The order of credits is determined by guild rules -- SAG, the DGA, WGA and other unions. the list that follows is for opening credits.
The order in which credits are billed generally follows their importance to the film, just not linearly. First is usually the motion picture company, followed by the producer, then the 'a film by' credit. Then we see the Title followed by the cast. from there we reverse gears on the whole "order of importance" guideline and work backwards to the director...
PRODUCTION COMPANY presents
a NAME LASTNAME production
a NAME LASTNAME film
Director of Photography
If the writer and director are the same person, or the director was also a producer, hold his earlier credit and pair it with the more prestigious one (in this case "director"). so you would place "Written and Directed by" or "Produced and Directed by" or "Edited and Directed by" where the Director's credit goes. if your Dp was also your editor, you'd have "Editor and Director of Photography..." falling in the position where the DP credit goes. et cetera.
Closing credits do not have any hard and fast rules that dictate how they need to be ordered. But there are conventions that have been established. If you intend to have no opening credits (something George Lucas left the DGA over) you basically put the Director, Writer and Producer credits first, then go down the line for the closing credits:
Director of Photography
***if you credited the above in the opening, closing credits begin here ***
Unit Production Manager
First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director
Full Cast / Character List
Production Departments (Grip, Electric, Camera, Sound, Wardrobe, etc)
Post-Production Departments (Assistant Editors, Visual Effects, Colorist, etc)
Camera, Lenses and Equipment Makers
Location of Final Sound Mix ("Recorded at...")
special consideration is given for "name" actors, often they are credited just before the title comes up. and again, you have a lot of wiggle room with closing credits. some films credit the entire cast first, before the director. you have options here.
Here is a standard motion picture disclaimer...
"PERSON'S NAME OR PRODUCTION COMPANY" is the author of this motion picture for the purpose of copyrght and other laws.
This motion picture is protected pursuant to the provisions of the laws of the United States of America and other countries. Any unauthorized duplication, distribution and/or exhibition of this motion picture may result in civil liability and criminal prosecution.
Characters and incidents portrayed and the names herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
No animals were harmed in the making of this film. [Drew note: isn't this a copyrighted statement held by SAG?]
if you have an Animated Production Company Logo, place that at the very beginning, before your credits. it's the first thing we see. some studios/production companies will tag the logo on at the very end too.
Here's sample text for the 2257 compliance notice:
2257 Compliance: In compliance with United States Code, Title 18, Section 2257, all models, actors, actresses and other persons appearing in any visual depiction of content whether actual sexually explicit conduct, simulated sexual content or otherwise, displayed in the Picture were at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time such depictions were created, and all other visual depictions displayed in the Picture are exempt from the provision of 18 U.S.C. Section 2257 and 28 C.F.R. 75 because such visual depictions do not consist of depictions of conduct as specifically listed in 18 U.S.C Section 2256 (2) (A) through (D), but are merely depictions of non-sexually explicit nudity, or are depictions of simulated sexual conduct, or are otherwise exempt because the visual depictions were created prior to July 3, 1995. Records required to be maintained for such materials pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 2257 and 28 C.F.R. 75 are maintained by Licensor (“2257 Compliance”).