User menu

Shopping cart

Live Cinema and Its Techniques (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
Live Cinema and Its Techniques By Francis Ford Coppola Cover Image
Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability

Staff Reviews

One of the living masters, Francis Ford Coppola intends to turn us toward the future in Live Cinema—a fusion of film and television already being shown (such as Grease Live!) and movie theater broadcasts of opera, ballet, and theater. Although Coppola wrote this as a critical manual of a burgeoning form, he also shares insights about film overall and draws on anecdotes and stories from his own life. A must for the film nerd.

— Jocelyn


From one of the masters of twentieth-century cinema, an indispensable and entertaining guide to a visionary new form of moviemaking that can be appreciated by the avid film buff and general movie lover alike.

Keenly aware that advancements in digital tools have literally revolutionized every technological aspect of cinema over the last twenty-five years, Francis Ford Coppola is convinced that this same transformation will profoundly alter the way films are conceived and directed, bringing changes as momentous as those when moviemaking shifted from the silent era to "talkies." Already such a prototype exists in sports, where advanced digital technology and multiple cameras all filming at once have produced live sporting events of extraordinary sophistication that are regularly viewed on one’s television screen. But the time is not far off, Live Cinema and Its Techniques demonstrates, when a director or a collaborative team of filmmakers working across the internet will create "live" movies that will be sent instantly via satellite for viewing throughout the world.

Yet the creative demands posed by airing live sporting contests, as impressive as the final product is, pale in contrast with the ambitions of "cinematic auteurs," who are inspired by great directors, like Serge Eisenstein, Max Ophuls, or Alfred Hitchcock, among many others. As daunting as the challenge is, the process of integrating the highest artistic standards of previous generations into the medium of "live cinema" can, Coppola explains, be achieved, thus creating an entirely new art form for the so-called "screen." Tapping into his own encyclopedic knowledge of twentieth-century film history, Coppola threads his vision of this burgeoning cinematic medium with autobiographical and historical vignettes gleaned from the past, recalling his own boyhood obsession with film and his early fascination with the "Golden Age of Television," when 1950s viewers were treated to live productions of classics, like Days of Wine and Roses and Requiem for a Heavyweight.

Especially exciting is the exhilaration and drama that results from retraining actors and using a multitude of cameras to create a film that has the in-the-moment energy of a live event. Having already tried out this new medium with "proof-of-concept workshops" at Oklahoma City Community College and at UCLA, Coppola has created an invaluable guide for students and teachers alike. Filled with discussions of how to rehearse actors, how to choose scenery and location, and how to overcome theatrical, as well as technical, obstacles, Live Cinema and Its Techniques reveals how the spontaneity of this new genre can ultimately transport filmmaking into a new era of creativity still unimaginable today.

Featuring chapters on:

  • A Short History of Film and Television

  • The Actors, Acting, and Rehearsal

  • The Question of Style in the Cinema

  • Obstacles and Other Thoughts on Live Cinema No Matter What They May Be

  • Equipment: Now and in the Near Future

About the Author

Francis Ford Coppola, the Academy Award–winning director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, is creating a four-part "live cinema" movie based on his own family’s multigenerational history. He lives in San Francisco.

Praise For…

In this surprising new book—part memoir, part diary, part guide—Francis Ford Coppola reenergizes himself and the reader with his search for a new way of storytelling. Live Cinema and Its Techniques blends elements of Coppola’s autobiography, his encyclopedic knowledge of film and television, and his creative process toward a new language of cinema.

— William Friedkin

This is a gold mine of a book, intensely personal, and a rocket ride to the potential future of cinema/theater/television.  It is simultaneously an intimate confessional and a magic key to the storehouse of Coppola’s hard-won sixty years of wisdom about writing, directing, actors, rehearsals, and groundbreaking technique, and his visionary hopes for the cinematic language.
— Walter Murch

Invoking intimate details of his childhood, some that he’s never shared before, Coppola conjures up the magic world of television in the 1950s.  Readers interested in the new technology will find this an eminently user-friendly book, but it is also peppered with brilliant personal observations about the most basic principles and techniques of filmmaking that will also fascinate readers who have no interest in making live cinema but simply loved The Godfather.

— Wendy Doniger, author of The Ring of Truth, and Other Myths of Sex and Jewelry

Coppola’s natural abilities as a storyteller, regardless of the medium, are evident here. Sections dealing with his relationship to the prehistory of live cinema are as personally revealing as they are fascinating. . . . This consummate filmmaker’s enthusiasm for cinema is infectious.
— Publishers Weekly

A curious and exhilarating account of a master in his field wrestling with a new way to convey his vision. The book begins with an exploration into the history of television in its infancy, when nearly every program was brought to audiences live, and it is peppered throughout with personal asides about how this technique has dogged his entire career. . . . As in his films, Coppola knows how to tell a compelling story. Live cinema, in its new incarnation, and everyone it attracts, will benefit from his insights.
— Michael Ruzicka - Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9781631493669
ISBN-10: 1631493663
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: September 26th, 2017
Pages: 224
Language: English
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 2/4/2017 07:09pm
Last Updated At: 5/15/2022 02:23pm