Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Watch: 11-Minute 'The Film Before The Film' About The History Of Opening Credits

The Playlist By Cain Rodriguez | The Playlist August 19, 2014 at 12:31PM

Like artful movie posters, opening title sequences have been largely cast aside by an increasingly stats-obsessed studio system that cares little for the long and storied cinematic tradition. Sure, there are a few that still practice and revere the art —hello David Fincher and Edgar Wright— but if a credit sequence is made at all, it’s bumped to the end, as is the case with most blockbusters. A short documentary, “The Film Before The Film,” has been making the rounds online and it serves as both an introduction to and a welcome reminder of the power of opening credits.
1
Se7en Opening Credits

Like artful movie posters, opening title sequences have been largely cast aside by an increasingly stats-obsessed studio system that cares little for the long and storied cinematic tradition. Sure, there are a few that still practice and revere the art —hello David Fincher and Edgar Wright— but if a credit sequence is made at all, it’s bumped to the end, as is the case with most blockbusters. A short documentary, The Film Before The Film, has been making the rounds online and it serves as both an introduction to and a welcome reminder of the power of opening credits.

At just under twelve minutes, the short by Nora Thös and Damian Pérez takes the viewer from Thomas Edison‘s utilitarian use of a text board in 1897 to show his company’s name and copyright note through to Saul Bass’ iconic work and finally ending with Gaspar Noe’s infamous title sequence for “Enter The Void.” It’s makes us wish for a feature-length documentary on title sequences, especially with an extra look at the work being done on the small screen where the tradition seems to be alive and thriving.

So while opening credit sequences might not be a prevalent as they were before, there’s still some good work being done, and with “Gone Girl” hitting theaters later this year, more sequences as such are yet to come. Watch the “The Film before The Film” below, as well as some of our favorite recent title sequences from both the big and small screen. Be sure to share some of your favorites with us.

This article is related to: Documentary, True Detective, Skyfall


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates