I had a chat with a friend last week about the credits in movies and TV shows. To sum it up, he thinks that the end credit sequence in movies are usually too long and too full of names that don’t really need to be there.
In his opinion, the credits should just include the really important people who directly contribute to the movie – people like the actors, the director, screenwriters, matte painters, etc.
However, the caterers, PAs, stand-ins and drivers are just doing their jobs, and don’t really need to be included in there. After all, they’re not really contributing to the artistic vision of the movie, and can be easily replaced by someone else without affecting the movie.
Where does that line end, though? You could argue that the gaffers that handle the light set ups don’t need to be in the end credits either, because they are just doing what the cinematographer ordered. You could leave out the set medic too.
But you shouldn’t. A movie is possible only because everyone contributed to it, so why shouldn’t their names go into the end credit sequence? It’s not like most people sit through it anyway, and it’s not like their names are crowding up the movie poster. It’s not fair to deny them this credit just because you can’t wait to get to that bit where you see Samuel L Jackson in an eye-patch, or because they weren’t around for the last couple of months of production. This is especially true for videogames, because there’s no running time that you have to adhere to.
Anyway, it reminded me of an episode of Sports Night that dealt with a similar issue. I managed to find a short clip on YouTube that summarizes this part of the story, so do check it out.
By the way, Sports Night is awesome. I know I’ve said it a few times before, but Aaron Sorkin’s a genius.
Trivia: In some films in China, the accountant is listed in the opening credit sequence! They really love their accountants there!