Update: Titles (i.e. First Impressions Count)!
We always begin with the following disclaimer: It is impossible for you to know less about filmmaking than what we knew when we began the Salted Christmas journey. This series of articles is not designed to teach anyone in the industry anything. The series is simply intended to share with our friends some of what we’ve learned about the art, the skill, and the business of filmmaking.
Part of the filmmaking process that frequently goes unnoticed is titling. The word “titling” describes those instances in which the filmmaker decides to display text onscreen. Titling frequently occurs at the beginning and end of a film, but may also show up anywhere the filmmaker believes it is the best solution for communicating with the audience. The hope is that titling, in both the words and the presentation of those words, will support the overall theme and flow of the film.
Of course stylistically, the opening credits may vary greatly from the closing credits. The closing credits often appear as white words on a black background, whereas most filmmakers would never engage that style for the opening credits. Opening credits usually require a much more labor intensive approach to allow them to contribute to the feel of the film and even to make a good first impression. For Salted Christmas, even though we were first time filmmakers with no budget for special effects, we knew that we had to do something interesting for the opening credits.
Fortunately, the Lord provided a special effects artist who was willing to work on our budget. His skill with Adobe After Effects allowed us to create a title sequence to be proud of. Since Salted Christmas is set at Christmas time, we just needed a style that play off of that theme. Here is an example of what our artist produced:
There are three elements to what we are trying to achieve with this approach: 1) the colors play on Christmas, 2) the 3d effect allows the credit to appear as a real object within the frame of the camera, and 3) creativity utilized to reveal the credit adds to the overall effect. We hope these three title elements along with the cinematography and music, combine to make a great first impression.
In the closing credits, there are many more words, which make a treatment like the opening credits completely out of our time and money abilities.
By the way, we are still hoping to hit that December 2nd submission deadline for the Christian Worldview Film Festival in San Antonio.