For what reasons do movies have credits?

Why do movies have credits?

It is strange to think that all the people who have been involved in a movie will be shown at the end. Just think about the endless credits at Lord of The Rings when they let all names of the “Lord Of The Rings Fan Club” roll along with the screen.

Why don´t other products have them?

A marmalade production company wouldn´t put all the person’s names who were involved in creating this marmalade on its package. Although it would be really interesting to see how many people contributed.
Since the chain of production is so long we would easily find more than a hundred names on the marmalades label. This would produce either a short font or a huge packaging.

Both are not practical and the same goes for movie credits.

Beginning of Movie Credits:

In the early years of movies, there were no stars or celebrities. Movies were shown in tents at carnivals and fairs. It took some years and the viewers began to recognize some artists and wanted to see more of them. So filmmakers introduced the opening titles. A shortlist of names they thought viewers would be interested in.
Since the physical material of the film was expensive, no one thought about implementing more names due to expensive footage.


It took until the mid-70s that footage got cheaper and filmmakers were willing to add a sequence of names at the end of a movie. Even though most audiences wouldn´t see it and leave right after the story finishes.

Nowadays it is more common to have an opening credit sequence with the most important names at the beginning. And a long closing credit sequence that can take up to 15 minutes.

Why do Movies have credits?

The importance of movie credits serves only one simple goal.
To credit the participants.
The world of the movies is a world of names. A world of who-is-who and who-knows-who. This goes not only for the audience but also for the filmmakers.
The audience can easily identify their stars and favorites by reading the credits.
As well can potential producers, camera people, directors, and casting agents to pick their team for a new movie. During my time in the movie industry, it was quite common to invite the whole camera assistant team along if a cinematographer was chosen for a project.

So it is all about acknowledgment, about names, and about knowing those names.

Maybe it is just something that artists like to do. Label their work. Painters do it all the time. Writers have it on the front of their books.
We believe in people we trust and if we like someone we want to know more about them, and see more from them.
Even this blog post has the author’s name (my name) aside.
Where do you put yours?

Best regards

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