As a result of not including titles/credits in our sequence “INQUEST”, I have decided to do a blog post on the way in which titles are ordered in the opening to films and the reasons behind this.
Which opening credits for films can be creative in expressing key themes that will be revealed later in the film, and are practical in the sense of informing the audience who is involved in the film including: (in the following order)
- Name of the studio/distribution company- who have sold the film into cinemas, DVD’s, television plus many more; sometimes this is listed as text, a logo, or a well-known clip for that institution like the lion as the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
- Name of the production company: this is for the company that is responsible for making the film, listed under “In association with…” or “A (studio name) production”.
- Production (Producer’s name): which the producer is the key coordinator for the production as they are involved in the production process and the financial/administrative side; in the case of our opening title sequence Kate’s name will be here.
- A film by (Director’s name): modern audiences see the Director’s name before the actual title of the film, like the 2014 film “Fault In Our Stars” (displayed below) is evidence of this. For my group the Director’s name will be Nicole.
- Starring (followed by a list of actor’s names): usually it’s one to three of the lead actor’s names that’s listed before the title of the film as this is believed to be why the audience originally was attracted to seeing the film because of the three stars. Which relates to the term ‘top billing’ due to this demonstrating the position at the top of a theatrical bill with the stars names featuring on it, similar to a film poster like “i,ROBOT” starring Will Smith:
- Music, composer or original score: may be listed as one or the other.
- Hair/makeup artist: this is sometimes listed in the opening credits depending on whether the film heavily depends on special effects makeup or advanced ageing of a lead character like Tom Hanks in “Forrest Gump”, for example:
- Editor: this is the person who assembles the various shots into the story that then transforms into the film; ensuring that it meets the technical delivery specifications.
- Director Of Photography: or often referred to as cinematographer because they control the framing, lighting and composition decisions for the film; which is typically listed just before the writers.
- Written by, story by, or based on: This credit acknowledges the contribution of others that may have be involved in the film through writing the original story or the actual screenplay. The “based on a true story” credit is usually apparent in horror films rather than thrillers because they use real experiences as the inspiration to the events in the film, making it even more horrifying.
- The film title: once this appears on-screen the film will begin to start shortly afterwards. The image below is a montage of the main title design for the last 50 years of James Bond films: