There is always extra job satisfaction for our team at Descriptive Video Works when we get to provide audio description for a brand new feature film about to open in theaters worldwide. However, when it’s the latest film from an ‘A’ List director like Steven Soderbergh, there is an additional level of pride not to mention pressure!
In the case of the soon to be released movie Side Effects, there was also a little melancholia shading the experience which we are sure many filmgoers around the world will experience too. The reason for this melancholia? Soderbergh recently announced he is retiring from filmmaking and Side Effects will be his final theatrically released film.
Soderbergh’s career spans 26 films and 23 years. It began with Sex, Lies & Videotape which became the poster child for a new revolution in the Independent film world, won the Palme D’Or at Cannes and in 2006 was added to the Library of Congress ‘ National Film Registry as film that was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
In the years following his debut feature film, Soderbergh went on to build himself a career that is amongst the most diverse of any film director and includes such critical and commercial successes as Out Of Sight, The Limey, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven, The Good German, The Informant!, Contagion and Magic Mike.
Side Effects, like many of Soderbergh’s past films, is impossible to pigeon-hole in one specific genre – It is a drama, a mystery thriller, a complex character study and a completely unpredictable and wholly original movie experience. The film tells the story of a psychiatrist (Jude Law) who prescribes an experimental drug to one of his patients (Rooney Mara) who is struggling with acute anxiety disorder following the release of her husband (Channing Tatum) from prison. Soon after taking the drug, the psychiatrist’s patient begins to experience some strange side effects… To say any more than that would spoil a terrific film that keeps you guessing all the way!
Here’s the trailer for the movie:
Providing audio description for a film like Side Effects that has a complex mystery story at its core and keeps the audience guessing right up until the closing credits, makes for an interesting challenge. Throughout the story there are important clues that must be highlighted in the audio description but at the same time must be highlighted without drawing attention to themselves and giving too much away. For our Describers and Narrators the entire process is all about balance.
We were honored when our friends at Open Road Films gave us the opportunity to make Side Effects accessible to blind audiences and especially proud to be trusted with bringing to life Steven Soderbergh’s final film. Soderbergh says that although he won’t be directing for the cinema any more, he does still plan on directing theater and says he would consider a TV series if something great were to come along. Whatever he does next, we’re sure it will be unique and well-worth our time.
Side Effects will be released in theaters across North America on Thursday, February 7, 2013.
To read more about Steven Soderbergh, his career and his reasons for retiring from directing movies, check out this excellent in-depth interview by Mary Kaye Schilling here.