The importance of credits seems to go unnoticed by audiences.
Whether viewers leave out of boredom, butt-numbing pain or limited
time, many miss the end credits. But what audiences may not realize
is that these acknowledgements are a significant part of the film.
In fact, there is a point to seeing the name of every crew
member.

The credits allow you to understand and appreciate all the other
facets of filmmaking besides the acting and directing.
Unfortunately, because of the lack of attention and recognition
that most crew members receive, credits only inform insiders or a
curious viewers.

The opening titles (if there are any) of a film differ from the
end credits. People actually have to watch the beginning credits if
they want to see the film. Also, because these are usually shorter
and only feature the roles that audiences are familiar with
(actors, directors and producers), the graphic design is intriguing
and entertaining. The white-on-black end credits thus pale in
comparison.

“Pirates of the Caribbean,” a big- budget film
released last year, boasted an extensive list of crew members in
its end credits. The film, which combines animation, intense stunt
work and period costumes, had so many various jobs that the end
credits last more than nine minutes. “Pirates” serves
as a good example of credits that feature hundreds of faceless
names with unknown, but vitally important, jobs that go unnoticed
by the average viewer.

Without construction coordinator Robert Blackburn there would
have been no ships or buildings on the “Pirates” set.
It was Blackburn’s job to oversee all the set construction
that took place. The cave in “Pirates,” just a mere
portion of the magnanimous sets, took Blackburn and his crew five
months to construct.

John Knoll, the visual effects supervisor, had an equally
important job. It was Knoll who managed and organized all the
storms and explosions in “Pirates.” Using miniatures of
the three ships in the film, Knoll and his staff were free to blow
up and sink anything they wanted.

Another example of an important crew member is Geoff Campbell,
the CG model supervisor. Campbell contributed to the eerie skeletal
pirates’ authenticity by matching the actors’ faces to
their skeletal interiors. Frankly, without Knoll, Campbell and
Blackburn, or any of the hundreds of crew members,
“Pirates” would’ve been just another second-rate,
cheesy pirate movie — or even worse, it would’ve
resembled of the inspirational Disney theme park ride that inspired
it.

Yet, film and video Prof. Hugh Cohen suggested that it takes a
specialist to take heed of these jobs. Cohen, who was familiar with
most of the crew members’ duties, appreciates the meticulous
effort put into the filmmaking process. However, though he always
sits through the credits, he said, “The (credits) are so
annoying and go on forever.” He only endures them for further
information about songs or locations. Cohen adds, “For the
viewers, it’s a waste of time.” perhaps it’s only
a waste because the viewers are uninformed.

In the end, watching the credits just may enhance one’s
understanding of the film. Instead of knowing the actors’ and
actresses’ husbands’ brothers’ wives, take notice
of the little people — the hardworking crewmembers. And if
the audience is lucky enough, an extra scene or two just might
follow the credits. Those who stayed for “Pirates” were
privy to an extra scene with Jack the monkey.

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