Cinema as a family business

The Coppola family, including Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola or Nicolas Cage have created a dynasty of filmmakers. It all started with the birth of Francis Ford Coppola on April 7, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan. The now infamous director, screenwriter and producer was interested in storytelling from an early age. When he was stricken with polio at the age of nine, Coppola, often bedridden, created puppet shows for his amusement. At the age of 15, Coppola became interested in theater after reading Tennessee Williams A tram called Désir. Soon after, Coppola began experimenting with 8mm film by editing home videos. In 1955, Coppola attended Hofstra College majoring in theater arts.

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It was there that Coppola became interested in directing after receiving a playwriting scholarship. Throughout his time at the College, Coppola won several awards for theatrical direction and contributions to art. He also ran the college drama club The Green Wig and a musical comedy group The Kaleidoscopians. After graduating from high school, Coppola enrolled at UCLA Film School where he got his start directing erotic short films known as “nudie cuties.” Since then, he has earned a reputation as a highly decorated screenwriter, director and producer. He also recently announced his next movie Megalopolisin the works since the 1970s. This is how Coppola made cinema a family business.


Review of the iconic director’s career

While at UCLA Film School, Coppola began working for famed exploitation filmmaker Roger Corman, who would sadly launch the careers of not only Coppola but also fellow directors Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme. Coppola has done backup photography, directed and written dialogue for re-edited film dubs. After working as a screenwriter under contract with Seven Arts for a short time, Coppola wrote and directed You are a big boy now (1966), based on the David Benedictus novel of the same name. The film would also serve as Coppola’s master’s thesis. Having gained notoriety for his gripping coming-of-age narrative, Coppola worked on a few other films such as Finian’s Rainbow, rain people, and THX-1138before his breakthrough film The Godfather was released in 1972. The 1970s marked a high point in Coppola’s film career.


The Godfather is considered one of Coppola’s best films and one of the highest-grossing films of the decade. The film earned Oscar nominations for Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, the late James Caan and Robert Duvall. Brando won Best Actor while Coppola won Best Adapted Screenplay. In 1974, The conversation was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture and was in direct competition with The Godfather Part II, who would eventually win. Coppola’s next film Revelation now though reputedly plagued with bad luck, it garnered eight Academy Award nominations and is generally considered a cinematic masterpiece.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Coppola made many films, including growling fish, Peggy Sue got marriedand The Godfather Part III, which were successful but not to the degree of his earlier works. His most notable films from this period were 1983 The foreignerswhich featured a slew of fresh-faced actors on their way to fame, The violent and erotic 1992 version of the classic Bram Stokers Dracula, and the 1997 legal drama The rainmaker. His later works include Youth without youth, Twixt, and Distant vision. His next project will be his long-promised passion project. Megalopolis. In an interview with GQ, Coppola described the film as a drama centered on “the plight of Rome as it haunts a modern world unable to solve its social problems in an epic tale of political ambition, genius and conflicting interests. “.


Related: Francis Ford Coppola: A Look at the Director‘s Underrated Career Over the Past 20 Years

Create a dynasty

Sophie Coppola is a former actress and model turned writer/director. Prior to her career as a filmmaker, Coppola designed her own Milk Fed fashion line and launched her boutique Heaven-27. She also hosted Hi-Octane, a short-lived pop culture television series on Comedy Central with her friend Zoe Cassavettes. In 1998, Coppola wrote, directed and produced his first film. It was a comedy short titled Lick the star, which would ignite his passion for cinema. In 1999, she wrote and directed her groundbreaking feature film virgins who committed suicide, which was produced by his father’s production company American Zoetrope. Soon after, in 2003, Coppola wrote and directed the critically acclaimed hit lost in translation, which is widely regarded as one of the best films of all time. It won him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Coppola also directed the visual extravaganza Marie Antoinette and touching drama Somewhere, and celebrated a major success with his true crime film The bling ring based on real events, and the 2017 period piece seduced with Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning.


Romain Coppola got his start helping his father on his 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, overseeing visual effects. He also provided second unit direction on many of his father’s films, including Jack, the rainmaker, and Youth without youth. Coppola then launched his own production company The Directors Bureau and found success directing music videos for artists including The Strokes, Moby, Daft Punk, Green Day and Fatboy Slim. His film debut QC created in Cannes in 2001; it is set in Paris in the late 60s and follows a young editor as he tries to balance his personal and professional life. Since then he has also made The Darjeeling Limited and A Glimpse into the Mind of Charles Swan IIIearning him the reputation of a recognized scriptwriter/director.

Related: Here’s Every Sofia Coppola Movie Ranked

Talent runs in the family

The Coppolas prove that talent does indeed run in the family. Several members of the Coppola gang are writers, directors and actors. Besides Coppola’s children, Sofia and Roman, who have made a name for themselves as writers/directors, Coppola’s nephews Nicholas Cage and Jason Schwartzmann and sister Talia County are all actors, while his granddaughter Gia Coppola is a director and his wife Eleanor is a documentary filmmaker. The Coppolas have a reputation for nepotism within the industry, with Coppola regularly including his children in his films since childhood. Both Sofia and Coppola starred in several of their father’s films at a young age. Additionally, Coppola also cast his sister Talia in The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II. Additionally, he cast Cage in three of his films, growling fish, The cotton cluband Peggy Sue got married. The tradition would continue throughout the family when Sofia hired her niece Gia to work in the costume department on her resounding success. lost in translationand Roman would cast Cousin Schwartzman in several of his movies.