Francis Coppola & George Lucas – The Lost Documentary
Before Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas became Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas they were two like-minded independent filmmakers who wanted to make personal films that they never expected anybody to want to see. Unfortunately for them, at that time, they turned out to be right.
The little movie that Coppola took his band of brave new filmmakers on the road with was The Rain People, his effort at making a film in the United States by putting to practice how he had seen movies in Europe being made. He kept his crews small and even used French-made Eclair CM3 cameras. One of them belonged to Carroll Ballard, who I posted a blog about recently, and who would then go on to make The Black Stallion with Coppola.
From even before The Godfather came out I’d been reading in film magazines about a documentary that George Lucas had made as a one-man filmmaker about the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rain People. Coppola spoke openly that he thought Lucas’s documentary Filmmaker: A Diary by George Lucas could even be better than the film.
It should be noted that Lucas made this as a one-man filmmaker, shooting his own 16mm Eclair NPR camera, recording the sound himself, then editing the entire film on his own. Some people lament the difficulty of making a film with a camcorder and no crew, just imagine the complexities that young George Lucas had in making this film over forty years ago under the far greater limitations he had then.
Ever since then I’ve wanted to see this film. I was hoping that Coppola would put out a special edition DVD or Blu-Ray of The Rain People that would include the documentary, among other extras, as he has with Apocalypse Now and The Godfather Films.
So you can imagine my surprise to find that someone had posted the entire 33 minute documentary on Youtube. Here are all four clips that make up the documentary.
Filmmaker: A Diary by George Lucas