Copiously Credited Creator YKTTW Discussion

Copiously Credited Creator
A single person takes many jobs in the production of a work
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(permanent link) added: 2013-03-13 10:41:53 sponsor: KevinKlawitter edited by: Lawman592 (last reply: 2014-09-17 10:47:10)

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In most productions of film, television, and theatre, the work is split up between a large number of people, mostly due to the fact that individuals tend to specialize in a specific part of the artistic process. Some are actors, others writers, editors, etc

Occasionally, though, you'll find a work where a single person is credited in a whole bunch of the tasks. Sometimes this is because they couldn't afford anybody else, other times it's because they wanted complete control, other times it's just because that's how they work.

This is often seen as a sign of dedication or ego, but what can't be denied is that the presence of a Copiously Credited Creator almost always indicates that whomever holds the credits is Doing It for the Art.

Sister-trivia to Written by Cast Member and Directed by Cast Member. For a musical example, see I Am the Band.


  • For most of his movies made after 1991, James Cameron has served as the producer-writer-director-editor.
  • John Carpenter directed, produced, wrote, composed and acted in Assault on Precinct 13 and Halloween1978. He directed, wrote, composed and acted in The Fog and Big Trouble in Little China.
  • Shane Carruth, of Primer fame, served as the film's writer-producer-director-star-editor-composer. For his latest film, Upstream Color, he does all of that and serves as the cinematographer, too!
  • When making films in his native China, Jackie Chan has served at times as the writer-producer-director-star-choreographer, though like Clint Eastwood, generally not all at once.
  • Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, starred in, and composed the music for many of his films.
  • The Coen Brothers have served as writer-producer-director-editors on nearly all their films, although due to union regulations, their editing is done under the pseudonym "Roderick Jaynes".
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!. Costumes-production management-assistant director-second unit director-properties-all purpose bit player-location scout Costa Dillon, producer-editor-music composer-music editor John De Bello
  • In a number of his films, Clint Eastwood serves as the producer-director-star-composer, though usually not all four at once.
  • Tyler Perry movies are famous for this. He does the acting, the music, the name it.
  • RZA served as the writer-director-star-composer for his kung fu epic The Man with the Iron Fists, creating a bit of confusion in the credits where, depending on the role, he is credited as either "RZA" "The RZA".
  • For production of Coraline, Henry Selick served as the writer-producer-director-production designer.
  • Orson Welles co-wrote, directed, produced, and starred in Citizen Kane, as well as many of his other films for that matter. After Welles served as writer-director-producer-star on The Lady from Shanghai for example, studio head Harry Cohn swore off hiring a single person to do all the jobs ever again, because it made the person impossible to fire.
    • The tendency of Welles to do this was parodied in the Tintin comic "Red Rackham's Treasure", where Captain Haddock walks into a column bearing a poster for a film called Me, with Orson Welles, Orson Welles, and Orson Welles. (In the original French, the poster is for Moi with Sacha Guitry, Sacha Guitry, and Sacha Guitry.)
  • In The Room, Tommy Wiseau serves as the writer-director-star-executive producer-producer. No, that last one is not a typo.
  • Ed Wood wrote, produced, and directed Plan 9 from Outer Space. Hilarity ensued.
  • Headlock was directed and written by, and stars, Mark Polish.
  • Robert Rodriguez may be considered a Trope Codifier. He usually directs, writes, produces, composes the score, mixes the sound, has some input in special and visual effects and edits. Occassionally he also manages to have a Creator Cameo, despite all of this.
    • On Planet Terror he's also (half)jokingly credited as his own chef.
  • In his early days, Peter Jackson. On most of his early films he was director, writer, producer, camera operator, editor and worked on special and visual effects (he later founded Weta Digital comapny not to do the latter himself).
  • Ukrainian independent filmmaker Nikolay Yeriomin is this nearly always because of No Budget. Just see his filmography to get the idea.

  • Creator Couple Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and Janice Karman are heavily involved in many different aspects of production of various different projects and material for Alvin and the Chipmunks, ranging from supplying the voices for the characters, to writing and producing original songs, albums, cartoons, and movies. Janice, in particular, directed The Chipmunk Adventure (after the unidentified director they had to begin with backed early on), and also headed the color department for both that movie and the 1980s cartoon series.
    • During the DiC era of the 80s cartoon, Thom Watkins, who was the show's associate producer, also supplied all of the voices that Ross and Janice didn't do, as well as worked in the music and sound department - mostly producing cover versions of songs.

Live-Action TV
  • Angry Boys. Chris Lilley served as creator, writer, director, producer, executive producer and composer... while playing all six main characters. He also wrote, co-produced and starred (also as multiple characters) in his previous two series, Summer Heights High and We Can Be Heroes: Finding the Australian of the Year.
  • Louis C.K. is the writer, producer, director, editor, and star of the sitcom Louie.
  • Lena Dunham writes, produces, directs, and stars in her HBO series Girls.
  • Jack Webb served as the producer-director-star of Dragnet as well as the revival series Dragnet 1967.
  • M*A*S*H. Over the course of eleven seasons, Alan Alda slowly gravitated to various different jobs on the show, aside from just playing Hawkeye, he eventually began writing for the show, then directing for the show, and finally became an unofficial showrunner with producer Burt Metcalfe after the departures of co-creators/producers Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds (the latter also served as co-creative consultant with Alda).

Video Games
  • Touhou might be the ultimate example, "Team Shanghai Alice" consists of one man, who normally does all of the graphics, sound and programming for each game himself.
  • The Valve new employee handbook states that this is the company's default mode of operations. It notes that this is part of why they only have a plain alphabetized list for their credits.
  • Famously, Jordan Mechner was the sole creator of the first Prince of Persia; he programmed it, designed it, animated the sprites and composed the music for it.

Western Animation
  • Bambi Meets Godzilla. Written-animated-directed-costumes-set dressing by Marv Newland, although in this case it crosses over with Credits Gag.
  • Aristomenis Tsirbas had the story written, the characters designed and most of the animatics done for Battle for Terra. Snoot Entertainament needed only to add post-production effects and sign on voice acting talent to make this work suitable for Lionsgate distributorship.
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