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


This Movie Maker 2012 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-based software coming soon.)
( Movie Maker 2012 downloads free here if your Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS lacks this Windows Essentials software).

  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 Movie Maker, 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. By clicking and dragging, 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. Select your first intertitle background. In the tasks pane, select "make titles or cards" and click "add title on the selected clip." Type in the text box whatever text you'd like to try as intertitle. Click "change the text font and color."
  6. Select a font. Fonts such as Abscissa, Birch Std Regular, Charlemagne Std Bold, Chaparral Pro, and BodoniXT Medium 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.