Virgo, W. (2023). The commerce-art dichotomy in cinema: A thematic analysis of Interviews of filmmakers in the Canadian film industry. The Young Researcher, 7(1), 112.125. http://www.theyoungresearcher.com/papers/virgo.pdf
Many scholars argue that the artistic merit of films is diminishing as directors opt for producers’ more business-oriented approach. However, research discussing the impact of commercial success on filmmaking lacks focus on directors and their perspectives. This study seeks to understand the effect of commercial success on directors’ artistic visions for films. Using semi-structured interviews with Canadian filmmakers, this study aimed to learn from filmmakers by gaining direct access to their perspectives. This study found that while many directors are keen to add “commercial elements” to their films, this is generally in the hopes of appealing to a wider audience, not to generate commercial success alone. Moreover, most directors value artistic recognition from critics above the desire to garner commercial success. The findings of this study can be used to inform critics and audiences about how commercial pressures impact the artistic elements in a film.
Keywords: Commercial success, artistic merit, director artistic vision, popular appeal, critical recognition/acclaim