If you've ever hung out in the theater after a movie's final frame in the hopes of catching a bonus scene, Emma Kantor is right there with you—though she's not sticking around simply for a possible post-credits Easter egg or sequel teaser. Instead, Kantor writes in an op-ed for the New York Times, she watches every film's closing credits as an homage to all of the cast and crew who made the movie—something she thinks any movie lover worth their salt should do as well. Kantor's background partly explains her appreciation for the craft, and its final shoutouts: Her parents come from film backgrounds, and as a child, she spent lots of time on movie sets, learning about the jobs of everyone there, from director—she once sat next to Sidney Lumet as he worked—and script supervisor to gaffer and grip, two distinct roles that Kantor can explain to you in full.
But even if you didn't grow up in a Hollywood-adjacent family, perusing the credits at the end of a film serves as a tribute of sorts to everyone involved. Such a viewing "is enough to challenge the myth of the genius auteur calling all the shots," she writes of all the "unsung collaborators" who get their due in those final words on the big screen. "Credits are the closest that many behind-the-scenes, below-the-line artists and technicians get to a curtain call." Kantor doesn't even mind if fellow moviegoers she spies in the theater after a fillm wraps are there just for those bonus scenes, or to listen to the closing song. "It doesn't matter," she writes. "We're in the same club. An unspoken intimacy and solidarity exists among us, the attentive viewers, and the village of filmmakers we honor." Her full piece here. (Read more movies stories.)