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CALENDAR
8th February: Side Effects released (US)
15th March: Side Effects released (UK)


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UPCOMING PROJECTS

SIDE EFFECTS
Information | Photos | Official website Released: 8th February (US)


BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
Information | Photos | Official website Released: 2013


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NEW & UPCOMING DVDS
Now available from Amazon.com:
Haywire
Contagion

Now available from Amazon.co.uk:
Contagion

DVDs that include an audio commentary track from Steven:
Clean, Shaven - Criterion Collection
Point Blank
The Graduate (40th Anniversary Collector's Edition)
The Third Man - Criterion Collection
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


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Steven Soderbergh on Digital Exhibition
(Digital Cinema, May 1, 2003)

The director of such hits as Erin Brockovich and the recent remake of Ocean's 11, Steven Soderbergh is an Oscar-winning filmmaker (best director, Traffic, 2001) who took the bold step of integrating Mini-DV and 35mm in his 2002 release Full Frontal. Soderbergh is outspoken about the creative control directors should have over a film's final look.

"Nobody, including us, ever sees it that good again," Soderbergh told Time magazine (May 6, 2002) regarding pristine film prints. "Even after that first screening, it's got dirt on it and scratches." Warner Brothers and Technicolor Digital Cinema released his Ocean's 11 digitally at 19 theatres in North America in 2001.

Soderbergh elaborates on his interest in digital exhibition in the following interview, which is reprinted here with permission of Texas Instruments. (For more information on TI's advances in digital cinema, visit www.dlp.com.)

TI: Do you as a director, after a film comes out, go into local theatres and check out the projection?

Soderbergh: [With Ocean's Eleven] I stuck my head into a couple of the digital theatres just to confirm what I'd seen before the film was released and that it was all going to plan. But I sort of avoided the other theatres. It's just too terrifying.

TI: You felt safer watching the digital version?

Soderbergh: Yeah, because when I go to see the digital version of the movie I know it's going to bright from edge to edge, I know it's going to be sharp from edge to edge, I know the print is not going to be torn up, and that it is as close a re-creation of what we intended as what is physically possible to get.

TI: There are currently fewer than 100 digital movie theatres in the United States. The number is increasing all the time, but slowly.

Soderbergh: I don't see any good reason why there aren't more digital screens and why that transition shouldn't be starting now...the industry spends $700 million a year in prints in the U.S alone. This could be paid for very very very quickly, and the savings in the long run are astronomical.

TI: A lot of people think that the digital format works particularly well on animated films but not as well on live action.

Soderbergh: I think anyone who thinks digital projection only works for animation and not live action hasn't seen it. I don't know how you can make that call.

TI: Some people in the industry feel we should wait until digital projection technology totally matures before we put it into theatres. Others feel the industry needs to start with today's technology and build up the infrastructure for distribution. Do you have any opinions on the "wait" and "go" issues?

Soderbergh: I think we should be changing over now and I think we should be figuring out how we're going to be paying for it and do it. Having talked to people involved on the technical end [my sense is] is [any potential advances] are easily retrofitted or incorporated into the existing equipment that is ready to be put on line now.

TI: There are people who say a digitally projected movie can never look as good as one projected on film.

Soderbergh: It's my experience that there are a lot of people out there who have a romantic notion about sprockets. Somebody I was talking to the other day called them "grain sniffers." But I really feel that the digital system as it exists now is a wonderful exhibition format and one that very very accurately represents what I intended. And, as I said, does so in a way that's absolutely quantifiable and repeatable. And that is the Holy Grail for any filmmaker.

TI: The advent of digital cinema means the release of a movie becomes less of a financial decision and more of a marketing decision. Do you think that's good for the industry?

Soderbergh: Well I think once we get all of the theatres converted, the effect on the industry is going to be really interesting. Because in theory, since the resources required to release a movie won't be as significant in financial terms, I may be able to bypass the distributor altogether and go right to the theatres. The physical start-up costs to become a distributor are just prohibitive, but when you're delivering your movie digitally, all that's going to change. It's going to be really interesting.

 


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