Steven Soderbergh Is Still All-In With TV

Steven Soderbergh - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Steven Soderbergh - H 2015

Three years after he directed his last theatrical feature, Steven Soderbergh shows no signs of losing his interest in television.

The tube has occupied the bulk of Soderbergh's professional bandwidth since he HBO's Emmy-favorite Liberace telepic Behind the Candelabra, helming all 20 episodes of Cinemax's The Knick and now executive producing Amazon's Red Oaks and Starz's The Girlfriend Experience. It was the latter project, a loose, serialized spin on his own 2009 call girl feature of the same name, that brought him to the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Friday morning — where he again echoed his investment in the medium.

"I like the long form," said Soderbergh. "In terms of Reilly [Keough] playing a character over the course of six-and-a-half hours, it's fun to play on canvas that shape. There isn't an urgency to jam the narrative into a two-hour slot."

Soderbergh is hardly first person to express those sentiments. Filmmakers have been migrating towards the medium for the better part of the decade, but he did have an interesting way of boiling it down. "I've just been following the fun," Soderbergh admitted. "And this is more fun."

The Girlfriend Experience writer-director Lodge Kerrigan had his own take on the shift, citing TV's relatively new status as a director-friendly medium and chalking it up to a matter of money. "I think of TV now as the old studios, where directors were given assignments and you go out and direct," he said. "In the [independent] film world, you now spend two years raising money."