There was a time, long in the past, when the end was the end. Very occasionally a film would have a short cast list to remind you who was who, in the thirties Universal pictures would declare “A good cast is worth repeating” but there was still barely enough time to get the screen curtains across before the tail would go through the projector.
Not anymore though. End credits go on forever, pointlessly torturing those of us working in cinemas.
Some of the entries are just plain daft. Really, who cares, apart from their mother, who drove the van to the set?
It seems the more self-important the movie, the longer the credits. War Horse goes on and on and on.
So why do I care, what difference to it make to me how long the credits are? Calm down Kev.
After a really long day when all you want to do is go home, and one person, just one, insists on sitting through every last frame you can imagine it’s a bit frustrating.
I know they’ve paid their money and entitled to see all the film, I get it.
Or, there are 200 people wedged into our small foyer, the air running out fast, waiting to go in for the next show, and one person, just one, insists on sitting through every last frame.
Quite often the problem could be eliminated by simply putting the information most people want at the start of the credits.
“We just want to see where it was filmed!” we hear endlessly, as I try not to look like I’m rushing you out. Not that credits always tell you that.
Oh no. “Digital composite department tea making facilities supplied by” is in there. No one gives a toss; they want to know where that stately home used in the second half is.
Sometimes the information is forthcoming, sometimes not. Usually we just get “filmed on location” or some such vague nonsense.
So after miles of pointless information the bit people actually want to know is not even there, idiots.
The real wind up though, is the “we just want to see if there’s something on the end”.
This ridiculous affectation of putting a short scene after the end of eight minutes of an infuriatingly slow credit crawl really makes me see the red mist.
If the scene is that bloody important, put it in the film. It’s also an act of extreme arrogance to assume the audience are still going to be sitting there. They’re not. Just that one person, just one, who insists on sitting through every last frame.
If you’re that one person, I apologise. I don’t mean to make you feel bad, the credits are there and you want to watch them. It’s the film makers that need a swift kick in the gonads for putting all that nonsense on there in the first place.
Think how many miles of film have been wasted, how much ozone we could have saved if the Harry Potter crew weren’t such narcissists.
In the UK alone with over 1000 prints, eight minutes of credits is about 60 prints worth. Could have saved yourselves a fortune on a global scale couldn’t you?
Of course now we’re digital that argument doesn’t hold water. However, we do live in a digital world which means for those sufficiently interested the distributor could supply a web page with all this tosh on it and everyone would be happy, able to read it all at their leisure, without having me rattle a bunch of keys at you.
The Lovely Bones ran 135 minutes, the actual film, with actors in it and plot and stuff finished after 118 minutes. For the love of God why? Whilst extra shows would have made no difference to that turkey, on some films if you removed seventeen minutes of credits, by the end of the day we could get another whole show in, making me and the distributor more money. Surely one of the reasons we’re here.
In fact while I’m on this rant, can we just make films generally shorter please? Be honest with yourself, when did you last see a film that couldn’t have done with some pruning?
You can tell it’s been a busy week can’t you?
Maybe I should go and lie down.