If you've ever seen a movie (if you haven't, stop what you're doing right now, and watch one), you've seen opening credits of some kind. Credits have existed pretty much since the beginning of moving pictures, and they are as varied as the films themselves. Nora Thoes and Damian Pérez, as part of a research project, have put together a fantastic video that takes us through the history of opening titles called The Film before The Film. Check out the video below.

Here is the Vimeo description:

Research Project at the BTK (Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule) about the history of Opening Titles.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions contact us: filmbeforefilm@ntsdpz.com


Nora Thoes, Damian Pérez

Animation & Cut:
Nora Thoes, Damian Pérez

Text & Translation:
Nora Thoes, Christian Mahler

Sound & Dubbing:
Damian Pérez

Proofreading & Voice:
Demetrius Papadakis

Christian Mahler, Daniel Wangen

Special Thanks to:
Ian Albinson for his suggestions and corrections.
Art of the Title for the wide range of opening titles.

What's interesting is that for a period of cinema history, even though more films were utilizing end credits, many filmmakers chose to simply put everything at the beginning of the film. That style is really in stark contrast to mainstream Hollywood movies today which typically have very long ending credits -- with only a few members of the crew mentioned at the beginning of the movie. I've always appreciated this way of doing opening titles, and even though it's not ideal for audience members, it gives a chance for everyone to get their names seen by the audience (that is, unless you choose to fast-forward).

What are some of your favorite opening titles?

Link: The Film before The Film -- Vimeo