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Sal and Francis Ford Coppola fireside chat

Sal interviews legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.

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  • leaf green style avatar for user benjaminchang
    Do filmmakers make the shots on camera, or edit them, or both?
    (3 votes)
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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user murshidrashid
    I love his filmography.
    (2 votes)
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Video transcript

(audience laughing) - All right. So very exciting. We're here at Khan Academy with the team and we have some students from Khan Lab School as well with the, I'd say legendary Francis Ford Coppola, most known for filmmaking. Obviously The Godfather movies, Apocalypse Now, Patton. I think by the time you were in-- - The Outsiders. - The Outsiders, yes. You have more Academy Awards than most of us, (audience laughs) but not just, I mean, I think the one thing that we're all gonna learn today is as much as Francis is a legend and knows so much and is so steeped in film that his interests go well beyond film. Obviously wine now and other things. Maybe a good place to start since you are known so much as a legendary filmmaker is how did you get into that? What was your arc from maybe being the age of some of these students at Khan Lab School, you know, in your middle school to eventually becoming a filmmaker? - Well, for some reason my father, who was a classical musician, moved every eight months it seemed and we were always in a new house, in a new neighborhood, and I was always the new kid at school and my name was Francis, so they was, "Oh, that's a girl's name." So I got all of the typical hazing when you're the new kid, but I was very good at science. I was very interested in science and electricity and I used to love to read the lives of the inventors and I felt I knew all about that, so much to this extent that when my father asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, "A nuclear physicist." And he said to me, "Francis, you can't flunk algebra "three times in a row and be a nuclear physicist." And I said, "Why not?" But nonetheless, I was discouraged that I could ever be a scientist, which is what I wanted to be, because I was not good at math. So whenever I went to a new school-- - But you were very strong at geometry. - I was very, I won the geometry medal. - [Interviewer] Yes, so it's that. - I was really good at geometry, but geometry you can see and you can see the whole all the time. Sometimes it's not clear, but you see it all and I was good at that. So whenever I went to a new school, I would always head to the theater department because they always needed people who were good with electricity and technology and also that's where the girls were. (audience laughs) And I wanted to meet them. (audience laughs) So I figured if I was around the theater department working, I would get to meet the girls. I could've also gone to the football team where they had girls, but I didn't qualify for that. (audience laughs) An interesting note to understand me is that when I was nine years old, I was paralyzed with polio, which was a big epidemic in 1949 and it struck kids, many many many children were paralyzed until only a few years later I think, 1951, '52, they developed a vaccine and the Sabin vaccine, but my generation, polio was the scary children's disease and I got it and I missed the sixth grade because I couldn't walk, but through the wonderful hospices of the March of Dimes, it was a charity called the March of Dimes. Everyone donated dimes to it and they sent a therapist who slowly brought me back to the ability to walk about a year and a half later. - Wow, and so how did you go from that state you're talking about where you were a little bit involved with drama and theater to actually deciding that you wanted to be a filmmaker and actually making films? - Well, I had an older brother, five years older, who was a very good student and very handsome and very accomplished and wonderful to me by the way and I just wanted to be like him. In fact, he was already interested in writing stories and his name was August Floyd Coppola and I just thought that was so cool that I made my own name, Francis Ford Coppola, just to imitate him. (audience chuckles) - [Interviewer] Ford, it was not part of your name? - Ford is my middle name, but I used it because my brother had, but I was born in Detroit and my middle name was after Henry Ford 'cause my father, who was a classical musician played for the Detroit Symphony. In those days, they were the big orchestras who were on the radio, that was The Ford Hour. - And so as your brother, so how did that tie in too? - Well, I just wanted to be like him if I could. You know, when you're five years apart, there's no contest of you competing. He can beat you up, he's smarter than you. (audience chuckles) But he was so kind to me and encouraged me that I thought that if he had, he was so good at school that the family foot, he was gonna be the first doctor in our Italian American family. So I thought I would be an eye doctor so I could work with lenses and prisms 'cause I always loved prisms and what light can do in a lab. So later in college, he flipped and became a philosophy major and told my father he was gonna be a novelist, so then I said, "Well, I'll be a playwright then." (audience laughs) So when I went, was ready in high school to consider college, I thought I would try to become a drama major and eventually, I entered school as a playwrighting major, but I of course worked in the technical part of the theater, doing the lighting and stuff. One day when I was up on a ladder hanging a light, I saw the teacher, who was always the director, the shows were always directed by faculty members, and I saw the teacher telling the kids, the actors, oh, you go here, I thought I could do that. So in college, I started to direct plays and ultimately I was going to try to be a writer and director in the theater and in the theater in our country, the great theater graduate school, there are actually several great ones, but one of the great ones is the Yale Drama School, which is a graduate school. So I was gonna be, go right to the Yale Drama School and one afternoon, I was in around the plaza of the college. I pretty much just hung around the drama department. That was my life. I noticed a little theater that said today, 4:00 screening of Sergei Eisenstein's film Ten Days That Shook the World. I'd never heard of Sergei Eisenstein and it was a silent film, but I had nothing to do and I went in and there were about maybe six other people in the theater. No one was that interested and it was truly silent and it lasted almost four hours and I had never seen a film like that in my life, that the editing itself made up for the fact that there was no sound. When they shot machine guns, you could hear them just by the way it was edited because this Eisenstein, who was a film director in the '20s, invented and came up with new ways of cutting film together, which is spoken of in his era as montage. The curious thing that you could take a shot and cut it next to another shot and it means something different than either of the shots is a kind of magic alchemy and I was just so impressed with that that I said, "I'm not going to the Yale Drama School. "I wanna go to the UCLA Film School." I changed my whole life and went on to be a film student in America at a time when no film student had ever gotten to make a feature film. - So that raises the question. What was it about either the mindset that you took to it or how you developed yourself or even just fortune that put you in the right place that allowed you to do that which you just described? A lot of students weren't able to make a feature film. - Well, in college in the drama department, I became very Machiavellian. Do any of you know what that word means? You all know that Machiavelli was a minister. He was actually on the outs with the prince in Florence and his name was Niccolo Machiavelli. So he wrote a little book about, a handbook for princes and how to double cross people and how to do all those, what we now call Machiavellian things. There was more to him than that, but he's famous for that little book. That little book you can read in about two hours. It's called The Prince and it's all the rules of doing all those political things. I became very Machiavellian in college (audience laughs) because I wondered why only the faculty members got to direct all the plays and no students. So I did a little research and I learned that the plays were paid for by the fees the students paid upfront for so-called co-curricular activities or extracurricular. In other words, the yearbook or the newspaper or the drama department, those were all considered clubs and they were funded by student fees. There were two clubs when I went to college at Hofstra College, which is where the debate that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump had two debates ago, was Hofstra College. That theater that they were in, I know backwards. (Francis and audience laugh) So what I did is I became the president of both the musical comedy club and the drama club, which were very different kinds of kids, but I became president of both and I merged them together and then having merged them together, I made a rule that you couldn't be in a show, to act in a musical or a play, unless you had not missed the club meetings or at least you couldn't have missed three in a row because no one ever went to the club meetings. (audience laughs) Then but I did a good thing with it. We had the meetings, but I also invited everyone who wanted to to do a little experimental workshop or a little one act play, so the meetings were good, but during the meeting, I had a vote and passed the rule that faculty members could not direct shows that were funded by student money. (audience laughs) So suddenly all these drama teachers who had come there so they could direct the big show couldn't direct it. So I was the only student who wanted to direct. (audience laughs) - Did you actually run for president of two separate clubs and enact those rules with that in mind, that I will get enough support by forcing people to go to these meetings and two clubs to allow myself to direct the shows? - Well, it's a funny thing about power. (audience laughs) You don't necessarily know that you're amassing it, but you sort of do. (audience laughs) But I was going in that direction and it worked very well for me because I got to do, not only could I direct a production, but I used the strength of having the finance, which was coming from the club, we did ambitious shows. We did original musicals. We did a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. We did all these wonderful things and many of the things were wonderful that brought life to the drama department because of it. - How did you, so in college, you get this great experience. You're directing it sounds like big productions. How did that translate when you first did your first movies? You did the screenplay for Patton. And you were quite young. - Well, I went to the UCLA. In those days, there were two or three big film schools. There was UCLA and USC and in New York, there was NYU. To make it more clear for you, Marty Scorsese went to NYU. George Lucas went to USC and I went to UCLA. (audience chuckles) No one from any film school had ever made a feature movie, ever. So I sort of went to UCLA with a big advantage 'cause I had been a theater student and a theater student, one of the fundamental things a theater student has to learn is about writing and acting. Well, writing and acting are the magical ingredients of any theater or cinema or performance. You could see a movie and it could have beautiful photography and it can have great art direction, but if it has terrible acting and a dumb script, it's not gonna be successful. Yet, a film that has a wonderful script and wonderful acting that has terrible photography and terrible art direction and everything else can be a hit. So I always say that acting and writing is the water, is the oxygen and hydrogen that make water, that if you focus on the writing and the acting, of course you want the music and the photography, everything to be beautiful, but those are really where the magic I think happens. So having come from theater, I knew a lot more about acting than any of the cinema students, who were much more into the camera. The great film director Orson Welles once said that you can learn everything about how to make movies in a weekend, meaning the camera, the editing and more or less, of course that's a little overdoing it. He, when he made his first film, had a great photographer, but nonetheless, it's somewhat true. The camera and stuff is not the hard part. The hard part is the writing and the acting. So having focused on that in theater, I had an advantage when I went into the film school because there were philosophy students. Terrence Malick was a philosophy student. They were crazy to get their hands on cameras and I had already worked with actors and also there's a sort of prejudice against actors. I don't know if you know what I'm saying, but there's a sort of jock mentality about actors among the film crews. They think oh my god, they're such a, you know, what do they do after? Well, what an actor does is really hard because if you play a violin, not only do you have to be able to play the violin, you've got the violin between you and audience. The actor has to sort of do what a violinist does, except his instrument is himself or herself. So it's really terrifying to be an actor and at the same time fight the self-consciousness that anyone would have. So I always approached movies and theater with tremendous respect for the actors. The actors, actresses today like to be known as actors because it comes from the verb, to act. It's the one who acts. Not that you act a role, which it indirectly means, but it's the actor means the principle person making movement within the story. It could be a man or a woman, could be an actor. Actress is sort of like professoressa, you know? Lady professor, it's diminutive. So at any rate, I had this advantage of having been a drama student and also having been enough Machiavellian that I could conspire, which is what you have to do to get a movie off the ground, certainly in those days, to try to conspire to put together a movie, which I did and I got to make. Because I was the first student to really make a feature film, some other students from USA heard about this weird guy, notably George Lucas, who was about four years, five years younger than me. Four years younger than me. So he kind of came around, this skinny kid with a beard when I was directing a picture at Warner Brothers and this kid is watching me. Everyone on the show is old and wore suits. He was this skinny kid with a beard and I looked at him looking at me and I said, "Well, what do you see?" And he said, "Not much." (audience laughs) With that, we became friends immediately. (audience laughs) We started hanging out together and ultimately he became sort of an assistant. He wouldn't say that now, (audience laughs) but because he was younger and I've known George Lucas throughout all of his career. Produced his first movies like THX 1138 and American Graffiti before he went off on his own to do the astonishing work that he did and he's remained my friend. He's one of the few directors who still lives more or less in Northern California. I think Solomon knows him. (Interviewer laughs) (audience laughs) Did I answer your question? (audience laughs) - No, absolutely, but just following up on George as something you just told me, which I found fascinating, but the more I hear your story, I'm connecting dots. You aren't just known for writing and directing these great films. There's also a famous character in popular fiction that is based off of you. - Yep. That's Han Solo (audience gasps and laughs) because George felt that I was, that I just took crazy reckless chances and would jump off a mountain without knowing what was down there to land on and that I would end up with no money, so he created, you can look it up. Say Francis Coppola Han Solo (audience laughs) and you'll, you'll find that. So I'm sort of a dashing failure. (audience laughs) - How do you, do you agree with that? Do you see yourself in Han Solo? - Well, I know what, you know, George is what I used to call, I always call an old stick in the mud 'cause George is very conservative, although his imagination is wild, but in his personal life, he's pretty conservative and I'm the opposite. I'm much more, I'm not afraid of taking chances and taking risks because so far what we know, you get this one life and the worst thing that could possibly happen when you're this old, old, old man or old woman to, say, be there, getting ready to die, saying, "Oh, I wish I had done this. "I wish I had done that." That's, you don't wanna do that. In my case, I'm gonna say, "Oh, I got to make movies "and I got to see my kids make movies "and I got to make wine "and I got to do experimental workshops." I'm gonna be so busy talking about all the things I got to do, (audience chuckles) that when I die, I'm not gonna notice it. (audience laughs) (audience applauds) And that's my recommendation. (Interviewer laughs) - So, and I think that connects to another thing that, and it's pretty obvious when people hear you, but above and beyond this, I mean, learning itself and I think this is a connection between yourself and what we try to do here at Khan Academy. At its core, learning is a bit of a passion of yours, in and of itself. - Well, it totally makes sense. I mean, in life there are many wonderful things you can do. There are many pleasurable things. Many of them unfortunately have a bad side. Drinking wine and alcohol in moderation can be a wonderful thing, but too much will make you sick or anything you do that brings pleasure. If you think girls are great and you're running after girls, then your wife is gonna, (audience chuckles) I've been married 53 years, so I know the value of having one wife for a lifetime. So you can't do that. So if you eat too much, you'll just get disgustingly fat, which I have a problem with. (audience chuckles) But in life, learning is as much a pleasure as any of those things and there's no bad part. There's no, it doesn't bite you back. You can't learn too much and overload. Oh, I've over learned this month, I just don't feel well. (audience and Interviewer laugh) The only thing I know like learning like that is music, in that I don't know any way, unless maybe if you're listening to eardrum-breaking rock and roll where it could be bad, but music is generally good for you and we can talk about that because there's a philosophy that believes that music is the only way that we can really understand what's really out there, beyond our senses. Any rate, so learning, I always thought when I was a little kid, if they said to me, "You know, Francis, "you're about to learn about this and about that "and you're gonna learn about algebra "and algebra comes from the Arabs. "It was called al jabr "and they probably learned it from the Greeks "and it's really an exciting way to solve." No one ever told me at the beginning of my education what a lot of joyous fun it was. It always had me scared that I was gonna get that visit from Miss Henchman to my father and then I would get a, you know. In those days, there was you got hit if you got bad report cards, which I did, but no one ever told me the exciting side of learning and not only that, I used to, oh, how much school am I gonna? You're never out of school. I'm 77 and I learn so much. Every night I'm learning. Now I'm learning about genetics, which is really fascinating, about the human genome and the chromosomes and the genes and it's amazing to know that the scientists didn't even understand it really until the '80s. I mean, that's recent. Some of you were probably, well, not you guys, but some of you were born (audience laughs) in the '80s and imagine, they didn't even understand how the gene worked (coughs) and they don't entirely now. Well, that's what I'm learning about now. It's thrilling, it's so exciting. Or to learn about history and understand really, we all know that the world is troubled and that a lot of it focuses on the Middle East and Islam, but no one knows that really you have to go back almost to the first World War to understand the bad feelings that were engendered at that time and also that Islam is not, Islam was the zenith of intellectual study and science in the 13th century, in terms of, well, it's interesting 'cause in Islam, you have to pray five times a day and you have to point when you pray towards Mecca. So it was to their advantage to really understand time so they knew they would pray at the right time each day. So they studied the heavens to be masters of time and the reason that Islamic science knew so much about the heavens and time was for that reason. It's because they, and they wanted to point in the right direction, so they brought so much to us in these areas of astronomy and navigation. Of course Islam, those states were close to Ancient Greece, so they preserved a lot of the knowledge that had been in Greek and that's how we still have such things as algebra. - Yeah, and before we open it up for some questions from the audience, how did we get connected? What was your connection, how did you bump into Khan Academy? - Well, I ran across the name and that you had a course in algebra and I said, "Why was I so stupid "that I couldn't grasp algebra?" So I looked at the beginning algebra course and I said, "Gee, if I had had this, "I wouldn't have failed algebra "three times and I understand." No one ever explained it that there was, that this was a method for solving problems. I always used to say, "Why do I care what X means? "I wanna know what something that I know means." (audience laughs) But no one explained to me that it was essentially a procedure, an algorithm as you wish, to learn how to solve a problem. They didn't say that to me. They just said, "You're in bad trouble. "You're flunking algebra." Since I wasn't at the school from the beginning, I was a new kid, I just assumed I was stupid, which is what they told me. - Yep, so with that, let's open it up for some questions. - Hi, Mr. Coppola, I'm Karina. I'm on the props team, so you know we share that. Thank you so much for coming. This has been educational and hilarious (audience laughs) at the same time. Outside of human genetics, what learning do you feel like you still have to accomplish and what excites you now about film? - Well, what excites me about film, there are many fields that interest me. I mean, history, philosophy. Philosophy is the study of how to think. I mean, what's better than learning how to think because you have to realize when these early people occupied the Earth, they didn't, no one was there to teach them anything, so they had to decide for themselves and using the thought process of, well, there's earth, there's fire, there's water, there's air. Maybe these are the basic elements. They just were using their ability to think to uncover, so that's a wonderful field, but in terms of film, what's interesting to me about film is that in the last 15 years, film which used to be a photochemical, in other words, we used to have photographic film that you'd put in a mechanical device and would take a series of stills and then you had to send it to the lab and develop it. In the last 15 years, all of the elements of filmmaking have changed from photo, mechanical and mechanical to digital, electronic. So the editing machine really is a computer now in which you compress the images and put it in a computer and then you can cut them together as you wish. The camera has become so high in its quality that a digital camera is sufficient to take the picture, which only 35 millimeter film used to be able to take and the projector in the theaters you go to when you go to the movie theaters, they're not loading up cans of film. They're also digital and there's possible to connect to them through satellite. So in the last 15 years, everything about filmmaking or cinema has changed totally to a different technology and my feeling is that how could that happen without to some degree it changed the essence of what a movie is? Because now it's being made so totally differently that perhaps there are new horizons that wouldn't have been possible in the old days when it was really a piece of photographic film. New things that we can do that we couldn't do before and that's sort of personally what I'm, I'm experimenting with something I call live cinema. What is live cinema? Live cinema means it's, in my case, a story told like a movie, looks like a movie, except the actors are actually doing it live in that moment. Now we all know that they do live television, like some of you probably saw Peter Pan or The Sound of Music, but whenever you see a live show on television or a soap opera or something, it looks like television. It doesn't behave like a movie. Yet, when we see a movie on television, we know it's a movie. Even though it's coming on the same way, it looks like a movie. The way the story is told is different. The shots are telling the action in a different way, so what I'm interested in is learning how it to be cinema still, that it looks and behaves like a movie. You wouldn't know that it's even not a movie, except the actors are doing it live in that moment. Then to do that, I did two workshops recently, one at UCLA and one in Oklahoma Community College where the school invited me to work with their students and let me do my idea there, as an experimental workshop, what we call a proof of concept, to see if you could do it. I learned so much that I wrote a little book that I'm just finishing called Live Cinema and Its Techniques and it's my hope personally that I would get the opportunity before I do the final, oh, I got to do this, I got to do that, to get to do some live cinema as something I've written. I wanna remind you all that I used to be a drama counselor in a camp when I was 17, so I used to just, all summer, first week I'd do plays with the six-year-olds, then I'd do plays with the seven and eight-year-olds, then the nine and 10-year-olds, and then finally at the end of the summer, we'd bring the boys at 15 and the girls at 15 from the nearby girls camp and do a musical. Boy, was that an experience. (audience laughs) - Hi, Mr. Coppola, my name is Jia. I work on the sustainability team here at Khan Academy. It's such an honor to have you here. I'm a huge fan of your films. I also love the films of your daughter, Sofia Coppola. I wanted to ask what kind of advice did you give her when she was starting out her film career and also how did you balance your role both as her father and as co-producer of some of her own films? Thank you. - Well, Sofia was always a very precocious little kid. She was, even at age six and seven, she was. I remember I once took her when she was, I mean, five or four, we all had to make, on Godfather II, we had to go to Dominican Republic and we flew in this plane and we got off in Miami and it was really hot and humid and I said to her, "Sofia, how do you like Miami?" She said, "It's not my ami, it's your ami." (audience laughs) So I knew I was in for a ride with Sofia, but it's interesting, she came to me when she was around 21, 22 and she said, "Dad, I'm interested in fashion "and I'm interested in fashion photography." And she'd done some modeling and designing clothes. "And I'm interested in writing stories, "but I really want to be a painter and paint. "Am I just a dilettante?" I said to her, "You know, parents always make the mistake "of wanting their kids to focus in on something. "I'm telling you the opposite. "Don't focus. "Do everything you love because if you learn "about everything you love, one day, "what you're meant to do in your life "will just come together for you "and it will be something that "makes use of all the different things. "Someday you'll find what you wanna do "and it will involve stories "and it will involve fashion and all those things." And it turned out that a few years later, she made her short film at her high school and I could see that she had a lot of talent. So I do think that parents often because, you know, we in the past, there was a terrible depression, way before, in the '30s, but people were traumatized that their kids needed to study something they could make a living with and the best way to do that is just don't special, I think that people may disagree, but don't specialize too young because being interested in one thing might stop you from thinking you could be interested in another thing. Be interested in everything you can be. Everything you love, you should learn about because then one day, it will all come together and be useful for whatever it is you choose you wanna do with your life. That was the case with Sofia. - Hello, I'm Sam from KLS and I was wondering if you could travel back in time to middle school, would you do anything differently? - What's middle school, what grade is middle school? - [Sam] Sixth through eighth. - Well, sixth grade I was paralyzed in bed watching television. (audience laughs) Watching television day and night and that was before the remote control, so I was stuck. I couldn't walk to change it. (audience laughs) I was a prisoner of mid '50s television, but you know, (audience laughs) my school, I went to 22 schools before I went to college, so I was always, I felt like an outsider. I had no friends at all. You don't have time to make friends when you're there for six months and I always did badly, so I was always in trouble with my father. I wish that I had the sense to say, when he was coming at me, seeing my report card, with his belt folded in his hand, I wish I had said, "But you take me out of school every six months, "so how can I possibly get good marks?" So I was a sad lonely kid through middle school and wanted to have friends and kept moving to different places and when you move as far away as from New York to California, it's really different. In those days, L.A, Los Angeles was so different from New York. They didn't have baseball. They didn't have comic book stores. They didn't have White Castle hamburgers. (audience laughs) So I was just miserable at your age, I hate to say, but Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway, the writer, the famous American writer, said that if you wanna be a writer, you should have an unhappy childhood. So I had an unhappy childhood. (audience laughs) - Hi, I'm Angelie from Khan Lab School and I was just wondering what were some struggles that you had directing your first movie? - Well, my real first movie was a little horror film that I made in Ireland when I was about, I mean, a feature film, when I was about 21 and you know, I guess what struck me was I always have been a person with a lot of good ideas or good imagination and I would always see all these things, but when you make a film, you have to take what's in your mind and what is your imagination and you have to find practical ways to do it and it's not always as easy as you think, that it's kind of what they say in car terminology, when the rubber meets the road. In other words, the world of imagination and fantasy is wonderful because you have no limits. It's just as, you can just cook something up in your mind, but then to translate that into a form that other people can see and enjoy involves a lot of practical stuff, of scheduling and budget and the shot you had in mind, you can't really fit it in. It's not like you thought. So you have to learn as part of the creative process, to learn to be inventive and flexible, to try to, there's two roads. There's what you imagined and to what you can do and you have to be the one between those and use whatever cleverness you can to get there. So when I made my first film, I realized that the practical side was really very important or you wouldn't get the great ideas in the film. - So just to close out and I think all of us would love to sit here all day and continue to, or all the whole week, (audience chuckles) but just to finish off, there's some parallels between what we're doing and things that you're interested in and that you have experience in, especially as, you know, you just talked about film, going into a new era with the technology. Obviously, we're trying to do things along those lines in education, trying to reach a lot of folks. What advice in any form would you have to everyone here, both the students and the members of Khan Academy as we go off on our journey? - Well, all human beings and all animals really seem to be good at play, we like to play. It's a natural thing we do and we have to realize that work that we do later in life is really a development of that. So I try to keep the work I do as much like play as I can. I can make a quick demonstration, if you want a quick-- - Absolutely. - Could I have, where can I get about this group of kids in a circle? Where is there room to do that? - All right, y'all wanna get in a circle here? - Go over there where we can see you. - Okay. (audience chuckles) - This is an acting exercise. - All right, good. (audience chattering) - So in the center, no, no, not that many. Just the ones over there. (audience laughs) - Okay, how many you want? - Well, everyone sitting down here. Go make a circle over there. I would do it with everyone, but I don't see a space. Now make a circle, all hold your hands in a circle. (audience chuckles) Okay, good. Now make the circle as wide as you can. Come out to me right now. Is that about it? Little more. Okay. Now this is an acting exercise. Actors have to be very concentrated because they have to appear, when someone says something to them, they have to make it seem as though they're seeing it for the first time, like if you say something in a play, it's in the script, so you know you're gonna say it, but how do you do, so we play a game. When I work with actors, I try to make it as much fun as I can. This game is called Sound Ball and the way it's played, if I go like this, - [Interviewer] All right. - I have an imaginary ball, right? Boom boom boom. I'm gonna throw it to you. You catch it. Now, here's the, now throw it back to me. Okay. Now I'm gonna throw it to you, but I'm gonna make a sound when I throw it. You ready? Bop. Now when you catch it, you catch it with bop. - Bop. - [Francis] And then you throw it to me, you give it your own sound you want to. - [Girl In Orange] Boop. - Boop, okay. (audience chuckles) So when you catch it, you catch it with the sound the person threw it to you and this is to teach actors concentration 'cause they don't know when a line is gonna come to them, all right? So here we go. Can you do it? Throw the ball to him. Throw the ball to anyone you want. Make a sound. - Zap. - [Francis] Catch it with the sound. - Zap. - [Francis] And throw it with another sound. - Um, zoom. - [Girl In Orange] Zoom. Woosh. - Woosh. Zing. - Zing. - Make it louder. - [Boy In White] Plop. - Plop. Sound. (everyone laughs) - [Francis] You gotta do it a little faster. Go ahead. - Preedooldoo. - Preedooldoo. Dang. - [Boy In White] Dang. Um. - Um. Zing. - Can you do it faster? - Zing. (blows raspberry) (audience chuckles) - [Girl In Orange] Zip. - Zip. Boom. - Boom. Ding. - Ding. (squelches) - Now don't make it hard. Make the sounds clear so they can do it. Now what we're gonna do is we're gonna do the same thing. We'll go a little faster and I'm gonna throw a second ball in. (audience groans and laughs) Really hard, ready? I'll start it, ready? Bop. - Bop. Bing. - Bing. Zip. - Boop. - [Boy In White] Boop, boop. Ball noise. - Ball noise. - Something. - Something. - Boom. (laughs) - [Francis] We'll do it once more, but you get the idea. You have to be aware if you're an actor. You have to be aware and not look like you're aware, but if someone's gonna throw you the ball, you wanna be there to catch it. You ready, I'm gonna do it again. - Bop. - Bop, zing. - [Boy In White] Zing. Zoop. - [Francis] Zoop. - Ding. - Ding. Bop. - Bop. Zip. - Zip. Bing. - Bing, boop. - [Boy In White] Boop, zop. - [Francis] Wop. - [Boy With Blonde Bangs] Zop, wop. (audience laughs) - You get the idea. (audience applauds) Thank you very much. But there are 1,000,000 acting games they call theater games that we could play and whenever possible, if you can work and develop something that you wanna develop, like in this case, concentration, it's better to do it through the form of play because then the day becomes fun. So I try to make all the work, especially creative work 'cause that's so much fun as you know, as much play as possible. - Awesome, well, thank you, thank you so much. I think this is gonna be a huge treat. This was a treat for us and I think everyone watching on Facebook and online, so thank you. - Thank you. Thank you, thank you. (audience applauds and cheers)