Writeur Theory

Short story – that isn’t really a good encapsulation of the truth, but sounds short & snappy:

I don’t like Auteur Theory, so I made up Writeur Theory.

Screenwriter Lafayette

That sword is mightier than the word-processor, probably.

(Either way, he seems to have forgotten his pen?)

The Longer Story:

Here’s an excerpt from my Ph.D (2016):

`The importance of the screen idea(338) also clearly puts `Auteur Theory’ – or the notion that a director is the key “author” of a movie – in perspective; a specific director is a necessary-but-not-sufficient criteria for movie success.

In examining creativity in the British movie industry Petrie (1991) also rightly notes that Auteur Theory (a la Truffaut, Sarris, Wood, et al) has roots in problematic Romantic conceptions of creativity and ignores group creativity (Petrie 1991, pp. 15-7); attention is also drawn to Nowell-Smith’s observation that, “it would be better to talk of the author, rather than the text, as system” (Petrie 1991, p. 19).

The findings of the current study suggest that a new conception called “Writeur Theory” (339) may be a better approach.’

(Velikovsky, The StoryAlity PhD, 2016, p. 182)

I see, the Footnotes for that p. 182 also read:

`337 – See: Table 1-3 – The Top 20 RoI Movies – and their “Story-Power” (or, Benefit / Cost ratio) and Table 1-4 – The Widest Audience-Reach movies – and, their “Story-Power” (Benefit/Cost).
338 – Again as Simonton (2011, 2014) states: `It should come as no surprise, then, that the script constitutes the single most important component of cinematic success (Simonton 2011).’ (Simonton in Kaufman & Simonton 2014, pp. 3-4).
339 – The herein coined term “Writeur Theory” as derived from an examination of the top 20 RoI movies would recommend being a writer-hyphenate: a writer-director, writer-producer, writer-actor – or even adopting two or three of these multiple movie co-creation roles.

It is again noted that the outrageously-French-sounding word “Writeur” is a new word that the author of this study created by combining the word `Writer’ with `Auteur’. See: Martindale (1989) on combining old elements in new ways.’

I also see, on p. 428, I also say:


(i.e., a `WRITEUR’)

It is advised, if possible, to be a Writer-hyphenate (or: Writeur), namely a Writer-Director or a Writer-Actor or a Writer–Producer, or two or all three of these roles.

Staying involved in the execution (production) stage of the screen story implies that there is less chance of the creative story vision being misinterpreted.

I also, also see, Footnote #80 (on p. 49) says:

80 – It should be noted that Auteur Theory is an understandable invention as film critics could benefit from having something controversial – and also potentially unfalsifiable – to argue and/or `theorize’ about, in their articles.

While the origins of Auteur Theory can be dated to Francois Truffaut’s 1954 essay Une certaine tendance du cinéma français / A certain tendency in French cinema in Cahiers du Cinema (Truffaut, 1954), and continued by Andrew Sarris and other film critics, in the light of group creativity in movie-making, Auteur Theory is viewed here as a mistake, one which misunderstands the complex creative processes of a Screen Idea Work Group (Macdonald 2004, 2013), and also of movie casts and crews.

See also (Bloore 2013, pp. 73-4). Petrie in (Petrie, 1991, p. 16) likewise finds Sarris’ Auteur Theory arguments to be absurd.

The top 20 RoI movies suggest that a new conception, namely “Writeur Theory” may be a more advisable approach, namely becoming a writer-hyphenate (a writer-director, writer-producer, or writer-actor, or two or more of these).

It noted that `Writeur’ is an outrageously semi-French new word – herein coined by combining two old words to create a new one.

Anyway, so, that’s kind of the deal, with: Writeur Theory.

Writeur as DPF system

This DPF-interaction systems model diagram (above) is explained in: 

Creative Practice Theory.

When you invent something new, part of the fun is: naming it. So, you may as well give it a deeply-silly name, just to see if that helps it to travel in culture, and spread like a good virus. It may even take the idea along with it, not just the name. I mean: whatever works.

Some viruses are good. Actually, DNA has a lot of virus-stuff in it. See that Frank Ryan book Virolution (2009). I am not making this stuff up.

Well, apart from the name: Writeur Theory.

I did make that up.

But the underlying principle is still sound.

At least, that’s what I think.

I mean, Stanley Kubrick was a Writeur…

So were lots of the top 20 RoI writer-filmmakers.

~Thanks for reading.

~ Dr JTV 
High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie & Transmedia & Cultural Artifact Researcher
& Evolutionary Systems Theorist 
& Transmedia Writer-Director-Producer: Movies, Games, TV, Theatre (also: Theater), also Books, Comics,
& Whatever else I’m up to. 
& Writeur
Some of the above is (probably; knowing me) an adapted excerpt, from my doctoral dissertation: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is presented here for the benefit of fellow screenwriting, screen-media-making and creativity researchers.
For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky 
JT Velikovsky is also a produced feature film screenwriter, and million-selling transmedia writer-director-producer. He has been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild.
For more of his Transmedia Writing stuff, see: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/



Velikovsky, J. T. (2016). `Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema: A comparative study of the top 20 Return-on-Investment (RoI) Movies and the Doxa of Screenwriting’. PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia.


3 thoughts on “StoryAlity#158 – Writeur Theory

  1. Pingback: StoryAlity#157 – Opening Shots of the Top 20 RoI Movies | StoryAlity

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  3. Pingback: StoryAlity #160 – Reply to `Why are Australian films now so unpopular?’ | StoryAlity

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