October 14, 2014

Spend 40 Illuminating Minutes with Steven Soderbergh as He Talks About Low-Budget Filmmaking

Steven Soderbergh
Steven Soderbergh might be known for his big budget Oceans series, which has more stars in it than Andromeda, but his low-budget work truly showcases his mettle as a seriously creative director.

Below is almost 40 minutes of Soderbergh and Mark Romanek talking about making his low-budget feature, Bubble, which was the film that came right after he finished Ocean's Twelve. In the discussion, Soderbergh touches on so many issues and decisions indie filmmakers have to face in their own work: how to approach directing non-actors, shooting digital, and creating a desired mood working only with what little lighting you have.

a still from Bubble

There is so much to glean from Soderbergh in these videos, but one thing that was especially interesting to me was when he talks about the interrogation scene at about the 1:50 mark in the third and final video. This bit of dialog comes after he speaks about feeling as though he always needed to "have an idea" for each scene in Ocean's Twelve, and how Bubble allowed him to pare down each scene to its core. 

Each one of the directorial decisions he made for this scene is put on the table: the decision to use natural lighting, casting a real detective, not telling his lead actress Debbie Doebereiner which questions she'd be asked, not putting marks on the floor to allow actors to move about freely -- all of this brings to light just how intentional one has to be when putting every scene together. In fact, it would seem as though Bubble is a much less precisely crafted film than, say, Ocean's Twelve, however all of these decisions that produce potentially unintentional results actually gave the film its natural, authentic atmosphere. Just more proof that Soderbergh is a brilliant director who knows how to create something without controlling it.     

Your Comment

9 Comments

I wish all film commentaries were at least this good. So often I'm left wondering if anyone even cared about it.

October 15, 2014 at 1:46AM

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Thanks so much for this, a really good morning listen.

October 15, 2014 at 5:19AM

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Thanks for sharinggg :D

October 17, 2014 at 4:40AM, Edited October 17, 4:40AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7652

Does anyone Know what film they are talking about? I can't pick it out.

October 19, 2014 at 9:01AM

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Michael Markham
Actor/Filmmaker
869

I'm an idiot. I should have looked closer in the article. Grrrrrrr.

October 19, 2014 at 9:05AM

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Michael Markham
Actor/Filmmaker
869

What is up with all the negative down votes?

March 8, 2015 at 6:22PM

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Probably because many of them are just saying that they like it and are not adding anything. It is a little mean because there is no way of voting a "like" for the item itself in any other way. If there were, people could "like" it and leave room below for comments that are actually part of a discussion that could bring further insight.

March 9, 2015 at 4:36PM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1357

"Vote. The community is stronger when we upvote helpful content, and downvote content that doesn’t add anything to the conversation."
From this site.

The prosecution rests its case. However, I do find it rather impolite to downvote, but I am English so you will have to forgive me.

March 9, 2015 at 6:31PM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1357

Also...Mark Romanek - A far more interesting director

August 16, 2015 at 10:43PM, Edited August 16, 10:43PM

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Johan Salberg
Actor, Writer, Director, Editor
269