Question about film editing (re: Titles and Opticals)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by -, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Guest

    I have a question. What elements are used to create titles and opticals? Also, once the picture is locked in, can those titles be changed? What about a television program that needs titles changed for a re-broadcast or a film that is being re-released in a director's cut? If the negative is locked in, what materials would they go to in order to create the new titles? Thanks for any and all input.
  2. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Feb 16, 2001
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    Albany, NY
    In the old days, a variety of methods were used. Some were literally printed cards that they photographed and then faded between in editing, some scrolling credits were on a long piece of paper that would track in front of the camera. What we traditionally thing of as opening credits, with the text floating over moving live action footage was handled with an optical printer. Print the titles on one piece of film, the footage on another piece of film, and expose them together onto a single piece of film through the optical printer. This is why many older films look noticeably crappier in the opening credits than the rest of the film; the credits are one generation further removed from the original camera negative. Today, almost all credits are created digitally in post production. Swapping credits around is child's play. I've seen TV episodes airing back to back as a TV movie use one set of credits noting "Part 1" and "Part 2", and then the web version that appears hours later (which presents the two hours as separate episodes) uses a completely different credit format. You also don't have the same generational loss, because virtually everything nowadays is either sourced digitally or goes through a digital intermediate.
  3. Guest

    Thanks, Adam. That's what I was wondering. Take for instance a television show from the 1970s that was done on film, and it was a two-hour episode. When it was shown in syndication it was split into two, and now the opening credits have different names and a Part 2. Where do they get the raw film to re-do the credits? Do they keep it around in case they need it for these situations?

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