The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

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manicsounds
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#201 Post by manicsounds » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:53 am

So what would happen if someone releases a movie without a classification in the UK?
In the US many movies are released without an MPAA rating.

I always assumed the BBFC was government backed, so everyone HAD to get movies classified for release. But if it's just a private organization, how do they have the power and the monopoly on movie classification?

By the way, I recently got the Blu-ray of the Scottish film "Lord Of Tears" which was classified theatrically as (15), but the self-released home video release had no BBFC classifications on it, and has a bunch of extras as well. The BBFC website doesn't have any info on classification for video release of this title.
Last edited by manicsounds on Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#202 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:59 am

manicsounds wrote:So what would happen if someone releases a movie without a classification in the UK?
In the US many movies are released without an MPAA rating.
If the film isn't exempt from classification (which will be the case with any fictional work), the most likely scenario is that the distributor will be prosecuted by Trading Standards for infringing the 1984 Video Recordings Act and forced to withdraw it from circulation.
I always assumed the BBFC was government backed, so everyone HAD to get movies classified for release. But if it's just a private organization, how do they have the power and the monopoly on movie classification?
Because the government explicitly gave it to them via the VRA. I'm sure if the BBFC hadn't already existed by 1984 they'd have created something similar from scratch, but it was much cheaper for them to do it that way. After all, why pay to create and run something that already exists?
Last edited by MichaelB on Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Finch
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#203 Post by Finch » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:20 pm

manicsounds wrote:By the way, I recently got the Blu-ray of a Scottish film which was classified theatrically as (15), but the self-released home video release had no BBFC classifications on it, and has a bunch of extras as well. The BBFC website doesn't have any info on classification for video release of this title.
The director is a friend of mine, and as far as I'm aware, the BBFC classification for his film was/is for the home video release only. I donated towards the Kickstarter campaign so I got my copy one or two months before it officially went on sale and was reviewed by the BBFC. Therefore my keepcase had no 15 logo and advice printed.

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MichaelB
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#204 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:41 pm

Yes, you're absolutely right - I should have double-checked the BBFC website, which does indeed make it clear that it's a video classification.

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manicsounds
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#205 Post by manicsounds » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:28 am


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A man stayed-put
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#206 Post by A man stayed-put » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:46 am

Just came on to post this link myself. Yes, anyone who can, please support this- 467 signatures and counting so far.

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MichaelB
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#207 Post by MichaelB » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:15 am

That's very impressive - it had only just hit triple figures when I signed, and that can't have been more than a couple of hours ago.

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manicsounds
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#208 Post by manicsounds » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:10 pm

Would it be bad for non-UK residents to sign it by "lying" about the postcode for residency?

David M.
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#209 Post by David M. » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:24 pm

I don't think so, given that it affects people who import these titles as well.

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swo17
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#210 Post by swo17 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:33 pm

But would it perhaps nullify the petition?

wllm995
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#211 Post by wllm995 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:08 am

swo17 wrote:But would it perhaps nullify the petition?
Probably only if the BBFC reads your comments here.

[-X

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manicsounds
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#212 Post by manicsounds » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:20 am

swo17 wrote:But would it perhaps nullify the petition?
What I'm afraid of... but it does seem to be getting signatures pretty quickly.

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HJackson
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#213 Post by HJackson » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:07 pm

Done. Now can somebody start one to get snout-in-trough expenses cheat Maria Miller sacked?

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newwavefilms
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#214 Post by newwavefilms » Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:42 pm

Seeing as it's unlikely she'll go, if each of the hopefully 3,000 signatories also chipped in £1.94 each, her problem would be solved and she might even be grateful. Crowd funding in action...

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manicsounds
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#215 Post by manicsounds » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:27 pm

Question:

If small companies put featurettes and making-ofs online instead of on the physical discs, does that still have to be classified by the BBFC?
Also, no one seems to be taking advantage of BD-Live anymore, no small labels have. Do BD-Live extras have to be classified as well? It's not on the physical disc.

Like a lot of old DVDs had DVD-ROM access to official websites, but I don't believe the BBFC ever had to classify the actual website since it wasn't on the disc.

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manicsounds
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#216 Post by manicsounds » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:47 am

Now passed 3000 signatures. But it's not stopping there! Out of 4,000 is the new goal...

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MichaelB
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#217 Post by MichaelB » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:48 am

Although it shouldn't be addressed to Maria Miller any more.

(I nearly wrote "the late Maria Miller", but she's not actually dead.)

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AidanKing
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#218 Post by AidanKing » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:02 pm

The latest issue of Sight and Sound has an article about the effect of BBFC changes and charges on independent labels, in which it is suggested that the non-appearance of Out 1 on DVD in the UK may be down to the costs of having a film of that length classified by the BBFC, which seems entirely plausible. It is also suggested that other long films, although shorter than Out 1, such as Wajda's The Ashes, could be affected in the same way.

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MichaelB
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#219 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:10 pm

Although the Out 1 argument predates the recent policy change: it would have cost a fortune to classify at any point since the introduction of the Video Recordings Act thirty years ago.

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AidanKing
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#220 Post by AidanKing » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:13 am

Indeed, and I wonder if that's one of the reasons it's never appeared in the UK.

With regard to other long films, I suppose Second Run might have a view on whether a release of The Ashes would be viable taking into account the costs of classification.

The article suggests that the BBFC used to operate with a reduced rate for classifying subtitled films. It also argues that that reduced rates could be re-introduced if the initial print run is intended to be below a certain number. Based on the assumption that the UK government is unlikely to legislate to remove the requirement for classification, that sounds like a good idea, presuming it would be practicable.

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TMDaines
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#221 Post by TMDaines » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:20 am


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domino harvey
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#222 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:47 am

A Reddit user crowdfunded a ten hour film of literal paint drying in order to afford to submit it to the BBFC in protest of their policies. He is answering questions on the screening here

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MichaelB
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#223 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:07 am

This has got to be one of the most pointlessly empty gestures in living memory.

First of all, how exactly does giving the BBFC lots of money constitute an effective protest against them? Granted, they have to watch the end result, but I suspect after a couple of days of wall-to-wall hardcore porn and toddlers' videos BBFC examiners will find it a welcome relief.

And secondly, it's a complete waste of money anyway, because BBFC approval wouldn't be required for something like this - even under the recently-tightened documentary guidelines, this footage would be exempt from classification.

In fact, if I was the BBFC I'd call his bluff by simply returning his submission with a note pointing out that it's not necessary.

David M.
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#224 Post by David M. » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:32 pm

It certainly has its problems (notably giving BBFC a ton of cash), but I still can't think of a better way to to get news outlets talking about the problem.

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rapta
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Re: The BBFC vs. UK Independent Labels

#225 Post by rapta » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:40 pm

domino harvey wrote:A Reddit user crowdfunded a ten hour film of literal paint drying in order to afford to submit it to the BBFC in protest of their policies. He is answering questions on the screening here
That 'Reddit user' is Charlie Lyne, who used to run the blog Ultra Culture, and now writes for The Guardian. He directed the documentaries Beyond Clueless and Fear Itself.

But yes, I agree with MichaelB that the exercise itself is somewhat futile. That said, perhaps the media will take some notice now...and more importantly, the public should be made aware of the debate too.

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