Reframing the director: distributed creativity in film-making practice

In Ted Nannicelli & Mette Hjort (eds.), A Companion to Motion Pictures and Public Value. Wiley Blackwel. pp. 86-105 (2022)
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Filmmaking is one of the most complexly layered forms of artistic production. It is a deeply interactive process, socially, culturally, and technologically. Yet the bulk of popular and academic discussion of filmmaking continues to attribute creative authorship of films to directors. Texts refer to “a Scorsese film,” not a film by “Scorsese et al.” We argue that this kind of attribution of sole creative responsibility to film directors is a misapprehension of filmmaking processes, based in part on dubious individualist assumptions about creative minds. Such a misapprehension is effacing the public value that a more inclusive and accurate understanding of filmmaking offers. By “public value” we mean the potential to enhance social and cultural well-being, particularly in working lives and collaborative undertakings in the screen industries. Better understanding of the systemic and social nature of creativity in filmmaking can potentially help in democratising aesthetics, which we consider a clear public good

Author Profiles

John Sutton
Macquarie University
Karen Pearlman
Macquarie University


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