"We broke the film down into five sequences, and D was where everything spirals out of control after Dirk has been fired. It was sort of notorious - in shooting it, matching didn’t matter, so everybody could get freed up: ‘It’s sequence D, it’s a fucking free for all, cocaine madness.’ So the camera moves to reflect that. That sequence in Goodfellas where Ray Liotta is running around, everybody responded to it. I got this sick to my stomach feeling.
I was working as a messenger in LA at the time and I would do coke all day long and run around. I swear Goodfellas accurately portrayed what that feels like. There’s one shot in that Boogie Nights sequence that I really feel good about, when Heather Graham snorts a line of coke and the focus shifts from the mirror to the coke to her and it’s blurry for half a second; it’s a very quick shot, then it whips over to Julianne Moore and then Heather brings her head up. That’s the one shot where I can go, yeah, that’s what it was like to my eye. If you’ve ever leaned down to do a line, it’s a really odd moment where you feel gross about what you’re doing but you’re in this panic and frenzy. You’re so close to something your eye is trying to adjust. It’s this weird, blurry feeling."
Paul Thomas Anderson on Boogie Nights and cocaine.