I was on Facebook tonight and a friend of mine posted a link to an article that seemed to have hit a nerve for him. The article was about something Francis Ford Coppola had said when speaking with some film students about the state of art (specifically film) and how artist should find some other way of making money other than their work. I read what he posted and felt that there was something off about the article. It was too short and his argument seemed incomplete and very much lacking.
Of course the portion my friend had posted was met by cyber space with people ignorantly agreeing with his perceived views and other who chastised him for the same. I did some digging and found the same or smaller portions of the post being reposted with similar comments by internet users. Easily I found a more comprehensive account of the event in question (there was a link in the title of the original post). Needless to say if you read what came before the comments that sparked such an uproar you would read about his frustration with the film world and how those who control the money are not interested in taking risk but more so what will yield a higher return. In his opinion risk is necessary for good art to happen. If those who fund artist are not willing to risk than artist simply need to find new means.
He of course has this luxury having a very lucrative wine business that funds the work he does now and having had success in his thirties has given him the credibility that up and coming film makers will not necessarily have. I understand how artist could be upset by his comments for this reason. It’s easy to make such claims when you are on the other end of the struggle and have already created for yourself a flow of equity to fund your passion. When you have bills, hunger, and a passion that needs to also be fed, but no cash flow it becomes easier to “sell out” or sell yourself short. On the other hand I agree with him that we need to find a way to pay for life and art while we are trying to find our voice and our cash cow. What I believe is that whatever we do we should never settle. Working a job that kills our spirits may provide monetary survival but does nothing for our creative growth. Find something that provides both creative stimulation and financial stimulation.
I’m curious to hear other people’s thoughts.