Originally Posted by m2cupcar
In other news:
A filmmaker is trolling the British film board with an unbelievably long movie of paint drying
By Abby Ohlheiser November 20 at 8:47 AM
British filmmaker Charlie Lyne made a 14-hour movie of white paint drying on a wall, and he’s hoping that the British Board of Film Classification will have to watch every second of it.
The movie, titled “Paint Drying,” is now a crowdfunding campaign. Donations don’t go toward the cost of making the film, but instead for paying the fees necessary to get the British film board — the equivalent of the Motion Picture Association of America — to give the it a rating.
Lyne’s campaign is a protest of what he sees as an unfair cost for independent filmmakers who want their work released in the United Kingdom. “U.K. law ensures that, in effect, a film cannot be released in British cinemas without a BBFC certificate,” Lyne’s Kickstarter pitch reads. Lyne is also concerned that the effectively compulsory review process leads to the censorship of films in Britain.
The British board does promise to watch any submission it receives “all the way through” before evaluating its content and assigning a rating. So the more money Lyne raises, the longer the film he can afford to submit to the board, and the more minutes of paint drying the examiners will have to watch. The BFCC confirmed to Mashable that it will watch every minute of “Paint Drying,” however long it is, so long as it’s submitted for review just like any other film.
Right now, Lyne has funding to submit a film that’s more than seven hours in length. A fan of the project created a website, here, that shows in real time how long “Paint Drying” will be, based on current funding for the Kickstarter campaign.
Although a 14-hour version of the film is already completed, Lyne promised to reshoot the film to make it even longer if his funding campaign goes bonkers. If that happens, he says, “Paint Drying” will become the longest film the board has ever rated. That title is currently held by Jacques Rivette’s “Out 1,” he said.
The BBFC submission fee is 101.50 British pounds per film, with an additional charge of 7.09 pounds for each minute of the film’s length. That cost typically runs at about a thousand pounds per feature film, Lyne says, a cost that can be “prohibitively expensive” for independent filmmakers who distribute their films themselves.
“I self-distributed my first film, ‘Beyond Clueless,’ earlier this year, which meant paying for the BBFC certificate myself,” Lyne said in an email to The Post. “It cost £867.60, which was about 50% of the entire distribution budget.” Lyne said that he wouldn’t have been able to show his film in the U.K. if he didn’t have the money to pay for the certificate already saved up.
“I know of several planned releases that have been abandoned for exactly that reason,” he added, “which is terrible for British film culture.”
The BBFC has been a part of British filmmaking culture for about a century. It used to be called the British Board of Film Censors, until changing the “C” in the BBFC to the slightly friendlier “Classification” in the 1980’s. And its longevity is in part why Lyne thinks that the current certificate system gets so little scrutiny.
“If a new organisation came along today and wanted to censor books, or music, people wouldn’t stand for it, whereas the BBFC has been around for a hundred years so nobody’s ever known anything different,” Lyne told us. He hopes his project will start a discussion in the U.K. about “whether or not we want a government-mandated board to control an entire art form.”
There are no plans to screen the very boring film for the public right now — Lyne is focused solely on making the British film board’s examiners enjoy the fruits of his labor, in order to draw attention to the classification process itself. But he’s had a few requests for public screenings, he told us, and isn’t opposed to reconsidering.
Lyne’s campaign is already fully funded, but it will continue to take donations until Dec. 16.