Why Are Titles In The Beginning Of A Video A Thing?
This is going to (possibly) by a very unpopular opinion, but it is in fact, an opinion. So take from it what you will.
Have you noticed that more and more videos are coming out with the title of the video in a huge font followed by the tag, “Produced by:” or “Directed by:”? I have, and honestly, I feel that it doesn’t serve the video by highlighting that, in fact, it hurts it because it only serves as an advertisement for the director who wants you to hire him for your next project.
There’s was a man here in Lubbock, who has since moved away, and in every single video he did, he did the exact same thing. It was basically a formula, which goes like this:
Directed By Screen
Color Flash Transition
Repeat Below Line
He has since changed the formula to put the title screen and directed by at the end of the video, but the result is the same. It basically tells you that the director wants to make sure that you know who made it so you can tell it’s his versus all the other hundreds of thousands of videos that look exactly like that.
Now I get it, it's what the major players do in Hollywood but there's a difference. When Hollywood does it, it's supposed to follow that format. These companies pay BIG bucks to have their name in the beginning and they earned the right to be there. When I see a music video of a metal band that looks exactly like a rap artists video with GIANT FONTS in the front of the video and it's produced by the same guy, that just screams desperation for attention. You see the production companies involved at the beginning (i.e. 20th Century, Bad Robot, Marvel) then you see the start of the movie for a few scenes and then you see the titles. Every now and then, you see the title at the very beginning, but it's not overbearing like it is on the YouTube circuit.
I wrote a blog talking about this a long time ago, you can read it here, and it seems as if it’s a plague that’s spreading across the youtube filmmaking community. Everyone has to have the same style so they can get the exact same compliments as another guy who’s probably either getting paid more or less than they are and it doesn’t do anything but feed the directors ego. I’m not trying to compete with other filmmakers because they’re trying to go for community fame instead of making money providing services for business like I am. What separates me from people like that is that I know what they’re doing, and I try my best to stay away from their styles.
I know that comes off as bragging or tooting my own horn, but I needed to say this so you can see where I’m coming from. I don’t want my stuff to look like everyone else and I don’t want anyone to say, “Oh that looks like (insert other name here)’s video…). That would be embarrassing for me as a filmmaker if someone told me my stuff isn’t original.
That’s what filmmakers should be striving for, originality. This is going to be very hard to read and will more than likely make you mad, but if you are making films to look like someone else, you aren’t a real filmmaker. You’re just a copycat that only challenges yourself to reach the same level as someone else. Here’s a bit of advice, find your own way, find your own style and for crying out loud, be original. There’s nothing wrong with being influenced by someone else, but don’t be a complete carbon copy of your inspiration.
In a world where you upload videos to different platforms that have the title already written out as the video listing, do yourself, a favor, don’t repeat the title in the video thumbnail. Sure, it’s a trend that everyone else is doing, but wouldn’t you rather stand out from a crowd of a million? Find other ways to draw attention to your brand instead of trying to ride the coattails of someone who's only using your passion as a stepping stone for his own career. That will get you looking just as desperate as they are and you'll eventually get tossed to the side once the other guy gets what he wants.