Francis Ford Coppola retired instead of making "factory movies"
It's tough when you lose one of the great ones, such as Francis Ford Coppola.
It's even tougher when he's not dead yet, but he's made the conscious choice to retire and leave behind what he's good at. We lost him that way.
Now, if he just wanted some R&R or just didn't have the drive anymore, that'd be one thing. But when the reasons such a legendary filmmaker has walked away from filmmaking come down to bullshit and a new inability to make the movies they'd like to make, that's just sad.
While promoting the upcoming Blu-ray release of his DRACULA, Coppola remarked on why he'd rather experiement with films for his own enjoyment these days than even try working within the studio system on a project.
That’s why I ended my career: I decided I didn’t want to make what you could call “factory movies” anymore. I would rather just experiment with the form, and see what I could do, and [make things] that came out of my own. And little by little, the commercial film industry went into the superhero business, and everything was on such a scale. The budgets were so big, because they wanted to make the big series of films where they could make two or three parts. I felt I was no longer interested enough to put in the extraordinary effort a film takes [nowadays].
Now I know what you're going to say... Smaller movies get made all the time. Surely Coppola could still go off and make something much more moderately-budgeted and on a smaller scale if he really wished.
Well, yes and no.
If Coppola really had something he wanted to throw his weight behind, it'd be tough for someone to turn down the opportunity to work with the man responsible for PATTON and THE GODFATHER Trilogy and APOCALYPSE NOW and THE OUTSIDERS and I can do this all day. The greater issue is that movies are no longer made with the mindset that the public will find the good ones and support them. Studios want surefire winners on their release calendars, and they are willing to bet big on them in order to reap huge benefits. They will throw $200 million at a movie if they think it can hit the new $1 billion global box office milestone, whereas $40 million at a movie that may or may not graze $100 million....? That's just not enough return on investment for them. Then you factor in casting decisions being made based on social media presence and overseas box office performance and... you can understand why Coppola is not long for the way Hollywood has shifted.
He's also not knocking superhero movies, before that gets taken out of context. But what he is saying is that it isn't good creatively or commercially when that's all some seem to be interested in making and consuming, especially when it leaves the competition trying to match it rather than carving their own paths by filling the voids.
Tis a damn shame.
Francis Ford Coppola's BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA is now available on Blu-ray.
CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...