FilmSchoolRejects tipped me to this great interview The99percent did with Francis Ford Coppola. As we started out with Good Machine, only two established players ever reached out to us, David Picker and Francis. His generosity of spirit and love of cinema is evident in this piece. The entire interview is a treat and a wealth of knowledge and good advice. Among it:
When you make a movie, always try to discover what the theme of the movie is in one or two words. Every time I made a film, I always knew what I thought the theme was, the core, in one word. In “The Godfather,” it was succession. In “The Conversation,” it was privacy. In “Apocalypse,” it was morality.
The reason it’s important to have this is because most of the time what a director really does is make decisions. All day long: Do you want it to be long hair or short hair? Do you want a dress or pants? Do you want a beard or no beard? There are many times when you don’t know the answer. Knowing what the theme is always helps you.