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General information  

  • Real name : Steven Andrew Soderbergh
  • Place of birth : Atlanta
  • Date of birth : 14/01/1963

Alias  

  • Mary Ann Bernard
  • Peter Andrews
  • Soderbergh Steven

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Steven Soderbergh (1963)

Steven Andrew Soderbergh

Type :  

  Summary  

Steven Andrew Soderbergh is an American film producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, and an Academy Award-winning film director. He is best known for directing commercial Hollywood films like Erin Brockovich, Traffic, and the remake of Ocean's Eleven, but he has also directed smaller less conventional and commercialized works such as Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Schizopolis, Bubble, Solaris, and Che.

  Biography  

 early life and career
Soderbergh was born in Atlanta, the son of Mary Ann (née Bernard) and Peter Andrew Soderbergh, who was a university administrator and educator. When he was a child, his family moved from Atlanta to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where his father became Dean of Education at Louisiana State University . There he discovered filmmaking as a teenager, directing short Super 8 mm films with equipment borrowed from LSU students.

His primary high school education was at Louisiana State University Laboratory School, a K-12 school that is directed by the University. While still taking classes there around the age of fifteen, Soderbergh enrolled in the university's film animation class and began making short 16 mm films with secondhand equipment.

Rather than attending LSU, Soderbergh tried his luck in Hollywood after graduating from high school; he worked as a game show scorer and cue card holder to make ends meet, and eventually found work as a freelance film editor.
His big break came when he directed the Grammy-nominated concert video 9012Live for the rock band Yes in 1985.

 career
 1989 Rise to prominence: Sex, Lies, and Videotape
It wasn't until Soderbergh came back to Baton Rouge that he conceived the idea for Sex, Lies, and Videotape , which he wrote in eight days. The independent film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, became a worldwide commercial success and greatly contributed to the 1990s independent film revolution. At age 26, Soderbergh became the youngest director to win the festival's top award. Movie critic Roger Ebert dubbed Soderbergh the "poster boy of the Sundance generation".

 1993 to 1998
Sex, Lies, and Videotape was followed by a series of low-budget box-office disappointments: Kafka, a biopic mixing fact and Kafka's own fiction , written by Lem Dobbs and starring Jeremy Irons as Franz Kafka; King of the Hill , a critically acclaimed Depression-era drama; The Underneath , a remake of Robert Siodmak's 1949 film noir Criss Cross; and Schizopolis , a comedy which he starred in, wrote, composed, and shot as well as directed. He also directed the Spalding Gray monologue film Gray's Anatomy in 1996.

Making good on his Schizopolis-inspired "artistic wake-up call", his commercial slump ended in 1998 with Out of Sight, a stylized adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, written by Scott Frank and starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.
The film was widely praised, though only a moderate box-office success. It reaffirmed Soderbergh's potential, sparking the beginnings of a lucrative artistic partnership between Clooney and Soderbergh.

 1999 and 2000
Soderbergh followed up on the success of Out of Sight by making another crime caper, The Limey , from an original screenplay by Lem Dobbs and starring veteran actors Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda. The film was well-received, but not as much as Erin Brockovich , written by Susannah Grant and starring Julia Roberts in her Oscar-winning role as a single mother taking on industry in a civil action.
Later that year, Soderbergh released Traffic, a social drama written by Stephen Gaghan and featuring an ensemble cast.

Traffic became his most acclaimed movie since Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and earned him an Academy Award for Best Director. He was also nominated that same year for Erin Brockovich. He is the only director to have been nominated in the same year for Best Director for two different films by the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Directors Guild of America. The double nomination was the first in 60 years.

 2001 to 2007

Ocean's Eleven , a Ted Griffin-scripted remake from a Rat Pack-movie from 1960, featuring an all-star cast and flashy aesthetics, is Soderbergh's highest grossing movie to date, grossing more than $183 million domestically and more than $450 million worldwide.
The film's star, George Clooney, subsequently appeared in Solaris , marking the third time the two have headlined a film. In the same year, Soderbergh made Full Frontal which was shot mostly on digital video in an improvisational style that deliberately blurred the line between which actors were playing characters and which were playing fictionized versions of themselves. A film within a film, the title is a film industry reference to an actor or actress appearing fully nude (a.k.a., "full frontal nudity"). Also in 2002, Soderbergh was elected First Vice President of the Directors Guild of America.

Following up Full Frontal stylistically was Soderbergh next project, K Street , a ten-part political HBO series he co-produced with Clooney. The series was noteworthy for being both partially improvised and each episode being produced in the 5 days prior to airing to take advantage of topical events that could be worked into the fictional narrative. Actual political players appeared as themselves, either in cameos or fictionalized versions of themselves . The show caused a stir during the 2004 Democratic Primary when Carville gave candidate Howard Dean a soundbite during a location shoot that Dean then used in a debate.

Ocean's Twelve , a sequel to Ocean's Eleven, has followed. The Good German, a romantic drama set in post-war Berlin starring Cate Blanchett and Clooney, was released in late 2006. The sixth pairing of Clooney and Soderbergh, Ocean's Thirteen, was released in June 2007.

 Latest work
In 2006, Soderbergh raised eyebrows with Bubble, a $1.6 million film featuring a cast of nonprofessional actors. It opened in selected theaters and HDNet simultaneously, and four days later on DVD. Industry heads were reportedly watching how the film performed, as its unusual release schedule could have implications for future feature films.
Theater-owners, who at the time had been suffering from dropping attendance rates, did not welcome so-called "day-and-date" movies.
National Association of Theatre Owners president and CEO John Fithian indirectly called the film's release model "the biggest threat to the viability of the cinema industry today."
Soderbergh's response to such criticism: "I don't think it's going to destroy the movie-going experience any more than the ability to get takeout has destroyed the restaurant business." The film did poor business both at the box office and on the home video market.
Nevertheless, Soderbergh is on contract to deliver five more day-and-date movies. In fall of 2006 he contributed a mini-essay on hotel pornography, along with an accompanying series of long-exposure photographs, to Anthem magazine's November/December issue.

In 2007, Soderbergh and Tony Gilroy contributed an audio commentary to the DVD re-release of The Third Man by the Criterion Collection.

On May 22, 2008, Che, which was released in theatres in two parts titled The Argentine and Guerrilla, was presented in the main competition of the 2008 Cannes film festival. Benicio del Toro plays Argentine guerrilla Ernesto "Che" Guevara in an epic four-hour double bill which looks first at his role in the Cuban revolution before moving to his campaign and eventual death in Bolivia.

Soderbergh shot his feature film The Girlfriend Experience in New York in 2008. The film's lead actress is adult film star Sasha Grey.

His next film was 2009's The Informant! a black comedy starring Matt Damon as corporate whistleblower Mark Whitacre. Whitacre wore a wire for two and a half years for the FBI as a high-level executive at a Fortune 500 company, Archer Daniels Midland , in one of the largest price-fixing cases in history.
The film was released on September 18, 2009. The script for the movie was written by Scott Z. Burns based on Kurt Eichenwald's book, The Informant.

In 2009, Soderbergh directed a play titled Tot-Mom for the Sydney Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia. The play is based on the real-life case of Caylee Anthony. Rehearsals commenced in early November 2009, and the production opened December 2009. Soderbergh also shot a small improvised film with the cast of the play, The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg, a comedy about a theatre company staging Chekhov's Three Sisters.

He followed that with the action-thriller Haywire starring Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum which, though shot in early 2010, will not be released until 2012.

In the fall of 2010, he shot the epic virus thriller Contagion, written by Scott Z. Burns. With a star-studded cast including Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard and Jude Law, the film follows the outbreak of a lethal pandemic across the globe and the efforts of doctors and scientists to discover the cause and develop a cure. It was released on September 9, 2011.

He is currently shooting Magic Mike, a film starring Channing Tatum about the actor's own experiences working as a male stripper in his youth. Tatum will play the title mentor character, while Alex Pettyfer will play a character based on Tatum.

Soderbergh had planned to follow this in early 2012 with a feature version of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., also written by Scott Z. Burns. The film was set to reunite him with George Clooney, but Clooney had to drop out of the film due to a recurring back injury suffered while filming Syriana. As of November 2011, Soderbergh had dropped out of the film due to budget and casting conflicts.

Behind the Candelabra, his final film, is set to shoot in the Summer of 2012. It will star Michael Douglas as legendarily flamboyant pianist Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson. The film is written by Richard LaGravenese, based on Thorson's book Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace. It will be produced by HBO Films.

Soderbergh has announced in numerous interviews his intention to retire from filmmaking after finishing these three films to focus on his painting full-time. He stated that "when you reach the point where you're saying, 'If I have to get into a van to do another scout, I'm just going to shoot myself,' it's time to let somebody who's still excited about getting in the van, get the van." Soderbergh later confirmed that he would retire from filmmaking and begin to explore painting. A few weeks later, Soderbergh played down his earlier comments, saying a film-making "sabbatical" was more accurate.

 Unrealized Projects
Soderbergh nearly filmed a feature adaptation of the controversial state-of-baseball tome Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt and Demetri Martin. The book, by Michael Lewis, tells of how Billy Beane, general manager of Oakland Athletics, used statistical analysis to make up for what he lacked in funds to beat the odds and lead his team to a series of notable wins in 2002. Disagreements between Sony and Soderbergh about revisions to Steven Zaillian's version of the screenplay led to Soderbergh's dismissal from the project only days prior to filming in June 2009. The move by Sony's Amy Pascal, unprecedented in recent history, sent shockwaves through the industry. The film was eventually made by director Bennett Miller, with a script rewritten by Aaron Sorkin.

Around the same time, he planned a 3-D live-action rock musical film based on Cleopatra's life entitled "Cleo", with Catherine Zeta-Jones in talks to play Cleopatra, and with music by the band Guided by Voices. Soderbergh and scriptwriter James Greer were said to be rewriting the lyrics of the songs to fit the story.
Hugh Jackman was approached to play Mark Antony but withdrew.

He also worked for a time with writer Scott Z. Burns on a biopic of controversial Nazi-era film director Leni Riefenstahl, but he and Burns ended up abandoning that script as too uncommercial, making Contagion instead.

 personal life
Soderbergh is married to writer/journalist Jules Asner, whom he often credits for influencing his female characters. Soderbergh claims he no longer reads reviews of his movies. "After Traffic I just stopped completely", says the director. "After winning the LA and New York film critics awards, I really felt like, this can only get worse". Stephen has a daughter, Sarah Soderbergh with his first wife, Betsy Brantley. He also has a daughter, Pearl Button Anderson, born August 2010, from an extramarital affair with Australian Frances Anderson.

Soderbergh lives in New York City. He is an atheist.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Steven Soderbergh", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.