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OPening Title/Credits Music & The Effect

Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

Bruce had made a valid point in another post about the importance of opening credits and the score used on it. Many times in a rush a new to editing artist will just slap a generic title/credit on the face of the video. Although this will get the proper information across it may not get the viewers mind ready for what is to come.

Recall the firs time you saw the opening credits to Star Wars, or another favorite movie. But it was not just the credits themselves that had an effect on you it was the score or music. I needed to redo my opening for my productions and I decided to shorten them to two for the time. I am posting them to help new to editing artist get a better understanding of how to set up your viewer for what is to come.

In this first example I am setting up the viewer for a nice story, it can be a love story, coming of age, life story, wedding or even a memorial. I own all usage rights to every photo and song (although Youtube will say otherwise) but it was done with a single photo using key frames, several on some of the frames of the photos. A few seconds in editing the title, then tossing a score on it. After my credit runs the rest of the track is for other opening credits. here it is

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKvs_yUKSPM

In the second example the music and the opening sets the viewer up for something that may keep him up at night. It can be a scary movie, or even a life event shot raw like a bike ride through Houston. It might be a tragic story, or what ever. This took several hours to compile. it involved a 3D motion editor that would drive an insane man sane. I live in 3D I can't handle 3 axis on a 2D screen. But anyway I created one layer of this in the 3d Editor. I then exported the unfinished work to my NLE, once in there I added a second video layer and took it to a trans of 65% and then did a pan across the road. I added the score and done. Here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVd3YImZ-g4

I also own all the usage rights to everything it in, although I am sure Youtube will differ.

But these are some examples that Bruce was referring to about opening titles/credits. How you open your video will have a huge effect on how your viewer interprets the entire presentation.

I hope these were helpful.


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

This clip is starts every DVD I make:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1JYeUXGqsA

I use few opening credits per se but put much in the closing. My conundrum is I often wear many hats (DP, director, editor, producer, prop master, gofer, etc...) so many times I just credit myself as "Video Produced By Bruce Paul, 7Squared Productions".

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

Nice, I like it short and simple. I believe I may adopt a similar approach and put the credits at the end. I just need to work out something short and sweet and to the point that says "Tasana". I'll have to give this some thought.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"



birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
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These are all great - However, beyond the quick plug for your company, you need to quickly grab the viewers attention and let know what is coming up.

This is a very small sampling of the openers for video I have done over the past few years - personal, montages, PSA's , stuff for non-profits, commercial, etc...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cEAunTUqOY

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com



birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

@Wayne - Thanks. Early on I realized that a good opening title would help grab the viewer's attention and have them for at least a couple of minutes (if you want them more, your production needs to do it from that point - not just video & audio, but including voiceover, music, special fx, etc...).

@Gregory - With your permission I will put together a quick opener for you. Just a couple of questions. 1) What does Tasana mean or stand for? 2) What is it's significance to you? 3) What else (symbolically) would you consider describes you, your views on production or your company?

For example, my production company is named 7Squared Productions (registered in FL as a DBA, soon to be a corporation). I got that from the first time I kissed my wife on the lips - It was on April 9, which is 4/9; remove the separator and you have 49, which is the product of seven times seven which can be written as 7 squared - Convoluted? Sure, but it has significance to my wife and I.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

Why Bruce, if you only knew just how loaded your question about Tasana is. OK Print this out, grab some hot tea and prepare to enter the underworld.

My dad found out my mom was having an affair during my 6th BD party. A few days later I had to stop my dad from killing my mom. It was a very violent beating she took, a lot of blood. My life got worse very very quickly and I got to know every sort of dark place in this world.
During the worst of times I created a place in my mind where I would run off to while the real world went on. Even though I was there in body, in my mind I went to Tasana. I remember when I first used the word, I was about 7, and it had been a very very bad 6th Xmas and summer. My mother was not too careful about the men she choose. We had just moved out of one guys house and I was playing alone in the yard when I "went" to Tasana. The word was just there. But it was a place of beauty, peace and where the word love did not carry anything bad. It was the most beautiful paradise the Earth has even seen. I went to Tasana many more times, when I turned 14 I started to fight back, I nearly killed my mom's 6th or 7th husband. For the first time I left Tasana and fought back. Although my life did not really improve until I was about 22, I could now come and go to Tasana when I pleased, and today I still just go there, it is the better part of my childhood.

Dawn the Internet. I was convinced the word did not exist, but I thought I would Google it anyway. It's root meaning took me way off guard. A word that I thought I made up turned out to carry the meaning that I dreamed up. It's deepest roots are unknown, But here is the believed path...

A word somewhere out of Asia, source unknown. Many cultures in Asia use the word, more today then in the past. From China to Taiwan, to Japan, to other places in Asia, but each place it carries a different meaning. HOWEVER. It has long been proven that all people in North, Central and South America came here across the Alaskan land bridge some time back, with them they carried the ancient meaning of words. Way up in northern Alaska is a river called Tanana River. This word and its spelling is the oldest root for the word Tasana. It was carried over from Asia but its root there is lost and spelling and meaning differ. However when tracing the path of all uses and spellings of the word, it comes back to the root of Tanana.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanana_River

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tanana

Once I learned the above, I spent a great deal of time researching how the river got its name and the root of that name. After what may have been weeks of research I learned that the native people believed and still believe..

Tanana/Tasana: The river that flows from the seat at the top of the mountain."

The Tanana/Tasana River Valley

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So there it is, you did ask.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

For those following this thread, Bruce did email me the link to what he did. One of the facets of life that bothers me is when someone, more so when distance is involved, can see into my mind. But Bruce captured Tasana, what he produced in a few seconds was what I have been trying to capture. Here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xndQgKd-vcg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdd65xiLzj4

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
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@Gregory - I'm glad you liked it.

My thought processes for creating it were as follows: Based on your background story I looked in my RF library for a video clip that had water, connoted the passage of time and showed movement from dark to light. Then for the font, I looked for one that bridged the years and looked to me as having one foot in childhood whimsey and one in the boldness of adulthood. For the music I looked for a piece that brought the emotions of joy & brightness with the underlying hint of childhood sadness.

All told, it took me about two hours to identify these three pieces and about ten minutes to cobble it together (how most of my projects go - most of the time is spent in my head and searching with the technical stuff just falling into place).

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

From the first use till the last, I will be adding your name to ending credits. Post how you want your credit to read please. I am very much considering an account at videoblocks, the monthly price is steep, when I get more time I will read their agreement in FULL before I sign, but I am so tired of fighting over copyrights, IMHO, It would be nice if Videomaker could start their own video upload site on the same concept of youtube, BUT for indie film makers only, and ones that do not splice and cut from existing footage, but uses their own.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

If you sign up for the free trial at VideoBlocks and then quit, they will offer you a yearly price option - I will be doing that at the end of this month. Other good sources of RF footage (I use them all) are Pond5, Footage Firm (and their StockFootageForFree.com) and Digital Juice's VideoTraxx.

As for attribution, none is required. The clips are yours to use as you see fit.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

Back to the topic - Here is an example of my closing credits (from a recent project) where I was DP, director, producer, editor, and all other pre-prod, prod & post-prod titles.

It would have looked silly to have my name dozens of times in the credits so I just chose one catch-all.

http://youtu.be/FKuayqtI54Q

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

I have been playing around at Videoblocks,and it is the answer for indie, and complete in house "EVERYTHING". Tomorrow I will sign up. I read through just about all there stuff. I did find a "hole" in their site. Being an IT guy I have software running all the time that allows me to see behind the curtain of OZ so to speak. You can download everything on their site without signing up. After I sign up I intend to let the know about the hole. I am sure that some are exploiting it.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


artsmith's picture
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 03/02/2011 - 9:06pm

I compose and 'perform' my own music, using a sequencer, 'Kontakt 4' and a Digital Audio work-station. Themes repeat, with different orchestrations, eg themes played by the horns in one instance re-cycled later on the strings and so-on. I like some 'connection' between the themes of the central movie and the titles/credits, especially the credits. Something outstanding from the main body of the production is an excellent choice.

One total no-no, in my book, is for the solo, or small-scale video maker to begin with something crassly inappropriate as a sop to his/her ego. Things to be avoided while you are telling the world that the production to follow is 'all-your-own-work', are 'Also Spracht Zarethrustra' by Strauss, (the '2001' music a used by Kubrik), the opening fanfare from Mahlers '5th', 'Fanfare for the Common Man' and so-on. Used in that way such ostentatious themesare simply an invitation to look bloody ridiculous. There is usually something suitable from the main body of the production, or alternatively, in my case, it's not too difficult to write something, it's by no means as difficult as it appears.

And one other thing; the purpose of the exercise is to provide a musical background for thecommunication of information, not to set feet tapping in the audience.

Ian Smith - Dunedin, New Zealand


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

I dunno if you include family videos in that - My son's college used Copland's FFTCM at his graduation which I also used in the family's video. It is very appropriate and works well IMHO.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


gilles007's picture
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 04/14/2010 - 3:55pm

Great topic!

Like Gregory, I like short and simple. I thought I'd share the slate I use for my productions, True Connections:

https://vimeo.com/30013505

Cheers, Gilles

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/30013505" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" width="500"></iframe>

True Connections Video Production SLATE from gilles gagnon on Vimeo.