I admire Francis Ford Coppola as a producer of some very influential movies like the Godfather, Apocalypse now, Dracula, Sleepy Hollow, Lost in Translation and the Good Shepherd. But I have gained even more admiration from the interview he gave on the99percent.com where he is putting some things back in context to further fuel the current crusade that is currently taking place on the internet today.
How does an aspiring artist bridge the gap between distribution and commerce?
We have to be very clever about those things. You have to remember that it’s only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money. Artists never got money. Artists had a patron, either the leader of the state or the duke of Weimar or somewhere, or the church, the pope. Or they had another job. I have another job. I make films. No one tells me what to do. But I make the money in the wine industry. You work another job and get up at five in the morning and write your script.
This idea of Metallica or some rock n’ roll singer being rich, that’s not necessarily going to happen anymore. Because, as we enter into a new age, maybe art will be free. Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I’m going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money? And therefore, who says artists have to make money?
In the old days, 200 years ago, if you were a composer, the only way you could make money was to travel with the orchestra and be the conductor, because then you’d be paid as a musician. There was no recording. There were no record royalties. So I would say, “Try to disconnect the idea of cinema with the idea of making a living and money.” Because there are ways around it.
I don’t say that I agree but it certainly deserve credit from a producer as talented as he is to actually look at the current state of the industry and just ask if we should not just go back to basics instead of trying to develop this model further than where it is at the risk of making it lose its initial purpose, entertain us.