#WritingAdviceWednesday – Words of Wisdom from Francis Ford Coppola

francis-ford-coppola-01“Always make your work be personal. And, you never have to lie.

If you lie, you will only trip yourself up. You will always get caught in a lie.

It is very important for an artist not to lie, and most important is not to lie to yourself.

There are some questions that are inappropriate to ask, and rather than lie, I will not answer them because it’s not a question I accept.

So many times we are asked things in our work or in life that you want to lie, and all you have to do is say, ‘No, that is an improper question.’

So when you get into a habit of not lying when you are writing, directing, or making a film, that will carry your personal conviction into your work.

And, in a society where you say you are very free but you’re not entirely free, you have to try.

There is something we know that’s connected with beauty and truth. There is something ancient.

We know that art is about beauty, and therefore it has to be about truth.” ~ Francis Ford Coppola


  1. Reply Billy Marshall Stoneking 15th December 2011

    The fundamental relationship that lends “heart” to the screen storytelling experience is the relationship that develops between the writer and the characters. As the relationship between the writer and the characters attains a degree of intimacy and emotional connectedness the writer will find him/herself working more and more as a MEDIUM. In short, the writer enters ever more profoundly into relationships that permit him/her to relinquish control and allows the characters – including the audience and the tribe – to interact and influence the decisions and responses of one another unfettered by the fears and personal ax-grindings of the ego-centered writer.

    As one might expect, character-based screenwriting is fraught with pitfalls, and is at times supremely frustrating. One does not create compelling characters as one might bake a cake. One does not create them at all, not by oneself that is. One must woo them, entice them, get to know them, enter into a frank and open exchange with them, if they are to reveal anything at all of their hidden potentials, including the anxieties, wounds and secret prayers that lend them their emotional depth. One must become a virtual hunter, lying in wait, ear pressed to the ground, patiently watching, open, ready.

  2. Reply Dallas Martinelli 30th May 2012

    Im grateful for the blog article.Thanks Again. Really Great.

    • Reply Laurie Hutzler 31st May 2012

      Thanks for the comment!

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