Steven Soderbergh Presence’: A Bold Sundance Venture Redefining Filmmaking

Steven Soderbergh Presence: Thirty-five years after the groundbreaking “sex, lies, and videotape,” Steven Soderbergh returns to Sundance with his latest genre-bending indie film, “Presence,” pushing the boundaries of filmmaking at the 2024 festival.

Filmed during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike with an interim waiver, “Presence” explores the story of a family moving into a house inhabited by a supernatural entity. The ensemble cast, including Lucy Liu, Chris Sullivan, Julia Fox, Callina Liang, Eddy Maday, and West Mulholland, delved into the intricacies of filming this psychological thriller under Soderbergh’s distinct directing style during an interview at the IndieWire Studio at Sundance, presented by Dropbox.

Lucy Liu likened the experience to theater, describing it as a continuous performance without a break. She emphasized the need for the ensemble cast to be symbiotic, bouncing off each other’s energies in the tight production schedule. Liu praised Soderbergh’s quick and precise directing style, noting how it allowed the cast to play within a structured environment. She highlighted the expertise of writer David Koepp, whose tight script facilitated their performances.

Filming “Presence” chronologically, with the cast essentially living out their family dynamic, created a claustrophobic atmosphere. West Mulholland described each scene as feeling confined, with the camera intimately capturing the characters. Eddy Maday noted the absence of numerous screens typical in other productions, contributing to an authentic and immersive feel.

Chris Sullivan, known for “This Is Us” and Broadway, spoke about the unique approach Soderbergh brought to the project, requiring actors to be fully engaged throughout. He emphasized the necessity for viewers to see the film to appreciate its unprecedented shooting style.

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Julia Fox, reuniting with Soderbergh after “No Sudden Move,” praised the director for creating a comfortable on-set dynamic that led to an efficient shoot. She highlighted Soderbergh’s ability to make actors feel at ease, instilling confidence and resulting in a swift filmmaking process.

“Presence,” categorized as part family drama, part ghost story, and part haunted house, centers around Callina Liang’s character Chloe seeking connection with the supernatural entity. Liang discussed subverting genre expectations with her role, emphasizing her character’s draw to the presence and its perceived peace.

As one of IndieWire’s must-see films at the festival, “Presence” offers a unique cinematic experience, challenging conventional filmmaking methods and exploring the dynamics between the characters and the supernatural. The 2024 Sundance Film Festival showcases Dropbox’s support for independent filmmakers, with over 60% of films leveraging Dropbox in their filmmaking process. The festival runs from January 18 to 28, with talks taking place from January 19 to 26.

FAQ About Steven Soderbergh Presence

What has Steven Soderbergh done?

Year Film
2013 Behind the Candelabra
2017 Logan Lucky
2018 Unsane
2019 High Flying Bird

When did Steven Soderbergh retire?

In 2013, director Steven Soderbergh announced his retirement from filmmaking. However, in 2017, he returned with “Logan Lucky,” showcasing his versatility and multifaceted role as director, producer, cinematographer, and editor.

How many films has Soderbergh directed?

Renowned director Steven Soderbergh boasts a prolific career, having directed 33 feature films and eight television programs. His works have achieved a remarkable global gross of over US$2.2 billion.

What movie did Steven Spielberg direct?

Steven Spielberg, a cinematic icon, debuted with “The Sugarland Express” (1974) and soared to fame with the blockbuster “Jaws” (1975). His illustrious career includes hits like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” and the original Indiana Jones trilogy.

Also Read: The Outrun Film: Saoirse Ronan’s Odyssey Through Orkney’s Elemental Realm

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