Symbiotic careers in movie making: Pedro and Agustín Almodovar
Alvarez, Jose L.
In this paper we focus on the paradox of unbinding creativity by binding up artistic and business tasks in a single symbiotic career carried out by two people. We argue that the uncertainty of the matching between film directors and producers in the artistic labour market, and the constraints production companies impose on creativity once the match is made, drive creative professionals to found their own production organisations, as well as forming their own art worlds. Self-production involves both artistic and business tasks, each of which requires a particular mind-set and abilities. The creative person alone cannot (in most cases) cover both the creative and the production side of his artwork. He needs a partner to take charge of deal making and production, somebody very close and deeply trusted who is capable of subordinating his own career to the trajectory of the artist. Thus, two people sustain a single career, that of the creative professional, embedding it in their own production company. The propositions we offer in this paper cast light on a largely unexplored topic in the literature, that of why and how two people sustain a single career. They are illustrated by the symbiotic career of the internationally acclaimed Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar and his brother Agustín.
Symbiotic careers; role versatility; trust; control; art worlds
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