Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
Last year, a small report surfaced that Paul Thomas Anderson would be using 65mm film to shoot some of his new film The Master, and now we’ve got confirmation that PTA did indeed use the large-size negative film for at least part of the movie. And it comes from a surprising source: a Twitter conversation between current and former Pixar directors Brad Bird, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich.
CinemaBlend points out that, last night, Stanton told Bird “The Master is indeed in 65. They nearly lost a camera shooting in the Bay.” Let’s ignore the near-disaster aspect of that tweet and focus on the upside: at least part of The Master will be presented in 70mm. And, from the sound of the tweet conversation, the whole film might have been shot in 65mm. Though that’s probably not the case — the PTA experts at Cigarettes&RedVines think the movie is a mix of 35mm and 65mm.
(To repeat a note from last year: if you’re confused by the seeming interchangeability of 65mm and 70mm when discussing some of these cameras, it goes like this: the negative film loaded on set is 65mm wide. That would be printed onto 70mm film, to accommodate a soundtrack among other things, and the marketing of the roadshows that typically relied upon such large-format prints used the term 70mm.)
Given all the recent talk about large-format shooting thanks to the popularity of the IMAX portions of Mission: Impossible, it’s also worth noting that using the 65mm negative doesn’t mean The Master was being shot in IMAX format. ‘Regular’ use of 65mm sees the negative running vertically through the camera, while the IMAX system runs it horizontally through the camera, allowing for a much larger frame size.
Regardless, this helps up the interest in The Master just a bit more. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as the title character, with Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Laura Dern and many more. Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood is scoring; Mihai Malaimare Jr. (Tetro and Twixt Now and Sunrise) shot the film. The Weinstein company will release it either late this year or early in 2013.