Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christopher Nolan Shouts Out PTA, Calls 70mm A "Superior Form"

Last night Christopher Nolan stopped by Filmlinc in NYC to discuss his "Dark Knight" trilogy on the eve of the film's Blu/DVD release and to boost the film's Awards season hopes. During the 90 minute conversation, Nolan and moderator Scott Foundas spoke extensively about his unique take on the iconic character, his influences and how Nolan is essentially one of the last filmmakers still working on film (and one of the first to shoot on 70mm IMAX). During the chat Nolan mentioned that he had seen "The Master" and it looked the way he thought a film should look. Filmlinc also has a print interview with the filmmaker which you can read an excerpt of below:
There’s a strong analog quality to your films in general and the Dark Knight films in particular. You talked about wanting to have a very tactile world, and seeing The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX 70mm you can’t escape the feeling that you’re seeing a film made on film, albeit with hundreds of CGI shots, but integrated in a way that you don’t feel that digital quality in the way you do with most movies that make heavy use of digital technology.
I recently saw a 70mm print of The Master and I realized that, other than my own films, it’s the first photochemically finished film I’ve seen in many years, and it looks the way a movie should look. To me, it’s just a superior form. In The Dark Knight Rises, we have about 430 effects shots out of 3,000, so the idea that the tail wags the dog and then you finish the film in the digital realm is illogical. We make the 430 shots fit in with the remaining 2,500 that we timed photochemically. For that reason, I’ve never done a film with more than 500 effects shots. These films have about a third or a quarter the number of CG shots of any other film on that scale. That allows me to keep working photochemically and to make the digital effects guys print out their negatives so we actually cut the effect with its background plate on film, and we can see whether it matches.
For me, it’s simply the best way to make a film, and why more people haven’t done it I could not tell you. The novelty of digital is part of it. For some filmmakers, there’s a fear of being left behind, which to me is irrational because as a director you’re not responsible for loading a camera. You can hire whoever you need to and shoot how you want to shoot, but I think, very simply, industrial economics favor change, and there’s more money in change, whether or not it’s better. But I talk to a lot of young filmmakers who want to shoot on film and see the value in it. I’ve gone out of my way to screen film prints of The Dark Knight Rises for other filmmakers, because no one prints dailies anymore—they’re not seeing the potential of film—whereas I’ve been seeing it every day I’ve been working for the past 10 years.
During the conversation he called it "Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master'" which was cute. Wonder if he knows PTA is a mutual admirer?

Pre-order "The Master" on Blu-ray or DVD.

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  1. "I recently saw a 70mm print of The Master..." where did he call it "Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master'"?