A highly collaborative medium

Every once in a while, when I see a film I like, I go onto IMDB and find out who wrote or directed it. And then I will go on a journey, systematically watching one film after another written or directed by that person.

The results have been fascinating, and decidedly mixed. When you go through such an exercise, you quickly learn what a highly collaborative medium is the cinema. Rarely can you see the sensibility of a single person shining through. Yes, in a few cases, a creator gets to make the movie they intended to make.

And a small number of auteur film-makers — Woody Allen is one example that comes to mind — have managed to grab control and keep it. But it become all too apparent that for most commercial releases, many hands have been laid upon the film before the public gets to see it.

I guess this makes sense. Millions of dollars are involved in the making of even a modest budget film. If it’s your money that’s being spent, you might find it difficult to keep your thoughts about the ongoing production to yourself.

Perhaps evolving technologies might change that. Maybe one day the costs of filmmaking will go down so drastically that production of a feature length film might become truly manageable by a single individual — the way writing a novel is today.

When that happens, perhaps more unique and individual voices will emerge.

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