FADE TO BLACK (Read time 1:27) I worked with Coppola in post production on the Godfather. Paramount insisted on using the world-class film processing company, Technicolor, and I was lucky enough to be asked to join the team. I was charged with keeping track of each and every scene of the movie, while Francis and a “color timer” corrected the “sepia tone” color of each scene. It was a 4-month gig, on what would turn out to be the greatest film of all time. I was 23.  At one point Francis told us the story of while they were in the throes of shooting, he was constantly being threatened and challenged by the producers to keep the production “under budget,” or "why did the dailies look so crummy?" or "why can’t he stay on schedule?" etc. He said directing the film was a huge challenge itself, let alone dealing with the suits. In fact, rumor has it that he was once in a bathroom stall when he overheard two guys talking about how terrible a director they thought he was. He says that he lifted his feet because he was afraid they would recognize his shoes. Yet even at the risk of terrible humiliation, fear of being fired, personal embarrassment, intense criticism and financial disaster, he didn’t stop or quit. He kept going. Even in the face of “big doubts” he said “nothing would stop him from making this movie.” Leads me to the question, what stops you?Do You Stop when others criticize your work?Do You Stop when personal “doubts” begin to surface?Do You Stop when there’s too much work involved?Do You Stop when the money runs low?Do You Stop when it’s too time consuming?Do You Stop when there’s too much stress?Does your resistance to today’s technology stop you?Does your resistance to social networking stop you?Does your resistance to the “new industry” stop you?Does “not being good at marketing” stop you?Does doubting your own talent stop you?Where do you stop? "Anything you build on a large scale or with intense passion invites chaos. You have to really be courageous about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you'll just knuckle under, and things that might have been memorable will be lost. It's ironic that at age 32, at probably the greatest moment of my career, with the tremendous success of the Godfather, I wasn't even aware of it, because I was somewhere else, under the deadline again."  —Francis Ford Coppola
J Michael Dolan

FADE TO BLACK (Read time 1:27)

I worked with Coppola in post production on the Godfather. Paramount insisted on using the world-class film processing company, Technicolor, and I was lucky enough to be asked to join the team. I was charged with keeping track of each and every scene of the movie, while Francis and a “color timer” corrected the “sepia tone” color of each scene. It was a 4-month gig, on what would turn out to be the greatest film of all time. I was 23. 

At one point Francis told us the story of while they were in the throes of shooting, he was constantly being threatened and challenged by the producers to keep the production “under budget,” or "why did the dailies look so crummy?" or "why can’t he stay on schedule?" etc. He said directing the film was a huge challenge itself, let alone dealing with the suits. In fact, rumor has it that he was once in a bathroom stall when he overheard two guys talking about how terrible a director they thought he was. He says that he lifted his feet because he was afraid they would recognize his shoes.

Yet even at the risk of terrible humiliation, fear of being fired, personal embarrassment, intense criticism and financial disaster, he didn’t stop or quit. He kept going. Even in the face of “big doubts” he said “nothing would stop him from making this movie.”

Leads me to the question, what stops you?

Do You Stop when others criticize your work?
Do You Stop when personal “doubts” begin to surface?
Do You Stop when there’s too much work involved?
Do You Stop when the money runs low?
Do You Stop when it’s too time consuming?
Do You Stop when there’s too much stress?
Does your resistance to today’s technology stop you?
Does your resistance to social networking stop you?
Does your resistance to the “new industry” stop you?
Does “not being good at marketing” stop you?
Does doubting your own talent stop you?
Where do you stop?

"Anything you build on a large scale or with intense passion invites chaos. You have to really be courageous about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you'll just knuckle under, and things that might have been memorable will be lost. It's ironic that at age 32, at probably the greatest moment of my career, with the tremendous success of the Godfather, I wasn't even aware of it, because I was somewhere else, under the deadline again."  —Francis Ford Coppola


COMMENTS


Posted By Mark Matters
I'm guilty
I'm guilty of stopping at every one of those. However, something keeps pulling me forward into the darkness in search of the lightósomething I can call "personal success." Thanks Michael for your awesome blogs.


Posted By mark grove
Doing it despite what happens
I work with musicians here in Canada. No, I don't make a dime yet, but I'll keep on doing what needs to be done until that happens. Pay the bills yes.But make what free time you have count.If you're a musician practice and even gig for free and create value for other musicians. Read the Fade To Black post again so you get it and take action. Thanks Mark in Canada


Posted By randy
Overcoming criticism
There are a thousand things to comment on in this post... but I'll limit myself here. Criticism from others is a biggie. Sometimes my reaction to that can momentarily slow me down. But it is the fundamental belief in myself and what I am doing that keeps me going. Not everyone will like what do. Some people with hate it. But if I continue to believe in my work and my talent -- basically, me -- I eventually go back to being lost in it. And before I know it, I have reached the next level. Despite all of the negativity and stress that Francis Ford Coppola felt, he didn't stop -- because he COULDN'T. It was something he simply HAD to do.


Posted By JoŽL
Blog
Thanks, the timing on this one, for me, is and was perfect!! Peace!! JoŽL


Posted By rockerchic
So relevant
What a perfect thing for me to read today. Earlier this morning, after period of unproductivity, I looked closely in the mirror. I asked myself, while already knowing the answer, "You're afraid, aren't you?". I answered quietly, "yeah. yeah, I am." It only hurt for 5 seconds. And then I suddenly felt much freer, like I can live with the admission and continue to push, in spite of it. I guess fear is like a brake pedal - just because it is there doesn't mean we need to use it. It can't stop us on it's own. But if we don't see that we are standing on it, we won't ever move. This is a great list of questions and I have many now to confront, which also scares me. But that's okay! Thank you so much.


Posted By Rachel
I'll have all of the above please....
Sure appreciate you Michael, and all of the intelligent people here..I just took a small break on "my project" to work on others that are due to actual people, but will continue moving forward no mattter how crazy it feels...Coppola...(some of the world's greatest minds.)...seeing the unseen...


Posted By Sweet Slim
What stops you?
What slows an artist down is having to make rent or mortgage when people don't pay you on time or there's just not enough work. You spend every waking hour in pursuit of work, to keep the bank or landlord at bay. Then there's the IRS, who can garnish your wages even if you've made a deal or payment plan. These are the things that make some stop or slow down. It's hard to stay creative when stress abounds and there's no peace to be found.


Posted By wichampi
Questioning keeps the two feet on the ground..
These are huge and important questions. Stopping as in quitting is strangulation. Stopping and listening to the feed back, figuring out solutions to the stress,fatigue,impossible egos etc provides a fresh outlook and an attitude which can breathe. The other night I was so stressed out with a production being planned for next April. I gave myself the night off and lost myself in crossword puzzles and a good book. The next day all the phone calls I had to make worked out...I mean the energy was back to communicate with people....so yeah...like swimming,I have to pace the rhythm. I hate marketing.So what ! Others have talent in that area. Do what you're best at. Share the tasks in a team.


Posted By Unyque Dreamz
Inspired
Wow! I really needed to read this particular blog. I'm a film student and I'm in the pre-production stage of my very first indie feature film titled SEASON OF THE VOODOO ZOMBIES. I can relate to about half of the 'What's Stopping You?' listings. I must admit that I sometimes want to knuckle under and give up but then I think, if you don't take yourself serious enough, then who else will? Being an older African American female makes my challenge that much more harder however, I'm going to keep on moving ahead and wear my big girl panties and see this film to the very end. Thanks for your very inspiring blog:-) MOTIVATION 101


Posted By John Winn
fade to black
Michael, just the the words I needed to see this am. As a senior citizen musician[ I'm 78 and still counting] I have four shows this month. Time and technologies march to their own beat. Thanks for the reminder.


Posted By Alan Vochec
Inspired
LOL - good one Barbara McMann!! :-))


Posted By Alan Vochec
Busted!!!
Man, oh man - 11 yeses out of 11!!! No wonder I`m approaching 64 and still struggling with those monthly bills. A TRUE eye-opener for me AGAIN!!! I guess I`ll have to book another session with my therapist.....hehe :-/


Posted By Paul
Timely

Nice, timely stuff. (I do believe the word is "throes.")



Posted By Charles Brent
Coppola, Spielberg,
Just read the book, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls," by Peter Biskind which follows the beginnings of Coppola, Spielberg, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and most of the era and you will get more insight on all of these "Super Stars" and what they were like, at their early stages and it will "blow your mind." They will show you that most of them knew very little, learned on the job and many times, had no clue what they were really doing. It will give you more confidence in any area of your lives, no matter what it is you are trying to do. If anything ever stopped you, reading this book will show you that STOPPING, RESISTANCE, NOT KNOWING, or DOUBTING........was inherent in all of them.....


Posted By jenn
perfect
nice one ;-)


Posted By Rick
great story
What a great insider story. I read once that overnight sensations are rarely overnight.


Posted By Barbara McMann
Inspired
Wow. I especially love the part about pulling his legs up in the stall so no one would recognize his shoes. Imagine that, Francis Ford Coppola feeling humiliation about his instincts and ideas! Imagine him worrying about what others thought of him! If this doesnít inspire me, I should have a lobotomy!

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2015 Posts:
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• RESISTANCE CAN KILL (read time 1:37)
• AMATEURS vs. PROS (read time :57)
• REQUIEM FOR A HONEYMOON (read time 1:09)
• CAN YOU FEEL IT? (read time 1:47)
• BRANCUSI'S VICTORY CRY  (read time :57)
• SAIL AWAY (read time :43)
• ARTISTS RULE! (read time 1:23)
• USE IT OR LOSE IT (read time :53)
• START HERE (read time 1:27)
• UNCERTAINTY (read time 1:19)
• STOPPED BY CALAMITY (read time 1:37)
• ART (read time :57)
• AUDACIOUS & UNSTOPPABLE (read time 2:37)
• WRITERS BLOCK (read time 1:47)
• BLOW AWAY DISTRACTIONS (read time :31)
• WAY OF THE CREATIVE WARRIOR (read time :27)
• GOOD BYE LADY LUCK (read time 1:53)
• CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING (read time 1:23)
• DEADLINE OR DIE! (read time 1:53)
• THE WIZARDS CLOCK (Read time :47)
• CREATIVE PRIVACY (read time :43)
• THE KOBE IN ME (read time 1:13)
• READY, SET, GO! (read time :47)
• EVE OF DISTRACTION (read time 1:29)
• KEEP YOUR FEET UP! (read time 1:09)
• JUST ONE MORE FOOT (read time 1:57)
• MY MUSE DOESN'T CARE (read time :39)
• MISUNDERSTOOD (read time 1:19)
• DUMP IT! (read time 1:19)
• IS IT WORTH IT? (read time :49)
• THE 24 HOUR RULE (read time 2:21)
• MONK ON THE MOUNTIAN (read time: a lifetime)
• “IT” (read time 1:37)
• BORN TO SHOW (read time 3:37)
• THE STING OF REJECTION (read time 1:13)
• LESSON FROM A ROCK STAR (Read time 0:27)
• THUMB POWER (read time 1:59)
• EXPOSING THE WIZARD (read time (1:13)
• HEY, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? (read time 1:37)
• THE WAITING WARRIOR (Read time 0:41)
• PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK (read time :57 sec)
• AUTONOMY HIGHWAY (read time :35 sec)
• LIMPIDITY (read time :45 sec)
• WHY I MEDITATE (read time 1:00 min)
• YOUR SHADOW AGENDA (Read time 0:59)
• WHY I SOLD MY BUSINESS (read time 6:33)
• BARENAKED PROBITY (read time 1:47 min)
• THE FANTASIES OF POSSIBILITY (read time 4:17 min)
• THE TUG OF WAR (read time 5:09 min)