Giving Credit


Are you the sort of person who sits in the cinema after the movie has played and watches the credits? In the old days of film, of course, this wouldn’t have been an askable question. The movie finished, “The End” faded in, and at most the distributing studio flashed its particulars. Have a good night. Now, of course, the list of credits includes everything from the assistant to the assistant to the star-director-producer, to the catering company, to the ant wrangler. It can be kind of entertaining. So yes, I am the sort of person who does sit through the whole mess, not to even pretend to try to read through everything that shows up but simply, in most cases, to decompress from the experience. I don’t go to the movies very much anymore because the experience is too often so flat and tasteless that decompression isn’t required. This isn’t true of so-called independent films but it certainly is of Hollywood-produced fare and it’s the largest reason why my attendance has fallen off by, I conservatively estimate, a factor of 20-1.

Anyway, there is a growing number of films that tempt you to stay through the credits, though I’m not sure why they would care (unless to justify the investment? After all, imagine the wasted film stock, in our still transitioning digital age, from 5 or 10 minutes of credits in a movie that is distributed in thousands of cinemas across the country!). They do it through a little teasing addition at the end of the movie. An additional scene, or a comedic hiccup, or a hint at a sequel, something that rewards you for having sat through the morass of typography scrolling toward heaven. But what if you’re not rewarded? What if, after the screen goes dark, the houselights simply come up as if you don’t deserve anything further? Do you feel cheated? Or do you just refuse to play the game and leave at the last line of dialogue like most moviegoers do?

Now you don’t have to guess. A site called MovieStinger gives you the lowdown on whether or not extra scenes, outtakes, etc are shown during or after the credits.

My prediction: more and more movies are going to include extra material, perhaps even exclusive material, in cinema releases. To the point where it will not be acceptable not to. Or rather to the point where the cycle turns and we start all over again. My wish would be for it to cycle all the way back to The End and leave the numberless mass who produced the project to remain as nameless as the builders of the Pyramids.


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