Mr. Soderbergh, I say with full confidence that the world is not only ready for more Elmo Oxygen, it needs more of him. He is the only thing that can keep us sane through these trying times.
My second question was about audio commentaries. Soderbergh was once the king of the form before he left it behind for about seven years, but he returned (
quite triumphantly) for the commentary for the Arrow Video release of Suture. I asked if he had any more in the pipeline, and he answered:
Depends. I have to have some connection, either to the film or the filmmaker(s). I wish more of them were as combative as when Lem Hobbs [sic] and I did THE LIMEY…I remember the technicians exchanging looks like SHOULD WE STOP THIS?
I can believe that anecdote. Hey, Soderbergh, I’m sure Dobbs’ schedule is
wiiiiiiide open for whenever you finish that Kafka reedit. Which brings us to another Soderbergh response, to a question about his reedits of classic films for his website Extension 765, and whether he has any ideas in mind for a new one.
I’ve been thinking I need a new project like that. It’s tricky. Also, I’m in the midst (if you can call fifteen years of work “midst”) of a radical KAFKA overhaul, which I really want to finish by the end of the year…
Having just bought the South Korean DVD of
Kafka in a fit of desperation, I want to take full responsibility for Soderbergh maybe finally reaching the end of the reedit this year. You’re extremely welcome.
There’s plenty more where that came from. Plenty of people asked about the dearly-departed
The Knick, and Soderbergh finally spilled the beans about what season 3 would have been in response to one such question.
Season three of THE KNICK was set in 1947 and was going–at my absolute insistence–to be shot in anamorphic black-and-white. It’s POSSIBLE that may have contributed to its demise…
I know he said to expect a curveball in the approach to future seasons, but even with that in mind, I was certainly not expecting one on this level. Cinemax, you absolute monsters, this would have been the greatest thing to ever be.
Of course, I should probably include at least *one* question he was asked about
Logan Lucky here. This one describes the development of the film and dispels a myth I may have spread in my last Soderbergh news post.
I met Rebecca Blunt a long time ago through my wife. Apparently she pitched this idea to Channing when all of us were bowling four years ago (I don’t recall any of that). She gave me the script to read in the fall of 2014 and asked if I would help find a director for it. After two weeks, I told her that, like Dick Cheney, I had called off the search and chosen myself. Then I gave it to Chan…
I wish to apologize to Rebecca Blunt, for suggesting that she did not exist and was in fact Soderbergh’s wife. Unless this is yet another
long con Soderbergh is playing on us all, in which case nice try, but I already stole that Faberge egg you told me Blunt had stolen from Charlotte Motor Speedway.
There’s not a lot of other “news” in the AMA, so here are some assorted nuggets of wisdom Soderbergh shared today.
On whether or not he is secretly the auteurs behind
Date and Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans
Wow. Hadn’t heard that one…no, not true. I’m too busy keeping Peter Andrews and Mary Ann Bernard focused on their work.
On what heist movies inspired his work
THE HOT ROCK is probably my favorite heist film.
it’s my personal opinion that the filmmaker knows better than anyone how to sell their own film, because they are basically the first audience member. This is not roundly accepted as being true. In the case of LL, i provided a series of references from the late 40s and early 50s to indicate the vibe we were looking for. I was VERY happy with the result, which was never tested…
I will say this: visually and musically, I like it the best of the three.
On how to get into independent filmmaking without financing or funding
Get a script and an iPhone and start shooting. Seriously.
On recent movies he’s liked
GET OUT is the movie of the year so far (based on what I’ve seen, which isn’t a helluva lot, to be fair)…
Lately I’ve been telling everyone I know they need to watch THE LOVE WITCH. Wow.
On making a movie about mental health and/or the psychiatrist/medication industry.
Yeah, we tried to delve into that with SIDE EFFECTS but it’s a big enough subject I might have to return to it. Stay tuned…
On how he manages his career
There might be a couple of things going on here…one is taking advantage of what every aspiring filmmaker dreams of: People willing to say YES. The other is continuing to explore whatever subject matter I’m interested in or genre I haven’t gotten to yet, and lastly, trying to refine my work process so I can be as efficient as humanly possible. Oh, and history tells us I’m going to die at some point, so I’m trying to jam a bunch of stuff in before the party is over…
On becoming his own cinematographer
Becoming my own DP and operator was something I’d been working toward for awhile. I shot most of my short films and was trained in a dark room in high school, so I’ve always felt very connected to the technical side of photography. The DPS I worked with prior to TRAFFIC were all extremely generous with their experience as well, which helped me a great deal. The benefits, for me, are speed and intimacy with the cast.
On what he misses about working on
I miss everything about working on THE KNICK. I was terrified before we began because the schedule was so aggressive, but we found a rhythm very quickly and even though both seasons were shot in 73 days, the second season seemed to go REALLY fast. I think I wasn’t aware of how much psychic space was being taken up CREATING the universe in season one, so in season two i was able to put that extra brain space to work on thinking of different ways to lay out shots…
On Shane Carruth
I love Shane and I’m trying to figure out a way for us to work together on something. I too would love to see A TOPIARY get made…
On working on movies that don’t connect with audiences
Once something is finished I put it in the rear view mirror, because I can’t control how people are going to respond. If you start making decisions based on how you THINK someone might react, you’ve lost where north is. I make something I would pay to see, and that’s really my only compass. Now, if you make a BUNCH of things in a row that no one likes OR goes to see (a la KAFKA thru GRAY’S ANATOMY), you may want to consider a new career path (OUT OF SIGHT). It’s a tricky balance…you need confidence to keep going, but not so much ego that you stop listening or can’t identify the good ideas around you.
On if there are ever enough takes
I have now refined my process to where I can get a shot in LESS than one take…
Truly inspiring stuff. Around the time of the AMA, a first full clip from the film (which Soderbergh says in the AMA is a deleted scene) was released, showing Daniel Craig doing an extended riff on a Robert Redford speech from the aforementioned
The Hot Rock. Most importantly, it’s scored all the way through by David Holmes, who sounds like he’s delivering yet another wonderful mix of electronica and 70s funk this time around, just like he did for the Ocean’s movies and Haywire (the logo treatments at the beginning, with the static logos and shifting colors, are also very similar to the ones at the beginning of Ocean’s Twelve).
Logan Lucky comes out August 18, and if it doesn’t do well, I will weep. So buy an entire theater’s worth of tickets for it if you can. The last edit to the AMA promised that it is “To be continued”, so hopefully later we’ll get even more Soderbergh insights, and maybe even stuff about Mosaic and the Panama Papers movie.