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May 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Breaking new ground in film production, Steven Soderbergh used the Internet to keep his cast and crew apprised of what he was up to during the shooting of Behind the Candelabra. At a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film is competing for the Palme d”Or award, Matt Damon, who costars in it with Michael Douglas, described how Soderbergh had set up a website called “Pics” (he did not disclose the full name of the domain) where he would post a rough edit of each day’s production. Damon told how he would come home from a day’s work on the set, open his iPad, go to the Pics website “and I would look at what we had shot that day, completely cut together.” Everybody working on the film, he said, would also be notified that the latest day’s video was online. “And so we all knew the movie we were making. … Michael and I would talk about it. We could go back and look at a scene that we shot three weeks ago exactly as it would appear in the final film, just about, and so we would be able to gauge our performances like that.” Douglas, who also appeared at the news conference with Damon and Soderbergh, added that the entire feature was shot in just 33 days. “We finished shooting on a Friday, and on Monday, Steven had his first cut.” He suggested that the technique may be a way of keeping costs in check and thereby making the economics of independent film production appear more appealing to backers and distributors who are increasingly wary of gambling on films with modest budgets. (In response to our inquiry, the festival said that Behind the Candelabra, which is scheduled to air on HBO on Friday, is likely the first film produced for U.S. television ever to compete at Cannes.)