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Francis Ford Coppola 

Biography:

God of Filmmaking Francis Ford Coppola Biography of his filmsFrancis Ford Coppola was born on April 7th, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan.  At a very young age he moved with his family to New York.  As a child he was a mediocre student but was very much interested in technology and engineering; so much, in fact, that his friends nicknamed him “Science”. 

At the age of fifteen he earned a scholarship to the New York Military Academy based on his ability to play the tuba.  He didn’t ever feel comfortable in the Academy and ran away after a year and a half to wander the streets of Manhattan for a few days.  Coppola later earned another scholarship to Hofstra University at Hempstead, Long Island for his amazing ability to write plays. There he excelled in the drama department, writing various plays and musicals for the students to perform. 

In 1960 Coppola enrolled in the University of California at Los Angeles Film School.  At UCLA, Coppola directed a short horror film called “The Two Christophers” inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s William Wilson.  He also directed “Ayamonn the Terrible”, a film about a sculptor’s nightmares coming to life.  But his first significant film experience came from an apprenticeship with “Z-movie” filmmaker, Roger Corman.

He served various roles on Corman projects until the day he was allowed his own project, Dementia 13.  He later graduated up to the big leagues on a brief stint with Warner Brothers, and then spent a few years working as a screenwriter.

While thriving in the Hollywood filmmaking factory, Coppola begun to dream about creating a utopia for young filmmakers yearning for creative freedom.  Along with his friend George Lucas, Coppola created American Zoetrope in San Francisco, California.  But he was to suffer a massive blow when their first major production, THX 1138, turned out to be a disaster. 

Needing employment, Coppola took a job directing Paramount Picture’s gangster picture, The Godfather.  The balance of the 1970’s was a magical time for him as he produced such classics as The Godfather:  Part II, The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now.  In the 80’s his luck would turn on him as experimental projects like One from the Heart, The Cotton Club, and Rumble Fish would financially destroy him.  He has spent the years since regaining his former greatness with films like The Godfather:  Part III, Dracula and The Rainmaker.

Films:

Tonight for Sure (1961)

The Playgirls and the Bellboy (1962)

Battle Beyond the Sun (1962)

The Terror (1963)

The Haunted Palace (1963)

Dementia 13 (1963)

You're a Big Boy Now (1966)

This Property is Condemned (1966)

Is Paris Burning? (Paris brûle-t-il?) (1966)

Finian's Rainbow (1968)

The Rain People (1969)

Patton (1970)

The Godfather (1972)

American Graffiti (1973)

The Great Gatsby (1974)

The Conversation (1974)

The Godfather:  Part II (1974)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

One from the Heart (1982)

The Outsiders (1983)

Rumble Fish (1983)

The Cotton Club (1984)

Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

Gardens of Stone (1987)

Tucker:  The Man and His Dream (1988)

New York Stories (1989)

The Godfather:  Part III (1990)

Dracula (1992)

Frankenstein (1994)

Don Juan DeMarco (1995)

Jack (1996)

The Rainmaker (1997)

Lania-Loa (1998)

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

The Fantasticks (2000)

Supernova (2000)

Suriyothai (2001)

Youth Without Youth(2007)

Tetro (2009)

Upcoming Projects:

On the Road (2009)

Somewhere (2010)

Other Feature Film Credits:

Sadko (1953) (script adaptor)

The Premature Burial (1962) (assistant director)

The Young Racers (1963) (second unit director)

Tower of London (1962) (dialogue director)

THX 1138 (1971) (executive producer)

The Black Stallion (1979) (executive producer)

Kagemusha (1980) (executive producer:  international version)

Napoléon (1927) (presenter of 1981 re-release)

The Escape Artist (1982) (executive producer)

Hammett (1982) (executive producer)

The Black Stallion Returns (1983) (executive producer)

Koyaanisqatsi (1983) (executive producer)

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) (executive producer)

Return to Oz (1985) (assistant to director)

Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987) (executive producer)

Lionheart (1987) (executive producer)

Powaqqatsi (1988) (executive producer)

Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1989) (executive producer)

Wind (1992) (executive producer)

The Secret Garden (1993) (executive producer)

My Family (1995) (executive producer)

Haunted (1995) (executive producer)

Buddy (1997) (executive producer)

Gunfighter (1998) (presenter)

The Third Miracle (1999) (executive producer)

Goosed (1999) (executive producer)

Sleepy Hollow (1999) (executive producer)

The Florentine (1999) (executive producer)

CQ (2001) (executive producer)

Jeepers Creepers (2001) (executive producer)

No Such Thing (2001) (executive producer)

Pumpkin (2002) (executive producer)

Assassination Tango (2002) (executive producer)

Jeepers Creepers II (2003) (executive producer)

Lost in Translation (2003) (executive producer)

Kinsey (2004) (executive producer)

Marie Antoinette (2006) (executive producer)

The Good Shepherd (2006) (executive producer)

 

Short Films:

The Two Christophers (early 1960’s) (writer and director)

Ayamonn the Terrible (early 1960’s) (writer and director)

Captain Eo (1986) (writer and director)

The Junky’s Christmas (1993) (producer)

 

Music Video Projects:

none

Television Projects:

The People (1972) (executive producer)

Faerie Tale Theatre (series 1982-1987) (directed the episode “Rip Van Winkle”)

The Outsiders (series 1990) (executive producer)

White Dwarf (1995) (executive producer)

Tecumseh:  The Last Warrior (1995) (executive producer)

Kidnapped (1995) (executive producer)

Dark Angel (1996) (executive producer)

The Odyssey (1997) (executive producer)

Outrage (1998) (executive producer)

Moby Dick (1998) (executive producer)

First Wave (series 1998-2001) (executive producer)

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1999) (executive producer)

Platinum (series 2003) (executive producer)

The 4400 (series 2004) (executive producer)

Non Film Projects:

Owner of the Niebaum-Coppola Winery in Napa Valley, California.

Owns Francis Coppola Brands, maker of specialty foods.

Production and Other Companies:

American Zoetrope

Omni Zoetrope

Zoetrope Studios

Zoetrope Company

Commercial Pictures

The Director’s Company

Film Award Ratios (wins/nominations):

Academy Awards – 23/77 (29.9%)

Golden Globes – 12/58 (20.7%)

Sundance Film Festival – 0/0 (0.0%)

Cannes Film Festival – 4/5 (80.0%)

Writers Guild of America – 3/8 (37.5%)

Directors Guild of America – 3/7 (42.9%)

AFI Top One Hundred Films of All Time – 5

Quote:

Links:

Joel Coen

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