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Roman Coppola

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 22, 1965 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Paris, FR Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Hailing from one of the most prominent movie-making families in Hollywood, Roman Coppola - second son of Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola - naturally entered the family business, but managed to carve his own path despite keeping his historic name. After growing up on the film sets of "The Godfather" (1972), "The Godfather Part II" (1974) and "Apocalypse Now" (1979), Coppola worked on the crews for his father's films "The Outsiders" (1983) and "Rumble Fish" (1983), before striking out on his own as a producer and music video director. While he earned a solid reputation for his experimental music video style, particularly on Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" (1999), he often worked behind the scenes as a second unit director for his father, sister Sofia Coppola, and friend Wes Anderson. Coppola performed second unit directing duties on "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992), "John Grisham's The Rainmaker" (1997), and Sofia's film debut "The Virgin Suicides" (1999), before making his own directing bow with the hip sci-fi feature "CQ" (2001). But Coppola stepped back from directing his own films to continue working for family on "Lost in Translation" (2003) and "Youth Without Youth" (2007), while creatively...

Hailing from one of the most prominent movie-making families in Hollywood, Roman Coppola - second son of Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola - naturally entered the family business, but managed to carve his own path despite keeping his historic name. After growing up on the film sets of "The Godfather" (1972), "The Godfather Part II" (1974) and "Apocalypse Now" (1979), Coppola worked on the crews for his father's films "The Outsiders" (1983) and "Rumble Fish" (1983), before striking out on his own as a producer and music video director. While he earned a solid reputation for his experimental music video style, particularly on Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" (1999), he often worked behind the scenes as a second unit director for his father, sister Sofia Coppola, and friend Wes Anderson. Coppola performed second unit directing duties on "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992), "John Grisham's The Rainmaker" (1997), and Sofia's film debut "The Virgin Suicides" (1999), before making his own directing bow with the hip sci-fi feature "CQ" (2001). But Coppola stepped back from directing his own films to continue working for family on "Lost in Translation" (2003) and "Youth Without Youth" (2007), while creatively collaborating with Wes Anderson on "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" (2004), "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007) and "Moonrise Kingdom" (2012). While another directing effort was certainly always on the horizon, Coppola remained satisfied contributing on second unit as well as producing and co-writing widely acclaimed films with family and friends.

Coppola was born on April 22, 1965 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, a suburb of Paris, where his father, Oscar-winning writer-director Francis Ford Coppola, was writing the script for René Clément's political-themed "Is Paris Burning?" (1966). He of course grew up surrounded by filmmaking, with even his mother, Eleanor, routinely making behind-the-scenes documentaries of the family's personal and financial struggles during many of Francis' films. Meanwhile, Coppola made his acting debut alongside older brother Gian-Carlo as one of Robert Duvall's two sons in "The Godfather" (1972). Two years later, the eight-year-old appeared as the curly-haired Sonny Corleone (James Caan) in the flashback sequences of "The Godfather Part II" (1974). Deciding right off the bat that acting was not for him, Coppola instead set out to learn directing and began working on his father's productions when he was a teenager, usually performing menial crew tasks on movies like "The Outsiders" (1983) and "Rumble Fish" (1983). The happiness of his tightknit family was shattered in 1986 when his Gian-Carlo was killed in a boating accident in Maryland, after Ryan O'Neal's son, Griffin, recklessly drove between two parked boats without noticing the towline between them. Dunne ducked but Gian-Carlo was struck and killed instantly. When he was 18, Coppola set off for film school at New York University, graduating in 1987, and moved on to earn his first credits outside his father's movies, serving as a producer of the horror thriller "Clownhouse" (1988) and the satirical comedy "The Spirit of '76" (1990).

Coppola periodically returned to his father's side, and next served as the second unit director and in-camera visual effects supervisor on "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992), for which his team received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Special Effects. From there, he segued into directing music videos for artists like Moby, Daft Punk and Green Day, and later formed the music video and commercial production company, The Director's Bureau, with fellow director Mike Mills in 1996. Coppola took an experimental approach to his videos by using cutting edge technology and progressive narratives that used abstract and often bizarre imagery, making him one of the more sought-after music video directors around. Meanwhile, he branched out into commercials for such big name clients as Adidas, Coca-Cola and Levis, while serving as a second unit director on a pair of his father's films, "Jack" (1996) and "John Grisham's The Rainmaker" (1997). He later helped out younger sister Sofia in the same capacity on her well-received directorial debut, "The Virgin Suicides" (1999).

Back on the music video front, Coppola won three MTV Music Video Awards that same year for his collaboration with choreographer Richard Koufey on Fatboy Slim's hit single, "Praise You" (1999). After almost 20 years of formal and informal education, Coppola felt ready to take the plunge and direct his own feature, resulting in the experimental sci-fi feature "CQ" (2001), which he described as a hip, engaging take on "Barbarella" set in 1969 Paris. Inserting a nod to his own creative dilemma, the story centered around Paul (Jeremy Davies), a struggling American filmmaker trying to make a personal and important film who is sidetracked by his assignment to direct a bumbling sci-fi movie about a sexy secret agent (Angela Lindvall). "CQ" garnered him a reputation as a promising directing talent, but instead of looking for his next film, Coppola directed second unit for Sofia on her Oscar-nominated dramedy "Lost in Translation" (2003) and teamed up with quirky director Wes Anderson on the second unit of "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" (2004).

Teaming up with Anderson once again, Coppola co-wrote, produced and served as the second unit director on "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007), a rather underwhelming dramedy about three estranged brothers who take a spiritual trek through India following the death of their father. The film starred Anderson alum Owen Wilson, Oscar winner Adrien Brody and Coppola cousin, Jason Schwartzman, son of Francis' sister, Talia Shire. After directing second unit for his father's little-seen romantic thriller "Youth without Youth" (2007), Coppola was the voice of Squirrel Contractor in Anderson's animated "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" (2009), before producing Sofia's well-received drama "Somewhere" (2010), which focused on a debauched film star (Stephen Dorff) reconnecting with his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning). He went on to serve as a producer on the long-awaited adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" (2012), which Francis first started to develop as far back as 1979. Meanwhile, he reteamed with Wes Anderson to co-write and produce the winning childhood drama, "Moonrise Kingdom" (2012), which earned them both an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

By Shawn Dwyer

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Lost in Translation (2003) Addl Japanese unit
3.
  CQ (2001) Director
4.
  John Grisham's The Rainmaker (1997) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)
5.
  Jack (1996) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)
6.
  Sonic Cinema (2001) Segment Director ("Playground Lover") ("From Your Mouth")

CAST: (feature film)

2.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1974:
Played small uncredited role as Young Sonny in his father's epic sequel "The Godfather Part II"
1983:
Helped with sound in his father's "The Outsiders" and received associate producer credit on his father's "Rumble Fish"
1987:
Graduated from NYU Film School (date approximate)
1990:
Produced "The Spirit of '76"; also received story credit
1992:
Worked as second unit director for father's film "Bram Stoker's Dracula"; was in charge of special effects; his team was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Special Effects
:
Began directing music videos; directed for artists including Moby, Daft Punk and Green Day, among others
1996:
Established commercial and music video production company called The Director's Bureau with friend and fellow director Mike Mills
1999:
Won three MTV Music Video Awards for collaboration with choreographer Richard Koufey for Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" video
1999:
Worked as second unit director for sister Sofia Coppola's directorial debut "The Virgin Suicides"
2001:
Made feature directorial debut with "CQ," which premiered at Cannes; also wrote screenplay
2001:
Directed all music videos for songs off The Strokes' album <i>Is This It"</i>
2003:
Assisted sister Sofia Coppola in her film "Lost in Translation"
2006:
Re-teamed with Sofia as second unit director in "Marie Antoinette"
2007:
Co-wrote and produced "The Darjeeling Limited" with director Wes Anderson
2010:
Produced sister's film "Somewhere"
2012:
Co-wrote romantic adventure "Moonrise Kingdom" with Wes Anderson; film starred Bill Murray, Edward Norton, and Frances McDormand
2012:
Wrote and directed "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III," starring Charlie Sheen
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New York University: New York , New York - 1983 - 1987

Notes

For the British group Mansun's video, Coppola took the 25,000 pounds given to him for a budget and threw it into a Liverpool train station at rush hour. He filmed the ensuing madness and that became the entire video.

"Being a Coppola obviously does expose me to a lot of opportunities. If I send a script to someone, they're moreinclined to read it. By contrast, I think in the case of my new movie ["CQ"], there's a little more skepticism and people tend to look a tit with a harsher eye. They're curious to see if I have the chops." --Coppola to Movieline, July 2002

"When my dad worked on his different projects, we'd all travel with him, so our family has been very close. And I'm particularly close to my sister Sofia. I helped her a little bit on her movie "The Virgin Suicides" (2000), and when I was making CQ, she came out and made a behind-the-scenes documentary. And she has a little cameo in the film."-Coppola

Family close complete family listing

father:
Francis Ford Coppola. Director. Born 1939; legendary director of "Godfather" films; financed Roman Coppola's debut film "CQ".
father:
Francis Ford Coppola. Had three.
mother:
Eleanor Coppola. Symphony violinist.
mother:
Eleanor Coppola. Set decorator; artist. Born in 1936; co-directed documentary "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse".
brother:
Gian-Carlo Coppola. Had four; survived him.
brother:
Gian-Carlo Coppola. Born on September 17, 1963; killed in boating accident in May 1986.
cousin:
Jason Schwartzman. Actor, musician. Son of Talia Shire and late producer Jack Schwartzman; born on June 26, 1980; star of comedy hit "Rushmore" (1998).
cousin:
Jason Schwartzman. Survived him.
cousin:
Nicolas Cage. Actor. Son of August Coppola; born on January 7, 1964; won Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas".
cousin:
Nicolas Cage. Had fourteen; survived him.
cousin:
Christopher Coppola. Director, screenwriter. Son of August Coppola; born on January 25, 1962.
cousin:
Christopher Coppola. Orchestra conductor.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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