Earlier this month, we reported the surprising (and delightful) news that director Steven Soderbergh was directing some second-unit work on Gary Ross’ highly anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games. While cool to hear, the news seemed a bit odd, as it’s not every day that you get an Academy Award-winning director to oversee your second-unit shooting. At the time, we noted that Soderbergh and Ross are good friends, so it was likely a case of one director doing a favor for another, as Ross has to get the film finished in time for a March release date and having a trustworthy friend onboard makes things go a bit smoother.
Soderbergh recently commented on his work on the film, explaining how he ended up in the position of second-unit director. In addition to recounting what brought him to the shoot, the technophile director also talked a bit about the second-unit shooting process. Hit the jump to see what he said.
Speaking with Moviefone, Soderbergh explained how he nabbed the role of second-unit director on the film:
“The story is really simple. Back in April, [director] Gary [Ross] — 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.’
Cut to two months later, and I show up to do this thing. 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.”
So there you have it. I’m a huge fan of the Hunger Games books, so it’s definitely exciting to know that Soderbergh had a hand (however small) in the finished product. While the teaser trailer was pretty damn underwhelming, Ross is still shooting the flick so it’s understandable that there’s not a lot that they could actually show. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson, The Hunger Games opens March 23, 2012.