In motion pictures , an intertitle (also known as a title card ) is a piece of filmed, printed text in the midst of ( inter ) the photographed action at various points. Intertitles are referred to as “dialogue intertitles”, and those used to provide related descriptive / narrative material are referred to as “expository intertitles”. [1] In modern usage, the terms refer to similar text and logo material inserted at the beginning of movies and television shows.

Silent film era

In this era, intertitles were always called “subtitles.” [2] [3] They were a mainstay of silent films, which became more important and more important. The British Film Catalog credits the 1898 movie Our New General Servant by Robert W. Paul as the first British film to use intertitles. [4] Film scholar Kamilla Elliott identifies another early use of intertitles in the 1901 British film Scrooge, Gold, Marley’s Ghost . [5] The first Academy Awardspresentation in 1929 included an award for “Best Title Writing” that went to Joseph W. Farnham for no specific film. The award was never given again, as it was introduced to the introduction of ” talkies “. [6]

Modern movie

In modern film, intertitles are used to supply an epigraph , such as a poem, or to distinguish various ” acts ” of a film or multimedia production by use as a title card. However, they are most commonly used as part of a historical drama to explain what happened to the depicted characters and events after the conclusion of the story proper.

The development of the soundtrack is slowly becoming a narrative device (they were common for providing narration, but not dialogue, well into the 1930s), but they are occasionally used as an artistic device. For instance, intertitles were used as a gimmick in Frasier . The BBC’s drama Threads uses them for rent, dates and information on remote events beyond Sheffield . Law & Order used to not only rent, but the date of the upcoming scene. Guy Maddinis a modern filmmaker known for recreating the style of older films, and uses intertitles appropriately. Some local productions shows, such as quiz bowl game shows , use animated variations of intertitles to introduce the next round.

Amateur use

Intertitles have had a long history in the area of amateur film as well. The efforts of home movie aficionados to intertitle their works post-production to the development of a number of innovative approaches to the challenge. The filmmaker is a filmmaker and a filmmaker. Intertitles can be printed on a piece of paper, a card, or a piece of cardboard and filmed, or they can be formed from adhesive strips and affixed to glass. In the early 1980s, digital recording technology could be created in born-digitalformat and recorded directly onto the film. Sony’s HVT-2100 Titler and cameras such as Matsushita’s Quasar VK-743 and Zenith VC-1800 could be used for home movies. [7] : 20 Early 1980s video game consoles and apps catering to the demo scene were also adapted for the generation and recording of home movies. Among thesis Were included the ColecoVision , the Magnavox Odyssey² (using programs Such As the Type & Talk cartridge and the Voice module), the Bally Astrocade (using the built-in Scribblingprogram or the more advanced Creative Pencil cartridge), and the intertitle-specialized Famicom Titler . [7] : 21

See also

  • Acknowledgment (creative arts)
  • Billing (filmmaking)
  • Character generator
  • Closing credits
  • Credit (creative arts)
  • Digital on-screen graphic (bug)
  • Lower third
  • Opening credits
  • Subtitle (captioning)
  • Supertitle
  • Title sequence
  • WGA screenwriting credit system


  1. Jump up^ Chisholm, Brad (1987). “Reading Intertitles” . Journal of Popular Film and Television . 15 (3): 137. doi : 10.1080 / 01956051.1987.9944095 .
  2. Jump up^ The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry, by Anthony Slide, Routledge (2014), entry on Subtitles.
  3. Jump up^ Definition 4a of ‘subtitle’ in the Oxford English Definition: “(In) Film, Television, etc. = intertitle, now chiefly historical.”
  4. Jump up^ The British Film Catalog, by Denis Gifford (Routledge, 2016), page 142.
  5. Jump up^ Elliot, Kamilla. Dickens on Screen . p. 117. ISBN  978-0521001243 .
  6. Jump up^ “Best Title Writing” . Awards and Shows . Retrieved 12 November 2012 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:b Woodcock, Roderick (May 1983). “The Den TV: Understanding Techniques and Technology”. Video . Flight. 7 no. 2. Reese Communications. pp. 20-21. ISSN  0147-8907 .