A few weeks ago I wrote about how Master and Commander is an outright masterpiece. Now, after cruising the internet, I found this special features offering from the Blu-ray. It's an hour-long documentary that covers the making of the movie. There are cast interviews, behind-the-scenes stories, and chats with director Peter Weir and other members of the crew. 

Check it out and let's talk after. 


In his book, Russell Boyd: Vision Accomplishedthe cinematographer said, "Master and Commander—gee, that was a hard film to make. There is no easy film, of course, but both Master and The Way Back were very demanding physically—The Way Back because of all the snow we were working in, and Master because of the water, even though a lot of it was shot in the tank in Mexico that had been built for Titanic. In a lot of ways, though, those are two of my proudest films. Peter Weir once said to me—and I’ll never forget it—he said, ‘Come on and do a film of mine, and I’ll take you on an adventure.’ And he does!” 

Boyd's work on the movie is really breathtaking. They shot a lot of the film on real ships put in tanks, and even some that rounded Cape Horn.

Here are some fun facts: Weir was obsessed with shooting on a real boat. He found one called Rose, whose home port was in Rhode Island. The three-masted wooden frigate was purchased by Twentieth Century Fox just to use it in the movie.

Upon completion of principal photography, Fox donated the ship to a non-profit naval history organization.

“I loved being out on the Rose,” Russell Crowe said. “Climbing a mast on the Rose at sea, 137 feet above the ocean, was a highlight for me. Those days were really special; there was an immense sense of freedom because we weren't connected to the land.”

When it came to using the boat and creating the storms, Weir wanted everything to feel authentic. So he brought ILM on to help out.

Visual effects supervisor Stefen Fangmeier said, “It’s a breath of fresh air to work on a personal piece grounded in reality. Audiences are so used to laser blasts, space battles, and the like. With Master and Commander we had the opportunity to enhance a world many of us have forgotten about. It’s a lot richer in many ways than any outer space galactic battle.”

All of this realism and attention to detail make this movie incredibly special.

What are some of your favorite parts of the doc? Let me know in the comments.