Is this directorial energy common in your experience or is it singular to Soderbergh?
I’ve worked with a lot of directors and it’s not something I’ve ever seen before. Although maybe Clint Eastwood…
In fact, I told Clint Eastwood if he ever acts again in a movie, the only person he should ever act for is actually Steven Soderbergh. Because he’s the only person who is as decisive and as fast.
So as an actor, it’s just a joy. You have a very good idea of the movie you’re in. The score, for instance, on this movie, he said: “Think Bananas!”
So he was playing the music to [Woody Allen’s] Bananas, and then he gets Marvin [Hamlisch, who composed for Allen] to score the movie.
So we all were very clear about what movie we were in, which is important in a movie like this. We were aiming at a really small bullseye, because tonally it’s so specific.
So do you see Eastwood as similar to Soderbergh in terms of technique?
Those two guys in particular are similar in that they cut in-camera as they’re working. And they’re totally fluid. They don’t storyboard. They don’t come with a pre-conceived idea. They know the style of the film they’re shooting, but they’re not rigid.
They’re so fluent in the language of cinema, that they can come in, watch what’s happening and listen to suggestions and collaborate and get the best out of all the people that are working with them. Then make a decision and shoot it.
Have you seen that sort of skill with any of the other directors you’ve worked with?
I remember Spielberg, on Private Ryan, had a bank of video monitors and three or four cameras working and he would sit there and do a take.
There would be four cameramen running around, into each other’s shots, through each other’s shots, explosions going off, people flying through windows, and people shooting each other.
He would play it all back and go, “Watch this – we’re here, now we’re here, now we’re there, now we’re back there, we cut to there.” And when I went to see Saving Private Ryan, those sequences were exactly as he’d described. And that’s a different league.
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