Nature may abhor a vacuum, but BBC’s website seems to have an insatiable desire to fill up bandwidth.
The front page of the New York Times on 11 January had an interesting piece about the lengths of film credits – http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/11/movies/11CRED.html.
Surprisingly, the BBC news website had an interesting article bylined Michael Osborn ‘Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 January, 2004, 17:41 GMT ‘ on:
BBC: ‘The Lord of the Rings trilogy has reached its climax by setting a new record for having the longest closing credits in Hollywood history…’
NYT: ‘They are known as closing credits, but the other day at a movie theater in Times Square, after three and a half epic hours of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” the credits did not seem to want to close’
BBC: ‘This is in stark contrast to the dawn of Hollywood, when silent horror flick Nosferatu mentioned just 16 names in a mere ninety seconds.’
NYT: ‘The 1922 vampire classic “Nosferatu,” a kind of special-effects vehicle of its day, credited only 11 cast members and 5 others, including the director and cinematographer, and the credits lasted 1 minute 35 seconds’
BBC: ‘The Return Of The King lists oddities such as “compositing inferno artist” on its epic credits, while Mr Fay’s personal favourite is “cockroach wrangler”.
NYT: ‘At eight minutes, the moviegoers still in the theater were watching a scroll of completely inscrutable titles like “wrangler manager” and “compositing inferno artist.” Of course, the caterer had to be immortalized, too.’
BBC: ‘Big name stars often like their vast entourages to be mentioned – Russell Crowe boasted a 17-strong team on the credits of Master and Commander.’
NYT: ‘And in big-budget movies with powerful stars, the stars often succeed in winning screen credit for anyone who has anything to do with their performances. In “Master and Commander,” the list of attendants to Russell Crowe alone reads like the staff list at a small company: his costumer, two hairstylists, a makeup artist, two special makeup artists, a stunt double, a stand-in, a trainer, a dialect coach, a swordmaster, three violin coaches, two assistants and the name of the company that provided his personal security.’
BBC: ‘While a film credit name-check can be an important career boost to someone in the business, …’
NYT: ‘In some movies with limited budgets, travel agencies and other companies are sometimes given credit – in essence free advertising in a prestigious format – if they agree to work for less.’
BBC side bar: ‘NUMBER OF CREDITED NAMES
1922 Nosferatu – 16
1977 Star Wars – 143
1999 The Matrix – 151
2003 LOTR II – 559
2003 Matrix III – 701
Source: Baseline Hollywood ‘
NYT: ‘According to Baseline, which compiles information about movies, the original “Star Wars” in 1977 listed 143 people in its credits. In 1999, “The Matrix” listed 551, including Longy Nguyin, a sports masseuse. Last year, “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” listed 559 names, “Finding Nemo” listed 642, and the third installment of the “Matrix” series had 701.’
Curiouser and curiouser.
Mr Osborn – did you really contact Baseline Hollywood, or is the NYT article the source of the figures?