Paul Thomas Anderson Shot His New Film 'The Master' on 65MM Film
Before anyone goes too crazy and starts saying "PTA shot his new film on IMAX?!", it's just 65mm. We'll explain. Thanks to a tip from CinemaBlend, two Pixar directors-turned-live-action-directors were recently chatting on twitter - Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton, talking about shooting formats. Bird said: "Nolan shot a lot of Dark Knight Rises in IMAX. I think PT Anderson's next is 65 too." And then Stanton responded: "The Master is indeed in 65." So Paul Thomas Anderson shot his new 1950's religious drama, The Master, last year in 65mm, the one starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. This will look amazing.
It's funny that it took this long for this kind of news to come out, considering PTA shot most of The Master last year around Southern California, but I believe there were rumors a few years ago anyway. The film, set in the 1950s, is about a relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as "the Master" (Hoffman) whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter named Freddie who becomes his right-hand man (Phoenix). We haven't seen any photos/footage for it yet, but it's intriguing to know that he shot it with 65mm film, because that means it's going to look very wide, and very cinematic, which is always the experience I'm hoping for from Paul Thomas Anderson. Here's the tweet from Stanton:
@BradBirdA113 "The Master" is indeed in 65. They nearly lost a camera shooting in the Bay.
— andrew stanton (@andrewstanton) January 12, 2012
In regards to the actual 65mm format and film size, let's get into the details. First things first, while IMAX is a 65mm film stock, it is much taller and uses 15 perfs (perforations) on the film strip. That's the kind of film that Nolan uses to shoot, but there is also regular 65mm that runs 5 perfs. The best visual example of this is in SlashFilm's article on the digital IMAX format. So while this isn't going to be IMAX in height, it's going to be closer to Cinemara or CinemaScope, with a very very wide image, think Lawrence of Arabia's original presentation. Which will be interesting for a religious drama, but I trust in PTA, he's an incredible director and will deliver something that is truly epic in a cinematic way, which is probably why he shot it this way.
It's becoming more and more popular to shoot on large format film (65mm/70mm/IMAX), with Brad Bird being the latest in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, as well as Christopher Nolan and his Batman saga. I'm always excited to see movies actually shot in IMAX, but I'm sure this 65mm footage will look just as amazing. The Master also stars Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Lena Endre, Kevin O'Connor, Jesse Plemons and Rami Malek, but doesn't have an official release date yet, so we'll have to keep you updated for more info.