On how to get into independent filmmaking without financing or funding
Get a script and an iPhone and start shooting. Seriously.
This was from Steven Soderbergh’s Reddit AMA that I covered for this site a little over a week ago. Soderbergh, you sneaky son of a bitch.
The news broke, courtesy of The Tracking Board and its head Jeff Sneider, only a few minutes ago from this initial writing that Soderbergh did in fact practice what he preached there, and secretly made a movie on an iPhone (whether it was his iPhone or someone else’s remains to be discovered). The movie stars Claire Foy, who’s recently broken out as Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix’s The Crown (and will be the female lead of Andy Serkis’s upcoming directorial debut Breathe), and is called Unsane, and that is all that known about it. Still, what a fucking newsflash, huh?
The shot-on-iPhone hook previous drew many eyes to Sean Baker’s Tangerine, so perhaps that may have inspired Soderbergh to make a film this way (his 2015 viewing log says he watched Tangerine the same day he watched The Revenant and an unknown episode of 48 Hours Mystery). Of course, Soderbergh has a leg up on Baker and all the struggling young filmmakers he told to shoot on iPhones, because he now has a distribution wing, Fingerprint Releasing, he can use to force the project onto the American public (he no longer has to rely on Mark Cuban or Harvey Weinstein to get his obscurities shot with low-grade digital cameras released), which is how he plans to get it out there (in the U.S., at least, he’s currently seeking an international distributor). A timetable for the release is not yet known, as is, again, everything else about the project, but it seems like we will soon reenter the glory days of a Soderbergh film or two a year.
Soderbergh will begin doing press for Logan Lucky soon, so perhaps then we’ll find out more details about Unsane, as well as Soderbergh’s other two mysterious projects, Mosaic and the Panama Papers movie, and, god forbid, the Kafka reedit. Until then, I will be thinking up five ideas for the Summer of Soderbergh and maybe getting one done.