You make a film to distract people, to interest them, perhaps to make them think, perhaps to help them be a little less naive, a little better than they were. —Claude Chabrol
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]What is a title? We hear the word and most people think of a book title, or the name of a song, perhaps. So, to tell someone that I’ve been playing with titles all day, or that a title has been causing me trouble, or that I can’t get a title to fit, is confusing to the average person without taking the time to give the word some additional context. Let me do that now: A title is to film what copy is to printed material; words that explain or emphasize or instruct or give credit.
Titles are everywhere in almost every form of video. The opening segment of one of my favorite cartoons, Phineas and Ferb, ends with DeeDee shouting, “Mom! Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence!” Instantly, you’ve learned something about video production you didn’t already know. Any time you see words on a screen in any form or fashion it is a title. So, the opening of a show that list actors, producers, and the name of a show is a title sequence. The credits at the end of a movie are another title sequence. The product name and tagline at the end of a commercial is another. The video world is full of title sequences.
Titling is one of the advantages video has over still imagery or print. With print copy, there is limited space and text can easily get in the way or even overpower an image. While ads from a century ago tended to try and cram every bit of information they could into small print on a page, we’ve since learned that less is more and often we see ads with only one word and the product logo. A title sequence gives us a little more space and a number of different options so we can say more without it being overwhelming.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]I have to admit that, at least to some extent, I’m not using the best tool for the job here. Video editing is a complex monster, as we’ve learned this week, and requires multiple tools to handle the various pieces that go into the average video. Of course, those tools cost additional money and the cost can grow large rather quickly. Our goal at the beginning of the week was to stay within the boundaries of what comes by default with Adobe® Premiere Pro™, so we held today’s experiment to that confinement, though most professionals would shudder at doing so.
I also avoided the use of any special effects for the title sequences, beyond those that cause them to appear and disappear from the screen. Animating titles seems to be a big thing, especially giving it the appearance that someone is writing on the screen. I actually looked into that one. Again, wrong tools and way too much effort for something not going into full-fledged broadcast. I also question whether such gimmicks actually help the message or distract from it. These are merely experiments and I do have other things to do with my day.
Titles do help drive the point we’re trying to make with today’s image. I could just post the picture with copy that says, “Experience counts,” and you would likely get the message. The title sequences in the video explain why that experience counts and also embeds a concept that photography isn’t something one just “picks up.” Are the titles effective? You tell me. 30 seconds isn’t all that long for those who can’t read well. The original photo is below.[/one_half_last]