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Friday, May 25, 2007


1. How was born the idea for Pah? Where the urge came from? What is the essence for Pah? What is trying to do? Pah and ears XXI is the same animal we're talking about?

PAH (PROJECT ACCESSIBLE HOLLYWOOD) came out of an experience I had working with a wounded, retired construction worker, named Doug Aarne. I was his mentor during the Duke City Shootout, a film festival I used to sponsor. Mr. Aarne was not a wannabe filmmaker. He was just a man who had a dream story to tell about Charlie Chaplin and good will. Mr. Aarne should be dead today after the huge amount of electricity that jolted through his system, making his eyeballs pop out over three inches. He is a large, powerful man and the accident made him mentally unstable. So, he lived like a modern day Frankenstein monster in the darkness of his basement in New Jersey. He would listen to my blog at EARSXXI. He would e-mail me about what his heart felt inside. I was able to get him out of his basement to help him tell his dream story, "I AM." It was a healing, creative process experience I will never forget and it put things in perspective for me. And, it was the digital arena that made it happen. This was Digital not just being plugged in, but being connected in a very positive, human way. I suddenly wanted to help as many people tap into this healing creative process experience, from all walks of life, as possible. Hence, PAH was born. I will bring a DVD of "I AM" for you to see.

2. How to participate to Pah in Isola? What can we expect from the final films? What does it take to take part? Who can participate? Are the films going to be shown also on pah's official web site?

I will be holding a miniPAH:Slovenia during the Isola Cinema Festival. There are two contests: Cell Phone Art and YourTECH Portraits. There are places in this world where there is very little food and water, but everyone has a cell phone. Why is that? Being connected is more important than eating...having a voice that is heard is what makes the HUMAN SPIRIT. It is LIFE. My goal with these contests is to show how these modern tools can be used as paintbrushes to tap into the CREATIVE PROCESS. To not only have a voice to be heard, but a vision and story to share. We all have vision and stories and the more we tap into the CREATIVE PROCESS, we not only hone our artistic ability, we heal the HUMAN SPIRIT. Everyone can participate that wants to. I am interested in how a Slovenian fisherman, a farmer, a disc jockey, etc. sees their community and the world around them. PAH shares that vision with the rest of the world at the PAH NATION ON-LINE SCREENING ROOM and more positive connections are made with the other PAH COMMUNITIES around the world. Because I give a topic for the CELL PHONE ART, I suspect people will enjoy seeing how someone manages to depict what that topic means to them, their personal vision, via the limitations of a video camera on a cell phone. That's what makes it fun. Also, it's always nice to see a self portrait or a portrait of another human-being. That is what PAH's about. Using the Digital Arena to celebrate "everyday" people, their different communities and cultures through the CREATIVE PROCESS, while clearly understanding how we are all part of the HUMAN SPIRIT, we are all in this together. PAH is a sort of guided, filtered YouTUBE or MYSPACE that's aim is to bring us closer together in a more meaningful, educational and healing manner.

3. Some people call you the pirate of the Coppola family? Are you one? How would you describe yourself? What are you greatest passion in life beside movies? What is the good and the bad of being part of the Coppola dynasty?

I look like one. And, yes, I am a bit of "pirate" around the edges. I don't conform too easily. And I am willing to fight for what I believe in, except I am a pirate searching for a different kind of treasure. Something more internal, than external. Movies are not a passion at all for me, the CREATIVE PROCESS is. Whether it's a flute concerto, a film, a poem, a piece of furniture, it's the process of making each of those that consumes me more than the product. That's good and bad. I'm still trying to find the balance. I would say building the "PAH NATION" and helping others tap into the CREATIVE PROCESS is my greatest passion well as a good cigar after a great meal. Isn't there good and bad in every family? I'm proud of all the artists in the Coppola family, but I am equally as proud of all the "everyday" people I help tap into the CREATIVE PROCESS. I guess that is what is really good about being part of the Coppola Dynasty...people are partly drawn to me because of it and then I am able to do some good because of it.

4. What are the most precious advices that you've received from Francis Ford Coppola, in terms of movies lessons and in terms of life lessons? Does Francis ever comment the work you've done?

MOVIE LESSONS--make organic connections between your actors during the rehearsal process, have them play games together, cook a meal together. It's the silent dialogue between them that is often more important than the script dialogue. LIFE LESSONS...never give up, persevere, and fight for your art...and when you find a good woman, stick by her no matter what.

5. How often do you have family picnics and get togethers? What are the most often topics during those reunions? Do you ever look up to Francis Ford Coppola? In what way?

Actually, not very often. Ever since my grandfather Carmine Coppola passed away, it has gotten seldom indeed. If there's a wedding or baptism, then perhaps we all get together. We usually talk about food, wine, art and politics. Only Francis and D.W. Griffith made what can be called an "art film" and a "blockbuster." "The Godfather" and "Birth of a Nation"...I look up to him for this as well as the fact that he is a good family man.

6. What do you think how is the digital revolution influencing today's Hollywood? What's the bad and what is the good stuff about digital revolution for filmmakers?

THE DIGITAL ARENA is empowering more people everyday to hone their skills, find their voices, share their stories...that is also good for Hollywood, because there is more fresh, original talent to choose from. Hollywood needs that desperately. The DIGITAL ARENA allows directors to hone their craft the way John Ford honed his craft...Ford made over 200, it takes sometimes 10 years to get one film off the ground, and you either sink or swim via how well it, of course, you might not stay true to your voice, because you want a chance to direct another movie. Going Digital is faster, cheaper and immediate. And, if you are willing, you can even market yourself and do your own alternative distribution via the internet and other digital platforms. There is no need to compromise your artistic voice because so much is on the line.

7. How often and do you still hang out with Nic? Do you ever get crazy together? What's the stupidiest thing you've done recently together? If not recently than a childhood memory? What is the passion that you share together? Bikes, girls? How does you night out look like?

My brother and I actually don't spend much time together. We have different reasons for doing what we do. He's a great actor and a very successful movie star with a lot of material wealth in his life. That is what he wanted and he succeeded. I am driven by something else. I'm not even sure what that is yet, but I know when I see someone blossom like Doug Aarne coming out of his basement I feel like the richest man on the planet. I will tell you this...we both like a good pizza, a good cigar and a nice bottle of single malt scotch. We also like "The Monkees".

8. What would it take to get Nicolas to star in one of your movies? Would it be the money, script?

His first films were my Super 8 films as kids. Then, he was in my feature "Deadfall" in 1993. We have very different creative paths now.

9. What's your opinion on today's Hollywood, too exclusive or not? What does it take today to make big in Hollywood today? Do you have an interest of making it big in Hollywood, same as you relatives?

Hollywood is a mess. It needs an overhaul, and it is coming. As for making it big? I applaud the teacher that creates an environment where "sparks" ignite the pupil's minds. That's making it big to me.

10. What do you think of Roger Corman approach toward making movies? Have you ever been inspired from him, is PAH taking a similar path?

I respect Roger Corman for being himself and giving others an opportunity while making a buck. He was the first to bring Fellini, Bergman and Kurosawa to America as well. Yes, I sort of see myself as a kind DIGITAL ROGER CORMAN for the future. My PAH FLICKS concept is to make ultra-low budget digital genre flicks where students work with professionals and learn by doing.

11. What can you tell us about PAH's forthcoming first official release BIG BAD VOODOO MOMMA? What can we expect from it? Where we will be able to see it? How would you describe the genre of the film, and what made you jump into this project?

BIG BAD VOODOO MOMMA is my women's wrestling version of Puccini's Turandot. It is our first PAH FLICK concept. We do not have a start date yet. But, I am working on it.

12. What could you tell us about your forthcoming reality project The Biker Chef? What attracted you toward this project reality show? It reminds a bit of a reality version of the recent Hollywood hit comedy Wild Hogs? What do you think the show will reflect, what kind of America?

"Wild Hogs" and "BikerCHEF" are two entirely different animals. I'm curious, what did you see in BikerCHEF that reminded you of "Wild Hogs?" BikerCHEF is more like PAH...I travel like Marco Polo to various places to celebrate the people and their cultures. I invite all the people I meet on the journey to my table. I make a meal that blends these different cultures together. We are very close to launching a 26 episode series for a brand new HD network.

13. What's your take on the mass invasion of reality shows? Could you tell us a bit more about the production itself of Biker chef (how many people in the crew, locations, who is directing the show,). Where we will be able to see this show? How long will take you to produce it?

People are fascinated by people. They like to see people get humiliated by people...that's the bad. They also like to see people rising to the occasion and achieve something...that's the good. For me Reality Shows are just another extension of "Opera Buffa" and the "Circus". I am fine with both of these old form creative mediums.

14. In the trailer for that show you describe yourself as a social alchemist? How would you describe social alchemist and what does it mean to you?

I have room for everybody at my table. Saints, sinners, rich, poor, old, doesn't matter. I delve deep to find all the different ingredients in the HUMAN SPIRIT...then mix it up to find some kind of universal harmony, then I celebrate that harmony with a symbolic meal.

15. Are you an easy rider? How does the feel to rediscover America as a Biker chef ?

No, I am not an easy rider. I am more of a man on a mission, but instead of a horse it is motorcycle. I am also a little bit of a Don Quixote.

16. What are yours best and worst qualities as a director?

I am a leader--I know what I want, I am good at expressing what I want and I finish things no matter what. That's the good. The bad...sometimes I get more wrapped up in the process of directing and lose site of the thing that is being directed. That's the Don Quixote kicking in again. I am working on that. Trying to balance the idealism with the realism, that's the ticket.

17. You described yourself also as a digital media entrepreneur? What does that occupation consists of?

I am creating a humanitarian digital brand and promoting it in different digital venues. I am working on creating an alternative digital distribution model. I also have a very successful, cutting edge all digital Post Facility that helps the little guy as well as the big guy.

18. What was the initial response on your company's project American portraits?

I brought Art to WalMart. Some thought is was brilliant, others were angry that I would having dealings with a company like WalMart. I'm not into labels. When I was in art school, they said I was too "Hollywood", when I was in Hollywood they said I was too "arty". I believe art is as important as toothpaste. Without it, the Human Spirit decays. By bringing art to WalMart 160 million shoppers were exposed to the creative process. That's a helluva lot more than an exclusive gallery manages to get through to.

19. What do you expect from your visit in Isola? Have you seen any Slovenian films yet?

I expect to find a powerful energy of a country that is newly independent. I expect to find great people with great stories--but I always do. I've seen Jan Cvitkovic's "Odgrobadogroba" and I liked it very much. It reminded me of a kind of Slovenian

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