View Full Version : Insert TITLES... should I?
05-15-2005, 09:37 PM
Possibly a dumb question, but thanks to a fear of being labeled a newbie by a script reader -- in addition to a current dose of writer's block and undercaffeination -- I pose the following:
Should a spec script even include such language as TITLES OVER BLACK? To me it seems akin to providing shot direction.
05-15-2005, 10:07 PM
will it help the story you are trying to tell? if it does then go ahead. if it doesn't then don't.
don't do it just because you think it would be a cool woody allen style thing to do.
unless you are going to direct it yourself. then who cares?
05-15-2005, 10:25 PM
I think the key is definitely to have some actual storytelling reason for it, like if you're going to have some kind of sound or conversation going on during the titles, then fade in to reveal what's happening.
Robert Towne did this to good effect in Tequila Sunrise. The titles are over a black screen, but you hear two guys talking about something. It kind of makes what would be a scene with two guys just sitting and talking in a parked car more intriguing. Who are these guys we're hearing? Where are they? What are they doing?
And the fact that we're watching a mostly black screen while these guys talk kind of suggests right away that they're up to no good. By the time Mel says "'Cause it looks like we're out here selling drugs," you pretty much have the picture, even though there's no picture.
Plus, you probably listen more closely to the information their conversation reveals than you would if you had the distraction of visuals like cars whizzing by them on the freeway and stuff.
I think as long as it's clear you have a good reason to do it, you're okay. But, yeah, you could hurt yourself right from the start if it seems like you're only doing it to imitate some cool movie or script you saw.
05-15-2005, 11:06 PM
Nope, not really planning to use TITLES for effect. I was flipping through some screenplays, with maybe half being production scripts and the other being early drafts, and noticed that TITLES just kept popping up with the same regularity as a Table of Contents in a textbook. I had never really given TITLES any prior consideration in any of my work and wondered if I should be. Sounds like, "no." Good. I can empty my head of the notion. I don't have any room in my head for this trivial stuff, anyway. Every time I commit something like this to memory, I fear the name of my 3rd grade teacher might pop out and be gone forever.
Thanks for the help.
05-16-2005, 12:11 AM
Yeah, if it was just something you thought you were supposed to do, then don't worry about it. It ain't.
Also: Did you know that playing peek-a-boo with a very young child helps its developing mind learn that when you go away, you're not gone forever?
Now, quick! What's the name of your third grade teacher?!
05-16-2005, 08:02 AM
I would not include any reference to titles/credits.
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