PROFILE
Name:
Steven Soderbergh
Birth Date:
January 14, 1963
Birth Place:
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Height:
6' (1.83 m)
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
Oscar win for Traffic (2000)
BIOGRAPHY
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Traffic

Background:

“I learned from Richard Lester that as your career goes on, you learn more about how things can go wrong, but you never learn how things can go right, and it’s really disorienting.” Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh solidified his reputation as a phenomenal moviemaker with his two notable Traffic (2000) and Erin Brockovich (2000). Traffic (2000) won 14 Best Director awards (including an Oscar) and Erin Brockovich (2000) collected 7 Best Director awards and an Oscar nomination.

Debuting with the Grammy-nominated concert video 9012LIVE (1986), Soderbergh attracted attention with his award-winning Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). For his work in the film, he took home an Independent Spirit Award, two Cannes Film Festival prizes and a Sundance Film Festival Audience Award, as well as an Oscar nomination. He was later praised for his action film Out of Sight (1998, won a National Society of Film Critics Award).

In March 2002, Soderbergh, who ranked No.35 in Premiere’s 2002 “Power 100” list, was elected Vice President of the Directors Guild of America. Recently, Soderbergh and George Clooney shut down Section Eight, a production company they formed six years ago.

On a more private note, the ex-husband of Betsy Brantley (divorced in 1994, share a daughter) is currently in a relationship with Jules Asner. They began seeing each other in 2001.


Arcade Employee

Childhood and Family:

Born on January 14, 1963, in Atlanta, Georgia, Steven Soderbergh is the son of a dean from the Louisiana State University’s College of Education. After moving to Texas, Pennsylvania, and Charlottesville, the family finally settled in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Developing an interest in moviemaking, teenaged Steven enrolled in the university’s film animation class while he was in high school. After graduation, he briefly became a freelance editor in L.A. before working as a coin-changer in a Baton Rouge video arcade. Later, Steven used his father’s first and middle name, Peter Andrew, to bill himself as a cinematographer. He also used the pseudonym Mary Ann Bernard as a movie editor.

Swedish-descent Steven was married to actress Betsy Brantley, but they were divorced in 1994. The couple shares a daughter named Sarah, who was born in 1990.


Erin Brockovich

Career:

When he was 15, Steven Soderbergh made a short film titled Janitor (1978). He then edited the short-lived TV show “Games People Play” (1980) after previously being employed as a cue-card holder and game-show scorekeeper.

Returning to Baton Rouge, Soderbergh made his professional directing debut with the promotional concert video 9012LIVE (1986), for the rock band Yes. The video premiered on MTV and later earned a Grammy nomination for Best Music Video, Long Form. He also created some Super-8 short films, including a film about sexual deception titled Winston (1987, cost about $7,500).

As an extension of Winston, Soderbergh directed, wrote and edited the feature-length drama Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). Before long, the ground-breaking project won an Independent Spirit award for Best Director, two Cannes Film Festival prizes and a Sundance Film Festival Audience award, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He then directed the thriller Kafka (1991) and King of the Hill (1993, received a Cannes Film Festival nomination), which was based on A.E. Hotchner’s novel. Also in 1993, he directed an episode of the series “Fallen Angels” and began producing the thriller Suture.

Two years later, Soderbergh helmed another episode of “Fallen Angels” (1995) and revived Don Tracy’s novel in the crime drama Underneath (1995). Detouring to the comedy genre, he shot Gray’s Anatomy (1996) and Schizopolis (1996, also served as a cinematographer and actor, playing dual roles). A year later, he directed Ewan McGregor and Nick Nolte in the horror thriller Nightwatch (1997).

The producer of Pleasantville (1998, earned a Golden Satellite nomination) took home a National Society of Film Critics award for Best Director after helming the action film Out of Sight (1998, starring George Clooney). Following the acclaimed crime thriller The Limey (1999), Soderbergh collected critical appreciation for his directing effort in the based-on-fact drama Erin Brockovich (2000). The applauded director was handed numerous Best Director awards for his efforts and an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination.

Reaching the pinnacle of his career, Soderbergh revived the British miniseries “Traffik” in the big screen version Traffic (2000, also served as director of photography) and swept up an Oscar, a Golden Satellite, a National Board of Review and nine other awards for Best Director. Additionally, he also won a Kinema Junpo for Best Foreign Language Film and received a Directors Guild of America and Golden Globe nomination. He then re-teamed with George Clooney in the blockbuster remake Ocean’s Eleven (2001, also had unaccredited appearance as vault-bombing thief), tried the romantic comedy genre with Full Frontal (2002) and scored success with the self-penned sci-fi Solaris (2002).

Still with Clooney, Soderbergh made the satirical series “K Street” (2003) and the underrated sequel Ocean’s Twelve (2004). He also helmed a segment of the drama collage Eros (2004), wrote the script of Criminal (2004, credited as Sam Lowry), helmed the crime drama Bubble (2005) and directed the pilot episode of the series “Unscripted” (2005).

The high-profile director will soon turn up with the post-war Berlin set drama The Good German (2006). Soderbergh’s next projects, Guerilla, and Ocean’s Thirteen are scheduled for a 2007 release. He is also set to direct the documentary film about comedian Spalding Gray titled Life Interrupted (2007).


Awards:

  • Kinema Junpo: Best Foreign Language Film, Traffic, 2002
  • Oscar: Best Director, Traffic, 2001
  • Golden Satellite: Best Director, Traffic, 2001
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Director, Traffic, 2001
  • Chicago Film Critics Association: Best Director, Traffic, 2001
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association: Best Director, Traffic, 2001
  • Kansas City Film Critics Circle: Best Director, Traffic, 2001
  • Southeastern Film Critics Association: Best Director, Traffic, 2001
  • Vancouver Film Critics Circle: Best Director, Traffic, 2001
  • Florida Film Critics Circle: Best Director, Erin Brockovich, 2001
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Director, Erin Brockovich, 2001
  • National Society of Film Critics: Best Director, Erin Brockovich, 2001
  • National Society of Film Critics: Best Director, Traffic, 2001
  • Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Sierra Award - Best Director, Erin Brockovich, 2000
  • Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Sierra Award - Best Director, Traffic, 2000
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Director, Erin Brockovich, 2000
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Director, Traffic, 2000
  • National Board of Review: Best Director, Erin Brockovich, 2000
  • National Board of Review: Best Director, Traffic, 2000
  • New York Film Critics Circle: Best Director, Erin Brockovich, 2000
  • New York Film Critics Circle: Best Director, Traffic, 2000
  • Toronto Film Critics Association: Best Director, Traffic, 2000
  • National Society of Film Critics: Best Director, Out of Sight, 1999
  • Independent Spirit: Best Director, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, 1990
  • Cannes Film Festival: FIPRESCI Prize, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, 1989
  • Cannes Film Festival: Golden Palm, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, 1989
  • Sundance Film Festival: Audience Award – Dramatic, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, 1989
     
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