I have noticed that during the opening credits of a movie/TV show, the name of the director(s) always shows up last, at the end of the credits. I'm not really sure if that happens in the ending credits as well.

Is there any reason as to why to do that?


1 Answer 1


In the USA, this is governed by the agreements of the Director's Guild of America.

Their basic agreement states in section 8-201 that:

No other credit shall appear on the card which accords credit to the Director of the film. Such credit shall be on the last title card appearing prior to principal photography.

This convention even appears to cover movies that are made outside the US. I'm not sure whether that is because of legal agreements or just because the US movie industry is the model for many around the world.

Wikipedia and IMDB states that George Lucas was fined $250,000 by the DGA for breaking the terms of the agreement by just having the title of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back in the opening credit, and not mentioning the director.

  • 1
    Directors can negotiate a Possessory Credit, which is shown at the beginning, e.g. "A Steven Spielberg film"
    – Oliver_C
    Jan 12, 2014 at 22:46
  • @Oliver_C ... which seems redundant, eh? I've wondered about this as well. Jan 12, 2014 at 23:03
  • 1
    @Paulster2 - A possessory credit isn't only for directors. - Stephen King sued the makers of "The Lawnmower Man" because they gave him possessory credit against his objection (he had nothing to do with the film and didn't want to be connected with it in any way).
    – Oliver_C
    Jan 12, 2014 at 23:49
  • @Oliver_C - I guess he didn't get very far with the litigation as his name was still on it. I cannot say as I blame him, though. Was not what I'd call a box office smash. Jan 13, 2014 at 0:12
  • 2
    This was why George left the DGA immediately afterwards. Also why his films could tenuously be called 'indie' productions.
    – Nobby
    Jan 13, 2014 at 16:20

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