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domino harvey
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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#1 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:05 pm

Soderbergh is co-creator and producer of the upcoming limited Netflix series Godless, a six part Western starring Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Jack O'Connell, and Scoot McNairy

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#2 Post by domino harvey » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:57 am

domino harvey wrote:Soderbergh is co-creator and producer of the upcoming limited Netflix series Godless, a six part Western starring Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Jack O'Connell, and Scoot McNairy
According to Scott Frank, Soderbergh declined to direct this material as a film in part because he didn't want to deal with directing horses

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Big Ben
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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#3 Post by Big Ben » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:29 am

I confess I'm a little confused by that. I've lived around horses my entire life and they're ridiculously intelligent animals (They can even read facial expressions.). While they spook easily they're not particularly difficult animals to deal with. Speaking realistically I think it's more of a case of that isn't what he wanted to do creatively (Also stated in the article.)

Again, I'm also biased so who knows.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#4 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:31 am

I think it more likely has to do with high profile instances of dying horses during film and TV shoots, even those in full safety compliance. Maybe he didn’t have the stomach for dealing with the possibility of that kind of incident on his watch.

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Godless

#5 Post by Big Ben » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:51 am

That is unfortunately true and isn't something I had considered. Horses treatment in film has an incredibly poor track record. I met a man who worked on Heaven's Gate as an extra and he told me they blew up a horse on the set. I want to make it very clear that that isn't a joke.

I don't know much about Soderbergh but I can totally see why he'd be hesitant to do it now.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#6 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:51 pm

Remember what happened to Luck, that David Milch & Michael Mann series with Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte? It got cancelled pretty damn fast because of an insane number of horses that were dying during production. HBO actually renewed it early on and before season 1 even finished airing, they changed their minds and ended the show.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#7 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:41 pm

The moment we just decide to start eating horse in the U.S., we can have more David Milch and Steven Soderbergh shows.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#8 Post by mistakaninja » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:56 pm

Soderbergh never storyboards, he constructs his shots when he gets on set. Perhaps he feared he couldn't rely on equine cooperation with his method.


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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#10 Post by Brian C » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:11 am

Wow, that's super passive-aggressive on Lowery's part, so much so that I actually missed the actual accusation on my first read-through.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#11 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:26 am

Brian C wrote:Wow, that's super passive-aggressive on Lowery's part, so much so that I actually missed the actual accusation on my first read-through.
I’ve read it twice, and I’m still not seeing an accusation. What am I missing?

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#12 Post by Brian C » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:32 am

David Lowery wrote:... took that most treacherous but necessary of steps: I started to tell people about the project.

Then, this past September, I came across a blurb about Godless, Scott Frank’s new Netflix show.

I think the implication of the second sentence directly following the first is impossible to avoid. "As soon as I told people about it, whaddya know, then Scott shows up with his identical show!"

And additionally, it seems structured to give himself plausible deniability ... he can get his little jab in, and then say, "but I said it was probably a coincidence!"

It's possible, of course, that he really didn't intend to make an accusation. But the best I can say for him is that, if that's true, then he's plainly negligent in his wording. He should have known that writing it this way would have given the impression it did, and he has no one to blame but himself for how it's been taken.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#13 Post by willoneill » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:03 am

Addendum, three days later.

A friend just alerted me that Steven Soderbergh, who produced Godless, replied to the above on Twitter to points out that Scott Frank's script was written prior to 2003. The putting-me-in-my-place wording of the tweet - and the fact that he wrote it at all! - has had the desired effect. To be clear, my post was not any sort of claim to authorship. Nor was it meant to be begrudging. Godless is a completely original project; mine was likewise, and what I wrote was meant to be a musing on how two people can, all on their own, in completely separate chronologies, come up with remarkably similar ideas - a phenomenon which I suspect every writer is familiar with, and one I should have taken a bit more care and tact in elucidating.

Re-reading myself, I see how this could be perceived otherwise, and also how it seems dismissive of Mr. Frank's work; this pains me, partially because one never wants their intent to be misread but also because I would hate to come down on the wrong side of two filmmakers I so admire (indeed, one doesn't have to scroll too far back on this blog to find evidence of my longstanding affinity for Mr. Soderbergh's work). I offer my sincere and mortified apologies to them both. I am tempted to delete the post altogether, but will leave it up there untouched as a reminder to myself that I am definitely not writing these things in a bubble anymore.
I guess I'm one of those people who never saw it as an accusation at all in the first place (and that more than a few people were grossly overreacting and over-analyzing). In fact, the passage that stuck out to me the most was this:
Did he drop a hint about a future project of his that might have buried itself in my unconscious and remained dormant until a dream and a New Yorker article catalyzed it into something I thought was my own?
To me, Lowery was implying the opposite, that he perhaps unconsciously stole his idea from Scott Frank.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#14 Post by jazzo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:00 pm

I didn’t get the sense that he was accusing Scott Frank of anything either. Everything Lowery said there seemed to genuinely voice frustration at the universe (for lack of a better target) for allowing the creation of similar art simultaneously. Painful confession/context time: I’ve felt that same frustration myself. For the last decade, my agent and I tried to get a printed project off the ground that, quality or success (or lack thereof) of my actual abilities as a writer writing aside, was initially met with confusion or apathy from publishers because the subject matter and marketing strategy we presented to them was so far off their traditional YA fiction grid they had no idea what to do with it. In a sea of high-fantasies and vampires, I attempted to sell coming-of-age horror, inspired more by the films of Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante, and certain writings of Stephen King than anything literary, because those were the things that were most important to me when I was 12.

I eventually did manage to find a publisher who genuinely understood and championed what I was attempting, and they contracted me for a four book series. Then they went into receivership just as the final draft of the first book was delivered, and the whole project became stillborn.

So. You’re on reset. And all the rewarding, but just as often, painful, lonely, exhausting work is rendered redundant.

Then STRANGER THINGS came out two years later using the exact same strategy, with similarly–themed story/character content. Now, it doesn’t matter what I do, or how I explain the context of my project to new publishing prospects; anything I submit will now seem bandwagony and two years too late. I don’t blame or mean to infer that the Duffer brothers stole my idea - my inspirations were almost universal ones amongst my generation of 70’s early-80’s suburban kids - but for years I was ahead of it, and now I’m not. It’s also the risk you run when devoting yourself to creating something, often in a vacuum, and sometimes it’s just the way things roll out. But it doesn’t mean I’m not gutted by it.

On a different and, hopefully, less self-pitying note (and to tie it back into the thread), I’m almost finished GODLESS, and have to offer that it’s far and away my least favourite work by Scott Frank. I’ll always follow his career. His two Elmore Leonard adaptations are some of my favourite mainstream films of the 1990's, I thought LITTLE MAN TATE was a touching little gem of a picture, I enjoyed the elegance of his directorial debut, THE LOOKOUT, a great deal, and was completely surprised to find that A WALK AMONGST THE TOMBSTONES was not, in fact, another Liam Neeson action picture, but a pretty good, low-key neo-noir. I’m also a fairly huge western fan, and since this seemed to be a passion project for him, and for Soderbergh, of course I was going to be there when it arrived.

And it’s all fine. The acting is very good, if slightly chewy when Jeff Daniels is on screen, and the characters are given more than enough space to breathe and develop.

But there’s something about it that’s just…off; something beyond its pacing problems (like many Netflix originals, it’s probably a couple of episode too long), and generous dollop of genre/character clichés, which I’m willing to overlook if I feel there is something else going on. It’s messy and inelegant.

I think Scott Frank, the director, responded really well to the closed spaces in his previous two crime pictures. He shot things logically and with a cold observation that matched their respective mysteries. In GODLESS, except for some striking panoramic vistas, which practically (I would think) photograph themselves since they’re in pretty much every western, there seems to be little thought into the craft of the series. With westerns, I think a choice has to be made; harsh and real, or mythic and stately. I can’t think of many that blend the two, or if they do so, do so successfully.

He uses odd, disjointed shot selections and obtuse angles, often without purpose, and relies upon wide lenses to distort the image. There are weirdly naïve choices that fully embrace modern editing practices (ramping/slowing frame speed, removing almost all colour, but then supersaturating the monochrome in flashbacks, then adding violent pops of primary colours here and there), which grate against the whole tone of the show, and take me completely of my viewing experience. The music is so formulaic that it’s offensive. There’s no sense of space in scenes, so you never really know where characters are in relation to buildings; animals; other towns; each other.

And it’s too pretty. DEADWOOD felt filthy. And dark. And cold. And wet. So did UNFORGIVEN. But there’s no grit in GODLESS so, in a sense, also no reality. Even the sexual violence in a later episode, which should have been devastating for the viewer, felt pedestrian in its execution and too pretend in its tone, with a vague SHOWGIRLS vibe to it.

I suppose the best I can say about it is, it’s all very serviceable. The worst thing I can say is, it’s all very serviceable.

But mostly, it feels like big kids are playing dress-up.

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Re: Steven Soderbergh

#15 Post by domino harvey » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:53 pm

Well, I really enjoyed Godless, though there are some remarkably bad stylistic decisions made in the climactic shootouts that are at odds with the rest of the lazily paced work. I liked the indulgent tone, which allowed for great detours like a good fifteen minutes spent watching a horse getting broken, and Jeff Daniels better pick up another Emmy for his work here, which is easily his best ever performance. I think the "female town" angle ends up under-explored and there are ultimately too many characters and sideplots that go nowhere for the miniseries format, but overall this is another strong and welcome example of a modern western and well worth the time (and some of these episodes are movie-length, so it'll take a while even if binging)

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Re: Godless

#16 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:10 pm

Daniels was nominated for this and the Looming Tower, hope he wins for this! The miniseries actually picked up way more nominations than I expected, I didn't realize it was so well liked

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