Intertitles from The Blot (1921), dir. Lois Weber


This iMovie exercise teaches:

● How and where to insert film titles
● How long a title or an intertitle should remain on screen
● How titles interpret silent films and lend tone and meaning to talkies
● How fonts & other design elements can enrich your movie

(Instructions for Windows Movie Maker are here).
  1. Download these backgrounds of intertitles that Manuel Orazi drew for L'Atalantide. Download, too, these six files. They are two and half minutes of the film itself.  
  2. In iMovie, create a new standard format movie. Call it "Intertitles."  
  3. Import the shots and shot sequences you downloaded into your project. Drag each into the workspace. Using the inspector or the clip trimmer, expand each clip to its maximum length.  
  4. Select five of the intertitle backgrounds—you pick which—and insert them between, after, and before the shots and shot sequences. View your "movie."  
  Now reassemble your clips and intertitles into whatever dream logic they suggest. [Regard yourself as the wind passing through someone else's dream. Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí made Un Chien Andalou (1929) this way.]  
  5. From Windows>Titles drag a blank Centered Title onto your first intertitle background. In the [right space area], overwrite the words "Title Text Here" with whatever text you'd like to try as intertitle. Select your text. Click "Show Fonts."
  6. Select a font. Fonts such as Bordeaux Roman Bold LET, Gabriola Regular, Bernard MT Condensed, Birch Std, and Harrington Roman all suggest Orazi's hand-lettered characters. Use one of those or pick whatever font feels right to you.
  7. Repeat the process for each intertitle background. Replay your "movie" to check the flow of the story that your intertitles suggest.