The word "credits" refers to a display of the film's title and the names of persons involved in making a film. Restricted in the earliest days of cinema to a card showing only the film title and the production company, credits have grown substantially in complexity and length.
Front credits (or main title ) typically appear at, or near, the beginning of the film. Dramatic screen action preceding the credits is referred to as a "pre-credit sequence." Closing credits (or end title ) is typically printed on a large roll and unwound at a constant speed from the bottom of the screen to the top, almost always over exit music, after the narrative is over. It has become fashionable among some filmmakers to include sequences during the end credits or after them, perhaps to entice audiences to sit patiently and acknowledge the many workers who made the film: an early example of this technique is Being There (Hal Ashby, 1979), in which the end credit sequence is accompanied by hilarious outtakes from the film. Rush Hour (1998) includes outtakes of flubbed Jackie Chan (b. 1954) stunts. In 28 Days Later (2002), an alternate ending is given after the end credit roll is completed.
While the end credits tend usually to be printed in a standard typeface (such as Times Roman) and to lack distinctive orthographic design, opening title sequences are typically created by a title designer, a graphic artist specializing in movie title sequences. The most celebrated title designer in film history is Saul Bass (1920–1996). Other notable designers are Randy Balsmeyer and Mimi Everett, Maurice Binder (1925–1991), who did the James Bond films until his death in 1991 (for the main title of which he used a white circular gummed label and a macrophotograph of a gun barrel matted with a shot of an actor firing a gun at the camera), Kyle Cooper ( Se7en ), Pablo Ferro (b. 1935) who manipulated existing US Air Force stock footage of B-52s in flight in order to make the planes appear to be copulating in Dr. Strangelove (1964), Stephen Frankfurt (b. 1931) ( To Kill a Mockingbird ), Richard Greenberg ( The World According to Garp ), and Dan Perri ( Star Wars ). The credits coordinator functions to collect all title information and make the necessary legal submissions to register titles for copyright and with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Typically accompanying main title sequences is a main title theme, such as Dimitri Tiomkin's (1894–1979) for IConfess (1953), Elmer Bernstein's (1922–2004) for The Magnificent Seven (1960) and To Kill a Mockingbird , Miklós Rózsa's (1907–1995) for Spartacus (1960), and John Williams's (b. 1932) for any Star Wars and Steven Spielberg film to date.