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Gia Coppola x The Soft Pack

Big things from the niece of Sofia Coppola as she directs the new Soft Pack music video

Gia Coppola is, as her name suggests, genetically predisposed to film-making and effortless cool. She finished studying photography at New York’s Bard College last year and has already directed beautiful shorts for Rodarte and Zac Posen’s Target line. She also co-directed the Nouvelle Vague-influenced Non Plus One to celebrate Opening Ceremony’s Spring 2010 collection. The short features Gia’s cousin Jason Schwartzman and her aunt’s former leading lady, Kirsten Dunst. Her latest project is a music video for San Diego rockers The Soft Pack. More or Less is a day-long drive through Los Angeles that sits the viewer behind the wheel and heads for the coast. Here she discusses the video, her style and the importance of breakfast.

Dazed Digital: How did your collaboration with The Soft Pack come about?

Gia Coppola: My boyfriend [director Sam Freilich] and I are fans of The Soft Pack, we wanted to meet them so we emailed their management an idea for a music video that was simple and didn’t require a budget. We got lucky and the band liked our idea.

DD: What inspired the drive through Los Angeles?

Gia Coppola: There is a short video by Claude Lelouch driving his Ferrari around Paris.

DD: How much control did you have over the concept, location and wardrobe?
Gia Coppola: 
The band let us do whatever. All we knew was that we wanted the video to end at the beach.

DD: Tell me about the filming process. 

Gia Coppola: Me and my boyfriend mounted a flip camera to the front of my car and drove around early Sunday morning and that was it. It took us a few tries, but it was exciting for us to see Los Angeles at such a weird time.

DD: Are those your eyes that appear in front of the street scene about two minutes in?

Gia Coppola: No.  I don’t know whose eyes those are.

There are flashes of 60s-style cartoon lightning and a hypnotic swirl before the “windscreen.” Why include these?
It was just a random idea. I liked the way it looked.

DD: The viewer doesn’t see the band’s faces at all, why was that?

Gia Coppola: We thought the camera should stay stationary on the car the whole time. I never felt any need to show their faces.  It’s nice just seeing them walk off into the sunrise.

The drive is intercut with a Dukes of Hazard-style car chase and the final scene features a clip of a car crash.

DD: Where are these from and what do they symbolise?

The car chase/crash is from a drivers’ educational video called Joy Ride. It can be whatever you want it to be.  I imagined that all those images were a part of the driver’s psychosis. 

DD: Is there more scope for you to use your own creativity on a music video than fashion films like your beautiful Zac Posen for Target short?
Gia Coppola: 
I was very fortunate with both this music video and the Target video where I was given a lot of freedom; and obviously making the bands happy as well.

You’ve become a fashion icon yourself.

DD: How would you define your style?

Gia Coppola: Being comfortable. I feel like I’m always copying something I saw someone else wear.

 Music is clearly a big influence for you too.

DD: Is there any band you dream of directing?

Gia Coppola: The Soft Pack.

DD: How do your grandfather and aunt inspire you?

Gia Coppola: They’re both talented and have their own unique style.

DD: Have they imparted any words of wisdom you can share?

Gia Coppola: Eat breakfast. It’s good for your brain.

DD: You made your acting debut in as a toddler in The Godfather III, do you remember anything about it? Is acting something you’ve thought about pursuing? 

Gia Coppola: No. I’m more comfortable behind the camera.

DD: What’s next for you?

Gia Coppola: Not sure. Taking photos, making videos, writing...