Filmmaking & Videography

Movie credits are something that we’re all familiar with, and yet, there is so many questions around them. So, join us to take a look at why we need them, the order, and examples of getting creative with them. Let’s get started!

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What Are Movie Credits & Why Do We Need Them?

Just to make sure that we’re on the same page – movie credits are the text that appears on screen at the end (and sometimes the beginning) of movies. The credits list everybody that worked on a film – from filming to post-production, cast, crew, animators and more!

Credits serve many purposes, such as:

  • Allowing audiences to put names to faces and recognize and remember actors and cast members
  • It allows those working on the film to get exposure and potential job opportunities
  • To highlight that making a movie takes many people, and to reward the cast and crew for their expertise
  • A reminder that movies are more than just actors!

Movie credits have become the standard, and feature in every movie that we watch. We expect to see them, and therefore sometimes we forget to stop and think… who are all these people? What do they do? Why was this person first, and this person last? Don’t fret – we’re here to answer these questions right now!

How Do You Decide The Order For Movie Credits?

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The order for movie credits isn’t fixed and depends on various aspects of the film and those who worked on it. These are shown in movie theaters, DVD’s, and some are listed on posters, DVD cases and other marketing or promotional materials.

Sometimes, credits are shown in no particular order, choosing a few people to highlight first and going by department afterwards. In a lot of cases, the credits are shown at beginning and the end of the movie, with the end credits being far more extensive.

A popular order for end credits begin with ATL (above the line) individuals. These are the people whose names appear standalone before the full length credits start, and are followed by the long list. A standard ATL closing credit order feature the Director, Writers and Producer first, followed by Executive Producer, Lead Cast, Supporting Cast and DoP (and many more!)

Additional people that may feature in the credits depend on the genre. For example, action movies will credit stuntmen and women, films with lots of animals will credit animal handlers, and animated movies will have a lot of extra roles involved.

Who Decides Who Makes It Into Movie Credits?

Opening credits are decided by film unions such as Screen Actors Guild of America or the Writers Guild of America. End credits, however, are usually decided by the producer or production company.

Some actors actually ask their contract to mention how and where their name should appear in the credits. There are also people involved whose names won’t appear in the movie, making them technically uncredited. If this causes an issue, the conflict will be settled privately.

Ways In Which Movie Credits Are Made More Interesting

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Let’s be honest – watching scrolling text featuring hundreds of names and job roles at the end of a movie isn’t the most interesting thing to see. Opening credits are much briefer, and usually only feature a few select names.

Therefore, producers have had to get creative with ways of making credits more enjoyable and engaging fans even after the main event has finished. Think of films such as The Hangover, in which the pictures taken of the character’s big night out in Vegas are displayed next to the credits – giving the audience a fun insight into BTS of this iconic night. Another great example is the fun animation added into the end credits of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. In these hilarious credits, Baby Groot grows into teenage groot and refuses to clean his room, Kraglin plays around with the whistle-powered Yaka arrow and hits Drax in the neck. The makers of Toy Story 2 even created animated ‘outtakes’ that are usually found in movies, when actors fluff their lines and so on!

Final Thoughts

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If you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out our articles on Film Industry CareersTop Movie SoundtracksThe Wilhelm Scream and A-Z Of Filmmaking Terms! Also, don’t forget that Audiosocket always want to help filmmakers in any way we can, such as with finding music for your films, trailers, websites and more!

If you are looking for authentic, top-quality music for your films, why not check out Audiosocket? Your films deserve the best, so sign up today and access tens of thousands of songs to bring your vision to life! You can access Audiosocket’s music catalog for just $10 a month as a Personal creator. Not only that, but this allows you to license an unlimited number of tracks at no additional cost. Talk about win-win!

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