Tuesday, October 5, 2021

"The House of Seville" and Youtube Age Restriction

"The House of Seville" (18 min) is our animated mock horror ghost story based partly on "Carmen".

Watch "The House of Seville" on Youtube

Posting "The House of Seville" on Youtube for public viewing raised the question of audience rating. Our movie has animated violence with a murder scene based on the "Carmen" story. In our discussions we thought it was a low level issue and we should use the Youtube upload option "not made for kids". However when I did the upload and carefully read the Youtube guide notes I made the call to "play it safe" and go "age restricted".

Murder with a Censored label hiding the blood

We work with a storytelling trope that ghosts are obsessed with causing the living to reenact their deaths. Here, the ghost of Carmen takes control of Ray and causes him to kill Daria with a sword. The critical items from the Youtube checklist are (1) the audience can see blood and (2) the editing and animated camera point of view highlight the blood beyond incidental detail. This is balanced by a non-realistic animated depiction.

Blood is a major rating element. I went through an exercise of reviewing Youtube scenes of violence and other content that could be challenging for sensitive viewers. These were mostly trailers for horror movies as well as examples like "1917", "Dunkirk" and "Gladiator". Challenging yes, with many life-at-risk tension moments, but mostly contrived to be bloodless. It was very difficult to find any example clip that showed blood. It appears that a convention has developed that bloodless violence is OK. Reflecting on that I agree that blood is an issue and I should restrict a film that depicts it. However, how OK is it to have wide audiences for otherwise realistic violence without blood? Advances in movie tech are making bloodless violence more intense. We are seeing entertainment violence that is missing violence realities like long term pain and suffering: including a lifetime of guilt and remorse for the perpetrators after a moment of impulse. Blood is a truth of violence. And film-makers should tell the truth. To age-restricted audiences rather than using the bloodless excuse to market violence to a wider audience.

Watch the Murder Scene as discussed here

Compare with the Murder Scene in the Opera "Carmen".