Films are the product of many individuals working together. This is evident in the credits that are scrolled at the end of each finished work. I could easily say that it takes a village to make a movie.
Consequent upon the above stated, it becomes shocking to find out that there is a significant tendency among film scholars to treat films as the product of a single individual. To toe this line of interpretation goes to mean that the director of the film is the creative intelligence who shapes the entire film in a manner parallel to how we think of literary works being authored.
In his essay, ‘Notes on The Auteur Theory in 1962,’ Andrew Sarris, one of the key proponents of Auteur theory corroborates the above position as he posits that one of the premises of the Auteur theory is the distinguishable personality of the director as a criterion of value. He argues:
Over a group of films, a director must exhibit certain recurrent characteristics of style, which serve as his signature. The way a film looks should have some relationship with the way a director thinks and feels (Sarris, 1992, p. 586).
This paper shall try to examine the place of the auteur director in the Nigerian Video Film Industry; the reactions from other contributors in this work of art and how the director as an auteur has affected the development and growth of the industry in present day contemporary Nigeria.
The idea of the director as auteur was first suggested by Francoise Truffaut who used the term polemically to denigrate the then dominant mode of filmmaking that emphasized the adaptation of great works of literature to the screen. This he did in his article, “Une Certaine Tendence du Cinema Francaise,” (A Certain Tendency in French Cinema) where he first made use of the term ‘Auteur’s Policy’ (La Politiques de Auteur), which was abbreviated by Andrew Sarris as ‘Auteur Theory’ in his book The American Cinema: Directors and Directing.
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