Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Francis Ford Coppola: To be successful, get married.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 9, 2011

Renown director, filmmaker & producer Francis Ford Coppola reflected on his career at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival last September. His participation was part of the “Maverick” series.

Much has been written about Hollywood, film makers, authors, actors and the entire entertainment industry – good, bad or indifferent.

And yet, many so-called family groups produce so many damning critiques about creative people and their craft. It’s most unfortunate that so many of them seem to imagine that unless one is a Republican, White and Protestant – WASP – then everything, and everyone else’s opinion is bad or wrong. The inference they seem to promote is from such a distorted line of thinking that, in their limited imagination, not only are they right, but everyone else is wrong – and that includes Hollywood.

But that line of thinking is simply not true.

Undoubtedly, many within and without would be surprised to read the following advice that Mr. Coppola gave to an audience member at the Toronto Film Festival when Co-Director Cameron Bailey chatted with Mr. Coppola over 85 minutes. After their dialogue, the audience was given an opportunity to ask questions.

Female questioner: “As a young person who’s passionate about film, I wonder what the best advice you can give me today would be like – in your opinion, what’s the best advice to a young film maker?

Francis Ford Coppola: “To young film makers?

FQ: “Yeah.”

FFC: “Well, if it’s a guy, I say ‘get married’. Because if you get married… because young men today, they don’t seem to think about getting married and having kids ’til their late 40’s, you know. When I was married, I was 22. I was desperate to have kids. I had so much fun with my kids. And the fact that I was married and had this family of little kids, I was very responsible, I wanted to have a house that they could live in, and so I worked very hard. I didn’t go out and waste time – as young men are known to do. And I was diligent. I would be writing my script, and what have you – and marriage had a very good effect on me. When I was married, I was broke, and eight weeks later I had a job as a screen writer. And I attribute a lot of it to the sense of togetherness with my family, a team who I wanted to provide for.

“If you’re a young woman I would say ‘don’t get married’. Because then you have this guy who’s trying to get you to do everything for his career, and you’re not gonna’ have any time for your career.

Peter Bregg/Getty Images  Coppola and Cameron Bailey, co-director of the Toronto International Film Festival, chat about Coppola's career during an event at this year's festival.

Francis Ford Coppola and Cameron Bailey, co-director of the Toronto International Film Festival, chat about Coppola's career during an event at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival. Photo by Peter Bregg/Getty Images

The podcast and brief news item appeared here: http://www.npr.org/2011/11/22/140870590/francis-ford-coppola-reflects-on-his-film-career

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