Risk, Money, Craft & Collaboration
Chris Drit stashed this in Startups
I've always admired Francis Ford Coppola as an entrepreneur. And this interview with him leaves me with so much more than it's intended purpose.
Throughout the interview, I can't help but replace the subject of the text with what's relevant for me, today...
- filmmaker/artist = entrepreneur
- art/film = startup
- producer = VC
- actors= advisors
- photographers = engineers
- screenplay = hypothesis/business
- direct = create
- and so on...
Here are some of my favorite highlights:
Over the course of 45 years in the film business, Francis Ford Coppola has refined a singular code of ethics that govern his filmmaking. There are three rules:
1) Write and direct original screenplays,
2) make them with the most modern technology available, and
3) self-finance them.
An essential element of any art is risk. If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before?
You try to go to a producer today and say you want to make a film that hasn’t been made before; they will throw you out because they want the same film that works, that makes money.
A screenplay has to be like a haiku. It has to be very concise and very clear, minimal. When you go to make it as a film, you have the suggestions of the actors, which are going to be available to you, right? You’re going to listen to the actors because they have great ideas. You’re going to listen to the photographer because he will have a great idea.
Followed up by some great entrepreneurial truisms:
So I feel like [I’m] part of the cinema as it was 100 years ago, when you didn't know how to make it. You have to discover how to make it.
What’s the biggest barrier to being an artist? Self-confidence always. The artist always battles his own/her own feeling of inadequacy.
I love this post, Chris. Thank you for writing it!
You've hit upon one of the ongoing themes of 106 Miles:
The question I regularly ask myself is, what is risk really?
Is it riskier to do nothing and always wonder "What if?"
Or is it riskier to try something and potentially FAIL?
Depends on the person.
Glad you found some value in it. There are several people outside of the Tech industry who most would not credit/think of as entrepreneurs, such as Coppola. I would love to see a group of these folks speak about the risks, successes and failures they've personally been through with their endeavors.
Good point about risk... I believe each individual would have their own definition as well...
@EricRies says "Entrepreneurship is a system for managing uncertainty."
It sounds like that is something Francis Ford Coppola does very well.
Francis Ford Coppola ... has filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in three years. The filing, made Tuesday  in Federal Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco, stemmed from the 1982 box-office flop of the film "One From the Heart," a spokeswoman for Mr. Coppola said.
He would spend the rest of the decade [1980's] working to pay his debts. [...] In addition he was forced into US bankruptcy court three times in the next 8 years.
And now appears to be worth millions once again -- 30 Entrepreneurs Who Went Bankrupt and are Now Worth Millions