phantom thread camera tests

Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Phantom Thread was one of the best films of 2017, and this brief behind-the-scenes glimpse at the film is better than most modern films in their entirety. That may sound like hyperbole, but I really do mean it. Below, watch Phantom Thread camera tests featuring commentary by Anderson himself.

How on earth are these behind-the-scenes Phantom Thread camera tests better than most modern films in their entirety? I don’t know – it’s a mystery. But it’s somehow true. I’d rather watch these tests than most modern blockbusters. Then again, maybe I’m just a weirdo. As Phantom Thread arrives on Blu-ray this week, we’ll be treated to several behind-the-scenes featurettes, including this one. Below, let Paul Thomas Anderson be your guide through several camera tests used to get Phantom Thread just right.

Phantom Thread Camera Tests

As Jonny Greenwood‘s gorgeous score plays, Anderson talks about testing film stocks, costumes, make-up, and more. These tests ran right up until shooting started. Anderson rattles off filters and camera stock names, and that should be boring, and yet, it’s not. You’ll see shots of cameras slowly pushing in on Vicky Krieps, whom Anderson is clearly enamored with (and rightfully s0). The same goes for Lesley Manville, of whom Anderson says: “You’d have to be pretty foolish to not light her well,” and adds: “She has a face that is a stop and a half brighter than everyone else’s in the movie; she has luminescent skin.”

There are also location scouting shots, which includes a sea foam storm, which looks pretty god damn magical (nothing like that appears in the film, sadly). Other footage includes Daniel Day-Lewis fiddling with a dress, to which Anderson comments that Day-Lewis studied how to make dresses for over a year. This was something previously confirmed by Day-Lewis himself. Talking with W Magazine, the actor said:

“The Balenciaga dress was very simple. Or at least it looked very simple until I had to figure out a way to make it and then realized, My God, this is incredibly complicated. There is nothing more beautiful in all the arts than something that appears simple. And if you try to do any goddamn thing in your life, you know how impossible it is to achieve that effortless simplicity.”

The camera test footage ends with a big food fight scene between Daniel Day-Lewis and Leslie Manville (which we previously covered here). Overall, this is a treat. Anderson has stopped doing commentary tracks on the Blu-ray releases for his film, so this will have to suffice.

Phantom Thread arrives on Blu-ray April 10, 2018.

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