that tried to kill the Ewoks. That was my personal contribution. [audience laughs]
And that very interesting point - Fincher never returns to any of his films after he's finished working on them. So his complete lack of interest in
and the Quadrilogy may not be as damning as it sounds. Although, even if it were, fair enough...