I think I'm good at amplifying an actor's strengths, and minimizing their weaknesses. And they all have strengths and weaknesses.— Steven Soderbergh
The most mouth-watering Steven Soderbergh quotes to get the best of your day
When a film like Chris Nolan's Memento cannot get picked up, to me independent film is over. It's dead.
There are three major social issues that this country is struggling with: education, poverty, and drugs. Two of them we talk about, and one of them we don't.
The ought to be a worldwide cultural taskforce that just stops you when you have ideas like combining The Red Desert with an armored car heist movie.
When things go right it's hard to figure out why, but when things go wrong it's really easy.
We're all standing on the shoulders of what other people have done.
But you're supposed to take that and add your own sauce. It can be intimidating, believe me.
In nature, if a cell gets too big, it divides.
You can't come up with a set of rules that's going to work for 350 million people. You're just not.
We have to have a version of our own story that we keep telling ourselves that allows us to get up in the morning. This version of yourself is what you sell to yourself. I think it necessarily includes ... not looking at certain things. Everybody's got some blind spot.
Never had a cup of coffee in my life. Dr Pepper is my caffeine delivery system of choice.
Traffic is about drugs. As detailed a portrait as I can muster about what is happening in the drug world, from top to bottom, from policy to how things move on the street.
We all get outraged by things and there are things that make us angry and maybe for a while we get angry enough to actually go do something about it.
The brief flashbacks are sun-kissed, summery and optimistic.
It's the only place in the movie you will see red, yellow, orange, or any vibrant colors.
There is sadness of when you're watching someone enjoy something that you think is substandard. The ineffable sadness when someone is happy and something is not as good as it should be.
I guess I didn't feel confident enough to be searching in a big public way.
I was very content at the time to toil in obscurity on things that I thought might point me in certain directions or teach me certain things - not knowing what that would be.
Warner Bros. has talked about going out with low-cost DVDs simultaneously in China because piracy is so huge there. It will be a while before bigger movies go out in all formats; in five years, everything will.
I know why we can't have a frank discussion with our policymakers - if you're in the government or in law enforcement you cannot acknowledge that drugs are anything but inherently evil and morally wrong.
A real litmus test for me is how people treat someone who is waiting on them.
That's a dealbreaker for me.If I were on the verge of getting into a serious relationship and I saw that person be mean to a waiter... I'm out.
Any time I think out loud, 'I can't believe this is my job,' and remember I am a very lucky duck. Whether marshalling hundreds of zombies, doing crazy stunts or shooting big music numbers, I just feel fortunate to have made my passion my vocation.
In Full Frontal and K Street, I learned to take advantage of the mobility that digital provides.
You should never assume anything coming from a critical standpoint.
You should go into everything assuming you're going to get crushed.
I've never been a snob. It [movie] is just about stories. And I've never felt just because it's a big screen and you plop down your eight bucks that gives it a special meaning. It's just "Are you good at telling a story?"
I'm in the process of working out an arrangement to make some very, very, very small films in the midst of all these films and maybe that will help. But you get tired of talking. You just want to do it.
Lying is like alcoholism. You are always recovering.
I don't consider myself to be particularly gifted in the way that other filmmakers are gifted.
Making a film that's supposed to be fun to watch is really hard - that's the weird irony of it.
If you think that because you're Che, when you go into Bolivia, when people find out it's you, that they're going to have the same kind of reaction that the Cubans had to Castro, then you're high.
I think that music is a very difficult art form in which to be avant-garde.
When we sit down to listen to a piece of music, I think our implicit hope is that we're going to find it beautiful, or at least emotional, on some level.
I come from a generation that was surrounded by popular music, but I don't know if anybody's ever going to move the ball forward as far and as fast as the Beatles did.
Once I had a potentially heart attack-inducing eight double espressos in one day. I think my assistant secretly swaps my coffees for decaf as she doesn't want me to die of caffeine overdose.
I recently decided that I'm not an originator. I'm a synthesist.
It takes one asshole to ruin the whole thing.
That's it. One. The problem with the world is one asshole comes up with a really bad idea and now we're all taking our shoes off at the airport.
You can't change who you are, so I think that the only thing you can do is just never talk to people about stuff and then hope that maybe does something.
There's nothing else exactly like it in any other art form, the orchestration of so many different elements. It's endlessly fascinating what can be done editorially. You can create meaning where there was none, you can create feeling where there was none, you can create narrative where there was none. Two frames can be the difference between something that works and something that doesn't. It's fascinating.
What are the stories you want people to tell about you?
My experience over the years with working with people who are not actors or not trained actors is that you have to get to know them well enough to see what they have that's translatable onto the screen. So you're constantly calibrating to play to their strengths. And the key is to never ask them to do things that are beyond their abilities or are really far away from who they are at their core.
In the land of ideas, you are always renting.
I always have a plan, but then I'm always ready to throw the plan out, and everyone's ready to make a radical left turn if necessary.
We [people] are a species that's wired to tell stories.
We need stories. It's how we make sense of things. It's how we learn.
That's why my attitude, even on my larger-scale movies, is to make them cheap.
The less these things cost, the better for everybody.
I think often people fall into the breadth trap of wanting to do too long a period of time, and obviously there's this sort of algorithm of how much depth you can put into something times how much of their life you're trying to show. My attitude has always been, I'd rather show a briefer period of time in more detail than a longer period of time in less detail.
There's a technical reason why I think that frame rate is weird and it has to with your brain's ability to scan beyond a certain rate. The point is I find it looks weird.
If you're not smart enough to know what Fidel meant during the Cuban revolution, that - when they were on the Granma - Fidel was already a rock star in Cuba, and how important that was to the indigenous population, then you're not paying attention.
People like Chris Nolan are shooting isolated sequences in IMAX.
Those cameras are the size of a Volkswagen.
I had more fun making Traffic than either of the Ocean's films.
If you're a painter and you want people to know who you are and recognize your work, you've got to build some long-term value.
The muscle memory of filtering away all the wrong versions of what you're doing improves the more time you're on a film set. I feel like my problem-solving algorithm got kicked up a notch.
A real explosion is not only much more fun to shoot, it also helps the actors and creates an energy on set and ultimately in the scene.
I like a lot of different kinds of movies, I like a lot of different kinds of paintings.
Ego is something that everybody, creative especially, has to grapple with.
You need enough ego to keep going but not so much ego that you're deaf or blind, that you're making a mistake and can't fix the course.
I like to make all kinds of movies. I'd do 'Ocean's Thirteen' with the right script.