I’ve pissed off a lot of friends in the past whenever we watched movies, because I insisted on sitting through the end credits. I used to flat out refuse to stand from my seat until the last few lines crawled up the screen and the logos faded out.
My friends or my date usually had no choice but to fume beside me, or leave me in the theater and just wait for me in the car. This would often make me/us the last stragglers out of the theater, sometimes a scary proposition if you’re at the last screening of the night (and especially if you were watching one of the Lord of The Rings movies, whose credits take up to ten minutes to finish). The janitors give you funny, irritated what-the-hell-are-you-still-doing-here-go-home-so-we-can-lock-up looks as they clean up around you.
My friends ask me why I did such a dumb thing, when I obviously can’t take in every single name. I couldn’t possibly individually reflect and ruminate over each person’s contribution to the movie I just watched. Who reads that crap, anyway? And who cares?
True. Most people stand up and start shuffling through the aisles the minute the words start crawling up the screen. Some of them are really inordinately and inconsiderably long—you know it’s too long when the theme song has finished and the editors segue in portions of the score for the remainder of the credits.
But I think I sit down and wait through them for the same reason I stand up when they play the national anthem: to show respect. Because if I were one of the people responsible for the movie, I’d want people to see my name up there. Get credit. As someone who creates things too, I understand how important getting that distinction is, however fleeting.
It’s the same as having my byline on an article getting edited out and no one caring to know I wrote it. (Not that I always write deathless prose, but you know what mean, those of you who work hard at your craft.) It’s kinda like leaving off J.K. Rowling‘s name off the book jacket, or Steven Spielberg‘s name off the poster. Credit is important. For some people, it’s part of why they do things. (The entire closing-credits thing even has a Wikipedia page devoted to it, and is fascinating, at least to this geek).
I write about this now because I had a depressing self-realization after watching the new House episode tonight. Continue reading