» Posts Tagged ‘francisfordcoppola’

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godfather-0903-06By the time he made The Godfather, at the age of 33, Francis Ford Coppola had already had a decade’s experience in the movie business, co-earning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the biopic Patton. Even that, though, didn’t make getting the film greenlit an easy or sure proposition. With pressure coming from all sides (several of them armed), Coppola began the first of his epic, career-long battles against everyone and everything that would stand in the way of his vision. Time and again, the director has gambled. Sometimes, he’s won, and very big. Sometimes, not so much. But whatever it is, he gives his all (including property). Now learn some of his tricks of the trade as Coppola, (along with the recently late DP Gordon Willis, Brando, Pacino, Caan, et al.) outwits everyone to make an American classic, his way, in this 1990 doc, The Godfather Family: A Look Inside. More »

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Gordon WIllisGordon Willis, the cinematographer of the Godfather trilogy as well as several of Woody Allen’s most classic films, has died at the age of 82. Willis, who was born in Queens, directed eight of Allen’s films, as well as countless classics like All The President’s Men. In his 27-year career, he was one of the most influential cinematographers, responsible for many visual devices we today take for granted. Click through for interviews, clips, and a study of the techniques and a celebration of the life of the so-called “Prince of Darkness” (for his innovative use of pools of light and shadow in the Godfather films, though he was never shy to express sometimes controversial opinions). More »

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American ZoetropeThere has been a lot of speculation about the American film industry being in a time of transition. This summer’s tentpoles haven’t performed as well as expected at the box office, while indies swept the Oscars this past year. These new developments have many wondering if this signals a new wave of low-budget American independent filmmaking. If so, independent filmmakers can take a page from the spirit of Francis Ford Coppola’s independent film studio, American Zoetrope, explored in the inspiring documentary A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope. More »

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Gordon WillisOn the set of The Godfather, one of the biggest lighting “mistakes” in filmmaking became one of the most iconic cinematographic choices in film history. The decision to light Marlon Brando from the top, casting a complete shadow over his eyes, was that of master cinematographer Gordon Willis. He recently sat down with Craft Truck for an interview, discussing how he got his most famous shots, what it was like working with Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen, and what he thinks new cinematographers should avoid and pursue when starting out. More »

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Sheen 3Apocalypse Now, which was inspired by Polish author Joseph Conrad’s short novel Heart of Darkness, is a singular war film and a singular viewing experience. Moved from the Congo to Vietnam and Cambodia, Francis Ford Coppola’s epic production in the jungle, fraught with delays, illness and insanity, is almost as legendary as the film itself. Filmmaker IQ has shared a video of an interview with the film’s screenwriter, John Milius, by none other than Coppola himself. Click below and enter the heart of darkness. More »

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Scorsese Coppola from LIFE MagazineEvery once in a while the internet offers us a rare gem from the past, and today is one of those days. Circa 1997, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola sat down with Geoffrey Gilmore, the then-director of the Sundance Film Festival to discuss their careers and their views on the future of filmmaking. Well, the future is here, and it’s cool to see that a couple of the century’s best filmmakers were spot on about the direction things are moving in. After the creative frenzy of the 70′s, described by Scorsese as “an atmosphere of making special movies,” United Artists collapsed. Maverick filmmakers like Scorsese and Coppola had to re-learn how to make movies, and on smaller budgets. Sound familiar? Hit the jump for the full 50-minute interview. More »

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Screenplay contests abound. Notices for new screenplay contests arrive via email daily. Aspiring screenwriters could certainly go broke applying to the multitudes of contests in the hope of some sort of recognition. So, before handing over cash to a screenwriting contest, writers should really identify the value they get from a contest for the money they spend. Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest offers a chance to win $5,000 plus consideration for representation from major agencies and management firms as well as the possibility of optioning your screenplay to several notable production companies and studios. More »