The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh: Indie Sex, Corporate Lies, and Digital Videotape

Columbia University Press
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The industry's only director-cinematographer-screenwriter-producer-actor-editor, Steven Soderbergh is contemporary Hollywood's most innovative and prolific filmmaker. A Palme d'or and Academy Award-winner, Soderbergh has directed nearly thirty films, including political provocations, digital experiments, esoteric documentaries, global blockbusters, and a series of atypical genre films. This volume considers its slippery subject from several perspectives, analyzing Soderbergh as an expressive auteur of art cinema and genre fare, as a politically-motivated guerrilla filmmaker, and as a Hollywood insider. Combining a detective's approach to investigating the truth with a criminal's alternative value system, Soderbergh's films tackle social justice in a corporate world, embodying dozens of cinematic trends and forms advanced in the past twenty-five years. His career demonstrates the richness of contemporary American cinema, and this study gives his complex oeuvre the in-depth analysis it deserves.
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About the author

Andrew deWaard is a PhD student at UCLA, whose recent work regards media industries, digital humanities and screen synergy. His latest work can be viewed at andrewdewaard.com

R. Colin Tait is a PhD Candidate at UT Austin, whose recent publications include work on genre cycles, television, authorship and Robert De Niro. His latest work can be viewed at rcolintait.com

Thomas Schatz, is Professor in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin. He has written four books on American film (and edited many others), including The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era and Boom and Bust: American Cinema in the 1940s. His recent scholarly works include lead essays in The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry (2008), Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies (2009), and Volume IV: 1976 to the Present, in Blackwell's History of American Film (2010).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Columbia University Press
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Published on
May 7, 2013
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780231850391
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Film / Direction & Production
Performing Arts / Film / General
Performing Arts / Film / Guides & Reviews
Performing Arts / Film / History & Criticism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios—the Academy Award–winning studio behind Coco, Inside Out, and Toy Story—comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership for readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington Post • Financial Times • Success • Inc. • Library Journal

Creativity, Inc. is a manual for anyone who strives for originality and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about creativity—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”

For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable.

As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his co-founding Pixar in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as:

• Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
• If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.
• It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.
• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
This enhanced eBook transforms The Making of Star Wars into an immersive multimedia experience worthy of the original film. It features exclusive content pulled from the Lucasfilm archives by author J. W. Rinzler:
 
• 26 minutes of rare behind-the-scenes video*
• 29 minutes of rare audio interviews with the cast and crew
• New bonus photos and artwork not found in the print edition
 
After the 1973 success of American Graffiti, filmmaker George Lucas made the fateful decision to pursue a longtime dream project: a space fantasy movie unlike any ever produced. Lucas envisioned a swashbuckling SF saga inspired by the Flash Gordon serials, classic American westerns, the epic cinema of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, and mythological heroes. Its original title: The Star Wars. The rest is history, and how it was made is a story as entertaining and exciting as the movie that has enthralled millions for more than thirty years—a story that has never been told as it was meant to be. Until now.
 
Using his unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its trove of “lost” interviews, photos, production notes, factoids, and anecdotes, Star Wars scholar J. W. Rinzler hurtles readers back in time for a one-of-a-kind behind-the-scenes look at the nearly decade-long quest of George Lucas and his key collaborators to make the “little” movie that became a phenomenon. It’s all here:
 
• the evolution of the now-classic story and characters—including “Annikin Starkiller” and “a huge green-skinned monster with no nose and large gills” named Han Solo
• excerpts from George Lucas’s numerous, ever-morphing script drafts
• the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, the special-effects company that revolutionized Hollywood filmmaking
• the studio-hopping and budget battles that nearly scuttled the entire project
• the director’s early casting saga, which might have led to a film spoken mostly in Japanese—including the intensive auditions that won the cast members their roles and made them legends
• the grueling, nearly catastrophic location shoot in Tunisia and the subsequent breakneck dash at Elstree Studios in London
• the who’s who of young film rebels who pitched in to help—including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and Brian DePalma
 
But perhaps most exciting, and rarest of all, are the interviews conducted before and during production and immediately after the release of Star Wars—in which George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Sir Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, composer John Williams, effects masters Dennis Muren, Richard Edlund, and John Dykstra, Phil Tippett, Rick Baker, legendary production designer John Barry, and a host of others share their fascinating tales from the trenches and candid opinions of the film that would ultimately change their lives.
 
No matter how you view the spectrum of this phenomenon, The Making of Star Wars stands as a crucial document—rich in fascination and revelation—of a genuine cinematic and cultural touchstone.

*Video may not play on all readers. Please check your user manual for details.
This enhanced eBook transforms The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back into an immersive multimedia experience worthy of the original film. It features exclusive content pulled from the Lucasfilm archives by author J. W. Rinzler:
 
• 28 minutes of rare behind-the-scenes video*
• 29 minutes of rare audio interviews with the cast and crew
• New bonus photos and artwork not found in the print edition
 
In this lavish thirtieth-anniversary tribute to the blockbuster film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, New York Times bestselling author J. W. Rinzler draws back the curtain to reveal the intense drama and magnificent wizardry behind the hit movie—arguably the fan favorite of the Star Wars Saga.
 
Following his The Making of Star Wars, the author has once again made use of his unlimited access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its hidden treasures of interviews, photos, artwork, and production mementos. The result is a comprehensive behind-the-scenes, up-close-and-personal look at the trials and triumphs, risks and close calls, inspiration, perspiration, and imagination that went into every facet of this cinematic masterpiece. Here’s the inside scoop on:
 
• the evolution of the script, from story conference and treatment to fifth draft, as conceived, written, and rewritten by George Lucas, famed science-fiction author Leigh Brackett, and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan
• the development of new key characters, including roguish hero Lando Calrissian, sinister bounty hunter Boba Fett, and iconic Jedi Master Yoda
• the challenges of shooting the epic ice planet battle in the frozen reaches of Norway and of conjuring up convincing creatures and craft—from tauntauns and snowspeeders to Imperial walkers
• the construction of a life-sized Millennium Falcon and the swamp planet Dagobah inside a specially built soundstage in Elstree Studios
• the technique behind master Muppeteer Frank Oz’s breathing life into the breakthrough character Yoda
• the creation of the new, improved Industrial Light & Magic visual effects facility and the founding of the now-legendary Skywalker Ranch
 
In addition, of course, are rare on-the-scene interviews with all the major players: actors Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and David Prowse; director Irvin Kershner; producer Gary Kurtz; effects specialists Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston, and Phil Tippett; composer John Williams; and many others. Punctuating the epic account is a bounty of drawings, storyboards, and paintings by Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, and Ivor Beddoes, along with classic and rare production photos. An added bonus is a Foreword by acclaimed director Ridley Scott.
 
The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is a fittingly glorious celebration of an undisputed space-fantasy movie milestone. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

*Video may not play on all readers. Please check your user manual for details.
This is the first academic book dedicated to the filmmaking of the Mexican born directors Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Alfonso Cuarón. The book examines the career trajectories of the directors and presents a detailed analysis of their most significant films. These include studies on del Toro's Cronos/Chronos, El laberinto del fauno/Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Iñárritu's Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel; and Cuarón's Sólo con tu pareja/Love in the Time of Hysteria, Y tu mamá también, and Children of Men. All three have worked in diverse industrial contexts, and between them they have made key films that have changed the nature of filmmaking in Mexico, Hollywood blockbusters, US independent films, 'European' art films, and films that defy easy classification. They have had unprecedented international success and have crossed linguistic, national and generic borders, cutting through traditional divisions created by film markets. As a result, this book challenges the ways both markets and critics have created clear-cut distinctions between mainstream commercial and independent art cinema, and the ways they have conceptualised US, Latin American and European cinema as discrete entities. The work of the three directors creates new hybrid formations and makes us rethink ways in which we have understood the auteur label. The main theoretical approaches applied in this book to analyse the directors' working practices and texts centre on new readings of auteurism and transnational film theories. This book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students of film studies and Hispanic studies, and general cinema enthusiasts who are interested in the films of the three directors.
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