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Credits: To Squeeze or Not to Squeeze?

March 10, 2013

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m proud to be a member of British Actors’ Equity and want to be able to bring you news from our union across the pond from time to time.

The latest British Equity magazine featured a major victory that the union secured in the UK and I wonder if you think it’s something we should be fighting for more in the US?

In short, the union has secured agreements from several major broadcasters, including Sky, Channel 4, and BBC to stop squeezing the credits that run after TV shows into a tiny box, in unreadable print that scrolls faster than the human eye can process it! You know what I mean if you watch… well just about any network TV show these days. I guess broadcast executives feel that TV space is better used to promote upcoming shows then to tell viewers who they just watched. This practice was very common in the UK too.

But British Equity conducted a survey of actors and general TV audiences asking for their thoughts on “squeezed” credits. The survey found that only 2.2 percent of the respondents felt that credits were “unimportant” for viewers and over 95 percent disliked the split-screen credits/upcoming-promo style of running credits while advertising the next show.

And remember, this wasn’t just a survey of actors, but also of TV viewers in general.

British broadcasters took note and are now changing their approach … giving credit where it is due, in essence. You can read more about it here:

I’m wondering what you think about the credits that run after TV shows here in the US. Have you ever had a co-star role that your whole family gathered to watch, excited to see your name at the end, only to miss it in the barrage of other images on the screen during credits? Or do you think it doesn’t really matter, since IMDB is the place to see who’s-who in TV?

OH, and one last thing, in case you are wondering why British Equity was fighting a broadcasting battle… it’s because in the UK there is just one union representing performers across the board, in TV, film, commercials, stage, variety, dance, singing, etc. Gee, what a novel idea. Not have to pay two sets of dues? Now THAT’S a topic for another post.

So credits: to squeeze or not to squeeze? Send your comments (in readable print please 🙂 )

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One Comment leave one →
  1. The Growing Artist permalink
    March 18, 2013 5:22 pm

    This is a very interesting post! To be totally honest, when I am watching TV, I am often either thinking (or maybe blogging haha) about what I just watched or impatiently waiting for the next show to come on. However, I do feel the creative team/actors should be properly credited for their work. It’s impossible to read that small font scrolling quickly across the screen!

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