How The MPAA Screws Over Indie Filmmakers

from the not-about-the-film-industry dept

One of the amusing things that we’ve seen in following groups like the MPAA and the RIAA over the years is every time they try to claim that they’re really doing what they do to support the independent artists out there. Both organizations represent the big studios and the big labels. But, to make themselves sound more sympathetic, they love to claim that their real concerns are in protecting the “small guys” out there. We’ve seen it a lot in the film industry, where the big studios and the MPAA guys love to claim their “real concerns” are about indie filmmakers. Just a few months ago, when I appeared on a panel at a big Hollywood event for independent filmmakers, one of my co-panelists was from the MPAA, and he tossed out that line about how the big studios were fine, but he was really concerned about the indies.

Of course, that’s hogwash. They represent the big studios and that’s all they’re concerned with. TorrentFreak points us to a perfect example of this in a short snippet of South Park’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker talking about how the MPAA screwed them over when they were indie filmmakers when it came to ratings, but when they were working with a major studio, things were entirely different:

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Comments on “How The MPAA Screws Over Indie Filmmakers”

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22 Comments
coldbrew says:

no new contract after season 15

These guys are simply my favorite duo, ever. It’s nice that we share an alma mater and they reference a ton of real life Colorado places, but I grew up around the same time and know the cultural references they make as well.

Season 15 is about to start and there is no contract in place for a 16. I hope they ditch VIacom and go direct. I would bet there’s a million of us that would pay _at least_ $20 for a season (especially uncensored).

Anonymous Coward says:

In July...

Not sure where that Subject came from. Safari’s autocomplete I guess.

Anyhow, what I think hurts movie is more than just censorship. It actually goes both ways. If you make a thriller aimed at adults, you pretty much need to get an R rating. So that means you have to make sure you include a sex scene or something to make sure you get that R. PG-13 is the kiss of death for those types of movies. So filmmakers end up focusing more on making sure their movie fits a particular criteria instead of an artistic vision.

Bruce Burbank says:

Re: What?

Chiming in-

I’m a big horror movie fan but I generally won’t even consider checking out any PG-13 horror movie because I’ll expect it to be totally watered down. It’s like it’s been demoted to a lightweight class of movie, whereas I’m really only looking for the heavyweight Rated-R horror flick. A PG-13 rating is the kiss of death because there are so many people like me who won’t waste their time with anything less than Rated-R.

Anonymous Coward says:

The only *useful* reform is to list the content of the film, not the MPAA (or anyone else’s) rating of suitability.

Imagine a grocery store where the “ingredients” panel had four choices: Suitable for Infants, Suitable for Children Undergoing a Growth Spurt, Suitable for Fat Ass Couch Potatoes, Suitable for Manual Laborers.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The only *useful* reform is to list the content of the film, not the MPAA (or anyone else’s) rating of suitability.

Hopefully with counts too (“Full Frontal Nudity: 5 times, 2:30 total”, “Bad Language: 5 F**ks, 3 S**ts, 8 Motha F**kers”.) That way the kids know whether a movie is worth watching or not.

In other words, any plan that doesn’t involve parental responsibility is going to fail. If you don’t go to IMDB to read the plot notes, and don’t wish to watch the movie first to see if it appropriate for Timmy, then maybe Timmy shouldn’t be watching the movie. Of course, I’m of the opinion (after growing up with parents that restricted me from watching movies to begin with,) that keeping your kids out of the culture, without careful exposure and teaching, is detrimental to their growth as much as allowing them to watch it without being there to explain it to them. It takes time and effort, which is why nobody does it.

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