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Title Card

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In video media starting with silent films, title cards (also called intertitles) are shots of printed text edited into the photographed action at various points. Such cards were a mainstay of silent films, serving to bridge the limits of the technology by providing character dialogue and/or descriptive narration to make sense of the enacted or documented events. The development of the soundtrack (starting in the late 1920s) slowly eliminated their utility as a narrative device, yet the convention was retained for providing narration (not dialogue) well into the 1930s. They were also used to signal an Intermission in movies, a period of nothing but a Title Card and some jaunty music, as a chance to use the restroom or buy concessions, lasting typically between ten and fifteen minutes. While it gradually faded out of use, the intermission card was used as late as the 1980s.

In modern film and television, title cards are used most commonly used as part of a historical drama's epilogue to explain what happened to the depicted characters after the conclusion of the story the audience has just seen. They are occasionally still used as an artistic device to supply an epigraph (such as a poem), to pay homage to the silent era or to distinguish various "acts" of a film or multimedia production.

Compare Title In.