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