Fight Club – Cinematography and Editing | samjrmedia

In the next scene, shot in wide angle is of the street fight between Jack and Tyler in a car park outside a bar, which is witnessed by two men who themselves exude menace and potential violence as they come out of the bar. We are back in Tyler’s dark world full of menace and violence and it’s here in this scene that the idea of Fight Club is introduced.

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The director cuts back to another fight scene this time involving Tyler, he’s surrounded by members of Fight Club who encourage their chosen fighters to excel, the dark lighting adds again to the menace, blood lust of the fighters and their supporters as the camera follows the action around the room. The scene ends with a close up of Jack who smiles his approval as Tyler wins his fight.

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In the next scene, with the camera at a low angle again, the roles are reversed with Jack fighting to the encouragement of his fellow members of Fight Club, as Jack loses his fight the director shoots a close-up of Jacks face as he lies face down on the floor ending the scene.

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The director at the end of this fight scene cuts back to Jacks world where he is shown at work in a typical office environment as he sees the fighter from the previous night pushing a mail trolley through the office. They acknowledge each other but do not speak; they share a secret, the world of Tyler’s Fight Club. The scene is lighted once again in this cornflower blue so that the audience can identify that we are in Jacks world again.

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In this ten minute sequence the director has introduced the audience to the core details of Fight Club; he has also set the theme for both Jack and Tyler’s worlds which in turn represent Jacks state of mind. For instance when he’s Jack the mise en scene is generally brightly lighted with this cornflower blue colourised effect and the mise en scene is usually of an office environment lighted by fluorescents. However when he’s in his Tyler persona the world is in direct contrast Jacks, it’s dark, full of menace and violence. The scene is usually of a dark and wet street or a cluttered interior or exterior of a dilapidated building.

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Fincher then cuts back again to Tyler’s world, this time to a fight scene shot once again in the bars car park, there are more spectators and they are willing to participate in a fight, to become part of Tyler’s vision for Fight Club. The cameras low angle shot and the lighting from above adds to the audiences feeling of the darkness and the menace of the scene as the violent fight scene is shot.

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Cutting back again to Tyler’s world, Fight Club membership has grown and is now more organised as the audience POV follows the camera movements (stedicam) which tracks Tyler and Jack as they go inside the bar to greet their fellow members. The bar scene is darkly lighted and feels menacing as Fight Club members acknowledge each other in preparation for this evenings fights.

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Tyler lays out the rules of Fight Club to its members in the dark basement/cellar of the bar as the camera moves around the room revealing the faces and postures of the members, which all adds to the menace of the scene and is a prelude to the violence to come.