General Question

kelly's avatar

When did they move the credits from the end of the movie to the beginning?

Asked by kelly (1918points) January 28th, 2008

“old” movies all had actors and production credits at the end. Now most movies have these credits at the beginning, often over the opening scenes.

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7 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Well, “really old” movies had them at the beginning. Most have some credits at both ends.

bluemukaki's avatar

Only the big epic films seem to leave out the credits at the start, like Star Wars and Lord of The Rings. If you want to make viewers get into the film quicker, having opening credits just ruins it…

tammy444's avatar

to get you to take notice but most of us just use that time to get some popcorn and something to drink.

PupnTaco's avatar

Don’t know when they started mandating this, possibly in the ‘60s as avant-garde filmmakers came about, but it’s a Director’s Guild of America requirement to have primary credits at the start of a film. Lucas refused on “Star Wars” in ‘77 and quit the DGA as a result.

gailcalled's avatar

I saw THE KITE RUNNER last night (a stunning and gripping movie, BTW) and all the credits were at the end. The movie simply started moving. Most of the audience, still in thrall to the film, stayed in their seats to watch. The crawl was over some visuals for a while.

Ditto w. THE MAN IN THE CHAIR (Christopher Plummer – a must-not-see) that I saw on Sunday.

mikebrowne's avatar

It’s all about business. The advent of films on TV is when this trend died out – when viewers could be lost to annoying opening name-checks.

Also at the same time, many of the unions and guilds for below the line staff involved in filmmaking demanded certain credits for their as their contracts became more and more complex. Thus the need for credits to be at the rear of a film grew. Imagine a film like ‘300’ with all of it’s CG artists and other technical crew listed at the front. You’d never get to see the film.

The reason you see only above the line folks at the beginning of the film is also due to contract negotiations. Even the length of time on screen, exclusion of other credits while one is on screen, position above or below the title and other factors are part of the bargaining process.

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