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.
Leads me to the question, what stops you?
"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
|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!