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Was Paul Thomas Anderson inspired by Inception to shoot his next movie on 65mm?

04.25.2011

Most directors struggle to focus their attention on one project as it nears filming but Paul Thomas Anderson is concurrently in pre-production on two films - THE MASTER and INHERENT VICE - and has yet to decide which project will go first. But whichever one it is, it look as if it may get an epic and old-school look.

Cigarettes and Red Vines, a very well-connected PT Anderson blog, reports that PTA is performing shooting tests with a 65mm camera. Anderson was reportedly inspired by Christopher Nolan's limited use of the format on INCEPTION and is debating using the format on one of his new projects.

The big question though is, Just because Anderson is interested in shooting one of his projects on 65mm, will he be able to?

65mm is an expensive proposition as the cameras, film stock and accoutrements cost much more than traditional 35mm. The vast majority of film theaters don't have 65mm projectors and a film shot in that format would have to be scanned to 35mm prints (and conversely a film shot in 35mm can be scanned at 4K and upgraded). But there's no denying the distinctive look that 65mm can bring to the theatrical (and widescreen Blu-ray) experience. It's possible Anderson could shoot on the Phantom 65, the only digital 65mm camera on the market, but Anderson seems very much a "film" guy.

Anderson is financing his films independently through billionaire Megan Ellison so if he can get the money, it would be great to see what he could do with the format (though it's still unclear if he's contemplating using the format for the entire shoot or, like INCEPTION, just certain shots).

The sad news is that whatever Anderson's next film is, it will be without longtime cinematographer Robert Elswit, who won't be reteaming with the director. Anderson and Elswit have collaborated on all of the former's films and to see them go their separate ways is nothing short of a bummer.

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