Titles and end credits in Telugu movies: What we didn’t learn from Hollywood?

The feature films start with titles and end with end credits. So, the titles and end credits envelop the entire film into a package. Many filmmakers often neglect them and some even consider titles and end credits to be a waste of run time. They used to spend film reels sparingly on titles and credits after the completion of the movie to avoid budget limitations. This thing has resulted in the boring title and end credits designs which only work as a filler while the audiences enter theaters. The titles of the Telugu movies are designed carefully for the sake of posters, and the credits of popular actors are specially designed considering the demand. The rest of the credits are passable and are generally designed with little or no effort.

Titles and end credits in Telugu movies

Why did several Hollywood filmmakers put the effort into title designs?

The titles set the mood and tone of the movie. They can slowly prepare the audience for the genre of the film without resulting in any knee-jerk reaction. Several filmmakers hint audience in advance through titles to set expectations. There used to be popular artists working on title designs, who are considered as important as editors. The iconic gun barrel shot of the James Bond series, the opening lines of Star Wars, spirographs imagery of Vertigo have revolutionized the way titles are used.

James Bond title design

Several filmmakers use photographs, paintings, cinematographic techniques, silhouettes, animations, image effects, etc to create the tone of the film.

Vertigo title design

The color palette of titles is generally selected in harmony with that of the movie. For example, the bright reds evoke a strong emotional response, the blues give a chilling feel which works for both horror and romance, the greens evoke a sense of realism. The designs are a way to express the theme in advance. So, the audience understands the mood and tone of the film even before the first frame appears on the screen.

Titles and credits in Telugu movies

In the early days of Telugu cinema, the titles are nothing but simple text with a melody track running in the background. Later they used image effects in the background during titles. It evolved simultaneously with Hollywood but was never taken too seriously. Some filmmakers experiment with title designs, but the limitations of budget and time restrict any scope to do so. After the arrival of digital movies, filmmakers have enough resources to experiment. But most of them are not willing to put effort into title designs.

With the current trend of commercial cinema, Telugu Directors have ignored the importance of titles and continued with formulaic song and fight introductions to set the tone of the film. Most of the current generation Telugu filmmakers don’t even know that titles are a storytelling device. They just hand it over to Editor and focus on post-production. This has led to boring titles which don’t add any value to the movie except giving credits.

Directors who use titles and end credits

Some filmmakers use the titles to their full extent. Apart from other Directors, Jandhyala and EVV Satyanarayana used to set the comic tone to titles. Among the present generation Directors, S. S. Rajamouli understands the power of title designs and he uses them to his advantage. The titles in ‘Magadheera’, ‘Eega’ and ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’ are remarkable. They mentally prepare us for the journey ahead.

Magadheera title design

Sukumar is another brilliant Director who understands the importance of title designs. The titles in ‘1 – Nenokkadine’ and ‘Nannaku Prematho’ set the tone of the movies. But most other Telugu Directors leave it to the decision of Editors without involving in the title and end credits designs.

1 Nenokkadine title design

As Telugu films are moving away from poster culture and relying more on social media, there is a threat of losing title designs completely. If filmmakers want to compete with ever-growing world cinema, they should take care of every minor detail about the movies.

Conclusion

As the Telugu film industry is growing each year into new avenues, more filmmakers should experiment with titles and end credits as storytelling devices. The Directors should take enough care in immersing the audience into the story with the help of titles.

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