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Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's Not Quite Coppola Talking About the Fat Girl and Mozart, But...

Lots of people remember this sorta bizarre prediction from Francis Ford Coppola about the democratization of film, when he says that cheap video cameras will allow just about anyone to make movies: "Some fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart, you know, and make a beautiful film with her little father's camera."

Peter Jackson has his own riff on democratization in an interview published today by Reuters to promote "District 9," which he produced.:

    You know, in the old days it was very difficult to make movies 'cause you had to have 35 millimeter cameras, which were phenomenally expensive. Or you had to have rich parents that could send you to film school. Nowadays, anybody, any kid or young person with a desire to make films ... (has) access to this equipment. You have great video cameras and the quality's fantastic. You can make soundtracks and do visual effects. You can do very competent computer effects quite easily."

    ..."There are no excuses anymore. If people really want to make movies, they can go out and do it. And I think we're going see in the next 20 or 30 years a real influx of creativity to the world of entertainment because I believe a lot in the young generation coming along ... the pop culture generation who now can grab these cameras and go make films with them.

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  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:09 PM  

  • Scott,

    I think Coppola was discussing the conflict between art and commerce in film-making. The proverbial "fat girl from Ohio" making a film that can outshine Citizen Kane, then the scales has tipped from commerce to art.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:11 PM  

  • Interesting that Jackson says it is going to take another 20 years. Why?

    By Blogger GBH, at 4:28 PM  

  • Is there really enough mind space for a million aueturs who all want to be rich and famous?

    By Blogger Larry Bull, at 9:29 PM  

  • Of course it's a formula of better production + better distribution. So if I'm making a zombie movie I can get it directly to the type of people that watch zombie movies. They'll take it seriously if it looks good and spend some time watching it. I think that sort of completes Jackson's statement.

    Cinema capable cameras still are not in the price range of everyday Joes. Furthermore, the software that is used to perfect the audio and visual components of cinema are still a few years away from being accessible in price and a decade away from being accessible in terms of ease-of-use.


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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:09 AM  

  • i've had this same conversation multiple times. i disagree. the only thing that has improved are the tools, not the tool users.

    there's been almost zero advance in the ability of people to tell stories. it's a difficult task to do well and simply having access to a camera now doesn't bestow that ability.

    i spent a week with a famous wakeboarder getting tutored at his wake school in florida. at one point he got a new rope to ride behind and took out his truck to pre-stretch it. i asked if the difference was really noticeable - the lines are supposed to be non-stretch anyway. he said i wouldn't notice it - but he does.

    By Blogger deepstructure, at 5:46 PM  

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