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October 25, 2003
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Give Credit a Little Credit.

— Posted by John Campea

credit.gifSomething I’m surprisingly picky about are my opening credits. Sure, you could spends five bucks and put white letters on black and spell them out one at a time, but then you’d have to deal with the guilt of driving hundreds of people to the bottle while they watched them.

Opening Credits can be done so differently, that I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw some sort of award for “Best Opening Sequence” sneaking into one of the myriad of useless award ceremonies out there…(mumblemumble-mtv-mumblemumble) because it’s practically a whole art in and of itself.

David Fincher and Tim Burton are fantastic opening credits guys, add the Coen Borthers to that one after seeing Intolerable Cruelty.

Sometimes they’re shown on cards while an opening scene is developing like Requiem for a Dream.
Or Perhaps you’re shown a Kick-in-the-face action sequence with the final explosion kick-starting the credits like in The Rundown.
My personal favourite are themed credit openings, which capture the essence of the movie, but don’t necessarily hold essential parts of the story – Like Seven or Stigmata (Stigmata, I realize, sucked completely, but the opening credits were deadly.)
And then, next on my favourite list is when the opening credits are skipped completely – One of the few solid qualities of Independence Day.

Hollow-Man, besides redefining my future use of the word “Crap-tacular”, had absolutely brutal opening credits, so did Wesley Snipes’ “Art of War”. I’ve seen these movies once. YEARS ago. Never to be watched again, and the opening credits were SO BAD, I still remember their quality of Suck.

I’m sure there’s a billion more yawn-drawing opening credits out there.. in fact too many to mention is likely. Maybe if they DID make an award for them, it’d help, but then again, they already have an award for Best Picture and ‘Young Einsein’ still got made. Who knows.

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  • D Lap

    Oh yeah –
    – I think the fact that since movies are much bigger productions then way back when, if you *DO* plan on giving credit to a thousand people, then yes, you pretty much require to come up with something for us to do while it’s going on. Okay, I Really need lunch.

  • D Lap

    Granted, the attention span of Western Culture is getting shorter, but I think the finger pointing of Western Culture tends to be a little lazy itself. Everything is attention span’s fault – However, I don’t think the “mindless people need constant entertainment” works here – I think, long ago, some clever indiviual saw opening credits as a great opportunity to advance the story or prepare the audience.
    — I really don’t think people were that excited in the first place reading boring opening credits. So today, instead of just “cards with names on them” as in the 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol”, we’ve been exposed to a much broader variety of credits — ones with fantastic effort. Sure movie makers can do whatever they want with credits, but if the credits are too plain, they’ll be like they already were back in the day of lore: not very exciting.

    Basically, I don’t think opening credits became good to relieve our short attention spans, but rather our exposure to good ones have made us much more critical on the credits that were already boring.

    Or something like that. I need some lunch.

  • http://www.linkmedia.ca Rodney

    I liked some of the simpler opennings like in Daredevil, with the windows fading into Braille and then into english credits. Gone are the days when they just show a pattern in the background and words drifting by (Superman, Batman) Movie makers MUST put some effort into it or it bores the audience before they even get to the movie. I don’t even remember which movie it was, but I recall white letters against black, fade in , fade out, for a good 10 mins… wake me when the movie is on.

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