Tim Appelo of The Hollywood Reporter quotes Francis Ford Coppola on the unlikely origins of the opening sequence to Apocalypse Now, on the film's 35th anniversary:
"The 'trim' barrels were filled with film you threw away. Garbage, basically, thrown-away film turned upside down and used to space out the sound on the sound track. I reached into a barrel of this film and at random pulled out a piece of film and put it on the Moviola. It was a lot of smoke, occasionally you'd see a helicopter skid go by, just very abstract. For the hell of it, I looked at another bin of trim and one said 'The End,' The Doors music. I said, 'Oh, wouldn't it be funny if we started the movie with 'This is the end' at the beginning?'"