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Francis Ford Coppola’s film banner American Zoetrope has launched a DVD production lab, and one of its first releases will be the digital edition of “Apocalypse Now” for Paramount Home Video.

Coppola already operates a post-production facility at Zoetrope’s San Francisco HQ, which serves film productions shooting in Northern California in addition to the helmer’s own projects.

The new DVD lab, housed in the post facility, will share American Zoetrope’s staff of 10 employees, offering clients encoding and DVD authoring services, as well as its in-house telecine and sound re-recording studio.

J. Anthony Ruffo, formerly with San Francisco-based post house Pacific Video Resources, has been tapped head DVD compressionist and author.

As one of the lab’s first projects, Coppola is guiding the design of the “Apocalypse Now” DVD, which hits retailers’ shelves on Nov. 9. The disc will include an additional sequence that did not appear in the theatrical release.

Howie Stein, manager of American Zoetrope’s film facility, said the lab is counting on producing DVDs for other Coppola titles, and negotiations are currently under way with studios. Columbia TriStar Home Video has already released “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” on DVD; Par has yet to release Coppola’s “Godfather” trilogy on the format.

The lab is also producing a DVD of the 1968 black and white cult hit “Fando & Lis,” helmed by Alexandro Jodorowsky. A negative was discovered, restored and transferred in-house, then encoded and authored for upstart San Francisco DVD label Fantoma. Title includes a French television docu about the film and commentary track.

“We’re in the growing stage and feeling our way through what is the perfect match to our approach to projects,” Stein said. “We’re investigating many ways to bring shows in-house. We want to take our film talents and film heritage and translate them to the new medium.”

American Zoetrope most recently provided post work on Wayne Wang’s “Anywhere But Here” for Fox Searchlight and is currently working on Sofia Coppola’s feature bow “The Virgin Suicides” for Paramount Classics, as well as Chris Columbus’ “Bicentennial Man” for Disney.