Managing Indie-Auteurism in An Era of Sectoral Media Convergence


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Since the mid-1980s, authorship has become an increasingly prominent component in the promotional, extratextual and critical discourse surrounding independent and indie film. During the same period, independent and indie film has become more lucrative and increasingly drawn attention and investment from Hollywood studios and other vertically and/or horizontally integrated media institutions seeking to further expand their businesses. In a context of sectoral media convergence, therefore, the thesis explores the management of indie-auteurism, defined as a discursive construct conveying authenticity, autonomy, artistry, natural talent, innovation and quality attached to authorial figures associated loosely with American independent or indie film. It explores especially the role played by producers and talent managers, two types of talent intermediaries, in constructing and managing indie-auteurism, the industrial and economic functions it serves, as well as its cultural repercussions. The thesis begins by analysing the Coen brothers’ collaboration with various producers to explore the construction and management of indie-auteurism across three periods of contemporary independent film outlined by Yannis Tzioumakis (2013): independent, indie and indiewood. The thesis goes on to expand this periodization, however, by exploring the strategies and operations of two highly diversified talent management and media production companies, Propaganda Films and Anonymous Content, in using indie-auteurism to sell and/or market their film, television, music video and commercial spot projects and productions. In doing so, the thesis helps to develop understandings of independent and indie film in two interrelated ways. First, it sheds light on the role that producers and talent managers, figures who have been under researched in the study of independent film (and in media studies generally), have played in constructing and disseminating indie-auteurism and in shaping independent and indie film. Second, it expands the history of independent and indie film by tracing talent management strategies across media and reconfiguring indie-auteurism within an era of media convergence.
Date of Award1 Mar 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Edge Hill University
SupervisorHANNAH ANDREWS (Director of Studies), RUXANDRA TRANDAFOIU (Supervisor) & CLAIRE PARKINSON (Supervisor)


  • Indie-auteurq
  • authorship
  • independent film
  • television drama
  • media convergence
  • talent management
  • media marketing
  • cultural legitimation
  • Anonymous Content
  • Propaganda Films

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