The ‘Megalopolis’ team wondered if Coppola had ‘ever made a film before’

The ‘Megalopolis’ team wondered if Coppola had ‘ever made a film before’
The ‘Megalopolis’ team wondered if Coppola had ‘ever made a film before’

Francis Ford Coppola has wanted to make this film for forty years. Megalopolis will finally be presented at the Cannes Film Festival this year. And, as is often the case with the American director, things did not happen by themselves. Because, as one of the team members exposes it to Guardian“it was like watching a train wreck unfold day after day, week after week, knowing that everyone had done their best to avoid the accident.”

Coppola described the film as “his dream script” and financed much of the 110 million euros needed for the production, selling his wine estate in the process. He also reportedly rewrote the script nearly 300 times, before filming officially began in fall 2022 in Atlanta (United States).

What Coppola wants

Upon arriving, the director cannot find a hotel that is suitable for him and his family and therefore decides… to buy one. At 84 years old at this time, the director is therefore embarking on the filming of a blockbuster and a real estate project. When Mike Figgis, a close friend, asked him how he planned to manage the two projects, Copolla replied: “It’s the same thing cinema and construction: it’s about telling people what you want and ensure they do. »

What Francis Ford Coppola wants. This is what posed a problem for the members of the film crew, who were forced to adapt day by day to the director’s demands. “I think Coppola still lives in this world where, as the author, you’re the only one who knows what’s going on, and everyone else is just there to do what he asks them to do,” explains another employee Guardian. As when the team attempted to draw up plans for the futuristic city depicted in the film, Coppola reportedly responded, “How can you determine what Megalopolis looks like when I don’t even know what Megalopolis looks like?” »

So, from days lost in his trailer without anything being filmed to heated discussions with Shia LaBoeuf, the filming is slipping and, as of December 2022, most of the team responsible for special effects and design has left. Filming will last a total of sixteen weeks. “It sounds crazy to say, but there were times when we were all there wondering if this guy had ever made a film before,” another member of the film crew told the English newspaper.

From unpleasant to rude

“We were all aware that we were participating in what could be a really sad end to our careers,” says one team member. But some of them felt “he was so rude to a lot of people who were trying to make the process easier and make the film better.” And from “unpleasant”, the 84-year-old director would have turned into rude. He would have encouraged women to sit on his knees and would have tried to kiss an extra, according to the daily.

For his part, the film’s co-producer, Darren Demetre, tried to clarify the filmmaker’s slip-ups: “For two days, we shot a party scene in a club. Francis walked around the set to establish the spirit of the scene by giving hugs and kisses on the cheek to actors and extras. It was his way of inspiring and establishing the atmosphere of the location, which was so important to the film. I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or bad behavior during the project. »

Early reviews are mixed, with some announcing a “sad” end to the American director’s career while others describe the film as as revolutionary as “Picasso with Guernica “. In the midst of #MeToo in cinema, will the behavior of Francis Ford Coppola be discussed on the Croisette? After all, despite the fiasco of filmingApocalypse Now, the director won the Palme d’Or in 1979.

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