I’m told that the only Hunger Games footage that Steven Soderbergh shot 2nd unit on was “the riot that happens back in the home district.” Soderbergh told journalists last September that he felt it was his duty “to come in and duplicate exactly what [director] Gary Ross and [cinematographer] Tom Stern [were] doing, to mimic their aesthetic as closely as I can.
“And that’s what I attempted to do. But if I’ve done my job properly…by design, you won’t be able to tell what I did because it’s supposed to cut seamlessly into what they’re doing.”
My initial source says Soderbergh worked for “only two days…basically a long weekend.” Actually, less than that. Ross told MTV.com that Soderbegh “came in for a day — I shot some — but he shot a lot of that riot. He did such a good job. Steven, thank you very much.”
Transcription of secret tape of Ross explaining Hunger Games cinematography asethetic to Soderbergh: “Just pretend that the camera is a bouncing rubber ball on LSD, and that you have this weird compulsion for closeups. You know what I mean? You’re trying to follow the action and you do follow it but almost in an accidental, stumbling-around way. All you gotta remember is close-ups, close-ups and more close-ups. And constantly bouncy, bouncy, bouncy. Just keep bouncing, man…in fact, forget the rubber ball thing. Pretend that the camera is a fucking basketball…okay? A fucking basketball with a obsession for closeups. Do that and you can’t go wrong.”