Collective and Individual Factors in the Development of Creative Ideas in Art: The Perspective of Film Directors

  • Anda Laķe
  • Laura Brutāne
  • Ketrisa Petkeviča
Keywords: sociology of creativity, systems view of creativity, creative process, development of creative ideas in film art, creative ideas of film directors


The study focuses on the question if and how it is possible to balance the freedom of developing artist’s individual creative idea and the societal demand for art defined in a concrete political context. The theoretical basis for the article is formed by research approaches grounded on sociology of creativity and social psychology. The object of the case study is film directors who had obtained funding for the production and dissemination of their films within the funding program ‘Latvian Films for Latvia’s Centenary’ (2016–2018). The experience of film directors (N 16) was examined by using in-depth interviews and transcriptions analysed in accordance with qualitative methodology. The study identified two contingent levels of creativity inspiration – the individual and the societal or collective level. The authors identify several development models of the film directors’ creative ideas, three of which are dominant: the independent outsider who stresses individual, seed-incident based creativity factors independent of the Latvian Centenary program; the independent idealist who stresses both individual and collective factors, independent of the Latvian Centenary program; the conforming patriot who stresses collective creativity factors that stem from the Latvian Centenary program. The view represented in the film directors’ interviews has in common the assumption that the Latvian Centenary call had a positive influence on the film ideas, allowing the development of the artistic vision and conceptualising the framework for the expression of their ideas. The directors emphasise that there was no intentional configuration of the film creative ideas by formally adjusting them to the demand, thus circumventing the barriers of social field’s gatekeepers. In many cases the idea had been developed long before the film idea call. Most directors admitted that the goal of the Centenary call appeared important to them both in terms of the state, and on the social and personal level.