Francesca Scorsese Brings a Director’s Eye to TikTok

On June 11, Francesca Scorsese stood outside of The Odeon restaurant in New York City wearing a pink checkered Chanel robe coat, discussing her plans for the summer. “I’m working on a potential project with my dad,” she said, referencing the legendary director, Martin Scorsese, to whom she is one of three progeny. “It’s not a film, though. And then, writing my book with him. It’s going to be our summer project.” The 24-year-old New York native was on her way into Chanel’s 17th annual Tribeca Artists Dinner, held this year on a corner in lower Manhattan buzzing with activity, as stars like Blake Lively, Katie Holmes, Colman Domingo, Natasha Lyonne, and many more made their way into the restaurant. Scorsese, in fact, is a bona fide actor, director, and executive producer herself: she’s created two short films (including one that premiered at Tribeca last year, then went on to Cannes), had a recurring role in Luca Guadagnino’s We Are Who We Are, and is currently working on two hush-hush indies.

But you might also recognize her from TikTok, where she posts humorous and charming videos, often featuring Marty, to her following of over 276,000. As Francesca Scorsese tells it, she and her father are truly that close in real life and are simply giving folks a glimpse into their dynamic. Clips of Martin Scorsese guessing modern slang (3.5 million views), giving his daughter a hug (seven million views), and going through the iconic memorabilia decorating their family home (6.2 million views) are more than just viral one-offs. In all of her videos, a keen director’s eye is present. But the process, she said ahead of the Chanel dinner—held in celebration of artists whose pieces inspired the filmmakers in this year’s festival—is far from simple. Take, for example, that summer book project. “My dad and I have been trying to match our schedules, but figuring that out is a mess,” she said. “So whenever we have the right time to hang and just type, we do it.”

Your short film, Fish Out of Water, premiered last year at the Tribeca Film Festival. Looking back on making that movie, what’s one lesson that you’ll take into your next project?

To be more conscious of the amount of scenes that I have. The original cut of that film was, like, 45 minutes. So I had to cut four full scenes—it was the most insane puzzle, and it felt like losing a limb each time. But I was trying to make a short! Forty-five minutes is almost a feature. I didn’t really get the memo there.

I’ll also try to be more open to changing things up last-minute. And, I guess, to be more prepared, because it was my thesis film coming out of college—it’s a student film. But I’m still very proud of myself, and the fact that I was able to complete that editing process.

Francesca Scorsese at Chanel’s 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival Artists Dinner.

Photograph by Bryan Carr

What is the best bit of direction that your dad has ever given you while filming a TikTok?

He’s just very judgmental of me [laughs]. But genuinely, he delivers it in the best way. He’s like, “Oh, you’re going to do it over there? You’re going to do it over there? No, you should do it over there.” But when it comes to actually making TikToks, I’ve more been directing him. He’s a little actor, and he gets into it! But generally, he kind of lets me rock—with those. He’ll give me advice other times, both fatherly and filmmaking.

You recently posted a video of the “we’re movie lovers” trend, and you pointed out so many cool pieces of memorabilia in your house. Was there anything that didn’t make the cut, but is still worth noting?

Upstairs, in his fifth-floor room, my dad has this glass encasement with a bunch of memorabilia from every single one of his films. So there’s the boxing gloves [from Raging Bull], there’s the windup mouse from Hugo. I wanted to film up there, but he’s very private about certain things. So I don’t want to push too much. But for me, those pieces used to just be around, my whole life.

Let’s get into the Social Q’s questions. What does your For You Page look like?

When I first started going on TikTok, I would follow anybody I thought was funny—turns out, it’s an ungodly amount. But I’ve started curating my social media feeds toward seeing more people that look like me. I follow so many incredible, beautiful, stunning people. Lately, though, I’ve been following a lot more plus-size models. And it’s actually done wonders for my own mental health. You just type it in: midsize, or plus-size fashion—especially since I’ve been trying to get more into fashion recently—and it’s helped me to feel better about myself. My feed no longer has such unrealistic beauty standards.

Do you respond to DMs?

I totally do. I actually go through all of them, it’s concerning. But it only happens randomly—I’ll go months and then I’ll have, maybe, two hours to spare. So I just clear out my DMs.

I read that people have DM’ed you in the past, asking you to pass on their scripts to your father. Do they still do that?

Yes, of course. It’s insane. I also have some people doing really great, clever pickup lines. Someone sent me a dog emoji and then said, “Oh no, Max, come back! While I’m here, though…what’s up?” That was good. And just because of the effort you put into that, I’m going to respond. So I’ve made some friends along the way.

Is there anything you would never post?

Honestly, my dad would kill me if I posted something a little too risqué. Although I have, and then it ended up everywhere! He saw it and was like, “What are you doing?” I was like, “I was feeling myself!”

How do you block out haters online?

I have a very hard time doing that. In the beginning, it was impossible for me. And I have a habit of reading every single comment. I totally looked for [negative comments] for a long time! Now, I block ‘em. I don’t need that negativity in my life. And the lowest thing you could pick on is someone’s image, how they look. Now, as I’ve gotten a lot more of it, I don’t really care anymore. I have so many people saying so many more amazing things.

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