MPAA Worried That People Don't Know A Gun Can't Shoot Through Your TV

from the how-nice-of-them dept

Apparently the MPAA is quite worried that people watching a movie trailer might not understand that a gun pointed at the screen can't actually shoot through the screen. The organization is forcing preview trailers that show someone pointing a gun directly at the screen to actually change the video or cut that scene out of the ad. As the report at the AV Club asks, is the MPAA worried that someone from a century ago who's never seen TV or a movie is going to suddenly show up and freak out? Anyone who's seen the movie This Film Is Not Yet Rated knows that the MPAA works in mysterious ways, but this just seems ridiculous.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Dan, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:16am

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:34am

    having a gun pointed at me scares the hell out of me.

     

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  3.  
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    CM, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:37am

    Perhaps I missed it (read the original article), but Im not sure it has anything to do with people not knowing it can shoot through the screen, but seems more like MPAA's guidlines of industry censorship.

    I don't think MPAA will let you show a person shooting up on a movie poster, but that doesn't mean the MPAA thinks you will freak out and worry about getting AIDS from the guy on the poster if you used the bathroom after him.

    Lame and Misleading post IMO

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:47am

    Many bond films started with a view directly down the barrel of a gun.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:58am

    ...is the MPAA worried that someone ... who's never seen TV or a movie is going to ... freak out?

    Think of the children!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:59am

    Re:

    OK, but there's a difference between having a gun pointed at you and seeing the image of a person pointing a gun.

     

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  7.  
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    Ima Fish, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:07am

    Re:

    MPAA's prohibition against guns pointing at the audience only pertains to trailers. For some bizarre reason.

     

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  8.  
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    kevjohn, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re:

    As long as someone else gets shot, it's OK.

     

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  9.  
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    deadzone (profile), Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:15am

    This is a good thing!

    I can't tell you how many times I have unloaded my weapon at someone pointing a gun at me only to realize afterwards that it was just a scene from a movie trailer in which a gun was pointed at the screen and not really a huge gunfight between me and someone else.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:20am

    Re: This is a good thing!

    See, this is why they locked you up. That's what "a danger to himswelf and others" means.

     

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  11.  
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    PRMan, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    C'mon Mike!

    This is the most positive thing the MPAA has done all year. Granted, it's not much. Nothing, really. But you have to applaud the effort.

     

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  12.  
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    boost, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:26am

    Re:

    How about the 2-dimensional image of a gun on a television?

     

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  13.  
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    Pinky Floyd, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:37am

    Don't watch Goodfellas then..

    One of the best and gripping scenes from a movie is at the very end of Martin Scorsese's masterpiece "Goodfellas"is when Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci)looks viciously at the camera and repeatedly fires directly at it. Martin Scorsese effectively conveys the brutality and anger of the character that Pesci brilliantly portrays.

    The MPAA is smacking a nanny state in wanting to keep these scenes from trailers...it's only a matter of time when they try to keep brilliant directors like Scorsese from even putting them in the movies themselves.

     

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  14.  
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    Hulser, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:38am

    Re:

    Perhaps I missed it (read the original article), but Im not sure it has anything to do with people not knowing it can shoot through the screen, but seems more like MPAA's guidlines of industry censorship.

    You might have indeed missed this, but here's the quote from the article...

    "For years, the MPAA has prohibited weapons from being pointed at the 'viewer' in advertising, presumably for fear that it will freak them out. That's why you always see guns pointed at angles on movie posters and in film trailers."

    To be fair, the intent of the don't-point-a-gun-at-the-audience-in-movie-trailers rule is only presumed, never stated definitively. But I think it's a fair bet that the reason is as described.


    I don't think MPAA will let you show a person shooting up on a movie poster, but that doesn't mean the MPAA thinks you will freak out and worry about getting AIDS from the guy on the poster if you used the bathroom after him.

    I don't see how this relates at all. Censoring something because of "objectionable content", such as someone taking illegal drugs, is standard operating procedure. The key distinction here is that the apparent reason for this censorship is based on a reaction that hasn't been applicable for many years.

     

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  15.  
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    mkvf, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:47am

    An only tangentially connected anecdote...

    ... that I only half remember

    Country singer (Hank Williams?) is in a bar, begins shooting the place up. Everyone flees, calls the police. Police arrive, singer is still on his stool, drinking heavily.

    Police man asks, "Why did you shoot the bar?"

    Singer points to a photo of battleship on the wall, says, "Well, it drew on me."

    Maybe the MPAA are thinking of very drunk people.

     

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  16.  
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    ha, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    I like how "doing illegal drugs" is "objectionable content" that we aren't fit to view, but "murdering people" is totally cool.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    Most people in Hollywood are so separated from reality and they believe that every American, besides them of course, is dumb. They might have a point, but it's not to the extreme that they believe.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:58am

    Re:

    Yes, but outward. The perspective was looking through the barrel at the target, not the other way around.

     

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  19.  
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    Q, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:58am

    I also

    Have a problem with anyone point a gun at me. I don't give a crap if it's in real life or on a television screen, which, in a 1080P world, is getting more and more lifelike.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:59am

    They had the same problem with the Sledgehammer! TV show (although obviously it wasn't the MPAA, but the network censors). The creators wanted to have Sledge point the gun at the camera, but they had to settle for having it shoot off to one side.

     

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  21.  
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    Shohat, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 9:13am

    Damn

    By Idiots, For Idiots.

    USA ! USA ! USA !

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 9:25am

    I think that is regarding the movie trailer ratings. You know the message that says something like this preview is approved for all audiences. Also, I find anything on the internet without proof "The AV Club's" blog a little hard to believe and maybe a little one sided. I like to get both sides of the story before making a judgement. Maybe that is something techdirt readers should try sometime. I know it is a crazy idea, but seriously try it.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 9:48am

    Re: I also

    If you have trouble differentiating between reality and TV, 1080p or otherwise, then there are deeper issues you need to check in on.

     

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  24.  
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    Pete Valle, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 10:11am

    Sheesh...

    When are we, as a society, going to stop catering to the lowest common denominator. The Moron lobby appears to be much more powerful that any other group in Washington these days.

     

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  25.  
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    Alex, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 10:11am

    Watchmen trailer

    I recommend everyone look at the Watchmen trailer. A very short scene (about 1:33 in) with a gun pointed at a character was flagged by the MPAA. Instead of cutting the shot, the filmmaker changed the trailer... and replaced the gun with a walkie-talkie.

     

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  26.  
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    dsterbd, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 10:18am

    Where is this statement?

    I have read these comments and whole article, but do not see where a reason is specifically stated. The article doesn’t say they are worried about people thinking the gun can shoot from the TV or freaking people out. I can’t help but wonder if the reason is different. Trailers are seen by everyone of all ages with different values and beliefs not just those who go see that sort of movie. Maybe they are worried about offending some of the wacky religious types, anti gun and anti violence folks, people who look for things to be offended about, etc. I could see some of those types freaking out (and there are lots of them!) Not because they are afraid of being shot, but because they would get offended for some wacky reason and file lawsuits. This seems more plausible.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jul 24th, 2008 @ 11:00am

    Double-You

    Tee Eff?

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re:

    So what if I decided that Christians were objectionable?

    Or Nazis?

    No more Christian films or documentaries?

    Everything is objectionable to someone.

     

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  29.  
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    Matt, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:04pm

    If there was only a way to actually shoot the people that thought the gun was real. These are probably the same people that think the straw is so you can drink through your nose......

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I find your post exceedingly objectionable, and petition the moderators of this blog to show common decency by removing it.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:07pm

    guns dont kill people

    people in my tv kill people!

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So what if I decided that Christians were objectionable?
    Or Nazis?
    No more Christian films or documentaries?


    I'm not exactly sure who your commented is directed at, so let me clarify. My comment wasn't a sweeping approval of every single form of censorship. It was merely pointing out the distinction between your run-of-the-mill censorship, which is based on content, and in this particular case, which is apparently based on preventing panic in people who are unfamiliar with the concept of moving pictures. Also, we're talking about trailers here, not the actual films.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Damn

    Is that you AssHat?

    Hi!

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    ....they truly have NOTHING better to do.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Where is this statement?

    Why is it that every time someone points out a fact that differs from Mike they are ignored? How is this a blog for free thought? It is a blog for close-minded American idiots.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    freakE, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    The convention of using the word Hollywood to refer to the film industry is misleading and incorrect. I'm literally in Hollywood but I don't think you're referring to me. Most film studios are no longer in Hollywood either, so you must be talking about the folks at Paramount.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 11:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I do NOT find this post exceedingly objectionable, and petition the moderators of this blog to show common decency and refuse to meddle with it.

    It's a slippery slope indeed when you start blocking content based on how "objectionable" it is to someone. That's exactly what'll bring 1984 to life (though I'm not too sure we haven't done so already).

     

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  38.  
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    r. decline, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 7:52am

    Larger Televisions

    With television screen size increasing and game systems advertising items called "Force Feedback Controllers" I am in support of this. It is only a matter of time before the giant Wesley Snipes shoots me. Sure he has missed the last couple of times...but what about the next time I pop in an action movie? What if it is one of my kids! Televisions are more complicated now in ways we can not hope to understand. Currently I am protecting myself by placing several televisions surrounding the one I am watching in the hopes that the move will see the action movie playing on them as a larger threat.

     

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  39.  
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    wasnt me, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 9:44am

    haha that reminds of what happened when Rambo 3 (I think, it was the one that Rambo gets sent to Afghanistan to save his superior)came out.

    in the Russian base when Rambo gets surprised by the Russian Soldier one there was a police man in the theater he took his gun out and shot the screen to save his hero.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Wil, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 7:04am

    Pointing Guns

    Why drag down the dialog to include delusional morons who can't discern TV fantasy from reality? For what reason are idiots allowed to intrude in our daily business and personal conversation?

    NRA teaches not to point at anything you aren't willing to shoot, but that hardly applies to dramatic performances or marketing. Safe firearms handling applies on several levels. For the home and hunter it should be most literal that you never touch the trigger or point as stated above. For dramatics or even self defense training ads, a consultant on the "shoot" (the prop man), can supply a safe inert firearm and add flash, sound and even smoke if necessary. All this depends on common sense, a genuine non-political consideration for safety, and a fully functional brain that can filter fantasy from reality. Something generally lacking in nanny Leftist prohibitionist thought processes.

     

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  41.  
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    Him ThatIs, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 7:43am

    Re: This is a good thing!

    beautiful...simply beautiful

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    دردشه, Jul 5th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    The convention of using the word Hollywood to refer to the film industry is misleading and incorrect. I'm literally in Hollywood but I don't think you're referring to me. Most film studios are no longer in Hollywood either, so you must be talking about the folks at Paramount

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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