Post Production

Giving Titles to the Types of Titles

Title Cards in Movies

Photo by Flickr User Plings

When you are starting to work on your opening titles, you might want to organize the credit information you receive from the client and begin a rough sketch of how the titles will unfold over time (also called animatics ). The following terminology and concepts will help you organize your work and facilitate the communication between you and your client. When we talk about a title card, we refer to a screen that displays the credit information of the cast and/or crew.

Titles and title cards can be distinguished as follows:

A single title card contains one name credit. Typically used in opening titles to display the name of the lead actors and the creative people involved in the movie. Generally referred to as the above-the-line credits.

A double title card contains two name credits. Typically is used to display the names of supporting actors and additional creative people involved in the movie.

A triple title card contains three name credits. Typically used to display the names of additional supporting actors.

A multiple title card contains more than three name credits. Typically used to name additional supporting actors or extras.

A main title card displays the main title of the movie.

Scrolling titles are titles that move sequentially in and out of frame, generally used as end titles.

A lower third is a title placed on the lower-third of the screen (although there might be other screen placements you could consider), generally used to display the information—name and title—of a person being interviewed or a location.

Subtitles are titles placed on the lower-third part of the screen (or sometimes on the top of the screen to avoid covering relevant information on-screen or previously existing lower thirds). These are generally used to translate dialogue in another language.

Intertitles are title cards that display the time, place, prologue, or quotes. In silent films, an intertitle is often used to convey minimal dialogue or information that can’t be deduced from the talent’s body language or the scene’s settings.

Text: Excerpted from Creative Motion -Graphic Tilting for Film, Video and the Web by Yael Braha & Bill Byrne© 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved

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