Opening credits ordering

Here is the typical credit order in an opening title sequence:

1.    Name of the studio that is distributing the film.

2.    Name of the production company responsible for making the film. If an investor financed a substantial portion of the movie, they will usually be credited alongside the production company with “In Association with.”

3.    A (Producer’s Name) Production.

4.    A Film by (Director’s Name).

5.    Starring (this is optional or can be paired with the first cast member’s name), followed by the names of all principal actors.

6.    Film title.

7.    Featured cast members. A card that states “Featuring” used to be fairly commonplace but now appears to be falling out of fashion; in some cases, to speed up a title sequence, featured players are held off for the end crawl.

8.    Casting by.

9.    Music, composer, or original score.

10.    Production designer.

11.    At this point it can vary; you might see makeup, costume, or visual effects credits here or skip to the next few credits. At this point it should vary based on what is most important to the movie. If the movie’s a high budget sci-fi bonanza, it’s appropriate to credit the VFX team or supervising visual effects artist here; if it’s an historical epic, costume and makeup should probably get some notice here.

12.    Edited by (the editor is the first of the people whose “thumbprint” is on the movie creatively; the other two are the writer and director).

13.    Director of photography.

14.    Producer, produced by, and executive producers. This is a sticky one. If there is one place in an opening movie title sequence where it is likely to change, it is here. Let’s say you are working on an independent feature that gets picked up by a larger distributer; that means you have more executive producers to add to the title sequence. Also, you may run into the need to add “Also Produced By.” Much of what this ends up being is controlled by the contracts of the various players involved at the studio, production company, and distributor.

15.    Based on the (media name or title) by (Author’s Name). This is highly dependent on the project; if the movie is based on an existing work, this credit is necessary.

16.    Story by. This credit is employed either when a script has gone through a number of changes or someone wrote a story that the film’s script is based on.

17.    Writer or written by. The writing credits are highly regulated by the Writers Guild of America, so check to be sure that the credits are done correctly. A maximum of three writers can be credited on a feature, although teams of two can count as one if separated by an ampersand. However, if they worked on the script separately, they will be separated by the word and. Writers, like editors, are said to put their thumbprint on the movie.

18.    Director or Directed by. The last credit belongs to the director, and the Directors Guild of America only allows one director to be credited as director on the film unless their was a death during production.

(copy and pasted from an exterior source, but I just need to put this here for when I edit my film.

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