I mean the lists of cast, crew and other details that precede and/or follow Hollywood’s TV and film productions. Thing is, in the Good Old Days, these told you who’d done what, where and occasionally, how.
But now, the whole exercise has been ruined by HOLLYWOOD POLITICS.
F’rinstance, TV. Nowadays, you get the stars’ names first. But unless they put ’em BESIDE clips of the actors doing their stuff, you have NO idea who’s who. Then come the “guest stars”. AGAIN, you have no idea who was who, since most of THOSE people are merely FEATURED PLAYERS – only in their MINDS are they “stars”. In fact the irony is, only those who are spear-carriers actually get their name listed against the character they played in the show.
And to add insult to injury, those who ARE actually stars are listed in the titles like (example) “Hugh Jarce as ‘Butch McMuscles'”. SHIT! We KNOW who THEY are! (Of course, the inference is that the actor is doing a CAMEO – not SOILING themselves with a bit-part – and that some people will only be watching the show for a chance to SEE The Great Man/Woman).
Plus, all writers are now called “PRODUCERS”. Again, in The Good Old Days, you only had – or needed – ONE producer. Now you get a producer, another producer, two more producers, an executive producer, various co-executive producers, a supervising producer, a consulting producer, a line producer, a series producer and then an “executive in charge of production” – which is ANOTHER bloody producer! AAR-GH!!!
Then movies. In (yet again) The Good Old Days, only the thirty or so people who actually had CREATIVE INPUT in a movie were (quickly) listed. But now, thanks to presumably Union Requirements, EVERYBODY associated gets a name-check. Thus everyone from the unit caterer’s dish-washer to the honey-wagon driver gets a mention. About a THOUSAND people in all.
And since audiences don’t CARE to sit through SEVEN MINUTES of white print on a black background, as soon as the credits roll, they EXIT the theatre like it was on FIRE – stumbling over the die-hard film-fans like this writer who want to KNOW stuff, like where it was filmed and info about the music – which is ALWAYS at the END. AFTER the thousand people who were just doing a job of WORK – and have NO more right to a credit than the guy who bakes the bread you buy at the market.
Imagine buying a bottle of milk and finding credits on the bottle listing the milker, the delivery driver, the milking-machine manufacturer, the COW…
Even TITLES are now put BETWEEN the FILM and the CREDITS (which makes NO continuity sense) to satisfy those who just want to SEE the thing and don’t CARE who made it. But I DO! These people put their SOULS into the thing for p’raps upwards of a YEAR. And if a newcomer impressed, I need their name, so’s I can look out for it in something ELSE.
Then there are cartoons. Now this writer is a little long in the tooth for such stuff, but pities today’s YOUNG. (One MORE time) In The Good Old Days, actors who lent their voices to cartoons were ANONYMOUS to kids – listed as “with the talents of…” for the benefit of the Mums and Dads.
But now, those who do cartoon voice-overs are listed AS ITS STARS – thus DESTROYING the illusion for the kids. I mean, even KIDS know that what they’re watching is drawn on paper (or nowadays, more often crafted on a computer) but still do what we ALL do when watching a movie – suspend disbelief and imagine they’re watching real events.
Which is not EASY when you’ve been told a bunch of people you are FAMILIAR with are doing this character and that character. You spend the whole movie picturing the VOICE-OVER ARTISTS instead of the CHARACTERS they’re playing. Disney would TURN IN HIS GRAVE!
The thing is, all of the above annoyances have come about because of Hollywood’s OBSESSION with giving EVERYBODY who works there a CREDIT – which mostly only means ANYTHING to those in the INDUSTRY – while leaving their CUSTOMERS (the audience) GUESSING about who did what.
But what they fail to realize, is that by doing this, they KILL fandom. (One last time) In The Good Old Days, there were magazines DEVOTED to Hollywood. Everyone KNEW its stars. And the reason was – ONLY stars were featured in the titles and credits. And Hollywood made damn sure you KNEW who played who.
And by poncing around they way they currently are, they are KILLING the popularity of all but their biggest stars.
One last thing – given all of the above, isn’t it ABSURD how “talent” shows do the very OPPOSITE, when their wanabees shuffle on stage and mumble, “I’m gonna sing – (title of song) – BY – (artist who made it famous)”.
WHAT?? It should be (title of song) – by – (COMPOSER)!! How come THEY don’t sue? I would. Apparently composers’ unions aren’t as powerful as Hollywood’s.