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Ben Affleck takes ‘Baby’ steps

First-time director learns on the job

Although the making of “Gone Baby Gone” saw many firsts — Ben Affleck‘s debut helming gig, Casey Affleck‘s tyro starring role and Daniel Battsek‘s first film taken on as Miramax topper — it was clear at Monday’s preem that no one was chalking up the end product to beginner’s luck. Instead, filmmakers pointed to good old hard work.

During the after-party at Westwood’s Napa Valley Grill, Battsek touted Affleck’s directorial debut, saying, “He knew that he had stuff to learn, but he learned fast.”

Casey Affleck chatted in a booth with pic’s producer Alan Ladd Jr. and later discussed the ease that came from working with his brother. “We had a sort of shorthand based on genes and commonalities. We were able to get things done quicker,” he said.

But the hard work isn’t over for the helmer who says he must also be the film’s “huckster.” “That means I will be on a plane to promote the film in San Francisco, Chicago, D.C., New York and then Europe,” said the elder Affleck adding that his favorite stop will be in his hometown of Boston, where the film was shot. “We are having a premiere there with the crew, the extras, the actors and their families,” he said. “Literally everyone and their cousin will be there.”