HISTORY AND PROGRESSION:
Prior to the invention of the cinematograph - a motion picture film camera and projector - in the 1890s, simple title cards were used instead to both begin and conclude silent film presentations to establish to an audience a film's title and the production company(s) involved in the practices of producing and distributing it. In silent cinema, title cards/intertiles were utilised throughout films' narratives to convey dialogue and plot, and it is in some of these early short films that we can see the first initial examples of title sequences themselves, being literally a sequential series of title cards shown at the beginning of a film. With arrival of sound, title sequences became usually accompanied with a musical prelude or overture. Contemporary title sequences have developed this technical convention and now typically establish leitmotif soundtracks within them.
Slowly, as time has progressed, title sequences have evolved and become more elaborate pieces of film within contemporary cinema. Title design saw a pivotal moment of development particularly during the 1950s consequential to the advent of television - which instigated a decline within the film industry - as it forced the 'big six' Hollywood conglomerates (Warner Bro Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Columbia Pictures and Universal Studios) to all invest in new methods of making cinema more appealing again in attempt to rejuvenate it and recover a diminishing/dwindling audience.
PURPOSE BEHIND TITLE SEQUENCES:
- To commend the primary contributions made in the development process of a film production - conventionally done through editing and applying on-screen text.
- To further endorse actors'/actresses' star power and help develop their filmographies.
- To acquaint audiences instantly with the genre/hybrid-genre of a production - typically through simplistic use of iconography and mise-en-scene.
- To establish the relevant key themes, messages and values of a production's narrative.
- To immediately make attempt at engaging/immersing audience (pre-equilibrium) before the pace of the narrative begins to pick up - commonly done through strongly appealing aesthetics.