Conceptions of Creativity in Film and Television Production
Timothy D. Taylor
Professor, Departments of Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, and Musicology, UCLA
This presentation historicizes and problematizes the Romantic conception of creativity that exists in film and television production and, in some studies of them, how it is employed both to honor and justify the management of those who are thought to be creative. Such individuals are endowed with what I call, drawing on Foucault, the creative function. The creative work of composers in film and television is treated both as a natural resource—a raw material in need of refinement that is acquired through accumulation by dispossession—and a critical component of a complex cultural product that is made to order. This presentation also examines the Western construction of creativity as an exclusively male faculty, an idea promulgated since the nineteenth century that continues into the present. I also discuss my interlocutors’ views of their own creative freedom and agency.
About Timothy D. Taylor
Timothy D. Taylor is a professor in the Departments of Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, and Musicology at UCLA. He is the author of many books and articles, most recently, Working Musicians: Labor and Creativity in Film and Television Production, to be published early in 2023 by Duke University Press. He is currently completing a book that collects his recent writings employing anthropological value theory, and is working on a book about background music in early television programs.