Friday, February 6, 2009

Ah yes... the credits

Credits are so important to television and film.

But it's not like you'll pick up a toaster and see a list of people who were involved in making that toaster, is it? It's not like, when you stop at traffic lights, you can't go until you have viewed the names of everyone involved in the design and placement of that traffic system, is it?

But then they aren't totally ego-driven businesses. Or maybe they are. I don't know enough about 'real jobs' to be sure.

Credits do matter though. I guess, in this business, it's your C.V., your resume. In this current example, if you were a producer and liked the show and wanted the creative force behind it, you'd end up looking at the credits and hiring the writer.

And, in doing so, you could end up with the wrong guy.


Andy Latham said...

When my first video game was released, we were miffed to find out that there were no credits in the game manual. At least they are in the game though right? Well yes, but only if you play all the way through one of the chapters. There's no menu option to view them. My mum wanted to see my name on the screen at Christmas, but as hard as I tried, I couldn't show her. It kinda makes people feel unappreciated.

Red Pill Junkie said...

I agree. Last year a gallery in the city wanted to display an office desk designed by our firm, which in actuality was designed mostly by me. So it was very important for me to receive at least a partial credit for this furniture.

My relationship with my boss has been very difficult, even though I've worked for him for more than 8 years; we have yelled at each other in more than one occasion; and several times I've had my foot on the doorway. And let's not talk about the pay...

So I managed to gather all my courage and, as casually as I could I asked him if he planned to give me credit for the exhibition. At first he was kind of startled, and maybe a bit annoyed, but he conceded; he probably figured it was cheaper than give me a raise, but I did have my name included and I took my mom and dad to the gallery... for 1 hour I managed to feel that I had earned the pride they already have for me.

Brian Sibley said...

Of course credits are important but the argument that no one (other than those listed) cares is proved, I fear, at the end of any movie when - however ingenious the closing credits (WALL.E is a good example) - almost everyone ignores them and walks out -- worse still getting in the way of us nerds who do sit through them!

However, as you say, they are absolutely essential in terms of your CV and, therefore, worth fighting for.

Omaniblog said...

I love the way Red Pill Junkie went as asked the boss to be included in the credits. That's an inspiration to us all, I think.
But, I think I'll say that the most important appreciation of all is the recognition you give yourself. When you feel proud of your work, your process, your outcome, your learning, your achievement, you give yourself a platform from which to look out on all the others. Sometimes you have no power to determine what others do. You can't control whether they credit you or not. And it is in those times that your self-affirmation matters most.
Let not the negligence of others determine your mood. Let every recognition by another be a bonus, a gift from the universe. Let it never be your goal.
Sit there as others walk out of the cinema and wait to see your name. Sit there giving others the chance to see you sitting there, and let them become curious as to why you would be a bit different from them.
Thank you so much for the post and the comments. It's been a great treat to discover this space.

David said...

I worked on a series whose contract stated that we were not entitled to on-screen credit (except at the discretion of the producers). Nobody else seemed to have a problem with this.

I did, but didn't want to be the only one kicking up a stink (I felt like I had already set myself apart in this fashion). Was it a mistake? I don't really know.

I ended up not staying for the whole production, so I look forward to one day catching an episode and seeing what their discretion yields!

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