Workflow on Fincher’s all digital film: Zodiac

The first major motion picture created without using film or tape. Andreas Wacker was the tech guru and Angus Wall the editor on the David Fincher film “Zodiac”. In this podcast we talk with them about the innovative process used to create this feature.

Director David Fincher had done several commercials all digitally using the Viper FilmStream camera, but taking that technology and doing a complete feature film presented new challenges. No film, no video tape. Uncompressed 4:4:4 direct to hard disk. Design and execute a workflow that makes that work.

Andreas Wacker is a technology expert and a co-founder of Method Studios. He took on this challenge and helped put together the methodology used on Zodiac. Angus Wall has edited many previous projects with David Fincher and is the owner of Rock Paper Scissors and A52 and the editor of Zodiac.

For this week’s podcast Jeff Heusser visited the edit suite for a discussion with Angus and Andreas of how creative technology was used for this feature film.

Zodiac is scheduled for a US release of January 19, 2007. Jake Gyllenhaal, Roberty Downey, Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards star in this story about a serial killer who terrorized San Francisco in the ’60s and ’70s.

A couple of flowcharts explaining the workflow:

On Set Workflow
Editorial Workflow

Mentioned in the podcast:

Viper FilmStream

The Viper FilmStream Camera was used to provide 1920×1080 images at 4:4:4 which was recorded onto D.Mag Digital Film Magazines by S.two.

PIX System is an online collaboration and project management system. This is a screenshot from their website.

Home of Zodiac Workflow

The digital negative from the shoot was brought nightly to a non-descript building near Rock Paper Scissors for backup and conversion.

In addition to the related links in side box on this page, check out these sources for more about the Zodiac workflow:

Apple profile on David Fincher and Final Cut Pro

Millimeter Magazine Article

Show Reel article