Way back in April, before lensing started on Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," word leaked out that the director was shooting test footage with a 65mm camera, the same used by Stanley Kubrick on "2001: A Spacy Odyssey" — and then, not much was heard after that. Well, it looks like those tests went well, as the word around the Twittersphere (thank you Ice Cube) is that Anderson has indeed shot some of the film in the format (the movie is said to be a mix of 35mm and 65mm).
Directors Andrew Stanton and Brad Bird were chatting back and forth on the social media site this afternoon about the plus size format, with the former telling the latter, " 'The Master' is indeed in 65. They nearly lost a camera shooting in the Bay." And while 65mm is generally associated with IMAX these days, Bird clarified, "Pretty sure 'Master' is NOT in IMAX. Shot in 65 though…will look amazing, I'm sure."
Not to get too wrapped up in technical mumbo jumbo, essentially the negative used for IMAX is much taller than traditional 65 mm, leading to a 1.44:1 aspect ratio (which is why IMAX screens are so tall). Regular 65mm is shorter with an aspect ration of 2.20:1 ("The Sound Of Music," "Lawrence Of Arabia" and yes, '2001' among many others were presented in that format). It also should be noted, that 35mm film can be blown up to 65mm without a loss of film grain, so we presume that's what Anderson will be doing.
The big question is, how many cinemas these days can handle the format. With digital projectors now the norm (even at major film festivals), we imagine the number of cinemas with projectors and screens that can handle a 65mm print is pretty small. IMAX screens and projectors won't work because they are oriented for a horizontal pulldown (ie. top to bottom) so don't expect to see it there either. Most of us will likely see it in some kind of digital conversion, which is a shame when seeing that grand format from a print is pretty beautiful.
At any rate, it's more to keep us guessing about a film that is keeping its secrets locked up tight. "The Master" is slated to come out sometime this year, but when and where — your guess is as good as ours. [via CinemaBlend]