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  • Michael Murray

    Research areas

  • PhD, School of Creative Studies and Media


This thesis is practice-led research in the field of commercial feature film development in the UK. It addresses the growing interest in practice as research in film, while proposing how traditional research methodologies can be broadened to allow for a more fluid use of practice as research in film for the future. In doing so, this thesis indicates that practice-led research is a critical tool for allowing a more functional understanding of the film industry generally because as a methodology it has the potential to encourage filmmakers and practitioners to engage with academic and research environments, and can ultimately expose more specific aspects of the filmmaking craft. Contextual analysis of this type does reveal the unfortunate presumption that often exists within film studies that there is a dichotomy between the theory of, and the practice of, making a film. Traditionally page-based film criticism has investigated film by seeking out associative theory and critiquing filmmaker’s work, while the filmmakers themselves often suggest that their artefacts ought to speak for themselves. As the development of making an industry film has rarely been subject to process specific theoretical critique by the filmmakers that created them, film practice has suffered a divorced relevance as a mode of research at doctoral level. The creative artefacts within this study, however, face a number of affects from film theory and this thesis confronts the traditional notion of a divide between page-based critical theory and production practices in film and builds towards an outcome that promotes a core relationship between the two. By presenting practical feature film development artefacts and providing a page-based critical insight, new knowledge can be revealed about how the UK film industry and critical theory both function as stimuli for creativity in film. The methodology here treats the filmmaker (myself) as a critical commodity in understanding the film industry and will show how the practicalities of making a film as a research artefact is influenced by a fusion of three core determinants: Critical Theory, Creative Process, and Market Forces. Structured around these three elements primarily, this study creates a working model for practice-led research, while giving an insight into the processes of feature film development in the UK.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Jamie Sherry (Supervisor)
Award dateJan 2015