Paul Thomas Anderson Shooting ‘The Master’ in IMAX is BIG News

Paul Thomas Anderson

I didn’t think it was possible for me to be any more excited about P.T. Anderson’s upcoming religious drama that was at one point called The Master. First off, Anderson is one of my very favorite directors, so anything he does is going to excite me. Secondly, Philip Seymour Hoffman is starring as the L. Ron Hubbard stand-in who serves as the main character, and he’s about the best actor on the planet. And third, much like Anderson’s last film, There Will Be Blood, this one is going to feature a score by Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood. Last time around that equaled aural awesomeness.

But now there’s a new rumor swirling around the project that is almost too cool to believe, and coming from these sources, I’d say it’s pretty dang reliable. Cinema Blend was peeping in on a Twitter conversation between two directors from the Pixar stable, Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton, about movies being shot in 65mm, and they uncovered the tidbit that Anderson is going to be the next director to utilize the format. Somewhere in the thread of the conversation Bird said to Stanton, “ … Nolan shot a lot of Dark Knight Rises in IMAX. I think PT Anderson’s next is 65 too.” To which Stanton replied, “The Master is indeed in 65. They nearly lost a camera shooting in the Bay.”

So, for the uninitiated, what is 65mm? It’s the native IMAX format that was used to create the huge, impressive action sequences in The Dark Knight and Bird’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The 65mm image is way larger and clearer than what you’re used to getting in normal films, and the result is a very immersive, jaw dropping end product. The format hasn’t been used all that much yet because it’s a lot more expensive to shoot this way and it’s a lot more of a challenge due to the heavy, unwieldy cameras (as evidenced by Anderson’s alleged mishap), but with 3D largely puttering out at the box office a lot of people in the industry are hoping that IMAX will step in to be the next big money maker. I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but watching the format getting tested out by filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Brad Bird, and P.T. Anderson is pretty dang fun to watch. I can’t wait to see what Anderson comes up with. Hoffman’s head is going to look huge!

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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