“Comprehensive” is one way to describe the grasp on filmmaking that Paul Thomas Anderson possesses—a feeling that everything in the frame was put there just so, and with enormous knowledge of the result. That combination is certainly on display in his first feature “Hard Eight,” but as a cheeky video with a young PTA shows, he was gathering knowledge of each aspect of filmmaking from the very beginning.
In 1992, Anderson was knee-deep at night in devising what would eventually become “Boogie Nights,” but during the day he worked as a production assistant on “Sworn To Vengeance,” a telefilm thriller starring Robert Conrad. From this gig sprang a brief, fascinating clip of the future director giving viewers a tour of the different departments on-set, from transpo to catering and make-up/wardrobe.
Done with no small amount of sarcasm and ridiculous banter between crew, it’s a funny look at Anderson’s wry comedic side during his stint on the lower end of the totem pole. It’s also a telling example of his underlying respect and control for each element of the filmmaking process (see his curt question to the cameraman, “Are you framing me or my chest?”), one that we’ll next see in his Thomas Pynchon adaptation “Inherent Vice.” Watch the full clip below. [via Will McCrabb]