Originally posted on August 27th, 2006

The first 200 inches of credits, on their side

I will never look at the end credits of a movie the same way again. I just spent 10 hours typesetting the end credits for Tarsem’s new film The Fall. It took an army of people to make this movie. And muscular passports. Tarsem shot this movie in Britain, South AFrica, India, Bali, Romenia, the Czech Republic, Fiji, Italy, Bali, Spain, China, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, and Cambodia. Sheesh!

I had to assemble this thing in two separate files. Why two separate files? Because InDesign CS2 tops out at 216 inches file height. Which I actually thought was oddly impressive. Now, the way to get an InDesign file into Photoshop is via Acrobat, which won’t go higher than 200 inches. OK. Fine. Unfortunately, Photoshop seems to draw the line somewhere below 200 and squeezes the resulting file, making my condensed font into an extended font. It’s as if the design fell victim to a Looney Tunes steamroller. I’ll have to split the thing into more parts to get what I need.

Well, this is all getting very technical and I don’t want to bore you. Suffice it to say that some days it’s about art and other days it’s about bending the machine to do one’s bidding. But it’s worth it. I like learning new tricks. Plus. badly typeset end credits are a pet peeve of mine, so I’m happy to do it right on this film. These credits will be very, very simple—just a white on black scroll—but dammit, they’ll be well set. It’s the little things…

I hope that you’re having a lovely, mellow weekend. While you’re lounging, please remember that 344 LOVES YOU


  • Try
    30 November 2006 6:04 pm

    *scratching head*
    Why does the credit need to be inches? It’s animated text along or inside a set size, is it not? Can’t wrap my head around how this is going to be done. Unless you print this and then film it?
    I better read your blog more thorough, maybe I’ll find more on this and learn something.

  • 1 December 2006 12:33 am

    Hello Trylla.
    Well, I suppose it wouldn’t have to be in inches, but Adobe InDesign is the program I use to set my type and I used inches by force of habit. Theoretically, I could’ve made the file very small, and just rendered it out in Photoshop at a very high resolution. But at that point the type sizes get very small and the smallest keystroke increment for typography is 1 pt. So all that stops working if you go too small. I also had to render PDFs for the client and his lawyers to review easily.
    So… there were reasons why I set it up like I did.
    Mostly, it’s because I’m a print whore and I hardly ever do anything that gets close to qualifying as motion graphics. Even this scroll was exciting.
    Have a great weekend!

  • Try
    2 December 2006 9:49 am

    Oh! Good reasons. Thanks.
    Especially the one about client and lawyers having to view it. I hadn’t thought about that at all.
    So… did someone else actually do the animation then, your force being the typography?
    (Motion designer here, that’s why I’m so curious. Also, I came here originally for monsters and I’m hooked! Don’t ever stop the monsters!)
    Good weekend to you too.

  • 2 December 2006 12:52 pm

    Hello Try.
    Yes, my good friend John Waters (not THAT John Waters) at Atomic Zoo did the animation on the opening titles. That and the end credits were then reassembled for the 4K film version under Tarsem’s supervision at Duboi in Paris.
    I’m glad you like the monsters, too.
    Motion graphics by inky means. :^)
    Have a great weekend!

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