Ladies, gentlemen, and any other sentient readers, I give to you …
The billing block.
The billing block is the big wad of text at the bottom of the movie poster that lists, well, honestly, who among us really knows without looking? I can’t remember ever having perused it, except for spoofs of movie posters. I suspect you’d have to be a pretty serious student of the movie industry to look very hard at it.
Of course, the people who work on movies tend to be pretty serious, about their own credit anyway. So this article in the Sunday New York Times tells you what goes there in terrifying detail. And, after reading it, I’m sure it’s really just a summary, a foreword to a book-length exposition that I will manage to miss.
But the level of detail involved is fascinating. It is a highly routinized ongoing status spat because, in the movies, status is everything.
The SCREENPLAY BY and WRITTEN BY credits are generally not shared by more than three writers (or nine people, assuming three writing teams of three). ❦ Writers within teams are connected with ampersands; individual writers are connected with the word AND