The 41st Telluride Film Festival – Summary of Day One

My daughter and I attended the 41st Telluride Film Festival (8/29-9/01) and over the next several days I will post a summary of the films we saw and the interesting people we saw or met each day.


The 41st Telluride Film Festival – Summary of Day 1(8/29/14)


apocalypse-nowWe started our Festival by going to the tribute to Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979).   Coppola himself said that “My film is not about Vietnam-it is Vietnam”. 35 years after its release this film can still thrill and horrify me.

The highlight of this event was the Q & A after the film. On stage were co-writer (with Coppola) John Milius, editor sound-designer Walter Murch, Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, producer Fred Roos, and Francis Ford Coppola himself.

 Storaro, Coppola, Milius, Murch, Roos
Storaro, Coppola, Milius, Murch, Roos, moderator Fondas

Here are some of the insights they shared:

–          This was originally a George Lucas project. Lucas had commissioned the first draft of the screenplay from Milius and expected to film it in Northern California.  But by the time Apocalypse was ready to go Lucas was already working on Star Wars. So, the film was offered to Coppola.

–          The promotional junket in Asia for Godfather II was also used secretly by Coppola and producer Roos for location scouting.

–          The US Military did not provide any support or resources for the film. However, the Philippines Military did provide a great deal (if sometimes erratic) support.

–          Cinematographer Storaro noted that all of the interplay of light and shadow, dull with bright colors was all done very deliberately.

–          The film to final edit ratio for this film was about 100 to 1. This is about 3 times the usual.

–          The iconic opening of the film, with the helicopters, moving into and out of frame at odd points, the napalm explosion (the biggest in film up to that time) and Jim Morrison singing “The End”, was not the intended opening sequence. The eventual opening was the result of Coppola and editors goofing around at the end of a day with scrap ends of film right out of the trash bin.


Additional interesting people seen/met:

Ben Mankiewicz

–          Ben Mankiewicz – Critic, Journalist, Actor and Producer

–          Gene – A Foreign Service Officer stationed in Legos Nigeria, using one of his allotted home visits to attend TFF

–          Michael Martelon – The Pres and CEO of the Telluride Tourist Board

–          Dianella & Kyle Mykitta – Along with brothers Alan and David, the Mykitta’s own Mykitta Bros Productions in Huntington Beach CA. They primarily create commercials, music videos, short film, trailers, credits and animated motion graphics. Remember Kyle, you promised to let me get a sneak peak at you first independent project!

–          Paul Guilfoyle – Actor (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, L.A Confidential, Beverly Hills Cop, just to name a few)

Paul Guilfoyle & RMC
Paul Guilfoyle & RMC