Titles are an important and often necessary addition to video projects. In films, titles usually appear at the beginning and end. Generally you will see the title of a film at the beginning and rolling credits at the end. Titles are used in documentaries and news stories to introduce new people. There are many instances that necessitate the use of titles when editing.
Many titles that you see are created in superior graphic programs other than Premiere. However, you do have the ability to create somewhat basic titles within the program. When you see, for instance, an animated title sequence, that may be one that has been created outside of an editing software. But titling with basic movement can be created successfully in Premiere.
When thinking about the look of a title, you should take into account the tone of the piece you are editing. A specific font and color can greatly affect the way that a project is introduced. You want to be mindful when creating titles that the title design complements the look and feel of your film.
Let’s view a few examples of creative titling in existing films. Notice how these titles add to the tone of the project.
Watch the opening credits from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958). It can be assumed that the opening sequence was filmed with this title design in mind. These titles are set on top of the picture. The words move around the screen. This type of movement with text can be achieved in a program like Premiere Pro CC. Notice how the movement of the text along with the close ups of the face and the music set up an expectation of tone for the film.
The following are titles from Wes Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom (2012). These are very simple titles, but the font and the color choices flow seamlessly with the visual esthetic set up during this sequence.
Below is an example of rolling credits. These are the opening credits for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980). In most contemporary films, the beginning titles are still or crawling (moving left or right). However, in this film there are rolling credits during the opening shots. Directly after the opening title sequence ends you see an entirely different style of title – simple, static text, displayed in white over an all-black background. Note how this title card – stating “The Interview” – not only works to inform the audience, but combined with a music fade-out simultaneously acts as punctuation to ‘re-center’ the audience and bring us into the story line.
As mentioned above, documentaries and interviews often use titles to identify a person speaking. This is sometimes referred to as a “lower 3rd” because these types of titles are usually shown on the lower 1/3 of the frame.
Here is an example of lower third titles used in an interview with Talib Kweli on PBS’s Independent Lens.