Creating titles for your movies

on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It’s easy to think of titles as just words on the screen. But think of the effects, both forceful and subtle, that well-designed titles can have. Consider the Star Wars movies, which all begin with a black screen and the phrase, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . .” The simple title screen quickly and effectively sets the tone and tells the audience that the story is beginning. And then, of course, you get those scrolling words that float three-dimensionally off into space, immediately after that first title screen. A story floating through space is far more interesting than white text scrolling from the bottom to top of the screen, don’t you think?
Titles can generally be put into two basic categories: Full-screen and overlays. Full-screen titles are most often used at the beginning and end of a movie, where the title appears over a background image or a solid color (such as a plain black screen). The full-screen title functions as its own element in the movie, as does any video clip. An overlay title makes words appear right over a video image