AmPav Notebook: Francis Ford Coppola

by mikejones
May 16, 2009 4:35 AM
2 Comments
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by Jean-Pierre Busche
The 70-year-old directing legend Francis Ford Coppola spoke to a packed Roger Ebert Conference Center for a intimate conversation on his process. Some notes gleamed from the hour-long talk:

-- After an enthusiastic welcome by the audience, he joked that he is "currently living up past failures."

-- The director reminded moderator Scott Foundas that "Apocalypse Now" -- Coppola's follow-up to "The Godfather" -- did not receive good reviews initially. Nevertheless, it was appreciated over time and is much more appreciated today.

-- Coppola emphasized the importance of quality and innovation over budget, a notion well received by the audience: "The smaller the budget, the higher the ambition, the bigger the budget the more stupid the movie is. Films nowadays are just made for money"

-- A big inspiration in Coppola's life was his older brother who advised him on good literature when he was a child, including Jean-Paul Sartre and Huxley's Brave New World as examples.

-- In remembering some of his studio work, Coppola said that tried very hard to not feel like a prostitute. "I tried to find something to love in everything I did for them. Like "Peggy Sue Got Married." I read that and said 'Okay, it's sweet, like 'Our Town.'"

-- Coppola's advice for film students -- "If you're making movies out of passion, you need a dayjob." His best time to write? "I like working in the morning, when no one has hurt my feelings yet."

Check out indieWIRE's view from the crowd here.

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2 Comments

  • Debra Hussong | May 16, 2009 10:16 AMReply

    So sad but true!! It's all about money and selling one heck of a lot of popcorn. I think Mr. Coppola's advice isn't just for students but for all filmmakers. His latest flm just got snubbed so what's that say to all filmmakers?

    —Coppola’s advice for film students—“If you’re making movies out of passion, you need a dayjob.” His best time to write? “I like working in the morning, when no one has hurt my feelings yet.”

  • anon | May 16, 2009 5:21 AMReply

    “I like working in the morning, when no one has hurt my feelings yet.”

    -- One of best things I've heard in a long time!