Ep 19 | Jeff Cronenweth - Cinematographer: The Social Network, Fight Club, Gone Girl, Being The Ricardos

20th Century Fox


Jeff: 0:00 Because we had spent time together on social network and as you know, shot the last shot of the movie together. It was a very casual easy conversation you call me last year before Christmas and said, now we talked, few things about what our careers have been doing. And then he said, “I’m going to do this movie called Being the Ricardos.” And it would make my Christmas if you said, ‘yes.’

Mike: 0:25 Hello, and welcome to Red Carpet Rookies. My name is Mike Battle, a Film Production Junior working for Studios in London. Each episode I bring you advice and stories from film, TV and content professionals to help demystify and democratize the industries for juniors and fans alike. Thanks for joining me. Let’s get started. Today’s guest was described by previous Red Carpet Rookies alumni as a master of cinematography, and she’s certainly right about that. Born into the film business, he grafted his way through the rungs of the camera department and music video scene of the 1990s. And after shooting videos for the likes of George Michael and Janet Jackson got the call from David Fincher to take the reins of fight club. From there, it’s been a run of legendary movies, including one-hour photo and Gong girl, as well as the social network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, both of which he picked up Oscar nominations for. Our guest is of course, Mr. Jeff Cronenweth, how’re you doing today?

Jeff: 1:24 Excellent. Thanks for having me, Mike.

Mike: 1:25 It’s wonderful to have you, Jeff. Now, I asked each one of my guests the same first question. And yours is slightly different, because I feel some of our audience might know a little bit about your family already. But what did your parents plural do? And did it affect your career choices moving forward?

Jeff: 1:42 Yeah, of course. My dad was a cinematographer. He photographed movies such as Blade Runner, Altered States, Peggy Sue Got Married state of grace. And he was quite revered in the industry for being a cinematographer, cinematographer, people still look up to and copy or replicate Blade Runner. He always was pushing boundaries and technologies and utilize light in contrast, and magical ways and was a great storyteller. And my mother, I mean, she eventually was a real estate agent, but wanted to be an actress when she was younger. And I think that’s how they met.

Mike: 2:30 You obviously got a start quite early in the business working in the camera department and such. And I know you wanted to be the hardest worker in the room, almost to try and get away from your name to some extent. Did you feel that the crew ever treated you differently? And did you ever have any negative stuff to work through in that regard?

Jeff: 2:48 It’s a funny thing, because, obviously, doors open for you. But they also come with judgment. And for me, I took it more of a burden, I wanted to be invisible, I wanted to be the hardest working person on the set. I didn’t want to feel entitled or anybody to feel that way or misinterpret my intentions and stuff. And so I did everything I could to support my dad, but I also worked extremely hard at doing my job as well as I could and also integrating with all the other crew members and whatnot. Now, it was never really an issue when we were working together. Although I think on other sets for other people, people would question or tasked or want to really figure out, “Was this just a silver spoon? Or is this guy have some integrity to it?” And I think that’s fair. I think they had a right to want to know. But the best compliment was, I was on several projects, where people didn’t know we were related. So, that’s it. I felt like now that was a feather in my cap.

Mike: 4:06 So you got a few stripes on your back in the camera department, and then headed off to USC film school. You’ve mentioned that part of the reason to go back when you went was because accessing films was actually quite difficult. And it’s not the same as it is now with streaming and all that kind of thing. How do you feel about people trying to get into the business now? Do you still feel that film school is something they really have to do or things have changed so much is not quite what it was before?

Jeff: 4:31 Yeah, I mean, I think it depends on the individual person. For me, college, obviously, we had no internet we had no DVDs. We had no streaming services. So if you wanted to watch a classic movie, you had to go to either a film school where you studied film, and they had those films in a library or you would wait to like a midnight screening at an offbeat theater somewhere in the middle of downtown that would scream classic movies. But so there was no research or no ability to do it without an institution. And also, moviemaking with film is expensive and complicated. And so USC, one of the great things that they did in their film school was practical application, you had to make a lot of films, you shot films and cut films and had to go out and beg and borrow and steal until your stories. And that’s kind of like the same foundation that everybody that’s a filmmaker should have nowadays. I don’t know that he would go for the same reasons. But for me, I grew up a lot in those two years, I needed to have a little space to mature and appreciate the industry. I don’t know that that’s for everybody anymore. With the software that comes with an iPhone, you can shoot your own movies in 4k and cut them together. And you can analyze every film that’s ever been made. And you can listen to people talk about them and dissect those films and particular shots, how they were accomplished, and why they were accomplished, the way they were. So I don’t know, if you would get the same things out of it that I took away from it. But I still think that it’s an individual choice, like you still have to make films, it’s still when you get to a certain level, the tools and resources, the campus is going to have a lot of stuff. And I don’t know how other film schools haven’t kept track of other film schools. But I know USC has an enormous CGI department that’s like, that is mixed with military wargames and trying to create that, but that crosses over into video games, and then CG work for visual effects. And I know they have all the cameras and they have all the editorial bays and sound stages. And so I still think that there is benefits to going there and doing it as a collaboration and learning and studying and making films where you don’t have as much pressure as you might if you jump into the professional world where the expectations are going to be a lot higher. That said, I mean, you have to do it yourself. So whether you’re doing it at a school, or you’re doing it on your own, or whether you’re using your iPhone to make movies and cut them together yourself, you still the thing that is going to be the most educational for you is making mistakes or discovering solutions and solving problems yourself.

Mike: 7:38 You also is a slightly odd experience, I guess, because you are already in the union and working a bit when you went there, weren’t you?

Jeff: 7:44 Yeah, it’s kind of, it was very difficult time in Hollywood to get into the Union. And so I had started at a junior college with the idea of getting into USC for the film school. And my father had an opportunity for me that came along where I could work either as a loader on Blade Runner, or as a staff loader at a commercial company. And in the end, he felt like the commercial company was the guarantee where Blade Runner that position might not be there. And so that’s what I did. You know, of course, I would have loved to have been on Blade Runner, but quite honestly, I was 19 years old. And it was a very difficult film under extreme conditions, lots of nights, lots of rain, very cold in the back lots and a lot of pressure. It was Ridley’s first movie in the States. And it was the only big movie going on at the time, I think there was a writer’s strike. And so there was a lot of ..., it would have been a tough thing for a 19-year-old to navigate through. So I really was lucky that I did what I did and in the end, it was like I was prepping cameras for commercials. I was prepping five cameras a day for five different jobs, learning all the equipment, all the rental houses, all the nuances and meeting, a different DP on each one of those and building up like friendships and understandings of how people work. And everybody brings something different to it. So yeah, it was really good education for me. And so I went, I did that got into union worked for about two years as an assistant and then went back to USC, and applied, got into the film school and then graduated from school and started working right away in the industry.

Mike: 9:23 We’ve mentioned making your first films and getting out into the industry there. One of the places that you first flourish was in the 90s music video scene, which is obviously huge with MTV, things have changed in that realm quite a lot with music videos, now. They’re obviously still very experimental and there’s more choice than a feature film to some extent. But from what I can see they’re quite sort of blockbuster now and there’s not as many of them. How would you advise a young filmmaker or DP trying to get in now on whether they should get into music videos at all?

Jeff: 9:57 It is different. I mean, I still think it’s a great medium, I love that I did you know, three or 400 music videos in my day. So and I still do one or two a year, they just, they happen to be, I’m fortunate enough that they’re Katy Perry and Taylor Swift and Maroon Five, and they happen to be bands with money. You know, Napster kind of killed the music industry for a few years. And in doing so it took away all the big music videos that we were also lucky to be part of. But they figured out how to monetize the music. And they figured out that people buy the music videos and download the music videos now. So it will never be what it was in the heyday. But people are discovering that they can make money in somewhere albums by doing videos. And with any luck, that’ll still be a very creative medium to get into. You still have a responsibility to deliver something, you know. And of course, there’s been a history of such brilliant work that the bar is pretty high. But that said, there’s so many varying degrees, the budgets go from something like a Taylor Swift video, which has a decent budget to no money at all anymore. They feel like it’s a privilege for you to be able to shoot for them to do the songs. But I still think people should do it. It’s a great way of learning, it’s a great. It’s a medium sized story, right? It’s a four minute or five-minute story and not a 30 second story, and not a two hour or hour and a half story. So I would encourage anybody that gets an opportunity to shoot them to do it, because there’s no rules, and you can continuity wise, which is something that’s very important when you’re telling stories, is something that you can learn through music videos, because they don’t have to be there isn’t, they can ... There’s no rhyme or reason, necessarily, it depends on the video that you’re trying to shoot, of course, but they can be anything. So I think it’s a good place to get your feet wet.

Mike: 11:59 Definitely! And there’s nothing to say that you can’t keep it tight. For example, I was watching the Maroon Five memories video. And a lot of the elements of it are something you could hope to emulate in a lower budget. It was one shot close on the face didn’t seem like there’s that much lighting. But obviously, I don’t know.

Jeff: 12:18 If you want to know that, that was a day of free light. There was about 80 lights on a circular rig, above him.

Mike: 12:27 I take it back.

Jeff: 12:29 That took two days to program to the music. And the director was doing a film in London. So everything was done through video and Skype. And it was an interesting shoot. And it changed quite a bit it was going to be a lot more dramatic. Like the colors were going to change, the height of the lights depending like heaven and hell and all these kind of different ideas. And then it ended up being a very simple which I think served the song really well because it’s quite a beautiful song.

Mike: 13:00 Yeah, no, I love that. Moving on to your features, obviously Fight Club. A big one in your history. When you got the gig, you’ve mentioned that you’ve danced all the way to the car, which is a lovely little visual of you Jeff. When the excitement settled, did you also feel nervousness about taking on your first Fincher shows the main unit DP?

Jeff: 13:20 Yeah, I mean, I suffered through that entire shoot unnecessarily, David was enormously supportive, as was all the production and the studio, but I put the weight on myself, I should have had more fun doing it. But I just didn’t want to disappoint or let him down. I have so much respect for him as a filmmaker and as a person. I wanted to not be the one that stumbles. So, ... and maybe that was necessary for me on the first one to kind of feel that way. I’ve always looked at that fear as something wonderful if you are able to utilize it in a way that keeps you aware and fresh and on point and not getting into traps and taking risk. If it’s debilitating to you and that’s a problem but if you embrace it, it can keep you, it can really help you and so I use that during that movie to just to keep me focused and pushing boundaries and taking risk and stuff so yeah, it was a little bit overwhelming for sure.

Mike: 14:32 Did you ever have a conversation or did he have one with you David about what he saw in you and why he took you from being second unit up to his main guy and then build the collaboration? You’ve had that chat?

Jeff: 14:43 I don’t know that it’s ever been that exact. We’ve certainly paid complements to one another or discussed what attributes or been in Q and A’s and things were, things are said back and forth to support one another. But now it’s still a mystery to me.

Mike: 15:03 I like hearing about when directors and cinematographers and people can almost sort of feel with a film, what’s going to happen with it? Would you be able to talk a little bit about the conversation you had where you were talking about Fight Club was going to define the 90s?

Jeff: 15:17 Yeah. It was prior, it was my first meeting with David about Fight Club. And I actually thought I was going to meet him to talk about *Second Unix,* I shot *Second Unix* on seven in the game. And he was describing, you know what the script was prior to me reading it, and what it would meant, and his goal was to represent the 90s. And have it the iconic in the sense, like, Blade Runner is the movie of the 80s. And so he was going for something like that, although he was very aware that it may not make money, if it’s misunderstood. In the end, after all the time and effort that he and everybody put into it, but mostly his continued, following through, through the whole thing for two years of his life, of course, you want it to be to make money because we’re all judged by box office, regardless of whether right or wrong, that didn’t happen. And then Fight Club, when it was first released was not a financial success. It only came a couple of years later, or even later that year, when the DVD was released, that it became, a monster hit number one DVD, and then eventually, a cultural kind of iconic movie that’s even in the national registry. It’s like it’s an archived in DC along with [unclear 16:49]. So it’s kind of fun. So my dad has one, I have one in there.

Mike: 16:54 That’s very cool. So that’s a segue. If Fight Club define the 90s, social media has kind of defined the 2000s. So the social network, of course, a dialogue, heavy script, a dialogue driven scripted, I think anyone wouldn’t deny that. When you saw that, how did you approach finding space for your own artistry within what was obviously a Sorkin moment? To some extent, you’ve got to find your own creative space in there, haven’t you?

Jeff: 17:19 Yeah, it’s a funny thing, because we can get more into it if you bring up Being the Ricardos, which is the last film that I just did, which was also written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by him, but first off, when Fincher called me and said, he’s doing a movie about [unclear 17:38] I couldn’t imagine, but that would be, or why are we going to be doing this movie. But once I read the script, it was very clear why he was interested in it. And the personalities and the kind of the human interaction or deception or leaving it up to us, in the end, ultimately, to arbitrary who’s wrong and right, or if anybody is in the fits just a combination of all the above. So I really loved it, and the opportunity to do it, and then the way that Aaron writes and the pace of the dialogue and the fact that it overlaps each other, and the words that they say, are so clever, that it’s always really fun to shoot his scenes, you just have to figure out where and that you support the story and how much creative freedom can you take visually, to support that story and what those what those choices would be in as far as camera movement and lens choices and any kind of other effects and push as much as you can. And so with Fincher directing, that’s never an issue, because he’s very like, comes from Hitchcock school, in the sense of prepping the movie, doing most of the work and the prep. So it’s not really there’s a lot less, less left to guess on, on set. Because we’ve tried to eliminate any of the setbacks or problems that may occur. That doesn’t stop us from discovering better ideas or creative solutions to things that are going on. But you certainly like less than the things that are going to surprise you.

Mike: 19:18 You mentioned being the Ricardos there. And one of the things I did want to ask about is, when a cinematographer, like yourself first meets a director, how do those first meetings play out? Because I know you guys did meet at the end of the social network, but it’s your first time working together, what does that look like?

Jeff: 19:36 Everyone’s different, just like we’re all different people. Every time you meet a director is different and what that director, his expectations of you are and what he brings to the party, and then that combination of you find out and discover what you can contribute and how you guys are gonna collaborate together and because we had spent time together on social network and as you know, shot the last shot of the movie together. It was a very casual easy conversation. He called me last year before Christmas and said, now we talked, a few things about what our careers have been doing. And then he said, “I’m going to do this movie called being the Ricardos.” And it would make my Christmas if you said, ‘yes.’ And he just wanted to push himself, he wanted to evolve as a filmmaker, and he had done Chicago Seven and *Fadden* did a beautiful job. Got a nomination last year for that movie. That movie, half the movie takes place in the courtroom. And that’s just that’s so difficult. And they did an amazing job. This one was out and about more, and this is a lot more people, emotional reactions between couples, and whatnot. So he wanted me to bring some of what Fincher brings visually, in our movies, in our collaborations together to this movie, and so he kind of opened the door, he said, and I say, when you read one of his scripts, they’re pretty complete, you get a whole story. There’s nothing that you have to make up for, there’s nothing that you have to cover, it’s all there, so in a way in the sounds peculiar, but it frees you up, it really does. Because now you can take chances and risks because the structure is so strong, that then you can push the visuals and figure out a language that’s gonna embrace all that story and those words and allow the actors to move and talk and have rooms to perform and create drama within it, that support the narrative. And so, I found it unbelievably creative experience and incredible collaboration.

Mike: 22:06 Advice for directors kind of newer to the craft, let’s talk about younger ones, perhaps, is often to lean on a more experienced DP if you’re doing shorts or your first feature or something. Was that the case with Sorkin because obviously, he’s incredibly successful, but he has comparatively less experience on yourself on set, so how did that relationship work?

Jeff: 22:23 It was great, I have all the respect and admiration in the world for him. He’s been on sets forever, he would be, he may not be in the director’s role. But he was a showrunner on West Wing, and showrunner on newsroom and so many different movies. So he’s very upfront about what he’s comfortable with, and what he’s not comfortable with. And always looking for better ideas. And get him out of his comfort zone. He’s very funny. He talks about, if it was up to him, he would be comfortable with two people sitting in a table and they just deliver all the entire script. And that’s a broadway play in a way. And he has a number one play on broadway right now as we speak. So there’s truth to that. But he wanted the ..., he wanted more cinema, he wanted more ... He wanted to evolve his visual storytelling. And so that was an opportunity for me just to kind of push him out of his comfort zones and open his eyes to certain things. And we did, and sometimes he agreed, and sometimes he had a different position. And then, we worked it all out, but it was really like a fun collaboration. And it wasn’t just me, it was like, the entire team realized how good the script was, what a nostalgic story it is that we all have, like a piece of us have seen in love with, I Love Lucy and the whole story of them. And so there was this energy on set that was very exciting, and everybody brought so much integrity to it and costumes and production design and my work and even editorial at all the dailies and watching the DI and different things like everybody was still so invested. Because it felt special.

Mike: 24:20 I can tell you loved it, which is really cool. Does it help the storytelling? I presume it does to have the writer director there, particularly someone of his league.

Jeff: 24:29 It does, but it depends on that person. I’ve shot for writer directors often and sometimes they get stuck on seeing the performers deliver the words as opposed to creating an environment where the words would might have more weight. And so that gets to be something that you need to arbitrate sometimes, someone in silhouette may be way stronger and the words may come off, with so much more effect than if it’s something where you are actually watching and deliver that line. So that’s something that you have to negotiate through. But you also always want to keep a mind about what the palette is that you’re creating so that it’s balanced so that there is time to when you have relief, and there’s times when it’s dark. And there’s times when it’s bright, and there are times, you know, everything has to have a flow to it. You don’t want everybody squinting for two and a half hours and then just go on, “I couldn’t see a damn thing, the whole movie.” It’s like, I don’t know what that’s ... and there tends to be a tendency in the last couple of years of people just go in darker and darker and darker. For no apparent reason. It’s like, why that’s not hard to do. That’s easy. So, it’s great, though, but the benefits of it is like no one knows the story better. They created it. And so when things come up, or continuity or historical things, or it’s really great to have the source.

Mike: 26:07 You mentioned going darker and darker. And I would argue that a lot of people are doing that because they are emulating something that yourself and David has kind of created. And I was trying to think of the words describe it. How do you see it? Because the film Fanboys online, it is the aesthetic, that is what they all going for? And I feel like that’s probably what they’re copying that how do you see it? The man who did it?

Jeff: 26:27 I think it depends on the story. I think you have to serve that. And if it calls for that, then do it. But if it’s not, it’s not a contest, it’s like, you don’t win prizes for not lighting something. Or stopping down beyond what it is, I think you have a responsibility as a visual arbitrator of all of the story to get the audience engaged. And if dark gets them engaged, then you’ve served the story, but if it doesn’t, or if people could disengage or get off the ride ever, then you failed. And so I think that’s a tough job that cinematographers have to navigate that, because it’s always like, of course, we always want to be bold and strong. And half the movie in silhouettes would be gorgeous. But that’s not going to work out so well. So because it compromises so many of the things that, that bring a story to life, close and set and paint all the different colors and things that, that have detail, you know, one of the reasons like Fincher and I for some of the dramas that we shot, would use, say a 40 for a close up as opposed to like a 75, it’s because in a large format, Situ frame, you can put somebody on a close up, not having distortion, but leave enough room off to the side where you don’t lose where they are, you keep them in context to the set and location, because that’s as much a character sometimes as they are. And so I feel like, if it’s too dark, or for unnecessarily or if it’s a 100 millimeter lens, doing the same size, but you can’t see anything behind them, then you lose perspective. And you’re not using all of your storytelling ability to keep an audience engaged because you’re not making movies for each other or making them to an audience.

Mike: 28:21 Reminds me of that, quote, I think it’s from yourself or David about strapping in for the roller coaster, and then being in the whole way.

Jeff: 28:28 Yeah, I said that. Yeah, that’s his style. That’s kind of the mantra when we shoot together, or when he makes movies, he doesn’t want to have any distractions. He wants to own every part of the film, not have any mistakes in continuity, sound, wardrobe, looks, eye lines, focus anything that would allow you consciously or subconsciously to get disengaged from the story that we’re trying to tell you.

Mike: 28:57 I feel like you guys, well, yourself in these podcasts probably talk about your relationship together quite a lot. One thing I’d like to ask you, as a bit of a flip on that, is that, is there anything you think you’ve taught David?

Jeff: 29:10 I’ve probably opened his eyes to different perspectives on some things. And we’ve shared so much time together and so many good laughs and stories and solve so many problems. It would be not possible to have enhanced each other’s lives. But he’s a very, very bright savvy guy. So I’m definitely the benefactor of that relationship.

Mike: 29:35 What does a typical day of prep for you guys that like?

Jeff: 29:38 It depends if you’re out and about scouting, then those are full, consuming days of going to a location, we’ll usually do it together with the production designer Don Byrd. We’ll go and look before anybody else is around and we’ll see if this place works. And then we’ll talk about how we’re going to cover a scene and what sources we’d be using and where this is going to happen. then you go back later with the entire gang, which may be up to like 30 or 40 people and go through it again. But we’ve already kind of blocked out how this thing’s gonna work. It changes obviously, when it’s all dressed, when it’s lit, when the talent comes in, the actors’ kind of want to find certain nuances that maybe you hadn’t thought of, or they go to places that are different than you anticipated. So you negotiate through that and solve problems. But that’s like a typical Scout day. Prep days on set, I mean, in the office would be going over storyboards, talking about shots, any reference material that it was relevant to what we were trying to accomplish. That’s the good part of it.

Mike: 30:48 Did you use much reference on being the Ricardos? Because, obviously, period, how does that affect your job?

Jeff: 30:54 Yes, yes and no, like. The funny thing about that is we talked together about what was important, what wasn’t important, what we were trying to avoid, and what we loved. And so when you’re doing a period piece, to me, it’s easy to fall into a parody of that period, which you don’t want to do that doesn’t serve anybody. And you also, you have two schools where someone thinks that you should use lenses, and cameras of that era and shoot, like they did, but they only shot, like they did, because that was the state of technology at the time. If they had our lenses today, they would have used them. And their audiences were watching TV for the first time in 52. You know, it’s brand, is fairly new and being in people’s homes was new, it wasn’t a common thing that audiences today, like grew up watching Game of Thrones, on phones,

Mike: 31:50 As it should be.

Jeff: 31:53 Yeah. And so I think the maturity and sophistication of audiences has evolved so much that you have to bring something more to it. So you want to pay homage to the era and stay true to it and get the audience in that same world. But then you have to capture it in a way that a modern audience can relate to it, you can’t make a hand crank film, they’re not going to understand why that’s doing that. In being the Ricardos, it’s a movie about Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, not Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, I mean, they have their moments in. But we never actually do the TV show, we do images of the show only in Lucy’s mind when she’s trying to solve comedic challenges. And they flashback to how those challenges got solved while making the show. And so I used monochrome cameras to shoot that since they shot in black and white in the era. They had all kinds of issues that had to deal with, they had to use [unclear 33:00] scopes, and they had to use the contrast ratios, they had to have very low contrast ratios. So that, because all through the different channels before it got to your television at home, it picked up contrast. So they would dial down newspapers dial down any of the whites who said had some weird colors on it to make it look more saturated. I felt like I could copy that and have that kind of two to one, no contrast flat looking. And people would go oh, that’s exactly it. But would they understand that like, you know what a modern Aryans go, “Oh, it just looks like old footage,” or would they understand that we were paying tribute to that, or I chose differently. I chose to make it a little more contemporary state, say all in the same flavor. But a little more contrast, a little more highlight, a little richer. And I just felt like it’s fine, because it’s not supposed to be the show anyways, it’s only in her mind. And I think you owe it to a contemporary audience.

Mike: 34:01 That reminds me of that quote, that someone said once about how it’s actually much harder arguably to do period than it is go sci-fi because it’s all happened before. Everyone’s got a memory of it. You’ve got a memory of it the audience they want something else from it. So it’s difficult to tread that line, isn’t it?

Jeff: 34:16 Yeah, can be tricky, for sure.

Mike: 34:23 Now to wrap it up, I do a little quick fire questionnaire. Jeff, if you’re up for it?

Jeff: 34:27 Well, I will try. I’ll try.

Mike: 34:30 So just say whatever comes into your head. Are you ready Jeff Cronenweth?

Jeff: 34:35 I’m ready.

Mike: 34:36 Number one, what is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve ever been given?

Jeff: 34:41 Go with your gut feeling, trust yourself and embrace that it’s usually the right choice.

Mike: 34:48 Love it! Number two, do you have a favorite film?

Jeff: 34:50 I would be kicked out of the family if I didn’t say Blade Runner, but because I find so much of his work. I relate to it; I see him in it. And it was such a great almost perfect, you know visual film. I would say that and then I’m like everybody else. I love the Godfather, I love Shawshank. I love No Country for Old Men. I love the original Willy Wonka.

Mike: 35:14 Well, you got to work with Brando didn’t you on that Michael Jackson video?

Jeff: 35:16 I did. Yeah.

Mike: 35:19 Number three, what gives you a reason to get out of bed every day for an early call time, if any at all?

Jeff: 35:24 I love it. I love going to the challenges trying to solve problems that day, finding beautiful images telling a story. And I love the crew and I love I just it’s such an inspiring thing. I still get excited about it. I still think that I’m growing as a filmmaker, I still think there’s a lot to learn, and I learned something every day.

Mike: 35:46 That’s wonderful. Number four, which job in the industry would you do if you weren’t doing yours?

Jeff: 35:51 That’s a good one. Well, I always wanted to be an actor, but I just, I don’t have anything. I don’t have any ability to act. So it kind of that, I decided early on that those days are gonna, no, it’s not gonna work out for me.

Mike: 36:06 Plenty of other people who couldn’t act. I’ve tried Jeff.

Jeff: 36:08 Yeah, exactly!

Mike: 36:11 Number five. If you could work with one person living or dead, who would it be? That’s really hard. Sorry!

Jeff: 36:16 Wow, that’s a good one. I’d like to meet Charlie Chaplin.

Mike: 36:21 Carmen from police from. You worked on a Chaplin film?

Jeff: 36:24 I did. I was a camera assistant on the Richard Attenborough along with Robert Downey, Jr.

Mike: 36:30 That’s the one, thought my revision had gone well.

Jeff: 36:32 Good memories.

Mike: 36:34 Number six, what is a book that everyone should read?

Jeff: 36:36 What is a book that everyone should read? Blink of an Eye.

Mike: 36:40 Ah! I’ve got that. I’ve just read that one. Walter Murch.

Jeff: 36:44 Yeah, it’s fantastic. It’s a great theory on editing. He cut key 19 that I photographed. So we became buddies.

Mike: 36:58 Wow! Because funnily enough, when you mentioned earlier saying think of the audience, I thought of that. That’s one of the things he says, when you’re editing.

Jeff: 37:04 Of course.

Mike: 37:05 And the final one is if you want an Oscar, which you will definitely one day, I’m sure, who would you thank?

Jeff: 37:09 I would thank my dad, I would thank Fincher and I would thank my family.

Mike: 37:14 Wonderful! Thank you very much. Jeff Cronenweth, the Master. Thank you so much.

Jeff: 37:19 Thanks for having me.

Mike: 37:23 Thank you for listening to another episode of Red Carpet Rookies. To help us grow, please do subscribe and drop us a rating on the Apple podcast store or online if you’re an Android user. To keep up to date with new episodes, blog, posts, and more. Please go head to redcarpetrookies.com and sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Instagram at Red Carpet Rookies (@redcarpetrookies). Have a great day and we’ll see you next time.