Creativity and integrity: Marketing the “in development” screenplay



This study's purpose was to explore the relationship between creativity and integrity in the ideation phase of feature filmmaking. Integrity refers to one's self-defined ability to maintain authenticity and moral autonomy while preserving one's sense of membership and loyalty to the team or organization. When team members choose elements for the screenplay's story that they feel will attract the ideal audience, the dynamic tension between creativity and integrity is most apparent. The forces at play during this phase of work yielded the research question: In what ways and to what degree do screenwriters and'or studio executives feel their personal integrity is in alignment with the creative process of feature film development? Several concepts from the literature formed the design around which 23 active screenwriters and studio executives employed by the seven major and two of the minor U.S. motion picture studios were interviewed. The researcher's Creative Integrity Alignment Model yielded the hypothesis that the more aligned participants' individual integrity is with the creative process of feature film development, the more innovative they can be. From this hypothesis, anecdotal evidence was gathered from contributors to one of this year's most successful films to discover the potential relationship between integrity alignment and a film's performance in the marketplace. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.