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The Rules of The Game

Steven Soderbergh creates unusual guidelines for his Full Frontal cast.

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When Steven Soderbergh announced that he was getting back to his indie roots, our ears pricked up. When he said his new project was going to be the $2 million digital-video feature Full Frontal, a ”karmic” sequel to his 1989 breakout sex, lies, and videotape, we had to know more. The peripatetic director obliged, providing us with the cryptic set of ”rules” (below) that he attached to the screenplay to prep the cast, which includes Julia Roberts, Blair Underwood, and David Duchovny. Here, he elaborates.

2 ”Even Julia drove herself. I didn’t want an entourage. I was trying to send a message that you have to show up ready to work because you could be photographed getting out of your car. I had cameras going all the time, everywhere, including cameras [the actors] didn’t know about. Spy cams.”

3 ”That was a psychological fake out. The food was fine. But I had prepared them for C rations, so when we actually got a caterer, everybody was slaphappy. I was all for Subway, but that got shot down by my producers. I would have been thrilled though. They have, like, six different kinds of bread there.”

6 ”Unless they had a wardrobe change — then we would provide them with an area in private. But only because we were required by law to do so.”

8 & 9 ”They were interviewed in character by me. Just me and them and a camera in a room. The questions could be anything. Do you believe in UFOs? What kind of smell do you hate? What kind of TV shows did you watch growing up? I used the material as narration throughout the film. It was part of the experiment, but part that really paid off.”

10 ”I had fun. Did they? Uh, I think they did.”

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