“Underground is Just a Sexier Word for Illegal”

Via Wiley, a Wired interview with Stephen Soderbergh on his upcoming all-digital movie, Bubble, whihc will be released in theaters, on DVD, and on HDTV on the same day, Januray 27. As an attempt to curtail piracy, it’s an interesting experiment. Of course, because the film was made for a relatively modest $1.6 million budget, there is significantly less risk involved than a major release (as Soderbergh points out, a movie with Bubble’s budget “doesn’t have to be a cultural event to turn a profit”).

Soderbergh is clearly enthusiastic about the possibilities involved in digital, adding that he believes that within a few years, big-name movie makers (filmmakers now seems imprecise) will be self-distributing. He also adds that digital technologies will encourage more experimentation in releasing radically different cuts of the same movies (“I think it would be really interesting to have a movie out in release and then, just a few weeks later say, ‘Here’s version 2.0, recut, rescored.'”).

I’m pretty convinced that most of Soderbergh’s arguments are right. Certainly the window between theatrical release and DVD release will soon be dismissed, especially given the degree to which major films are already “released” through illegal download (here, I’m fairly convinced by Edward Jay Epstein’s arguments). And the database aesthetic that Soderbergh describes (featuring radically remixed versions of the same movie) has been discussed by Lev Manovich and Marsha Kinder, among others, for several years now.

1 Comment

  1. logtar Said,

    December 15, 2005 @ 8:41 am

    It is also what they call the subway in London.

    I would like to know why every single movie does not have an age filter where scenes can be cut just by starting the movie in a different mode.

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