Titles and Credits

Concurrent with all the preparations for the sound mix are your decisions about titles, credits, and optical effects. The usual practice in film is to mark in opticals, dissolves, and supers during editing. If not, they must be marked in before the film goes to the lab for the negative cut. Title and credits are another matter. You may well have left your decisions on these—what they are, where they appear, and how they appear—until the fine cut is completed. But now the time has come for a final decision on these matters.

There are two options for the presentation of titles and credits in film. You can present them white or colored on a black or colored neutral background, or they can be "supered" (superimposed) over a still or moving picture. The first option is simple, usually effective, and without many technical problems. The second option can look flashier and more dramatic, but it costs more than the simple title cards and can look messy if the lab work isn't of the best quality.

If you do go for the supers, you have to be careful where you place them. First, the supers should appear on a fairly dark background so that they stand out. It's no use having a white or yellow super over a white sky. Second, you should check that the super doesn't obscure some vital information in the picture. This may mean that your titles or credits are not always dead center but shifted left or right according to the background.

These days, with computer graphics, you have a tremendous choice available for titles. You may want to go for simple lettering or something very elaborate. The field is wide open to your own personal taste and feelings. For a whimsical film, you might want to try ornately decorated titles. For a medical film, you may want to keep the titles very straightforward.

There is only one rule: Make sure your titles and credits are readable. This means choosing the right size for them in relation to the screen and leaving them on the screen long enough so that they can be read easily. Usually, there is no problem with pop-in, pop-out titles or with titles that dissolve into each other. Roller titles or roller credits are another matter. Roller credits are often so close together and pass by so quickly that they become completely incomprehensible. Be sure to check the distance between the credits on the roller and the speed of the crawl. Video credits are much simpler to deal with. They are simply recorded on a floppy disc at the off-line stage. The disc is then brought into the on-line studio where you can play around with style and color as the credits, plus effects, are recorded directly onto the tape master.

Film Making

Film Making

If you have ever wanted the secrets to making your own film, here it is: Indy Film Insider Tips And Basics To Film Making. Have you ever wanted to make your own film? Is there a story you want to tell? You might even think that this is impossible. Studios make films, not the little guy. This is probably what you tell yourself. Do you watch films with more than a casual eye? You probably want to know how they were able to get perfect lighting in your favorite scene, or how to write a professional screenplay.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment