Paul Thomas Anderson will be doing something that he hasn’t done before since the start of his feature directions. Alongside direction, Paul will be taking up the role of cinematographer as well for his next movie Phantom Thread. That’s right! The director who normally picks Robert Elswit will be handling the camera himself, as Elswit was unavailable to shoot due to scheduling conflicts. Elswit has shot six of Paul’s movies and won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 2008. However, this isn’t a first for Paul. Paul worked as his own DP for his 1988 short “The Dirk Diggler Story”. Similarly, he shot and directed three music videos for Radiohead last year. A lighting cameraman spoke to Indiewire saying “Paul has learned a lot from director of photography Robert Elswit and gaffer Michael Bauman”.
Directors bringing on director-of-photography is actually a big deal as it is makes the job tougher. While on the artistic front, they can execute the exact vision in their head and is favorable to them, it is really tough to manage both. Assistant cameraman Bauman who is working Phantom Thread too, will be helping Paul with the DOP part. Paul is known in the industry to be technically-inclined and also, this isn’t a first time a director has taken up the responsibility. Directors David Lynch for Inland Empire, Robert Rodriguez for Sin City and Quentin Tarantino for Death Proof.
Phantom Thread is due to release this December this year. Set in 1950’s London, the movie revolves around the fashion industry and is about a dressmaker who is called upon upon by the royal family and high society. The pressure is on for Paul as it is three-time academy award winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis’s last. The actor will be taking up retirement after this one. Daniel has worked with Paul before for There Will Be Blood which got him his second Oscar. Fans are all geared up for the December release and are hoping it’ll finally win the director the Oscar he deserves and probably win Daniel his fourth!