When Sofia Coppola was young, she made videos to get out of writing reports at school. (Her first was one on George Washington, made with clay figures.) Still, she told New York editor Adam Moss during their Vulture Festival conversation, she only got the confidence to actually make films after IFC sponsored her short Lick the Star, in 1998. “When I was in junior high school, one girl had a plot to poison the boys in the grade — not to kill them, just make them weak,” she said, which became the plot of the 14-minute movie she made with her friends. “It was the first time someone outside of my family thought I had something to say,” she said.
Looking back, Coppola says growing up around macho Italian men was partly what’s given her such a distinct feminine perspective in her films. The best advice her father, Francis Ford Coppola, gave her growing up was to “just start making a movie,” and the rest would come. That’s a lesson her daughters, 7 and 10, have already doubled down on. Despite Coppola’s personal aversion to self-promotion, her kids are into YouTube stars and have started making films (despite not being allowed to have cell phones yet).
“I always thought it was, you work hard, and you promote your work, not yourself. As long as you’re doing selfies, be creative with it,” Coppola said. ”[My daughter] took a long shot of our dog and I was like, ‘Can you just trim it a little bit? You’ve been in that shot for so long …’” Director parents, man.