Francis Ford Coppola Digs into the Future of Movies with Live Cinema Project

Francis Coppola makes live cinema a reality
Source: Business Insider UK

Francis Ford Coppola is known for his cinematic directorial talent. Films such as The Godfather, Apocalypse Now and Bram Stoker’s Dracula are globally renowned; putting no small amount of emphasis on just how much Coppola is respected. Of course, his less well-received films such as The Godfather 3 and Peggy Sue Got Married are often overlooked, but this does not stop the man from receiving an enormous amount of attention. After all, he has received a total of 5 Academy Awards.

Now, in what many are calling the possible cinematic revolution that the world has been waiting for, Coppola has turned his attention to something the world has not previously experienced. Or at least, not to any major degree. Live cinema. The project is called Distant Vision, and defies everything that cinema currently is, with the potential to usher in a whole new generation of film watching.

What Is Live Cinema?

Live cinema is exactly as the name says; a film shot, and broadcast live, with no delay between the actors performing, and the images being seen by an audience. Live television is, of course, common, most notably in news and sports broadcasts and live online casino entertainment offered at top rated sites such as Spin Palace has become increasingly popular too, as it offers real time action and a life-like experience. Live cinema, however, proposes that the same be done with a full-length film script, varied locations, and live cinematography and sound management. The process is, it need not be said, extremely complicated, demanding, and risky.

But this, Coppola has said, is exactly what makes live cinema so interesting and unique. Traditional cinema has no risks involved at all, no risk of performers having accidents, no concern that anything may go wrong. Live cinema offers the excitement of all of these elements, with the audience able to fully appreciate the enormous levels of skill involved in making such a project a reality.

Distant Vision

Distant Vision is a script written by Coppola, semi-autobiographical, telling the story of three generations of an Italian-American family. The script runs for 27 minutes, and demands multiple location changes, as well as an enormous amount of intricate and complicated cinematography.

The script was workshopped and performed at the UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles. 75 students in total were required to make the script a reality in live cinema form. This included a total of 40 different cameras, as well as careful managing of sets, costumes, stage management, and much more. Notably, Coppola himself was the director.

Explaining the vision
Source: i.vimeocdn.com

A New Form Of Cinema?

Distant Vision was performed only to a limited audience, with no official word on how well it was received. It should be kept in mind, however, that this is not Coppola’s first attempt at live cinema. Although the project is virtually forgotten today, One From The Heart was a live cinema project back in 1982. It failed, both financially and critically.

Coppola gave up on the idea then, but is now making his attempt at a resurgence. But why would it work now, when it failed previously? Coppola himself is quick to point out that technology has come a long way since 1982, especially as far as cinema is concerned. Cinematography and broadcasting hardware is leagues ahead of where it was a few decades ago, making live cinema more feasible than it has ever been. But will it catch on?

Live cinema has been a life long dream for Coppola, so at least one talented, dedicated man is trying to make it happen. As to whether it spreads beyond the confines of UCLA remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure; Hollywood has been keen to find new ways of getting people back into cinemas.