British Board of Film Classification

Quick search of releases

Advanced search

#askbbfc Twitter Q and A transcript Thursday 19 November

On Thursday 19 November we held the answer session for our #askbbfc Twitter Q & A.

Date 23/11/2015

Earlier in the week we asked our followers to tweet us their questions about classifying violence and gore at 12A/12 and 15.

The #askbbfc answer session took the most interesting questions and answered them during a 30 minute session. If you missed this, the transcript of questions and answers follows below.

We aim to hold a twitter Q and A once a month and we’ll give plenty notice about when we’re collecting questions, whether there is a specific theme and when the answer session will take place. We use this format to ensure that any questions that require detailed answers can be researched if required and formulated into as few tweets as possible.

You can send longer questions you have to us at any time, by emailing us.

Thank you to everyone who tweeted #askbbfc questions on violence & gore at the 12A/12 & 15 classification categories.

We'll begin the #askbbfc answer session today with a question from David Charles Bowen
Q: Is it frequency or detail of gore and violence that decides the rating? #askbbfc

A: At 12A there may be moderate violence but it should not dwell on detail #askbbfc

A: Occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context #askbbfc

A: So both detail and frequency can take a film to 15 #askbbfc

A: At 15 violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury #askbbfc

A: Even at the 15 level the strongest gory images & strong sadistic violence are unlikely to be acceptable #askbbfc


Kavidun asks about scenes of personalised violence #askbbfc
Q: #askbbfc Do you treat personalised violence (toward a main character) differently to mass impersonal violence (toward a group of extras)

A: The public tell us they are concerned about the frequency & detail of violence rather than who it is directed at #askbbfc

A: But it's quite possible a scene of personalised violence may have more detail & impact than a large scale disaster scene #askbbfc

A: Brief and less detailed violence is more likely to be allowed at 12A #askbbfc

A: An example of this can be seen in the film TIMBUKTU  #askbbfc


Damien Fenton asks about intense, implied scenes of violence #askbbfc
Q: #askbbfc How do u approach scenes of an intense nature with *implicit* violence even though gore/detail isn't actually shown? E.g. Spectre

A: Tone & impact is important, especially when considering scenes of implied violence #askbbfc

A: In the absence of on-screen violence, a scene of implied violence which is tonally strong may raise a film's rating #askbbfc

A: In Spectre the implied violence lacks gory detail which would require a higher rating & the film retains a familiar action tone #askbbfc

A: You can read about these scenes in the long BBFCinsight for Spectre #askbbfc


Damien Fenton also asks about sound effects #askbbfc
Q: #askbbfc If violence/gore isn't actually shown onscreen, could an intense sound design (screams etc) push the rating to a higher rating

A: In some cases sound effects have been reduced to help achieve a lower classification #askbbfc

A: An example of this is THE WOMAN IN BLACK (12A) where sound effects were altered to reduce the dark tone & jump moments #askbbfc


Ben Davies asks about the classification of Watership Down #askbbfc
Q: Why was Watership Down only given a U when re-submitted for video in 2013? It's at least a borderline 12/15 #askbbfc

A: Watership Down was most recently rated U in 2013 #askbbfc

A: Although there are some scary moments they are not detailed or dwelt upon #askbbfc

A: And outcomes are essentially reassuring for the good rabbits which children are likely to identify with #askbbfc

A: The simple style of animation also provides some distancing in scary scenes #askbbfc

A: At U scary sequences should be mild, brief, and unlikely to cause undue anxiety to young children #askbbfc

A: The film as a whole is within the U guidelines & is very well-known, so it would be unreasonable to push it up to PG #askbbfc


Ben Davies also asks about violence and gore in The Equalizer and Taken #askbbfc
Q: #askbbfc Why did The Equalizer only get a 15 when the harder cut of Taken got an 18 (and just for the one torture scene too)?
Q: #askbbfc The Equalizer had more frequent sadistic scenes & a lot more blood. Cutting made very little difference to the overall impact

A: The BBFC considers films as a whole, so fairly comparing scenes from different films, in isolation, raises challenges #askbbfc

A: The Equalizer was seen for advice & the distributor was informed it was likely to receive an 18 #askbbfc

A: Reductions were made to violence in two scenes to bring the film within 15 Guidelines #askbbfc Read more

A: The distributor of Taken (2008) also chose to make changes to secure a 15 classification #askbbfc

A: An 18 version of Taken was later submitted for DVD release #askbbfc

A: The 18 version contains a longer & more detailed torture scene than the 15 version of Taken #askbbfc

A: The Equalizer contains much more rapid action violence & less prolonged focus on detail #askbbfc


We'll finish the #askbbfc answer session today with a question from Chris Parkes
Q: Is it true The Dark Knight would be rated a 15 now because of its tone? #askbbfc

A: We would only consider the classification again if the film is re-submitted to us #askbbfc

A: When The Dark Knight was tested with the public during the 2009 Guidelines Consultation 69% agreed with the 12A rating #askbbfc

A: On that basis & by it being a well known film at the 12A/12 level, it may be that the film would retain its 12A #askbbfc

A: Denying 13 & 14 year olds access to films like The Dark Knight would be unpopular & out of step with public opinion #askbbfc

 

That's all we have time for in this #askbbfc answer session. Thank you again to everyone who tweeted questions.

ENDS
 

Share this!

Facebook logo Twitter logo