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The closing credits in a full length movie can seemingly go on for ages, or at least 10 minutes or more after the actual film has ended. I realize that modern movies requires a lot of professional people to produce, but why include every single person?

The audience might be interested in the director, producer(s) and actors.

Other movie makers might be interested in finding out who did the beautiful lighting (Director of Photography) and employ them in their next film.

But I have hard time imagining that someone is interested in who the electricians were.
"The light bulbs really worked good." :) Or for that matter Key grip, Best boy and head carpenter.


Bonus question: Have the end credits changed over the years and is there a tendency to cut out "unimportant" people from the end credits in new films? In Sweden, where I live, the TV networks have started to cut the end credits when they air movies to save time I guess. In my opinion it reflects peoples lack of interest in reading the same.

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If I would hazard a guess I'd say it was a union stipulation. –  System Down Jan 7 at 16:30
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I'm always very interested who was the moose trainer in Monty Python and the Holy Grail ;) –  knut Jan 7 at 19:48
    
See also: Why do movies still have credits? –  unor Mar 17 at 9:20
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1 Answer

Closing credits are not entirely there for the audience, although I have a few friends that work in the movie industry and it's cool to see their names scroll by at the end of a movie.

The ones that you see for electricians, gaffers, best boy, etc., are part of the film crew. It's an acknowledgement that without those people, the film would not have been possible. As for your comment about "the light bulbs worked really good!", that just shows a complete ignorance of what the electricians and other people do on a set.

It also serves as part of their resume, in that there are many people that work on the film (Apprentices, interns, 3rd assistants, etc), that are not listed in the credits. It's a cachet, and does serve as a work history.

And yes, the format and style of opening and ending credits over the years has changed dramatically. As far as Swedish TV cutting credits, that would be local laws and regulations and I am not familiar enough with that to comment.

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+1, for the complete ignorance part. –  Ankit Sharma Jan 7 at 17:19
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Per the last paragraph ... Star Wars was the first major motion picture not to have credits up front. George Lucas caught all kinds of heck with not showing it as it had been done. Would it still be the same if we didn't have the orchestra boom and Episode IV: A New Hope scroll up the screen as it does? Thank you George! –  Paulster2 Jan 7 at 18:28
    
@JohnP: Ok, I guess I deserve that comment about ignorance :), but I wanted to twist my question a bit to spark some debate. I did not intend to diminish the electricians effort and work, just point out that, in my humble opinion, there is no interest in having him/her listed in the credits other then for their own sake. –  David Jan 8 at 8:10
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