Terry Gilliam isn't an Auteur. He's a Filteur.Complications Ensue
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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Being an auteur is what we all dreamed of being, as far [back] as the films of the late ‘50s and ‘60s, when the idea of the auteur filmmaker arrived on the planet. And people kept using that term, and they do with my movies because I suppose they are very individual and they give me all the credit, so they say I’m an auteur. And I say no, the reality is I’m a ‘fil-teur.’ I know what I’m trying to make but I have a lot of people who are around me who are my friends and don’t take orders and don’t listen to me, but who have individual ideas. And when they come up with a good idea, if it’s one that fits what I’m trying to do, I use it. So the end film is a collaboration of a lot of people, and I’m the filter who decides what goes in and what stays out.
Honestly, except for writer-director-editor-actors, all directors are more filteurs than auteurs. They just won't admit it. The "Film By" credit is kinda disrespectful of all the creative people who work on their films, isn't it?

More at Filmmaker Magazine.



I think it's time to start negotiating for Chayefsky Credits.

By Blogger Piers, at 7:19 AM  

That is the best description of the directing process I've ever heard...

By Blogger debbiemoon, at 11:10 AM  

I agree that filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and everyone should be credited accordingly. But "a film by" is correct, as the director is the only person (generally) who oversees every aspect of the film.

In pre-production he/she approves the script, the art direction, set design, costume, cast, etc. In production, the director oversees every day, every performance, every shot. In post, they work with the editor, composer, sound designer, colorist, etc.

I do like the idea of the "filter" for all those artists, but by the end, the director has earned the right to say "a film by" because they're the one who will be judged on the film as a whole. Everyone else has the "safety" of being evaluated piecemeal. Directors are evaluated on everything.

Just my two cents, not trying to be confrontational. :)

By Blogger Deej, at 12:29 PM  

What about the producer? The producer may buy the property, commission drafts from a writer, and then hire a director. And long after the director, he's overseeing distribution.

That's why the producer gets the Oscar for Best Film. So why not "A film by"?

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 4:27 PM  

I'd say that (again, generally) a producer isn't making the minute artistic choices over the course of the film, as I mentioned the director does above. The producer doesn't author the film in the way a director does, so it's not a film "by" them. They can (and do) collaborate and control the whole process, but they don't actually craft of the movie. Some producers do, of course, have more instrumental roles. But a director is nearly always in charge of all the other aspects I mentioned above.

However, producers do own the film in a different (and often literal) way, which is why their production company logo and production company titles come first. (Studio) then (Prod co) then (A film by).

A film "by" [director], owned by [producer.]

By Blogger Deej, at 4:50 PM  

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