Created By: KevinKlawitter on March 13, 2013 Last Edited By: Lawman592 on September 17, 2014
Troped

Copiously Credited Creator

A single person takes many jobs in the production of a work

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Trope
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.


Examples

Film
  • 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 writing...you 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.

Franchise
  • 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.
Community Feedback Replies: 71
  • March 13, 2013
    DracMonster
    Definitely needs another title. This would be a trivia item, I think.

    Multi Class Creator? (Or Authorship or "Creative Contribution"?)

    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.
  • March 13, 2013
    grenekni3t
  • March 13, 2013
    grenekni3t
    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.)
  • March 13, 2013
    elwoz
    There was this novel ... in the early nineties ... that had a beautiful In Universe example. The protagonist was this aging Hollywood director and at one point he mused about how it was kinda nice to see "written, produced, and directed by <his name>" up there in the credits, but you know, it was also kinda nice not to have to do all of the work himself. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the book, the author, or the protagonist.

    (If I remember correctly, he did not edit film, nor did he act.)
  • March 13, 2013
    StarSword
    Not A Trope. This goes under Trivia.
  • March 13, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Sister-trivia to Written By Cast Member and Directed By Cast Member

    • Bambi Meets Godzilla: written-animated-directed-costumes-set dressing by Marv Newland.
    • 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
  • March 15, 2013
    MokonaZero
    Tyler Perry movies are famous for this. He does the acting, the music, the writing...you name it.
  • March 15, 2013
    m8e
  • April 2, 2013
    clankomatic
    Would a good trope name be "Little Red Hen?" Because, you know, she has to do everything.
  • April 2, 2013
    KevinKlawitter
    ^ that sounds catchy, but it's a little opaque and not instantly recognizable.

    I still like "The Multihyphenate" (it's descriptive and distinctive and not a work you easily forget), but maybe something like "Do It All Artist" would be more in lines with what Trope names are supposed to be nowadays.
  • April 9, 2013
    reub2000
    See also I Am The Band which contains examples of "bands" where one person provides the vocals and most of the instruments.
  • May 16, 2013
    Embryon
    • 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.
  • May 15, 2014
    Lawman592
    Bumped for comparison (and possible merger) with Vanity Project YKTTW.
  • May 15, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Vanity Project to me is more of a project whose ideas come completely from its creator without any meddling executives, and usually has high themes.
  • June 10, 2014
    Arivne
    • Examples section formatting
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Added the word "Examples".
    • Namespaced work names and Creator names.
  • June 12, 2014
    Lawman592
    Bumped for Water Blap.
  • June 12, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Mark Dindal left his job as animator for Walt Disney Studios to pitch his concept to Turner Features Animation. Dindal is not only the principal writer for Cats Dont Dance but is also the storyboard supervisor, the character designer, the film's director, and even provides the voice of The Dragon Max. Remarkably, Disney rehired him afterward.
  • June 18, 2014
    Lawman592
    This was suggested in the Vanity Project YKTTW. Perhaps the name for this proposed trope should be One Person Production (or One Person Project) instead?
  • June 18, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Name sounds like someone with a last name with multiple hyphens, which is pretty damn unrelated.
  • June 18, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Fictional examples: the musical from Monsters Inc, written, directed, produced by, and starring Mike Wazowski. It turns out pretty awful.
  • June 19, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    It might be worth noting that the Vanity Project thread skews more toward Small Name Big Ego productions, such as Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet in 1996; while this Multihyphenate aims more for the underfunded, understaffed Labor of Love projects, such as Charlotte Reiniger's Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed in 1924.

    At least, that's how I'm reading it.
  • June 19, 2014
    Lawman592
    ^ That's partly correct. The Vanity Project YKTTW has only in-universe examples. If it's to be cited for something in real life (like, for example, Branagh's Hamlet of which opinions are not universally negative), it will be under YMMV. In comparison, The Multihyphenate (or whatever we decide to call it) is strictly Trivia and is to be listed as such without a comment on the quality of the creative work.

    Also, it doesn't necessarily have to be underfunded or understaffed.
  • June 22, 2014
    Lawman592
    Bumped for comparison with Vanity Project.
  • June 22, 2014
    lakingsif
    Better name? I think Pet Project for the actual works or One Man Crew for the person. (Pet Project currently leads to a disambig page for a Fan Fic) Maybe the former, and use One Man Crew as a redirect (or the other way around?)
  • June 22, 2014
    lakingsif
    And, an example I gave to Produced By Cast Member:

    • Dianna Agron's little pet project, the film A Fuchsia Elephant, which she produced, wrote, directed, and starred in.
  • June 22, 2014
    Lawman592
    ^^ Another name suggestion: One Person Many Hats.
  • June 23, 2014
    Lawman592
    Maybe the name should be chosen by vote?
  • June 23, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ the names should pass all the good criteria first.
  • June 24, 2014
    Lawman592
    ^ Such as?
  • June 25, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Check Naming A Trope.
  • June 27, 2014
    lakingsif
    Are we agreed it needs changing, then?
  • June 27, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Apparently three people don't, since this has three hats.
  • Franchise
    • 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 Di C 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.
  • June 27, 2014
    Lawman592
    I withdrew a hat so the name problem could be sorted out.
  • June 29, 2014
    Lawman592
    Does anybody want to change the title or should we let the sponsor do it?
  • June 30, 2014
    lakingsif
    Shall we pick one? Crowner or no? I proposed [1]PetProject and [2]One Man Crew. Others were [3]One Person Many Hats and [4]Staff Member With Many Jobs.
  • June 30, 2014
    CoffeeWithMarkets
    I would call it either One Person Crew or One Man Crew
  • July 2, 2014
    Lawman592
    Is someone going to start a Crowner for the name?
  • July 3, 2014
    henke37
    • The Creator/Valve new employee handbook states that this is the default mode of operations at Valve. It notes that this is part of why they only have a plain alphabetized list for their credits.
  • July 3, 2014
    KevinKlawitter
    One Person Crew sounds good to me. I'll change it if people are cool with that.
  • July 7, 2014
    Lawman592
    ^ Yeah, that's a better title. Do it.
  • July 10, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    Name is more general than the trivia-trope described by the page.
  • July 10, 2014
    TheShadow
    David Bowie joked that he was writing an unauthorized autobiography he was going to sue himself over and use the settlement to fund a movie version in which he'd play everyone.
  • July 12, 2014
    Lawman592
    Bumped.
  • I honestly don't think One Person Crew (or One Man Crew) is a very good name: it's kind of misleading and a little too broad; we get that this is for certain people who do various different jobs and tasks for their own work, but the name makes it sound like that said certain people are the only ones working on their own projects.

    Live Action TV
    • MASH. 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).
  • July 14, 2014
    lakingsif
    ^ Maybe it's general, but it gets the point across, and in my opinion I wouldn't assume that they do everything, but do a lot and are vaguely in charge.

    Perhaps you could suggest something better that won't allow some people to presume that there is literally only one person. Ooh, if you can think of an appropriate creator well-known for doing this it could be "[Creator's Name — Ben Affleck, Joseph Gordon Levitt] Syndrome" or "The [Name] Job".

    I still like it and think it's fine as it is.
  • July 14, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    However, the current name has nothing to do with making movies or similar projects. The current name is too broad, applying for a one man baseball team or Jack Sparrow on the Black Pearl in Davey Jones' locker.
  • July 15, 2014
    lakingsif
    ^ clearly distinguished from being a team. A crew is a different concept, and if you pop it in the Trivia namespace, where it should go, the potentiality for fictional examples is nullified.

    EDIT: Go ahead, make another trope called "I Am The Team" or "I Am The Crew" in the style of I Am The Band for, you know, Pirates Of The Caribbean etc.
  • July 15, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    Naming A Trope explains why not.
  • July 16, 2014
    mongol
    This has to be Trivia. Glad that Orson Welles has already been listed.
  • July 16, 2014
    CatAna
    • Headlock was directed and written by, and stars, Mark Polish.

    If people don't like the name, I still like Pet Project (if the description could have a few words changed) and would have probably asked for it as a redirect anyway.
  • August 5, 2014
    Lawman592
    Would this proposed Trivia page be launchable if it had a better name?
  • August 12, 2014
    eroock
    So this and Vanity Project are the same?
  • August 20, 2014
    Lawman592
    ^ Almost but not quite. The proposed Vanity Project page is to be classed under YMMV and represents what happens when a One Person Project (or whatever name we settle on) goes sideways usually because the person behind the One Person Project has an ego that's inversely proportional to his actual talent.
  • August 22, 2014
    CatAna
    Bump
  • August 22, 2014
    Lawman592
    I think we should do a Crowner for the title. Does anyone else?
  • August 22, 2014
    StarSword
    Not to be confused with Crew Of One.
  • August 23, 2014
    SeptimusHeap
    Recommending another name - this one sounds like Crew Of One. One Person Casting is my first thought but it doesn't quite work.
  • August 24, 2014
    Lawman592
    I think I'll do a Crowner for this proposed page's title. Give me alternate names to put to the vote.
  • September 6, 2014
    Lawman592
    Changed the name to One Person Many Hats to see what the response would be.
  • September 6, 2014
    DAN004
    It's like a person who wears lots of hats (whether one at a time or all at once) and/or a hatmaker.
  • September 10, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animtion
    • 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.
  • September 15, 2014
    Lawman592
    Title changed to Copiously Credited Creator. What does everybody think?
  • September 15, 2014
    Bisected8
    • 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.
  • September 16, 2014
    HeroGal2347
    Is this too close to Vanity Project? Vanity Project already has five hats.
  • September 16, 2014
    Lawman592
    ^ Vanity Project is what happens when a work by a Copiously Credited Creator turns out badly because the person behind it has an ego that's inversely proportional to his actual talent.
  • September 17, 2014
    K.Kloga
    The Trope is great but where is...
    • 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.
  • September 17, 2014
    K.Kloga
    • 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).
  • September 17, 2014
    K.Kloga
  • September 17, 2014
    K.Kloga
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