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Fight Club - The Adaptive Process

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Juno Kim

on 5 October 2011

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Transcript of Fight Club - The Adaptive Process

"I am the all-singing, all-dancing crap of this world..." - Tyler Durden Unnamed insomniac car recall consultant (Jack)
Finds a cure for his insomnia by attending support groups for various issues
Enter Marla Singer; his insomnia returns
Enter Tyler Durden; Fight Club is established
Tyler rescues Marla; spinning out of control, Jack, Marla, and Tyler develop a strange triangle of sex, loathing and soap
Project Mayhem is established by Tyler behind Jack's back
Plot Summary Tyler is a split personality of Jack
Jack tries to end Project Mayhem
Ending "I used to work as a volunteer in a hospice, but I don't have any nursing skills or cooking skills or anything, so I was what they call an escort. I would take people to the support groups every night and I would have to sit sort of on the sidelines so I could take them back to hospice at the end of the meeting. I found myself sitting in group after group feeling really guilty about being the healthy person sitting there - "The Tourist". So I started thinking - What if someone just faked it? And just sat in these things for the intimacy and the honesty that they provide, the sort of cathartic emotional outlet. That's really how that whole idea came together." - Chuck Palahniuk "My face was so bashed and so horrible-looking. It was blacked-out for three months. And it just slowly changed colors before it got back to being a white person's face. And the whole time, no one at work acknowledged it." - Chuck Palahniuk Volunteered as an escort for a hospice
Camping trip incident
Quotes from the book were said by friends
Anti-capitalism, anti-consumerism "People would be staring at my chest or Adam’s apple and saying, ‘So what did you do this weekend? Anything interesting?’ and I’d stare back with two black eyes and say, ‘No. How about you?” If you looked bad enough, no one would dare ask what you did in your free time. That was the genesis of fight club. I started thinking of a fight club as a really structured, controlled way of just going nuts in a really safe situation." - Chuck Palahniuk Chuck Palahniuk Inspirations for Fight Club Fight Club Chuck participated in guided meditation and his power animal was actually a penguin
Marla was the name of a girl who used to beat up his brother; it was the most despicable name he could think of
Friends of his worked as airport security and they were responsible for the vibrating dildo's
Friends' condo exploded when the refridgerator compressor clicked on while they soaked their linoleum floor with gasoline
His friend Alice taught him how to make soap
He used to be a projectionist at his high school
His friend Mike worked at an Adult theater and had a collection of porno slices, which he put into movies; those movies are still out there somewhere with the subliminal porno clips David Fincher A lot of the typical development-speak was being thrown around: "You can't have it all in voiceover because voiceover's a crutch." The first draft had no voiceover, and I remember saying, "Why is there no VO?" and they were saying, "Everybody knows that you only use VO if you can't tell the story." And I was like, "It's not funny if there's no voiceover, it's just sad and pathetic." I remember having a conversation early on when we were discussing what the feel of the first act should be. I was saying, "it's not a movie, it's not even TV, it's not even channel-changing, it's like pulldown windows. It's like, pffpp, take a look at it, pffpp, pull the next thing down - it's gotta be downloaded. It's gotta move quick as you can think. We've gotta come up with a way that the camera can illustrate things at the speed of thought." - David Fincher Tried to buy the rights of the film himself
Flew to New York and waited on Brad Pitt's porch for five hours
Started on the project with screenwriter Jim Uhls and worked very closely with him "I read the book and thought, How do you make a movie out of this? It seemed kind of a coming of age for people who are coming of age in their 30s instead of in their late teens or early 20s. In our society, kids are much more sophisticated at an earlier age and much less emotionally capable at a later age. Those two things are sort of moving against each other." - David Fincher Fincher considered the novel too infatuated with Tyler Durden and changed the ending to move away from him: "I wanted people to love Tyler, but I also wanted them to be OK with his vanquishing." - David Fincher Filmography Culture x Context Many people in society have deep seeded fears to do what they truly wanted to do
Chuck Palahniuk had these same fears, which prevented him to pursue his dream of being a writer
He saw that there were many other problems that present day society was facing and the novel then became a means to express his concerns for these problems using his real life experiences
Palahniuk wanted to reach out to a specific generation of men, a generation in which there was no war to fight, no depression to overcome
These hunters that are left with nothing to hunt have to resort to expending their energy by engaging in consumerism. The masculine tendencies are suppressed in order to find alternate forms of satisfaction in their lives, letting themselves be consumed by consumerism. “We don't have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives.” – Tyler Durden “The real question is asked of the audience, will you pursue your dreams... or are you dead already?” - Chuck Palahniuk “We're designed to be hunters and we're in a society of shopping. There's nothing to kill anymore, there's nothing to fight, nothing to overcome, nothing to explore. In that societal emasculation this everyman is created.” – David Fincher Edward Norton x Brad Pitt
Intense training
Method acting Chuck's View on Adapting his Works What does he think about hi-fidelity film replicas of novels? "But when something does what Fight Club did, where it’s faithful up to a certain point, but it establishes its own authority and does what it wants to do, then the book and the movie can co-exist as their own things. So as long as they call it Choke, I’m happy, but beyond that I want to be as surprised as anybody else.” There is a line about "fathers setting up franchises with other families," and I never thought about connecting that with the fact that Fight Club was being franchised and the movie made that connection. I was just beating myself in the head for not having made that connection myself. How much does Chuck care whether the movie being adapted from his book Choke is true to his intentions? “I think in a way when the movie really, really panders to the book and tries to be the most incredibly faithful copy of the book, it loses any authority, and in a way I wanna see the next generation of Choke. I wanna see somebody do the things with a story that takes it to another level. It kind of evolves the story, rather than just does a picture version of the story.” Elements of the Film David Fincher uses many creative techniques to withhold the novel’s truly unique feel. Fincher describes many of these various techniques as ways to portray “Jack’s” thought process, or as Fincher describes as his “manic dissociative state” or how quickly he thinks. Opening scene utilizes electron microscope photography, an L-System originated by a medical illustrator, and a process called ray tracing to create the depth in the brain. "Because the movie is about thought, it's about how this guy thinks. And it's from his point of view, solely. So I liked the idea of starting a movie from thought, from the beginning of the first fear impulse that went, Oh shit, I'm fucked, how did I get here?" Created through a three dimensional composition of nearly 100 photographs. Used techniques to visualize a stream of consciousness (refrigerator, bomb) Ikea scene: “The visual representation that we are the bi-product of the armour we select to let people know who we are” When Tyler moves beyond the bounds of the fight clubs and gets into Project Mayhem, Tyler becomes so intense that even the literal film can’t handle him. Adaptations From Fincher's Experiences The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1939) by James Thurber gave him the idea of the style for shooting the guided meditation scenes

Rolling Stones ‘still camera’ style music videos inspired the dream like sex scene (same style was used in the Matrix series later on)

Scorsese’s After Hours inspired him for the telephone zoom in scene Focusing on Generation X men, Fight Club was able to speak to that everyman. In the story, Tyler Durden’s self-proclaimed mission is to transform a generation raised by women into real men. This post-war, post feminist world centered on the ideals of consumerism has emasculated and undermined the power of these men. Chuck wrote the 8 rules of Fight Club
as a transitional tool; Fincher kept
it, but he had other tools he could
use for that purpose Chuck was “sort of embarrassed of the book, because the movie had streamlined the plot and made it so much more effective and made connections that [Chuck] had never thought to make.” Palahniuk is very humble and truly wants creative minds to build upon his works. However, Chuck was a little upset that for the movie adaptation the homemade explosive recipes had to be altered so that they would be ineffective, as he put a lot of research into the recipes for his book. "The film is great. When you consider how much of the convoluted plot is intact, and how many ideas and surprises are presented in such a short time, it's staggering. In the same way I love to use non-fiction forms within fiction, Fincher uses so many brilliant non-entertainment visual forms such as the furniture catalog, the security camera, the television news, to tell the story. He's the master of computer animation, using it in short powerful sequences that never outlast their impact” - Chuck Palahniuk Movie Real Life Chuck's Life Book Reflexivity Musical Considerations Music is mostly instrumental to reinforce the mood instead of over-powering the scene
When the music does contain lyrics, it effectively develops an emotional importance upon the scene
Fincher also wanted to break ground on the film’s musical score by employing a band that has never done a movie before. At first he sought Radiohead, but finally decided to go with a breakbeat producing duo called Dust Brothers. “Fincher wanted to break new round with everything about the movie, and a non-traditional score helped achieve that.” - Dust Brothers Bi-directional, circular relationship between cause and effect Chuck wasn't always a writer; he had to overcome his fears to let go of everything to become a writer Unhappy with his life, writing Fight Club was his radical form of psychotherapy Fight Club Applied Not very successful as a book or movie at first; gained a cult following after the DVD release of the movie
Classrooms started to use Fight Club – Philosophy, English, etc.
Ideology became accepted; fight clubs became rampant through schools and even workplaces gaining national media attention
Book signings
UFC and MMA starts gaining popularity at an exponential rate; similar rules with millions of ‘tourists' "I think the people who would take ["Fight Club"] so literally and do these things are already expressing their violence and their rage in some other way -- whether they're hitting their girlfriend, or whether they're tailgating someone on the freeway, or whether they're doing God knows what with automatic weapons at school. You know the rage is coming out in some way. And if this stuff can be sort of vented in a consensual controlled situation like a fight club, I just see that as an improvement." - Chuck Palahniuk Bibliography
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