Francis Ford Coppola on film industry deadlock: 'Even Spielberg has to wheel and deal'

Cinema and television are merging into one, according to Hollywood maverick Francis Ford Coppola.

Francis Ford Coppola fears the movie industry has reached such a stalemate even the biggest players in Hollywood have to "wheel and deal" to get films made.

The 76-year-old director has accused studio bosses of making nothing but trite blockbusters or low budget independent pictures, and speaking during a roundtable panel discussion at the Marrakech Film Festival in Morocco, he explained most filmmakers are forced to compromise their vision due to countless constraints imposed on them by financial restraints.

Coppola, who is serving as the lead juror at the 2015 festival, claims many top directors are concerned about the future.

“Even (Steven) Spielberg, at the top of the industry, has to wheel and deal," he stressed, according to Variety.

Francis is also intrigued by the Netflix phenomenon, as it has become clear to him television and film are no longer two separate entities.

"Well there is no more television," he noted. "Television is cinema, basically. They’re becoming the same thing.”

Francis predicts the cinema of the future will offer a multitude of projects, with some films lasting mere seconds and others hundreds of hours.

He compares the evolution of filmmaking to literary history, noting the novel is important to consider in this discussion.

“Even some of the films I’ve seen here at Marrakech have shown how the way that screenplay is organised and the way that it’s written can be a tremendous opportunity for innovation and evolution, similar to what we have seen with the novel,” he detailed. “Cinema is still in its infancy. We imagine cinema as it is now. But it will change. Theatre has a history spanning thousands of years, the novel around 400. Cinema was an art form that was just waiting to happen. It needed technology to happen.”

And when it comes to his own work, Francis has been working on live cinema projects of late, having tested out the concept using his movie Distant Vision in June (15) at Oklahoma City Community College. Live cinema is particularly cutting edge as it allows filmmakers to improvise by altering the narrative of the film on the spot through the use of several possible visual, audio and media effects.

“It’s very different from live TV,” he explained. “This is not theatre, this is not movies. This is not TV. It’s something different.”

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