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Seamless branching update

Date 06/08/2009

In light of experience over the past months, we have reviewed the requirements relating to the submission of works containing the facility for 'seamless branching' and have concluded that a slight relaxation is possible.. The detail is set out below but the headline is that if the standard feature has already been classified, or is merely awaiting packaging approval, there is no longer any need to include it in a single submission along with the stand alone elements and the feature with all elements 'branched in'. In future, provided the standard feature has been classified, or is merely awaiting packaging approval, a single certificate will cover all the video works created by a seamless branching facility provided a single submission, with the appropriate box ticked, includes (a) the feature with all elements 'branched in', and (b) all the elements as stand-alone items. For those who have tended to submit the feature separately and in advance of the seamless branching elements, this should result in significant cost savings.

If you have any queries about this, please contact the Technical department on etechnical@bbfc.co.uk or on the helpline (020 7440 0299).

Policy

If video works created through use of seamless branching (including alternative endings) are to be covered by the relevant video certificates then the effect of including them within the feature, as well as the effect of viewing them as 'stand-alone' items, must be considered during the process of determining the suitability of the work for classification, or for classification at a particular category. A video certificate will cover all the possible combinations offered by 'seamless branching' facilities (including 'alternative ending' functions) providing that a single submission has included:

  1. the feature with no additional material added (unless it has already been classified or is merely awaiting packaging approval)
  2. the additional material as stand-alone items (unless the retail disc will not allow any of the additional material to be viewed as a stand-alone item)
  3. the feature with all additional material branched into the feature (excluding alternative endings, provided these can be viewed as stand-alone items)

The elements can be submitted on:

  • separate discs forming a single submission, or
  • a single disc which allows the material to be accessed as required in 1, 2 and 3

The relevant box on the submission form ('Seamless branching') must be ticked. The BBFC will view and charge for: the feature with no additional material added (unless it has already been classified or is merely awaiting packaging approval); the additional material as stand-alone items (unless the retail disc will not allow any of the additional material to be viewed as a stand alone item); the feature with all additional material branched into the feature (excluding alternative endings, provided these can be viewed as stand-alone items).

Exception

If the retail disc will only allow the additional material to be branched into the feature in a single, fixed combination, the 'contains additional material' version so created can be submitted independently of, and without regard to, either the ‘standard feature’ or the additional material as 'stand-alone' items (i.e. requirements 1 and 2 are waived). In such circumstances, classification can proceed even if the ‘standard’ feature has not been classified (but the certificate awarded will not cover the ‘standard’ feature). It is the responsibility of the distributor to ensure that the standard feature is classified separately. The same applies to any 'additional material' that can be viewed as a 'stand-alone' item.

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