Director Francis Ford Coppola enlisted 75 UCLA students in a month-long project that he terms an experiment in a concept he calls “Live Cinema.” With the students and some faculty as crew, Coppola produced and directed an Italian family saga called Distant Vision, utilizing feeds from a multitude of cameras, instant replay servers, and other sources which the director can switch live.

An excerpt of Distant Vision was broadcast live from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Freud Playhouse yesterday to a limited audience. In an announcement of the project, Coppola and Teri Schwartz, dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, called the workshop a “proof of concept” in Coppola’s Live Cinema experiment. See a clip below.

Distant Vision/UCLA
UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

“I felt the need to experiment in order to learn the actual methodology of live cinema, which is a hybrid of theater, film and television,” Coppola said. “The shot is the basic element, as in film; the live performance is from theater; and the advanced television technology to enable it is borrowed from TV sports. It is very exciting to work in.”

As it’s developed, Live Cinema could be performed in multiple cinema theaters, configured auditoriums, on network television, cable television or Internet streaming to home theaters or personal devices, per UCLA, where Coppola received an M.F.A. in Theater Arts in 1967.

Here’s a UCLA clip about the workshop, with scenes from Distant Vision: