How to Make a Sofia Coppola movie

The Bling Ring director's style

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Sofia Coppola steps back behind the camera for The Bling Ring, a drama about fame-obsessed California teens who rob celebrity homes. There are certain styles and tropes that recur in all of the iconic filmmaker's works, stretching back to The Virgin Suicides and carrying right through to The Bling Ring.

Esquire has pulled together a five-point guide to help you recognise and – should you so wish – go ahead and make your very own Sofia Coppola movie.

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Cast a fast-rising Hollywood starlet

Emma Watson is Coppola's latest ingénue and Scarlett Johansson rocketed to fame after appearing in Lost in Translation, but the star Coppola keeps circling back to is Kirsten Dunst. The actress led the cast of both Virgin Suicides and Marie Antoinette, and she also has a brief role in The Bling Ring.

Dive through your indie and shoegaze albums

Air composted the music for Coppola's directorial debut The Virgin Suicides, while everyone from The Strokes to My Bloody Valentine and Phoenix has soundtracked an iconic Coppola scene.

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Focus on alienated rich people

On the surface, all of Coppola's protagonists appear to be suffering from high-class problems – a down-and-out actor in Somewhere, a depressed queen in Marie Antoinette, the well-to-do Lisbon sisters of The Virgin Suicides – before the layers are peeled away. Coppola, the daughter of legendary Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, regularly mines her own affluent upbringing for her film work.

Be melancholy

Coppola's visual style, all lingering close-ups, slow camera pans and dreamlike score perfectly compliment the mood she creates. Her films often feel like feature-length Instagram photos, no doubt inspired by her keen interest in art and photography.

Keep it in the family

Making a film can be an arduous and expensive task, so it's no surprise that Coppola has surrounded herself with family (you can normally trust them – plus they come cheap). Her father Francis Ford Coppola produced debut The Virgin Suicides and she frequently works with brother Roman. Husband Thomas Mars also fronts the band Phoenix. (Which, naturally, comes in handy is music clearance is needed.)

The Bling Ring opens in cinemas on July 5. Watch the trailer below:

 


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