Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Lost Art of Sitting Through the Credits

Post by Trai
When we go to the movies, my husband always wants to sit through the credits. He sees it as a sign of respect. I respect his respect, but for me, it’s all about the bladder. Have you seen the length of movies these days? Between the commercials, the 27 trailers, the 2.5 hour opus itself, staying for the five minutes of credits at the end is too much to ask.

So I generally leave him in the theater to pay homage and I run for the ladies’ room. But lately, he hasn’t remained behind to watch the credits. When I asked him why, it became a rather involved conversation.

David: Do you remember the credits in movies from the 1940’s? They’d put everyone on title cards at the beginning, and it’d be about 30 people total. The costumers were up front with the stars, the set designers with the directors.

Me: Yes, everyone was equal, with Elizabeth Taylor being more equal because her name came even before the movie’s title. Why do you suppose that changed?

David: When the movie studios stopped being the power holders, budgets changed, and then stars and agents started looking for more ways to be viewed as powerful.

Me: In other words, the above-the-liners got the prime real estate at the front of the movie credits, and all the lowly crewmen who did their hair or stocked the craft table got bumped to the back of the line.

David: Exactly.

Me: I used to stay to see our friends’ names in the credits. It was cool to see Josh as Assistant Editor or Shanice in the stunt department.

David: Why’d you stop?

Me: Because the credits got ridiculously long! I mean, with all the CGI that goes into movies, the credits have hundreds, if not thousands of names.

David: I remember when they first start compensating for these epic credit rolls -- first they reduced the font. Then they created multiple columns.

Me: And then they speeded it up so you can barely read the names as they go blazing by.
David: Hollywood wants to know why it’s not making any money? Because it takes a small city to make a single movie.

Me: So let’s make a statement. Let’s only go see movies made by 100 people or less.

David: I’m in. Except for the new Leo DiCaprio movie. And the Harry Potter movies.

Me: Okay. And that new Angelina Jolie movie looks good. I heard she did her own stunts.

David: We’ll have to watch the credits to find out.

Do you stay behind to watch the credits? Why or why not?


Eric W. Trant said...

I like the credits. I don't know if it's out of respect, but it's something about sitting there after the movie, letting it soak.

My son and I were the last ones to leave Avatar last weekend. And I mean the REAL Avatar movie, not that hack copyright-infringement James Cameron pulled with his "Avatar" movie.

Because of that white-headed freak (cameron), Avatar had to be renamed to just The Last Airbender.

But he's still the real Avatar.

- Eric

bfav said...

I also sit through the credits...for the details. Where it was filmed, who played who, and mostly in case there is a extra scene to reward those who sat through it all. One of my all time faves: Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Trai said...

Avatar had some of the longest credits of all time!

But in Cameron's defense, he'd staked out that territory ten years ago, and "the Last Airbender" is an awfully cool title!

I'll have to go back and look at Ferris' credits. Thanks for the head's up!

Kerrie said...

Sometimes I sit through the credits. I did after Iron Man 2-that was pretty cool, but I agree with Brooke, the Ferris Bueller credits are my all time favorites with a great payoff at the very end.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

I rarely sit through the entire credits, for the reason you give. Too many names, tiny fonts. But if a movie really blows me away, sometimes I will sit through the credits just to get my breath back.

Patricia Stoltey said...

The only time I watch the credits is if I recognized an actor's face but couldn't remember the name or I want to see the title or singer of one of the background songs or there are outtakes mixed in. Otherwise, a person could grow old(er) watching today's credits.

woodswoman d'italia said...

I do stay behind to watch the credits. It's partly out of respect, partly out of curiosity. "Who played that bit role? That actor looked SO familiar . . . "

Or "I wonder where they shot this movie." Or "What was the name of that song (singer, etc.)?"

Or finally we sometimes sit through the credits just to settle our minds after a particularly thought-provoking or disturbing or otherwise stimulating experience.

Susan Getgood said...

I almost *always* stay through the credits in case there's an extra scene at the end. For example, both Iron Man films had teasers.

Anonymous said...

We watch the credits to see where the film is shot - we love exotic locations.

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