Coppola’s Zoetrope bows DVD prod’n lab

'Apocalypse' slated for re-release with extra footage

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 DVD lab, housed in the post facility, will share American Zoetrope’s staff of 10, offering encoding and DVD authoring services, as well as 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 Nov. 9. The disc will include a 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 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.

“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 is working on Sofia Coppola’s feature bow “The Virgin Suicides” for Paramount Classics, as well as Chris Columbus’ “Bicentennial Man” for Disney.

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