Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's in a Name?

Do you agonise about a movietitle as much as I do?

I prefer a title do do several things:

  • it has to grab my interest - there's nothing better than a title that makes me want to watch even if I know nothing about the content yet!
  • I love hidden meanings which manifest themselves only after I watched the film
  • double-entendres (sp?), wordplays - get me every time!
  • I like 'em either short (often prefer just one word) - or, very seldomly, ridiculously long :p
As a result, I often spend a large amount of time on agonising about a title.
'Saving Grace' for example went through several different ones - among them 'Parted', 'Disconnected' (both got scrapped immediately), 'Headway' (not good either); I looked up definitions, quotations.... until the scripting reached the stage where her husband sends his message, and the wordplay popped into my mind - bingo! From that moment on, there was never a doubt in my mind that 'Saving Grace' it would be. It ticked all my preferences - short, lots of double meaning...

For other films, titling was easy - :transient:, for example was a given from the first images that flodded my mind upon hearing the music for the film... I also like to use things like slashes or colons in my titles - don't ask me why, but they're a part of the name, not an addendum; without them, the title wouldn't have the same meaning for me (and it always makes me very unhappy when I can't add them to the upload title of the film; some sites don't allow them).

'Secret project' has finally been titled - it had a working title, of course, in fact, actually two working titles, that I didn't like. Both didn't really tickle my interest - one would have probably made people think about a TV series the film has no connection whatsoever to, the other was just - lame... short, which I usually like, but not encompassing everything I wanted it to say.

Thankfully, my friend Norrie, who always proof-reads my scripts and is the bouncing-board for my ideas (thank you so much for that! :)) came up with the perfect title (yay!) - it has the right flow, the right length, it hits home; and no, I won't write it down here - yet. ;)

So - how do you title your films, and do you think the viewer places as much importance on it as I (or maybe we, we'll see about that) do?

7 Kommentare:

Matt Kelland said...

I'd say the title is probably the single most important thing when it comes to building a new audience. If it grabs your attention, you'll check it out. If it doesn't, you won't. Goes for books & music too. In fact, just about anything.

So yeah, it's well worth agonizing over, and very probably the last part of the film you should fix on. I'd stick with the working title until the very end of the process!

Norrie said...

I love being a bouncing-board :)

It just came to me in a flash; almost an epiphany:
"My Movie - Part 1"

Certainly unique!

BiggsTrek said...

I know in one instance, I chose the title simply to make it hard for Ken and Roger to pronounce. But I'm mean like that... lol Other than that, yeah titles can be hard (actually, that one was hard, too, as I had to go searching through thesaurus'sss and make up a word: Thonginning).

Another one took collaboration with my wife to come up with (Misguided Evolution). I just couldn't find a suitable name for that flick otherwise!

Nice topic!

Cathy said...

I usually envision the title first. It's getting the body of a project done that takes me forever and ever.

Killian said...

I agree; a title can be something that makes or breaks a movie; it can even spark an idea in itself (a few of mine have been re-titled since the original scripts were written, even if another working title was what sparked the idea in the first place).

chatNoir said...

I normally stick with the title that came with the seed of the concept (e.g., Dignity of Man, The Afflicted, Deja vu, Paralysis by Analysis). I think they usually work better than those that I had to toil over, but then again, that's probably because I didn't toil enough over the latter.

I cannot wait to learn the title of your secret project!

sisch said...

Thank you all! I'm glad I'm not alone agonising over titles -
and Kate, I hope the title will fire up imaginations - as a good title should always do - I wouldn't say it's something very unusual, it just fits perfectly, and it's something that maybe everyone says from time to time... :) (teasing is fun!)

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