Saturday, February 2, 2008

Do credits on TV matter?

So the BBC is being forced to rethink the way it scrunches the credits into a corner. Which is great news for actors and crew who like to see their name on a show they've worked on. And great news for people who actually care who did the music or the dubbing or who the executive producer was. But how many ordinary viewers actually give a monkey's? Do you watch the credits? Do you care if they're squished - or even cut? Or do you think they should be shown out of respect for the creators?


johnnie said...

If I'm honest, I don't care very much (unless it's a program about which I'm scaring-the-children-obsessive, like Dr Who). Occasionally, though, I'll want to know who played Man In Crowd, because I recognise the actor and can't put a name to the face. On those occasions, the squishy credits are really annoying.

Either way, it seems a little silly. Squashing the creds into the corner like that all but guarantees that they can't be read unless you have your own IMAX screen, so why not just disgard them entirely? I'm not favouring that solution particular, just saying that the credits-in-the-corner solution is so useless as to be almost the same thing.

Anonymous said...

(I have unreasonably strong opinions on credits. Please take this for the MHO that it is.)

Full screen credits on plain old broadcast television might still be reasonable, because how else do you get the information? But that medium is increasingly dead.

Full screen credits on TV as we increasingly watch it (DVR, DVD, IP) seem anomalous. Pack them into an information burst: if I want to read them, I'll pause and advance through individual frames. If I'm on a smart device, put the credits in metadata I can browse with that device. If the device is Net-enabled, put them on a page I can navigate to from the program.
Don't make me sit through this stuff. Brand a little if you must, but if I care about obscure details, I'll seek out the information, and be happy to read much more than you could cram on the credit footage.

Full screen credits in machinima are a sign the medium feels too indebted to its older media parents, and is too slavishly following their inappropriate conventions. Don't put a minute of credits on a five minute piece!

Further, there should be two default downloads for episodic machinima. There should be the new episode for regular viewers (without credits, of course - we already saw them so many times. You can do a "previously" if the plot so demands.) And there should be everything from the first up to the new episode in a single download/stream for people coming to the story for the first time. These are your two markets - cater to them. The second is particularly ill-served by having to watch umpteen short previous episodes where tedious credits/theme song are in the way of me getting into your wonderful art.

(Sorry for the rant. I remember I tried and failed to convince Hugh to do this kind of thing with Bloodspell...)

Anonymous said...

I copied/pasted a slightly edited version of the above not-very-provoked rant to an entry on my own blog. Please do feel free to send the flames there if you want to stay on topic here!

Matt Kelland said...

"Don't put a minute of credits on a five minute piece!"

Or worse still, put five minute of credits on a one-minute piece. I've seen plenty of those.