Coppola to take interactive ‘Twixt’ film on U.S. tour

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Coppola to take interactive ‘Twixt’ film on U.S. tour

SAN DIEGO - Francis Ford Coppola is turning big-screen movies into a live experience. The filmmaker showed an audience at the Comic-Con fan convention Saturday portions of his upcoming creepy tale “Twixt,” a film whose theatrical release he hopes to precede by a national tour in which Coppola will oversee a different version each night.

Coppola says digital technology allows him to add scenes, lengthen or shorten sequences, shuffle the action around, alter music and make other tweaks depending on how that night’s audience is responding to the film.

“If the audience is [in] the mood to go off on a little bit of a tangent, then you’d be able to go off on a tangent, but if the audience seems to want to cut to the chase, you could cut to the chase,” Coppola said in an interview after his presentation.

Filmmakers often have the experience in test screenings where they sense viewers’ interest lagging and the “audience is not so into it, so you go, ‘Oh, I wish the good part would come sooner, I wish the good part would come sooner,’” Coppola said. “With this, you can do that.”

“Twixt” stars Val Kilmer as a writer on a book tour in a strange town where he’s caught up in the mystery of savage killings and has ghostly encounters with a young girl (Elle Fanning) and the specter of Edgar Allan Poe (Ben Chaplin). The idea originated from a dream Coppola had two years ago about a mysterious girl and in which Poe appeared as sort of a spirit guide.

The film also will include a blend of 2- and 3-D. Coppola is a fan of 3-D but does not necessarily like wearing the special glasses needed for the whole length of a film. Viewers of “Twixt” will see an on-screen cue letting them know they should put on their glasses for a 3-D scene in the heart of the film and a 3-D finale, Coppola said.

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