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What was Steven Sodebergh doing on the set of 'Hunger Games'?
Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh ("Traffic," the "Ocean's 11" films) may say he's retiring from filmmaking, but he's still releasing two high-profile films ("Contagion" and "Haywire") within the next six months, and in pre-production on the male stripper drama "Magic Mike."
Now the Oscar-winning auteur is hanging out on the North Carolina set of the much anticipated "Hunger Games."
But what exactly was he doing there?
Once Soderbergh's presence was revealed (via a crew member's now-deleted tweet), "Hunger Games" fans and movie geeks worldwide put the rumor mill into overdrive. Among the possibilities were the ideas that Soderbergh was replacing director Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit"), or that he was there to prep work on the inevitable sequel.
However, Moviefone got to the bottom of it, and it turns out that Soderbergh was doing a favor for his friend Ross by doing some second unit work on the film.
He explained, "Back in April, Gary...got the boards for the shoot in April (and) called me and said, 'Hey, first week of August, I got these two days of second unit. Is there any way you can come down and help me out? Because I'd rather have you do it than hire somebody who I don't know.' I said, 'Actually, that works out. We'll just be finishing "Contagion" and prepping "Magic Mike" and, yeah, it could be fun.'"
A consummate professional, Soderbergh says his footage will look identical to that of Ross, and won't be distinguishable from the first unit. he also expressed surprise at having to work with film again after filming his last few films digitally.
Does this mean that Soderbergh's "retirement" will include stints behind more second unit cameras?