By Ray Pride

UCLA Explains The Coppola Live Cinema Workshop


Behind-The-Scenes Video here  

LOS ANGELES (July 23, 2016) — Teri Schwartz, dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT), and multiple Academy Award-winner Francis Ford Coppola announced today their collaboration on a month-long student workshop of a LIVE CINEMA production. Distant Vision was broadcast live from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Freud Playhouse on Friday, July 22, 2016 to a limited audience. Coppola returned to his alma mater, where he received an M.F.A. in Theater Arts in 1967, to produce and direct the experimental workshop.

Distant Vision (a 19th century term for television) is the story of three generations of an Italian-American family whose history spans the development of television. The UCLA TFT workshop culminated with a live broadcast of an excerpted script.  The workshop served as a “proof of concept” of a groundbreaking experiment for Coppola’s concept of LIVE CINEMA. More than 75 UCLA TFT students and faculty participated in the project and served as active crew members in all areas of production, including operating over 40 cameras, acting, sound, set design and construction, costume, props, editing, stage management and producing. UCLA TFT co-sponsored the workshop with American Zoetrope, Coppola’s production company. Coppola was the writer and director.

The concept of LIVE CINEMA is that by utilizing feeds from a multitude of cameras, instant replay servers, and other sources, all of which the director can switch live with the most technologically advanced broadcast equipment, a new kind of movie-making is possible — performed live and viewed by an audience in real time.  The look and feel is more cinematic in nature than what is typically employed for live dramatic and musical broadcasts, and has the in-the-moment energy of a live event.  LIVE CINEMA depends on a definitive script, extensive planning, rehearsal, and coordination of a variety of sources enabling the real time selection of views, music and effects to be combined into the desired expression of ideas and moods.  Although the audience experiences the production in real-time, it has many choices of where and what type of viewing medium is used.  LIVE CINEMA can simultaneously be performed in multiple cinema theaters, configured auditoriums, on network television, cable television or Internet streaming to home theaters or personal devices.  Mr. Coppola explained: “I felt the need to experiment in order to learn the actual methodology of live cinema, which is a hybrid of theater, film and television. The SHOT is the basic element, as in film; the live PERFORMANCE is from theater; and the advanced television TECHNOLOGY to enable it is borrowed from TV sports. It is very exciting to work in.”

“It is our greatest honor to warmly welcome our most treasured alumnus Francis Ford Coppola back to his alma mater,” states Schwartz.  “We are thrilled to have UCLA TFT serve as the workshop home for Distant Vision, Francis’ groundbreaking new creative project. Francis has amazed and enthralled all of us — students, faculty and staff — with his fearless and bold mastery of visual storytelling at its deepest and most transformational state. We thank Francis for this magnificent opportunity for our students to work alongside him as he takes cinema into a very exciting and inspiring future.”

This partnership underscores the vision of UCLA TFT, which re-imagines entertainment and performing arts education as an interdisciplinary enterprise grounded in humanistic storytelling, social impact, global diversity, and technology and innovation. Key to this vision is providing students with opportunities to develop and create stories that enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world. UCLA TFT continually builds upon its innovative curricula designed to prepare the next generation of creative leaders with the knowledge and skill sets demanded by the rapidly changing entertainment and performing arts industries.  The interconnectivity between film, theater, digital media, animation and television has an enormous impact on the state of the industry and the nature of storytelling itself.

Five-time Academy Award winner Coppola, one of the most influential and innovative filmmakers of our time, is the maverick founder of his company American Zoetrope. Coppola personally initiated and nourished the careers of talents such as George Lucas, Carroll Ballard, John Milius, daughter Sofia Coppola, granddaughter Gia Coppola, son Roman Coppola, and actors including Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, James Caan, Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfus, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Matt Dillon and Diane Lane. Zoetrope-produced films, including such classics as The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II(1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979), have received 16 Academy Awards and 70 nominations. In addition to his Oscar statuettes, in 2011 Coppola received the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. He is also the recipient of Golden Globe, BAFTA, DGA and WGA Awards, and earned two Palme d’Or prizes from the Cannes Film Festival, for The Conversation (1974) and Apocalypse Now. As a writer, director, producer and technological pioneer, Coppola has created a body of work that has helped to shape contemporary American cinema.



About UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

The vision of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television is to serve as a premiere global interdisciplinary professional school that develops outstanding humanistic storytellers, industry leaders and scholars whose diverse, innovative voices enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world. Consistently ranked as one of the top entertainment and performing arts institutions in the world, UCLA TFT offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the study and creation of works for theater, film, television, digital media and animation. The distinguished graduate and undergraduate programs at UCLA TFT include acting, directing, writing, producing, animation, cinematography, lighting design, set design, costume design and sound design. The school also offers doctoral degrees in theater and performance studies and cinema and media studies.

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