Guest Blogger: Terrell Burrage
Terrell Burrage is a senior at the University of Central Missouri majoring in Digital Media Production with interests in all fields with an emphasis in audio. He is trying his hand out with other as well like Cinematography, Radio production, and scriptwriting. He enjoys music and culture and also enjoys finding the nuances of modern media. He wishes to own his own multimedia production company one day.
CENSORSHIP IN FILM MAKING
Art has no limits. It can mean 10 things to 10 different people. Art is subjective. One thing I struggled with growing up is bad words and explicit content being displayed on the screen. Everything from music to film has censorship obligations. I think it is safe to say that censorship exists to moderate between the product and the consumer. The art, whether it’s music or film, has to sit well with the consumer and the family in order to become a “household name”. If we look at the typical family, parents usually feel more comfortable with PG or PG-13. That narrows down the rate of consumption drastically as the lines are becoming more blurred. I say that to say this……..Why does censorship even Do we feel censorship compromises artistic integrity? How does the constitution come into play?
HISTORY OF THE CENSORSHIP
In 1915, the Supreme Court decided that film was not art due to the fact they are made to generate profit. So that prevents it from 1st Amendment protection. “In the case of Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, the judges reached a 9-0 decision that “The exhibition of moving pictures is a business, pure and simple, originated and conducted for profit…not to be regarded, nor intended to be regarded by the Ohio Constitution, we think, as part of the press of the country, or as organs of public opinion” (Durham Saturdayeveningpost.com). Back in the day there was no refuting the stance they were taking on censorship. This lead them to develop the MPPDA (Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America organization. Now the government can oversee the regulations.
FAST FORWARD to the FUTURE
Now I think it is safe to say that film now has more of a social responsibility. Which is why we can have something like the Show Me Justice Film Festival. My question I would like to know is that can we get rid of censorship when it comes to artistic integrity in the realm of small festivals at least? If there is a message we want to clearly communicate to our audience do we need to dumb down or water down the substance just to make sure we don’t rub some folk the wrong way? Or should we have the freedom to express whatever message however we see fit in order to uphold the effectiveness of the art form? Is there a way to separate mainstream box office legalities on censorship from film festivals since they serve different purpose? Tell us what you think. All thoughts are welcomed here!