13Transitions and Titles

Transitions can be equally wonderful and terrible things. They can move you from one scene to another without the abruptness of a straightforward cut, or help define a movie’s pace by easing you gently into or out of a scene.

But transitions can also become a distraction, because you’re introducing motion or visuals that weren’t recorded by the camera. Too many transitions can be like using too many fonts in a word processing application: pretty soon, all you see is the style, not the content.

Titles, however, are another story. In Hollywood, movie titles aren’t mere words that flash up on the screen. Actors, agents, and studio executives negotiate for the length of time a person’s name appears, how large or small the ...

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