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Old September 26th, 2007, 09:59 PM   #1
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Credits - what are the most important?

I finished filming my first short (maybe 15 minutes) and want to start compiling the credits. Is there a list of basics that should always be included? It is a serious short and will go out to festivals next year so I want to be as professional as possible. Do you include location scouting? There were fight scenes so choreography is also important. What else besides director, producer, should it all encompass?

Also, whats the difference between the Director Of Photography and Cinematographer?
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Old September 26th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #2
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1- Make sure you thank everyone who gave you free stuff, labour, or helped you out a lot. Otherwise you risk burning a bridge.

2- Professional shoots may have funding sources that require them to have certain credits. This likely doesn't apply in your case.

Unions may have certain requirements for credits.

Talent or producers may ask for particular credits (e.g. their name comes first, their name is bigger than other peoples, etc.). Some people may care how they are credited, whether someone else gets a better credit for vanity/ego reasons and whatnot. Or if other people take credit for work they didn't really do.

3- Other than that you can do whatever you want for the credits. You might want to avoid having the same person listed under multiple roles, since it might seem like they are good at none of those jobs.

IMO you want a single credit for whatever type of work you want to get. So suppose you directed a piece and did some of the music, editing, producing, etc. etc. If music/editing/producing is not really your thing, you might just want to give yourself a director credit and leave it at that. But it's not a huge deal.

4- (A pet peeve of mine) Some short films start with very long intro or credit sequences... to me that's a turnoff.

Some TV shows have an intro sequence that tells you what the show is about... those types of openings are useful. Otherwise just get to the point (e.g. do what Lost does... it's a 5 second opening).
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Old September 26th, 2007, 11:14 PM   #3
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As for credits... Unless you are doing a professional shoot, don't worry about it and keep it simple. If they helped you, give them credit. Period.

Finally, the cinematographer is the person shooting with the camera. The Director of Photography is the person in charge of the camera and lighting crews working on the film. On low to no-budget shoots, they are often the same person.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 12:02 AM   #4
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- and do not show credits for too long. If you will be using static screens with the function and person's name, 5..6 seconds per screen should be fine. If scrolling, just give enough time to read text easily twice before it disappears. Check how pros do that.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 09:44 PM   #5
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mmm ok. Well here s the list i have so far in no real order

Director, Exec Producer, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor (1 person not sure how to list)
Co-Producer, 1st AD(1 person)
Co-exec Producer
Writers
Boom Operator
Sound guy (the sound monitor?)
Foley FX
Music Composer
Lead Fight Choreographer
Fight choreography
Costume Design
Costume Creation
Make-up/hair
Gore-FX
Weapons preparation (dulling of blades for safety of cast)
Custom weapon designer
Crowd/Audience Control
catering
Marketing
lighting was done by the sun so i don't think its needed heh

Actors by name (obviously)
Special thanks to parks and other helpfuls



anything else seemingly essential that I am overlooking?
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Old September 27th, 2007, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Keith Moody View Post
Finally, the cinematographer is the person shooting with the camera. The Director of Photography is the person in charge of the camera and lighting crews working on the film. On low to no-budget shoots, they are often the same person.
Actually cinematographer and DP means the same thing. Perhaps in the case of the "person shooting with the camera" you are thinking of the operator.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 12:02 AM   #7
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Nathan:

Check the credits of a sample of features to see how the titles are listed.

A couple of things--"sound guy" would be sound mixer, or production sound mixer. "Foley FX" would be Foley artist. The weapons specialists are usually under the umbrella of props (property). "Crowd/audience control" is an AD position--depending on who else you had you could list them as 2nd AD or additional 2nd AD.

The usual order is actors first, then the above-the-line (if you didn't have those credits at the beginning of the movie); below-the-line production crew which is usually alphabetical by department, i.e. art department, camera, electrical, grip, sound etc. Then post-production and business affair, finally music, rights and special thanks.

A film at a festival will be judged on the film itself, not on the wording of the credits (unless they are terribly mishandled) but keeping them conservative and low-key will get the job done and suggest professionalism. I myself don't care for credits that have the same names over and over again in different job categories to make it look like there is a bigger crew than there really was.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 12:43 AM   #8
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Can you define 'aboe' and' below the line'? Whats the line? Also


" I myself don't care for credits that have the same names over and over again in different job categories to make it look like there is a bigger crew than there really was."

I fully agree, but I've also read even if you've done multiple job sand are listed as so all at once you appear arrogant. So i'm not sure which is the best way to list?
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Old September 28th, 2007, 06:58 AM   #9
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Here's a description of above the line, with a link to below the line.

You make a good point Nathan. It's a little tricky. To me, if there is a tiny crew, only the most important credits need to be named: producer, director, DP, editor etc. If that is all one person, (we've all done that), probably drop the producer and list the other three. Sure, you may also be handling audio, craft service, locations etc., but adding those on starts to create that arrogant vibe. If even listing the three major jobs feels that way, you can always say "A film by (John Doe)" and leave it at that (although I am not fond of the phrase "A (John Doe) film" unless the filmmaker is extremely accomplished and has a respected track record).
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Old September 28th, 2007, 06:55 PM   #10
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For a small production, the director can be implicitly understood as having done more-- producing, choreography, cinematography, etc.

The main thing is to cover everything, generally. Make sure that you have everyone involved listed. Then make sure you have the major parts of production covered. If you omit the Assistant Director (ie, organizer), then it can be assumed it was probably just organized by a mix of people, or the director, maybe with some help from the DP, etc. If you just list DP, then it can be assumed he also probably operated the camera.

It's an issue of how much your name appears in contract to other names on the list.

If you did the entire film by yourself, just use "Created by [name]", or "Directed by [name]", and that's fine. Even one of those with another title or two would probably make sense. "Costumes by [name]", etc.
Actors aren't included in that; see below.

If you do have a slightly larger production, at least 5 different crew members, then listing your name 2-3 times is just fine. Directing, writing, editing. (Omit DP if that's you again, probably.)

For a much larger production, say 40 names, you could credit yourself in many places.
As long as you don't see your name... then your name... then your name... and.... your name... your name.... someone else.... your name... etc.

Even in big movies, you'll see one name twice right near the start sometimes. For example, Star Wars has "Written and Directed by George Lucas", then "Executive Producer George Lucas".

I feel that people who did fewer jobs should probably get credited first for those jobs. If someone did costumes and you did as well, just put his/her name first. That will also help with anyone thinking you're just full of yourself.


Actors are fairly simple. Do it either by order of appearance, alphabetically by character or real name, OR by your decision of who was most important-- screen time, most helpful, did someone do it as a favor who deserves an earlier credit... etc.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 03:10 AM   #11
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Yea i am starting to get a better idea of how to handle it. I know it may sound like a cliche that everyone wants to do, but I'm aiming to not only go out and show this short then say 'hurray i did it', i'm hoping to make it a stepping stone for everyone involved to something higher/better. Not hollywood by any means, but even paying gigs and I'll be pleased with what I've accomplished. Thusly I want everyone to be properly credited for everything they contributed to make it happen, and yes that includes myself as I've been working on it since its conception in february and it takes up much of my free time. I am leaning towards main jobs (writing, directed, etc) to be stills followed by scrolling actor list and then scrolled remaining crew and other positions. In total there may have been 15 people on crew, then a bunch to put in special thanks who did small but helpful favors. It may seem trivial to those who have worked on many projects, but this is my first attempt at something serious so every aspect is very important to me. Thanks for the suggestions thus far
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Old September 29th, 2007, 03:14 PM   #12
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Yours!

Future clients need to know who has that IDEA that they have in mind. Don't under rate your self. And, I agree, that every one involved in the production should be mentioned.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #13
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On my shorts we based the credit order pretty much as found in most feature films. Personally, I either had two or three credits lumped together e.g. "written and directed by". I didn't put down the producer credit on one film, even though I'd found the funding. The guy who was acting more as a line producer got that one.

I wouldn't put credits like exec producer in a short, unless there's a corporate reason for it e.g. the film was part of scheme. One of my shorts had one, but he was put in place by the people running the scheme to supervise all the films being made. Putting yourself down as exec producer sounds a bit OTT.

I'd put down sound recordist rather than sound guy.
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Old October 1st, 2007, 02:25 AM   #14
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As far as i've learned the exec producer is the one who funds it. In this in stance I'm putting myself 8 months in debt just to get this thing done so I felt it was strong enough reasoning to add the credit. Or will it seem out of place still since the audience will not know the background unless they read the online blog etc (once the site gets made)
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