I was reading an interview with ZODIAC director David Fincher in which he reveals that when he was filming his period police procedural, he made sure there was a directory from the appropriate era in the drawers of the officer’s desks. A directory that he had no intention of ever filming.
Let that sink in.
That’s a lot of effort to go through for something that will never appear on screen.
What Fincher understood is that it doesn’t matter if the audience sees these minute details, as long as they are there and the actors know they are. In the case of a movie, it is absolutely essential that the actors believe in the world they inhabit because the camera is keen to doubt, however imperceptible. By controlling this aspect Fincher, gives his world what I have termed “breath.”
It’s sort of a catchall word that refers to the layers that give a world its past, future and real time present.
All of these layers together create breath which supports intent.
And when intent translates to the screen, when you feel it. It’s fucking euphoric.