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.
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