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A Conversation With Steven Soderbergh – Part I

A Conversation With Steven Soderbergh - Part I

A Conversation With Steven Soderbergh - Part I

by Joshua Moss

Steven Soderbergh visited the 1996 Hamptons
International Film Festival, where he screened two of his films, “Schizopolis” and
“Gray’s Anatomy.” There, indieWIRE’s Joshua Moss
sat down to talk about the Filmmakers new films, and his past work.

indieWIRE: I saw your new film “Schizopolis” yesterday…

Steven Soderbergh: Oh good, the new version. Two days ago we screened the old cut.

iW: What’s going on with that? Why the new cut?

Soderberg: Well, Toronto was the first time I was able to see it with an audience,
and just sitting there I felt that there were things I needed to tighten up.
I shot a new introduction, as I felt the screenings went well when I was
able to personally introduce the film, so I shot myself doing that,…I felt
it was a way to prepare people for the, uh, “ride”. I felt that, well, I’m
not going to be at every screening of this film. Then I remembered that
Cecil B. De Mille did this great introduction to “Ten Commandments” that was
just hilarious in its audacity. He comes out and basically tells you what a
great and important film it is. So we did sort of a parody of that.

iW: What’s the planned release schedule like?

Soderberg: March for Gray’s Anatomy and April for “Schizopolis”.

iW: Will they be connected at all in the promotional campaign?

Soderberg: I’m sure there’ll be some crossing,…but not directly.

iW: I haven’t had a chance to see “Gray’s” yet, but I had to ask, did this
collaboration come about through your work with Spalding Gray on “King Of The Hill?”

Soderberg: Yeah. Several people called me at once, as it had to come together
very quickly. Spalding’s schedule had a very small window of opportunity and
so everything happened very fast. I called the Independent Film Channel and
said, ‘Look, I know the contracts aren’t done, but if we’re going to do this,
we’ve got to do this now.” and they were like, “Oh yeah! Great!” And the
BBC was great. They put in some money too.

iW: So what was the shooting schedule on “Gray’s?”

Soderberg: 10 days on that.

iW: And “Schizopolis?” Well I guess it was over a period of time…

Soderberg: Yeah, it was over 10 months, not to mention this new stuff I shot three
weeks ago, so I don’t know how many days,…probably like 40 if you add them
up. And there would be days where we’d just shoot one shot.

iW: So how did you feel about it? Was it fun?

Soderberg: Oh yeah!

iW: Better than doing the bigger sort of films?

Soderberg: I think so. A lot more freedom. You don’t have any money, but there’s
a lot of freedom in that, too.

iW: The feeling I got from watching it, was it was a lot of these little
ideas you had, and that each scene was a different idea…

Soderberg: Yeah, I just wanted to try some stuff. The things you can’t try in a
regular movie.

iW: And do you feel successful with how it turned out?

Soderberg: Well, it was a good experience. I’ll take a lot of it with me when I
make “regular” movies again. And that’s good.

iW: What specifically? Ways of working with actors?

Soderberg: Everything really. The size of the crew, how the crew works, how you
work with the actors,…there’s a lot of things I learned, that I not only
applied to “Gray’s” immediately afterward, as I had to stop editing
“Schizopolis” to make “Gray’s” but to larger films as well.

To read the rest of this interview, click here.

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