December 2021
Photo: Miles Crist
Ernst Leitz Wetzlar

Shot with Leitz

With the Leitz Summilux-C, cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt succeeded in visually transporting David Fincher's film about screenwriter Herman “Mank” Mankiewicz to the 1940s.

“Mank” is a feast for all film enthusiasts. It revolves around the character Herman “Mank” Mankiewicz, who wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Orson Welles’ epochal masterpiece “Citizen Kane” in the early 1940s. Almost 80 years later, director David Fincher immerses the place and time of the action in a historical look using the most modern means – in black and white, of course, one might say.

For cameraman Erik Messerschmidt, ASC, the choice of technical means played a central role, as he reveals in conversation with Seth Emmons: “We chose a camera and lens combination with the RED Helium 8K camera and the Leitz Summilux-C lenses that allowed us to create these aesthetic components faithfully but not compromise on quality or workflow.”

The result is great to look at – and highly acclaimed: Earlier this year, Erik Messerschmidt won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on “Mank.”