By Tama Leia
When I asked my favorite Hollywood filmmaking couple, Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir who some of their favorite directors are they both mentioned Francis Ford Coppola on their top 5 list.
Coppola is of course the man behind films such as “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now.”
And as luck would have it Bayou and Daniel had the good fortune of being mentored by Hollywood producer, Doug Claybourne, who worked closely with Coppola. In fact, one of the first movie sets Claybourne ever set foot on was “Apocalypse Now”.
Claybourne did a brilliant job of guiding Bayou and Daniel, imparting invaluable filmmaking information: many things he himself learned while working on Mr. Coppola’s movie sets.
“He (Clayborne) taught us what Coppola often said about filmmaking….’performance, performance performance’…. as the most important thing. Francis would post a sign on his sets that has those words.”
“He felt we were able to do this at an early part of our careers which meant a lot to us. It was very encouraging. He showed us how to develop stories successfully which changed our lives forever in being able to create likable characters that audiences could identify with and go through compelling transformations. He had been part of many films that went from script to screen to changes in cinema and our culture as we hoped to do more and more.”
Bayou tells more about her directing inspirations and being a woman filmmaker in Hollywood:
“For me (Francis’ daughter) Sophia Coppola was a huge inspiration being a female filmmaker and her dad is of course one of Daniel and my favorite directors of all time, Francis Ford Coppola. Sophia spent her childhood like her brother Roman living in hotels while accompanying her famous filmmaker father to movie sets. Their Mom, Eleanor directed the powerful riveting documentary “Hearts of Darkness” about the making of “Apocalypse Now” so like the Scott’s, (Ridley Scott’s family) the Coppola’s are hugely inspiring and influential for us and close to our hearts. You need a supportive family that values this art form to make it in this industry because there are many obstacles.”
“Similar to the Coppola’s. A big filmmaking family who experienced life through the lens of film we want our family to stand for inspiration and beauty in the world of Hollywood. If our films are meaningful and raise awareness, opening people’s eyes while being hugely entertaining, we have been successful.”
Daniel and Bayou first met in a cafe in New York City. From the very start, there was an instant connection, “It was quite magical to have so much in common with someone on a first meeting,” recalls Bayou
The couple had the same vision for filmmaking and quickly saw that together they could create a working relationship just as passionate as their romantic connection. They are now married and have a 6 year old son.
To get a glimpse of some beautiful cinematic work of art by the Dream Team please watch the trailer for their short fashion film, “Time is Eternal”
Written by, Tama Leia
Photography by Matt Cali
PR by: PR Muse, floridianbluellc
Tama Leia is a Los Angeles based writer who has been close friends with the Dream Team Directors for over 10 years ago. Bayou and Daniel are two of her favorite inspiring film makers, so she was beyond honored to have the chance to contribute as a writer for this interview.
This article was created exclusively for New York Daily’s Entertainment section.