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Copiously Credited Creator

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And that's not even including the two Wiseau Films logos at the start.
"'Written-Produced-Directed'; the poor guy wasn't smart enough to spread the blame around."
RiffTrax about Plan 9 from Outer Space and its writer/producer/director Ed Wood

In most productions of film, television, and theatre, the work is split up between a large number of people, mostly because 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 whoever holds the credits is Doing It for the Art. Also, various union affiliations or distribution platforms can require that various production-related roles be included in the credits which can actually mandate that the same person is listed several times.

Sister-trivia to Directed by Cast Member, Produced by Cast Member and Written by Cast Member. For a musical example, see I Am the Band. Often overlaps with the Auteur License. Not to be confused with In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It.

Instances of when a Copiously Credited Creator's project goes sideways due to the creator's runaway ego and lack of talent are covered in the Vanity Project sub-trope.


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  • In-universe and parodied in one Doraemon comic, which has Suneo converting his garage into a miniature cartoon studio and inviting everyone to partake in his cartoon production... except Nobita, as usual. So Nobita drags Doraemon into making his own cartoon with a futuristic Gadget-of-the-Week, the Instant Cartoon Studio, and invites the whole gang for his cartoon's debut. Nobita is proudly rubbing in to Suneo, Gian and Shizuka that "his cartoon is better" until the credits popped up (which leads to Suneo and Gian asking Nobita,"what did you do?"):
    Director — Instant Cartoon Studio
    Producer — Instant Cartoon Studio
    Storyboard — Instant Cartoon Studio
    Art Direction — Instant Cartoon Studio
    Animation — Instant Cartoon Studio
    Music Composer — Instant Cartoon Studio
    Cinematography — Instant Cartoon Studio
    Special Effects Supervisor — Instant Cartoon Studio
    Control Direction — Doraemon
  • Besides voicing protagonist Miaka Yuuki, Bridget Hoffman also directed and wrote the English dub of Fushigi Yuugi.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • For the production of Coraline, Henry Selick served as the writer-producer-director-production designer.
  • Played for Laughs as part of the Credits Gag in Bambi Meets Godzilla, where Marv Newland is credited for writing, screenplay, choreography, Bambi's wardrobe, and producing. For good measure, Mr. & Mrs. Newland get credit for "producing" Marv Newland. The credits take up over half of the (extremely short) running time.
  • An in-universe case happens in Monsters, Inc.: the DVD has the playbook for "Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me!", with basically everything done by Mike Wazowski (a rare exception: "Mike Wazowski by: Mrs. Wazowski").
  • Up:
    • In addition to directing the film, Pete Docter was a co-writer, a story artist, and the voice of Strauch and Kevin.
    • Bob Peterson co-wrote the screenplay in addition to serving as a story artist, as well as providing the voices for Dug and Alpha.
  • Domee Shi directed Turning Red as well as co-writing the story and the screenplay.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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 Halloween. He directed, wrote, composed and acted in The Fog (1980) and Big Trouble in Little China.
  • The Bodyguard (Thai) (both of them) is directed, written by, and starring Thai comedian Petchai Wongkomlao.
  • 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 generally not all at once. He does have the prestige of the Guinness World Record for "Most Credits in One Movie" for his 2012 movie Chinese Zodiacnote : lead actor, director, writer, producer, executive producer, cinematographer, art director, unit production manager, catering coordinator, stuntman, stunt coordinator, gaffer, composer, props, and singer of its theme song.
  • Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, starred in, and composed the music for many of his films.
  • Buster Keaton spoofed this in his 1921 film The Playhouse, in which he himself goes to a variety show, sits next to himself (thanks to trick photography) and examines the programme, in which every single credit is to "Buster Keaton". Sure enough, not only does Keaton play all the stage performers (more trick photography), he's also every member of the orchestra. No surprise then that he comments to his neighbour "This fellow Keaton seems to be the whole show."note 
  • For Steps Trodden Black, Keane Chan Hodges handled screenwriting, directing, make-up effects, visual effects, camera operation, editing, general production design including designing the aliens and space ship, pyrotechnics, boom operation, and sound mixing, as well as playing a minor role. Given that the film was made on a budget of around 500 dollars, this was a necessity.
  • 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-director-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" or "The RZA".
  • 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.
  • In The Room (2003), Tommy Wiseau serves as the writer-director-star-executive producer-producer. No, that last one is not a typo.
  • Ed Wood did this quite a lot.
  • Headlock was directed and written by, and stars, Mark Polish.
  • Robert Rodriguez usually directs, writes, produces, composes the score, mixes the sound, has some input in special and visual effects and edits. He often does the camerawork himself and has credited his willingness to do everything himself to allowing him to accomplish otherwise "impossible" shooting days such as 73 camera angle changes in 13 hours. Occasionally he also manages to have a Creator Cameo. On Planet Terror he's also (half)jokingly credited as his own chef.
    • Rodriguez took this to its greatest extreme on El Mariachi, the film that unexpectedly let him break into Hollywood. In order to keep costs down, he had no crew whatsoever and recruited the actors to help whenever he needed extra hands. As recounted in his book about the subject, Rebel Without a Crew, he also edited the film himself (using the same awkward videotape editing method he grew up using as a kid) and did all of the sound recording and dubbing. After he got a distribution deal and full Hollywood resources, he balked at spending $3000 for professionals to take 3 weeks subtitling the film and did it himself over a weekend.
  • 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 company not to do the latter himself). In Bad Taste, he also acts (later movies only had him in a Creator Cameo).
  • Lake Bell wrote, directed, starred in and co-produced In A World.
  • Ukrainian independent filmmaker Nikolay Yeriomin is this nearly always because of No Budget. Just see his filmography to get the idea.
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate was directed, written, produced by and starred Harold P. Warren.
  • Kevin Smith was a director, writer, co-producer, and co-editor for Clerks, and he also played the minor character Silent Bob.
  • In Which We Serve credits Noël Coward as Star, Producer, Writer, Composer and Director, the last credit being shared with David Lean. However, the 'director' part is debatable, the original intention was for Coward to direct the actors and Lean to direct the action sequences, but as the film went on Coward became bored with the film-making and left most of the work to Lean.
  • Ben and Arthur credits writer-director-actor Sam Mraovich as having a hand in nearly every aspect of film production, including editing, makeup, and composing the score.
  • John Rad's name appears in the opening credits so much it achieves Brick Joke status in Dangerous Men.
  • Neil Breen does this so much that he makes up phony companies to credit and then admits later in the credits that any corporation with the initials "NB" is just him. Or just puts things like "Makeup: none".
  • Clint Eastwood acts in, directs, produces, and writes the score of Million Dollar Baby. (all the other movies of his where Clint is credited as a composer are ones where he's not in front of the camera; at most, some like Gran Torino have him writing or performing a song)
  • Stanley Kubrick mostly got writer-producer-director credits. His early work had him doing more things, and 2001: A Space Odyssey also had him editing and helping with the effects (the latter is even the source of his only competitive Academy Award).
  • Peter Hyams is the writer, producer, cinematographer and director of 2010: The Year We Make Contact. He'd continue to do his own cinematography in all his movies afterward.
  • Zack Snyder produced, wrote, directed and did the cinematography of Army of the Dead and Rebel Moon.
  • Alexandre Astier produced, wrote, directed, edited, played in and composed the soundtrack of The Movie of his Kaamelott series, Kaamelott: Premier Volet.
  • Bruce Lee not only starred in Way of the Dragon, but he also directed, produced, and wrote it, as well as choreographing the action.
  • Harlem Nights was written, directed, and starring Eddie Murphy.
  • Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in the first six Rocky films and directed the second, third, fourth and sixth films.
  • Music: In addition to director, co-writer and producer, Sia also composed the soundtrack (in the form of new original songs), as well as the editing.
  • Dan Aykroyd directed, produced co-wrote and played two roles in Nothing but Trouble.
  • John Wayne directed, produced and starred in The Alamo (1960).
  • Josh Radnor directed, wrote, and headlined Happythankyoumoreplease. He did the same for Liberal Arts, but this time he also produced it.
  • Brit Marling co-wrote, produced, and headlined both Another Earth and The East. She also co-wrote, produced, and is a main cast member of Sound of My Voice (Christopher Denham plays the lead instead).


    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. was 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 credited producer-director-star of every single episode of Dragnet as well as the revival series Dragnet 1967. He very, very occasionally also wrote an episode.
  • M*A*S*H. Over the course of eleven seasons, Alan Alda slowly gravitated to various different jobs on the shownote ; 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).
  • Spoof example — Garth Marenghis Darkplace credits Garth Merenghi as writer, director, producer, star, and even sneaks in a composer credit ("based on tunes whistled by").
  • On Psych, James Roday Rodriguez became more involved in behind-the-scenes work to become a director, writer, and executive producer alongside being the show's headliner.
  • SMILF is a TV show created by, written by, executive produced by and starring one Frankie Shaw.
  • Similarly, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was co-created, co-executive produced, co-written, and stars Rachel Bloom. It helps, however, that her co-writer and co-creator, Aline Brosh McKenna is the actual showrunner of the show.
  • Jean-Luc Azoulay, creator of many French TV favorites such as Club Dorothée and Les Filles d'à côté liked to be heavily credited for his shows, generally under his alias of Jean-François Porry.
  • Dan Levy produces, writes, stars in, edits, sometimes directs, and is the Show Runner for the series he created, Schitt's Creek. He also collaborates closely with costume designer Deb Hanson on the show's wardrobe and meticulously supervises the art direction.
  • On The Red Green Show, this was parodied with Ranger Gord's Educational Films, which stated that they were written, drawn, animated, voiced by and starring Ranger Gord.
  • Bill Cosby in The Cosby Show: Created by Ed. Weinberger & Michael Leeson and William Cosby, Jr., Ed.D.; Theme by Stu Gardner & Bill Cosby; Executive Consultant: William H. Cosby, Jr.; A Carsey Werner production in association with Bill Cosby.
  • Every episode of Intimate is written and produced by series stars Bruno Alexander, Emil Belton, Oskar Belton, Leo Fuchs, and Max Mattis; directed by Alexander, Belton, Belton, and Fuchs; and edited by Alexander, Belton, and Belton. Mattis does not co-direct but gets a second producing credit (as executive producer). They are, naturally, also the creators, but (probably due to the series' conceit that they are starring as themselves) the show does not use any 'created by' credits.
  • Brit Marling:
    • Marling long with longtime Production Posse Zal Batmanglij created, wrote, directed, and executive produced The OA, with Marling also playing the lead role.
    • Marling and Batmanglij also created, wrote, directed, and executive produced A Murder At The End Of The World, with Marling also having a lead role. This series also marks Marling's directorial debut.

  • In 1954, Bobby Sherwood had a recording session set up with other musicians at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Hackensack, NJ but Hurricane Edna hit on the day of the session and only Sherwood made it to the studio, having arrived 20 minutes before the storm. Instead of wasting the expensive studio time, he went ahead and recorded two songs entirely by himself: "Yes Indeed" and "Brown Eyes, Why Are You Blue?" On the picture sleeve for the single featuring those two songs, he's credited for first trumpet, second trumpet, third trumpet, french horn, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, drums, vibraphone, four vocal parts and arrangements.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • An in-universe example comes from Wrestling/WWENXT for the credits of Tyler Breeze's music video for his theme song #Mmmgorgeous He wrote the song, performed the song, inspired the song/video, edited the video, produced the video, directed the video. He's also in the special thanks section and is listed as Most Gorgeous.

    Puppet Shows 
  • On the PBS Kids show Donkey Hodie, a spinoff of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, David Rudman is credited as a creator, executive producer, director, writer, storyboard artist, puppet designer, song lyricist & performer and theme song performer, as well as the puppeteer of Bob Dog, Grampie Hodie and Yodel Bird.

  • In a Christmas episode of The Archers there was the in-universe "Linda Snell presents a Linda Snell production of Linda Snell's adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Directed by Linda Snell."

    Video Games 
  • Cave Story was created entirely by one man in his spare time. Daisuke Amaya wrote the scenario, drew the artwork and scenery, animated the sprites, designed all of the levels, composed all of the music, and programmed the entire game engine, all by himself over the course of five years.
  • Touhou Project 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.
  • In Super Turrican for the NES, all four names credited with the game's development are Manfred Trenz.
  • Hideo Kojima indulged in this trope for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - atypically, though, it may have been more of a Take That! to Konami, as they'd removed his name from the cover prior to release.

    Web Animation 
  • In The Demented Cartoon Movie, the credits for the extremely short "abbridged version" are "Brian Kendall presents / A Brian Kendall Production / Of a Brian Kendall Film." A more pedantic version of this opens the actual movie, with the end replaced with Blah, Blah, Blah.
  • A lot of the longer Homestar Runner cartoons had credits featuring a variation of "Written, Drawn, Directed and Animated by the Brother Chaps", with voice credits to Matt Chapman and Missy Palmer. This would be increasingly lampshaded in later shorts:
    • A Decemberween Pageant has "The Usual Credits" shown on-screen.
    • Homestar Presents: Presents has "Blah, Blah, Blah The Brothers Chaps".
    • Jibblies 2 has "an incredibly scary Halloween-type toon made by the same people who always make these cartoons."
    • Most in the Graveyard has "The credits for the 9th Homestar Halloween Cartoon...are the same as the first 8!"
  • Japanese web animation Matatabi Movie Labo has anime-style opening and closing credits where Karamel is credited for producing, creating, co-writing, directing, editing, music, character design, and most of the voices. Gurun is credited slightly less for co-writing and additional voices.
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: The credits are exactly as follows: "Literally Everyone Voiced by The Most Epic Person Ever", "Animated by The Same Guy", "Written by Also The Same Guy", "Directed and Produced by Guess Who? The Same Guy", and "Also Edited by The Same Guy Lol".
  • Murder Drones: Creator Liam Vickers has a "written and directed by" credit for every episode, as well as credits for concept art, 2D artist, and the occasional minor voice role. The pilot episode additionally credits him for art direction, voice direction, storyboarding, animatic, greybox art, composition, and VFX.
  • The early seasons of Red vs. Blue have just about everything but the music done by Burnie Burns, though later ones downplayed this for him. The Chorus Trilogy had Miles Luna writing, directing, voicing Felix, and editing, along with doing machinimating, compositing and casting in two of the seasons. And in Season 15, Joe Nicolosi wrote, directed, edited, voiced Jax Jonez, performed a song in the end credits and did some compositing (in season 16, only the music part wasn't repeated by him). Following an aversion of this in Season 17, Season 18 had Torrian Crawford responsible for the story, directing, animating, editing, and doing motion capture (he lampshades it in the intro here).
  • Zero Punctuation does this for a joke as Yahtzee describes Clive Barker's Jericho, calling it "Clive Barker's Clive Barker's Jericho by Clive Barker."

    Web Videos 
  • Economy Watch: David does the directing, writing and editing of every episode, with occasional co-writers.
  • The credits of Christopher Bores' show Haunted Investigators list Bores as Executive Producer, Editor, Post Production, and Music Editor. No one else is credited apart from a "Special thanks to all parties responsible for making this show possible" credit.
  • The four members of Shipwrecked Comedy each have multiple jobs on each product, including actor and producer (all four of them), writer (Sean and Sinead Persaud), and costumer (Sinead, Mary Kate Wiles and Sarah Grace Hart).
  • Played for Laughs in the Series Fauxnale of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, where the credits list every character who ever appeared, and their voice actor. It's just LittleKuriboh listed over and over, with a handful of other voice actors.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • South Park: Trey Parker is credited as co-creator, co-executive producer, writer, director, additional music, and also voices half the cast. Matt Stone does slightly less.
  • In-universe example: In The Critic, Le Artiste et Mort, Jay's student film from college, was written, directed, starred, and catered by Jay himself.
  • Subverted with Rocky and Bullwinkle and other cartoons produced by Jay Ward. Ward's partner, Bill Scott, did multiple jobs on the shows, being the co-producer, head writer, and voice actor. However, he only received screen credit as a producer; he declined credit for his other roles specifically to avoid having his name appear over and over.
  • A few of the Hashimoto-san shorts would have creator Bob Kuwahara credited for directing, writing, and animating.
  • The 1970 animated adaptation of Horton Hears a Who! has Chuck Jones credited as a director, co-producer, voice actor (with June Foray), and storyboarding (with Bob Ogle). Dr. Seuss himself is listed for writing the original book, as well as co-producing with Jones (credited as Ted Geisel), lyrics, and teleplay for the adaptation.
  • Mark Evanier said he wore many hats in Garfield and Friends, but the credits reduced it - he was the showrunner, voice director, did voice casting and a few other things, but his credit was at first "Written by" and then "Written and co-produced by". Evanier also mentions that a name over and over can be unintentionally funny, such as an independent movie he saw where someone was credited sixteen times.
  • In-universe example in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Kon Ducki", in which not only is Plucky credited for everything on the epic movie The Voyage of the Kon-Ducki down to the catering, but he has three production companies named after himself.
  • Obscure 1992 Christmas special Up on the Housetop has Jerry Reynolds and Russ Harris both getting credit for producing, writing, directing, and voice acting. Jerry Reynolds has additional screen credits for music, songs, animation, and backgrounds, while Russ Harris has additional credit for camera.


Video Example(s):


Red Green - Ranger Gord

On "The Red Green Show," the "Ranger Gord's Educational Films" animated segments are said to be written, directed, animated and voiced by Ranger Gord. Oh, and starring Ranger Gord.

How well does it match the trope?

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