Friday, 22 August 2014

Auteur Theory

The Auteur theory was introduced in the 1950’s by French film directors like Francois Truffaut who advocated a focus on the contribution directors made on the style and form of film, he said:
“A true film auteur is someone who brings something genuinely  personal to his subject instead of producing a tasteful, accurate but lifeless rendering of the original material”
This theory holds that a film's director is its “author” (French, auteur). An auteur is a film maker whose style and practise is distinctive which creates a signature auteur status for them. It is also a film maker who has a personal, signature style and keeps creative control over his or her work.

Making any film or in this case a music video the director is the auteur but it would not be possible for them to create the whole production on their own, instead they collaborate with others and team up with; writer, cinematographer and actors but the director is still an auteur in a sense as they control everyone and everything in the production. Supporters maintain that the most successful films bear the distinctive imprint of their director and that an auteur would place a significant visual style that would be visible throughout their work.  An example of a music video auteur is Chris Cunningham. Chris Cunningham is a British music video film  director and video artist. Cunningham is known for his warped style and disturbing imagery, he has worked and produced music videos for the likes of; Aphex Twins, Bjork, Placebo and  Madonna.


Harold "Hype" Williams (born 1970), previously known as HYPE, is an American music video and film director. As the definitive video director for late-'90s rap music,  Williams worked with every major rapper of the era, from Nas and Kanye West to Missy Elliott and Puff Daddy, and even made the admirable leap to feature films as well. Born in the Hollis, Queens, neighbourhood of New York to working-class parents. He attended Adelphi University, where he studied film, and subsequently joined Classic Concept Productions, where he swept floors on the sets of golden-age rap video shoots. In 1993, he launched his own production company, Big Dog Films, and made his first major video in 1994, Wu-Tang Clan's "Can It Be All So Simple." Following the video's airing, offers began pouring in, and Williams took on as many as time allowed, directing numerous videos every year until the decade's end.

Within only a few years, Williams had become an award-winning director, taking home the 1996 Billboard Music Video Award for Best Director of the Year, the 1997 NAACP Image Award, and the 1998 MTV Video Music Award for Best Rap Video, among others. During this late-'90s run, he worked with every major rap artist imaginable, and earned a reputation for incredibly stylish videos characterised by fish-eye lens work and glitzy wardrobes. The Artisan-released film starring rappers DMX, Nas, and Method Man became a substantial cult hit among the urban audience. 
Throughout his work, certain iconic auteur styles and elements can be seen time and time again. Some examples of this include: 
  • Use of coloured banners across the top and bottom of the screen

  • Use of bold, primary colours, - often block colours 

  • Sexualisation of full figured women through dance and costume

  • Singing rapping to the camera, lot of close ups

  • Now puts his name on each videos much like many film directors 

  • R&B hip hop focus within his music videos  

  • Use of fish eye lens 

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