The Hunger Games Interview: Steven Soderbergh Explains His Involvement
09.02.11 by Ryan
In early August, crew members working on the upcoming adaptation of The Hunger Games took to their Twitter and announced that Ocean's Eleven director Steven Soderbergh was arriving to work on the movie. With online speculation about Soderbergh's involvement spiraling out of control, Hunger Games director Gary Ross confirmed that Soderbergh was only going to direct a couple days of second unit work.
In an interview with Moviefone, Soderbergh has finally spoken out about his involvement with the movie, which the director says is a lot more "simple" than the online "firestorm" which started as soon as he arrived on set.
I show up in North Carolina, a crewmember Tweets, "Steven Soderbergh's here." And immediately the f**king firestorm starts. "Why is he here? What's going on? Is the movie in trouble? Is he directing footage from the second one?" All of this crazy-ass speculation. People just spinning off.
The story is really simple. Back in April, Gary — who is a close friend of mine I've exchanged creative favors with non-stop over the last 15 years — when he got the boards for the shoot in April called me and said, "Hey, first week of August, I got these two days of second unit. Is there any way you can come down and help me out? Because I'd rather have you do it than hire somebody who I don't know." I said, "Actually, that works out." We'll just be finishing Contagion and prepping Magic Mike and, yeah, it could be fun.
Ross and Soderbergh worked together on 1998's Pleasantville, which Ross directed and Soderbergh produced. Soderbergh admitted that working on The Hunger Games made him more "anxious" than his usual directing. "I found it much more nerve-wracking than when you're shooting for yourself," admitted Soderbergh.
"Because I was constantly thinking, 'Oh, I hope that [Ross] likes this. I hope he likes that.'" He also hopes that his work on the movie won't be perceptible to an audience.
Of course the whole design of it and what's fun about it, for me, is my job is to come in and duplicate exactly what Gary and Tom Stern, the [cinematographer], are doing. To mimic as closely as I can to their aesthetic. And that's what I attempted to do. But if I've done my job properly, I hope I did, by design, you won't be able to tell what I did. Because it's supposed to cut seamlessly into what they're doing. That's the whole point. That's why he asked me to come down, because he knew that I would be rigorous about matching what they were doing.
Despite all the chatter about his involvement, Soderbergh just wants, in the end, for his work on the movie to be acceptable to Ross. "You know, I wanted to do a good job... Gary is a friend of mine," said Soderbergh.