Alternative Titles: 

  • Unpacking The Creative Process: What Goes Into Making Movies and Books?
  • Examining The Collaborative Process and Auteurship Through Films, Books, and Video Games
  • On Auteurship and Collaboration: Can One Survive Without The Other?

A good film brings you to tears. A fully fleshed-out video game transports you to another world. A beautifully executed plot can leave a lasting impression on your mind. For so long, the art and entertainment industry has been an object of awe and fascination for everyone. But so rarely do we ever analyze the creative process behind these works.

In this episode, we discuss auteurship and the importance of collaboration in moderating the elements of a film, game, or book. We tackle the topics of theme consistency, proper execution, book-to-film adaptations, and nonlinear storytelling. Finally, we ponder over the classics of our era that we predict will survive the test of time.

If you want to dissect the creative process behind some of our time’s greatest works, then tune in to this episode!

3 reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Find out about the different elements that come into play in the creative process of filmmaking and writing.
  2. Learn about auteurship and collaboration and how these two things can balance each other out.
  3. See films and books in a new light and think critically about the media you consume.


  • Join a community of podcasters on Anchor.

Episode Highlights 

[2:02] Auteurs and Collaborators

  • There are two poster children for auteurs and collaborators: Christopher Nolan for auteurs, and George Lucas for the collaborators.
  • While some people say that Star Wars is successful despite George Lucas, it’s unfair to discount his vision, ideals, and ideas for the franchise.
  • When you have invested money into something, you would be likely to have a lot of control over it.

[05:51] Examples of Auteurs and Their Projects

  • “The Prestige” is a fantastic Nolan film, both in concept and execution.
  • The book on which “The Prestige” was based has possibly helped guide its path, though it has remained obscure.
  • Ken Levine created a sense of cohesiveness within the first Bioshock game, which made it special despite being a fairly standard shooter.

[10:47] Proper Concept Execution

  • “Game of Thrones” had a great concept but didn’t execute it well.
  • It was good until the showmakers had to make up the ending when they didn’t have the bedrock of the story.
  • Adding intrigue is necessary when adapting old material.

[13:13] Consistency in Themes

  • Auteurs utilize familiar concepts and sprinkle these throughout a body of work.
  • Bioshock Infinite uses the illusion of choice as a theme. No matter what you choose, the same thing will happen.
  • Players want more choices in games. But creating meaningful options is difficult for game makers. 
  • Auteurship allows for a consistent theme that manifests throughout the story, whether in a film, series, or game.

Adam: “You have to have an interesting first part of the movie or first part of the game because that’s one piece of content that everyone will experience.”

[18:20] An Author’s Freedom

  • Editors have a pivotal role in media creation. 
  • Publishing a book without an editor is shooting yourself in the foot.
  • Authors can do more when not held back by constraints. However, collaboration can make things better.
  • For example, the last two films in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy didn’t have as much collaboration and thus had more plotlines that don’t make any sense.
  • Listen to the full episode for an informal discussion on Peter Jackson’s work!

[27:21] Drawing on a Source Material

  • You can create a coherent story based on what you’ve already done.
  • For example, the Harry Potter series focused more on building off of each movie more than basing on the books.

[34:59] The Filmmaking Process

  • There are many groups involved in filmmaking, such as lighting and sound teams.
  • Actors, too, exercise artistic freedom and bring their flair to their roles in the creative process of filmmaking.
  • Tim Burton is consistent in his vision. His touch is visible in the tone, texture, and color of his films.

Adam: “You don’t get far in being a director by not having a bit of weirdness in you.”

[42:58] Flashbacks and Nonlinear Storytelling

  • Novels don’t do flashbacks as well as visual mediums, though it’s not a detriment.
  • “The Prestige” uses nonlinear storytelling exquisitely.
  • In this Nolan film, the themes were transported across time but still connected on a grand scale and fit perfectly with each other.

[44:17] What is Collaborative Work?

  • A collaborative process helped Todd Howard make the game “Morrowind” become as fleshed-out as it is.
  • However, in “Oblivion,” there was nothing to moderate Howard’s design philosophy.
  • “Skyrim” might be popular, but it was “Morrowind” — and by extension, collaborative work — that saved the company.

[47:55] Determining Star Trek’s Synthesis

  • Gene Roddenberry’s vision for Star Trek was not completely realized in full.
  • Star Trek’s utopianism has inched through earthly conflicts to craft fictional history.
  • With technology as its thesis, the horror of technology would be the antithesis and the technocracy, the synthesis.

Adam: “… antithesis without a clear synthesis is not very good Marxist or Hegelian analysis. But there may not be an answer to the problem.”

[56:01] Our Era’s Timeless Classics in the Making

  • The Harry Potter books are today’s Iliad and Odyssey just based on influence.
  • Young adult fiction doesn’t only appeal to young adults.
  • Considering the controversies surrounding J.K. Rowling, it might affect the legacy of the Harry Potter books to a certain extent.
  • Though it’s from the 2000s, “The Lord of the Rings” will stand up well.
  • Meanwhile, along with the Divergent series, the Chronicles of Narnia will become dated due to the film series’ lack of traction.

[1:02:39] Works That Will Never See The Light of Day 

  • Among the list of works the hosts never want to be revealed is a Star Wars – Percy Jackson mashup, a short story about the Norman Conquest, and Spongebob-based stories.
  • Hannah Montana and Middle Eastern-related media are also going into the ashcan as time goes on.
  • “Call of Duty” might be the only Middle Eastern-focused material that could stand the test of time.

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