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

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