Why Ben Affleck and David Fincher Didn't Clash on the 'Gone Girl' Set

Cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth says Oscar winner Affleck was eager to learn from Fincher

What happens when an Oscar-winning director works for a helmer who has never won one?

Look no further than Gone Girl to find out.

Although David Fincher has made a slew of critically acclaimed thrillers and has been nominated for an Academy Award, he has never won. Ben Affleck, the star actor of Gone Girl, however, won the Oscar for best picture with his 2012 drama Argo.

Some might think such a win would leave Affleck with a chip on his shoulder or create conflict during the production of Gone Girl, but DP Jeff Cronenweth told The Hollywood Reporter that there was no conflict between Affleck and Fincher during shooting. “The beautiful irony in it is that he had won [the best picture Oscar for Argo] the previous year. But when this opportunity came up, he dropped everything and jumped on board and was a very, very avid student of David [Fincher],” he said. “He took full advantage of this opportunity and studied and watched and kind of went through the procedures with David.”

Watch more Cinematography Roundtable: Roger Deakins and 5 Top DPs on Angelina Jolie's Directing Style, Shooting Through Hurricanes and Film vs. Digital

He further explained that Affleck wasn’t the only auteur who took direction from Fincher in Gone Girl: “We also had Tyler Perry, who, in his own right has directed movies, not as serious as something like this, but both of them were students of David’s techniques, strategies, and approaches all the way through editorials. It was fun,” he said.

If Gone Girl wins Fincher an Oscar, there may be some truth to the saying that sometimes students are the best teachers.

The Cinematographer Roundtable featured Into the Woods' Dion Beebe, Gone Girl's Cronenweth, The Theory of Everything's Benoit Delhomme, Noah's Matthew Libatique, and Mr. Turner's Dick Pope. Watch the full conversation here.

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