Director’s Chair Introduction: Steven Soderbergh

by Tony Cogan · July 31, 2017 · Director's Chair · 1 Comment

Deadline: 26th August 2017

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Hello everyone, it’s time again to announce the director that will be covered for this months Director’s Chair and, seeing how he’s coming out of retirement this month with Logan Lucky, I thought now would be the perfect time to cover Steven Soderbergh.

Now very few directors were as influential as Soderbergh was in the 1990s, with Sex, Lies and Videotape. The independent cinema movement of the 90’s got kickstarted by the success of the film with many different directors being inspired by Soderbergh’s film. Following that, Soderbergh hit a period of films that were critically  acclaimed but were box office disappointments, most notably Kafka. From Out of Sight though, Soderbergh had a more solid string of financial and critical successes, reaching its height in the early 2000’s when he became the second director to be nominated for Best Director twice in the same year with Traffic and Erin Brockovich, along with securing his greatest financial hit with his remake of Ocean’s Eleven.

Around this time though, Soderbergh started getting more involved in every detail of his films. Since Traffic, Soderbergh has been the Director of Photography on all of his films, and he’s been the editor of his films since Solaris (the Ocean’s films, The Informant and Contagion notwithstanding on the editing side). He’s even put his editing and DP skills to use outside of his own films, being the second unit director on The Hunger Games, working with Spike Jones on the edit of Her and being the cinematographer and editor for Magic Mike XXL. Alongside this, he provided the funding for Godfrey Reggio to finish his Qatsi trilogy with Naqoyqatsi and in recent years he’s become known for his re-edits of famous films, such as making Raiders of the Lost Arc a black and white silent film, combining the Alfred Hitchcock and Gus Van Sant versions of Psycho into one film, cutting 2 hours out of Heaven’s Gate and cutting half an hour out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, although due to copyright issues, the ability to see Soderbergh’s versions of these films is limited.

Throughout his career, Soderbergh has also been interested in utilising different ways to shoot and distribute his films, using non-professional actors and trying to pioneer simultaneous releasing with Bubble (in a similar fashion to what Ben Wheatley did with A Field in England) and his next film, Unsane, is going to follow the trend started by Sean Baker by shooting in using iPhones.

In 2013, Soderbergh announced that he was retiring from making films, with his talents instead being focused on stage, directing off-Broadway play The Library starring Chloe Grace Moretz, and on TV, directing every episode of The Knick and being the executive producer on a TV adaptation of his film The Girlfriend Experience. However, as stated earlier, Soderbergh has come out of retirement this year, going back to heist films with Logan Lucky and going into what I imagine to be horror with Unsane.

In case you aren’t familiar with Director’s Chair, I’m asking you to send me any features you’ve done on the films of Steven Soderbergh to In case you need a reminder of Soderbergh’s films, I’ve listed them below.

  • Sex, Lies and Videotape
  • Kafka
  • King of the Hill
  • The Underneath
  • Schizopolis
  • Gray’s Anatomy
  • Out of Sight
  • The Limey
  • Erin Brockovich
  • Traffic
  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • Full Frontal
  • Solaris
  • Ocean’s Twelve
  • Bubble
  • The Good German
  • Ocean’s Thirteen
  • Che
  • The Girlfriend Experience
  • The Informant
  • And Everything Is Going Fine
  • Contagion
  • Haywire
  • Magic Mike
  • Side Effects
  • Behind The Candelabra
  • Logan Lucky

Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing what you send me on Soderbergh’s films.