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Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson Leads On-Set Tour As Production Assistant On 1993 TV Movie 'Sworn To Vengeance'

by Charlie Schmidlin
February 10, 2014 11:19 AM
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Sworn To Vengeance Paul Thomas Anderson

“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]

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  • cagey | February 11, 2014 1:49 AMReply

    Yeah, this was first publicized maybe not two years ago but around a year and a half ago for sure. I thought this was new.

  • harb | February 10, 2014 8:09 PMReply

    You guys are a couple years late on this one

  • bohmer | February 10, 2014 12:50 PMReply

    LOL, ho that's the 90's alright...I remember how comfortable he seemed in front of the camera on the making of Magnolia back in 98-99. I wish he would be that much candid today.

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