Author Archive

Film Regulation

February 10, 2014

Key trend over time- Liberalisation and rationalisation


Moralistic paternalism          ————————>          Bureaucratic protectionism

Unwritten rules                                                                                      Published guidelines

Shared values                                                                                          Public consultation

Rigid moral code                                                                                   Child protection

“We know what’s best for you”


BBFC (British Board of Film Censorship) was set up to avoid government censorship of the film industry.

If the industry regulates itself, then it controls regulation.

BBFC established ———> Prohibits “indecorous, ambiguous and irreverent titles”                                          Introduction of  “U”, “A” and “H” symbols

|                                                        as well as “unnecessary exhibition of under-clothing” , ect.                              |

|                                                                                                                                                                                                               |

1912 ———————————-1920’s———————————————————————–1930’s—————————————1940’s

Pre-war Victorian values                                                                                                                                                     Inter-war years: General strike, Depression and decline of the Empire

In the USA- Production code

“Law of compensating values”- Bad guys must be punished
An example of the strictness of regulation at the time is the 1953 film “The Wild One”. The film was banned for 14 years by the BBFC, until being given an “X” rating in 1967.

You can watch an excerpt of the film here-

By today’s standards the idea this film could be banned is laughable considering how tame it is in our modern context. However the main character portrayed by Marlon Brando acts in a way which at the time would have been unacceptable, yet still walks away at the end- which in accordance with the “law of compensating values”, is unacceptable.


Censorship changes

1951- “X” category introduced—————–> “The Wild One” release delayed for 14 years for                                              “X” raised to 18

|                                                                                                “spectacle of unbridled hooliganism”                                                               |

|                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           |


Post-war prosperity                                               Baby-boomers come of age               Lady Chatterley’s                   The dream sours,

and birth of the teenager                                     “sexual and social liberation”             lover trial                                  economic unrest

BBFC becomes “British Board of Film Classification

Guidelines for consumers


1984 Video Recordings Act

-Videos were not required to be certified

-“Video nasties” caused tabloid moral panic (e.g. “Driller Killer” and “The Evil Dead”)

1990’s- very rare for films to be cut (as it is for today)


BBFC vision statement-

Heavily entrenched in the effects debate- which has no evidence to support it.


70’s- Change over between moralistic paternalism and Bureaucratic protectionism. BBFC were behind the times, most censored decade, 26.7% of films cut, 3.2% banned outright.

Legal Framework

-Video recordings act 1984-Requires BBFC to have special regard for any harm to those likely to view a video

-Cinematograph films (animals) act 1937- Illegal to show any cruelty to animals

-Protection of children act 1978- Illegal to show indecent photographs of anyone under 18

-Obscene publications act 1959- Illegal to show a work that is obscene with tendency to “deprave and corrupt” a significant portion of the audience.

At 18 rating, they try to allow everything with exception to that which is illegal, e.g. sexual abuse of Michelle in “Ill Manors” is allowed because it is condemned by the film, if it were portrayed positively, the film would be banned.


Advertising platforms

November 6, 2013


– National


– Catch up (commercial)

Are calendar news ads regional?

Outdoor advertising, e.g. Billboards


Most advertising is regional, as are most radio channels. There are only 3 national channels, it’s hard to compete with the BBC as they already have the genres covered, and don’t advertise.

Unlike radio, magazines are mostly national, however some are regional- such as Yorkshire Life





Digital advertising (Online)


-Social media

-Interactive and targeted- cookies and what you click on, websites know you



-Main reel

-Separate from main reel (e.g. EE with Kevin Bacon)

International brands– Not a platform but some advertisers go international, e.g. airlines, mcdonalds or coca cola

Marketing of Inception and Winter’s Bone

September 23, 2013


Teaser for Inception

In this teaser, we are given no dialogue- and so don’t know what the film is about. It teases, thereby encouraging us to see the film. A point about the marketing, is that it was effective for giving very little information, this secrecy influenced the audience to create a story for themselves, encouraging them to watch the film.

The intended audience for this film is 16-30 year old males, this audience is catered to with action sequences for younger men, and an intellectually challenging plot for older men.

A website and an app was released before the film which gave clues to what the film was about, while posters warned the audience about the fictional crime of “dream theft”. These clues created an “internet buzz”, and widespread interest- an official inception website with information and an extra trailer,”Alternate reality games” (ARG’s) were also released. The film itself can be marketed well with a game, as the narrative is structured similarly to a game, with different levels and so on. Other marketing used was social media, such as a facebook page for the film, and the ability to “create your own posters”.

The film was also marketed via magazine, with Empire magazine calling it the “Movie event of 2010”. There was also coverage with Electronic press kit and the publicity circus, where Christopher Nolan and Leonardo Dicaprio will have spoken about the film without giving too much away.

200 million was spent on the film, a further 100 million was spent on marketing it.

In this poster we can see indications of the genre- gun, bleached out colours (thriller). And we can see Leonardo Dicaprio at the front, as he is the main selling point.

Winter’ Bone

Winter’s Bone is an indie film, so it had a small budget and wasn’t expected to make much money. Indie films tend to be unusual, and are usually aimed at Cinephiles (people who are really interested in films), or students interested in something different, and perhaps an older and more educated audience.

The trailer creates intrigue, as it’s unclear what is going on, the trailer makes the film look like a mainstream thriller- which it isn’t.

As part of the publicity circus, Jennifer Lawrence (the lead actress), did a photoshoot in a bikini.