Closing Credits

You know the story … the film ends, and, as the credits roll, you start to get up, check to make sure no one spilled an ICEE or popcorn on you, and step over that sticky thing as you make your way out of the theater. No one reads credits, right? And just try doing in on television, where the credits race past at amazing speed, sometimes sharing the screen with a promotion for what’s coming next.

So here are the credits from Saving Lincoln (2013). See how many people you know and how many times their name appears. Warning: the list is populated by many names you should recognize. If nothing else, you’ll become more adept at using the scroll function.

12 thoughts on “Closing Credits

  1. Tony June 21, 2013 / 11:08 am

    When there were disagreements, did they put you all in a room to fight it out? Last man standing gets input!

    • Brooks D. Simpson June 21, 2013 / 11:14 am

      I believe Sal Litvak handled whatever disagreements there were with his usual diplomatic tact and skill, so much so that I don’t know what disagreements there may have been. In other cases I’ve been called in to resolve disagreements, and when I have something to say I make sure my ducks are lined up in a row. What’s always key to remember, however, is that this is the filmmaker’s representation of what happened.

      • Tony June 21, 2013 / 11:34 am

        Serious question now, and from your answer you may not have any insight into how input into the film was organized and reviewed … but how does one manage the input of 15 (!) historical consultants? Sounds a bit like herding cats to me 🙂

  2. Nina Litvak June 21, 2013 / 11:11 am

    The most important crew member was historical consultant B.D. Simpson who gave generously of his wise guidance and support.

    • Brooks D. Simpson June 21, 2013 / 11:18 am

      That’s very kind of you to say that. I think the lesson of last year is that one can tell an important story well on film without having a humongous budget, so long as one does so with skill, creativity, resourcefulness, and a special touch, and that happened with Saving Lincoln.

      Not that money isn’t welcome, of course. 🙂

  3. Ned June 21, 2013 / 11:51 am

    Harry Smeltzer has made it to the big time — kudos to him!

  4. Talmadge Walker June 21, 2013 / 12:57 pm

    It’s not often that Mathew Brady gets a film credit.

  5. Salvador Alex Litvak June 21, 2013 / 1:40 pm

    There certainly were times we received conflicting answers. In those situations, I made a gut call in the service of both history and dramatic impact on the audience. A simple example is the pronunciation of Ward Hill Lamon’s last name. We went with a drawly “Lammun,” almost rhyming with Hammond, to emphasize his western Virginia roots.

    Nina is right in her comment above – Brooks was incredibly generous with his time in answering our questions. And what we appreciated even more, was the nuance in his responses. There are moments in any historical film that cannot be backed up by concrete evidence – one must infer bits of dialogue and emotional reactions from the broader record, and trust that consistency of motivation and attitude will keep the film on track. Discussing those moments with Brooks was like discussing rare wine with a great sommelier – a wonderful experience.

    • Tony June 21, 2013 / 4:39 pm

      From what I understand of Dr. Simpson, he would have fared fairly well in the last man standing format as well. 🙂

  6. Brad June 21, 2013 / 4:47 pm

    Good to see Brian Dirck on there. He had one of my favorite blogs.

    The group of historical consultants is pretty distinguished.

  7. Dave Jordan June 22, 2013 / 2:58 pm

    OK, I know we’re supposed to focus on the historical consultants, but I can’t get past Creed Bratton playing Charles Sumner.

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