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
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.
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.