Thursday, March 22, 2007

Introduction: Why We're Here

A group of us got together a few nights ago to discuss our frustration with the ad campaign for CAPTIVITY. We were angered by the use of public space for images that were so clearly violent and extreme.

We weren't alone; blogs, livejournals and websites have been ablaze with criticism about the campaign since it went up. People were frustrated, offended, angry, outraged -- not only by the campaign, but by the very questionable "we had no idea!" response from the people who should have been responsible. There was a lot of energy and will to do something --but no one was sure what.

We decided to do something about that.

What we're suggesting below is simple: REMOVE THE RATING.

The MPAA didn't approve this ad campaign. On the contrary, they said it violated their guidelines. But it went up anyway. For ignoring the standards set by the MPAA, we think the only consequence that matters is the one the MPAA can levy -- withholding or removing the rating of the film.

Unrated films cannot be shown in most major theaters. Most major publications will not advertise for an unrated film. Many rental agencies, like BLOCKBUSTER, will not carry an unrated film. It's possible that the makers of CAPTIVITY will find they can make no money at all from their film.

Intentionally or not (you decide) the makers and advertisers of CAPTIVITY generated a great deal of free publicity by putting up those ads, offending people, and then taking them down. They are no doubt hoping that will translate to money when the movie comes out. That's why REMOVING THE ADS IS NOT ENOUGH. The only thing that will dissuade this kind of behavior in the future is for it to be made unprofitable.

So we're asking you to help us do that.

Read the letter, see what you think. If you agree with what we're saying, then do one or all of these three things:

1. Call the MPAA. Read the text of the letter if you like.

2. Email the MPAA. Cut and paste this letter or write your own.

3. Snail mail the MPAA. Yes, people still do that. Letterhead is always a cool thing.

Contact info for the MPAA is below the letter. And if you haven't seen the actual ad campaign yet, here's a link. (These images aren't kid safe.)

We're committed to the First Amendment and artistic freedom. This isn't about that. It's about the use (and misuse) of public space for images that aren't appropriate -- or approved -- for that space.

Thanks for dropping by.

10 comments:

Peter said...

As a parent growing more and more tired of having to soften the impact of offensive imagery on billboards, magazines and t.v. on my kids, I'm very grateful to the organizers of this campaign for giving the rest of us a way to turn our frustration into positive action. I am sending your letter off to the MPAA right away!

Jill said...

Thanks for your comment, Lions Gate wants to keep pushing the limits of what we're forced to look at, so we're going to keep fighting until we can assure there's a better system in place to approve this stuff than the MPAA. Who approves the REST of the billboards, billboards that aren't about movies? Is this a question for Villairaigosa? If the MPAA gets to do movies, I think they need some help. How come no one at CBS outdoor stopped it from going up? This basically means ANYTHING can go up... it took them eight days to get it down...

even the guys who LOVE horror movies hate the campaign and, BTW, the movie. Courtney Solomon did this to get some attention for a movie that otherwise would have disappeared.

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/31988

Remove The Rating said...

We can start having any discussion we like to here on the blogsite -- let me know if you have any trouble -- Laeta

Jill said...

Now that the "captivity was here" billboards are up it is even more proof that they think we are playing into their plans... I think we should be preparing a giant class action lawsuit against Lions Gate, the MPAA and CBS Outdoor for forcing us to look at these images for eight days. If the MPAA does not remove the rating, they will be making it perfectly clear that the standards and procedures they have are ineffectual and it is incumbent upon us to put something in place that actually works.

I want to find out when the MPAA ruling is coming out and let them know we are prepared to do something big if it does not go in our favor...

yes perhaps a few more idiots will see this horrible movie... but if we make this big enough, we can stop Courtney Solomon from doing what he is doing... he's pissing off more people today regarding his ads for Wristcutters--
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i87331fd42c57f3923fdb08aaf5b3f8a3?imw=Y


. he reminds me of that guy who wanted to commit suicide by havingpolice kill him... I think he must want to commit "scene-icide" in Hollywood by having as many people despise him as possible.

Cecily said...

I had nightmares after seeing the Captivity posters, I am eternally grateful my very young daughter didn't see it. As one parent astutely put it, where's the imagination, Alien was the scariest movie ever, and the ad was a cracked egg. Thank you for providing a forum for us to discuss this, and hopefully influence those with the power to influence our kids (or scare the bejeesus out of them!). Cheers, Cecily

carioca said...

To whom it may concern at MPAA,

I'm a high school teacher in a Chicago neighborhood. I teach at-risk kids. Every day I witness the consequences of violence and sexual abuse. I've dedicated my life to inspiring hope that something else is possible.

What are you doing with your life besides allowing something as vile as the movie "Captivity" to be marketed as a snuff film to our teens? Think about that tonight, in those few silent moments before sleep arrives. With a little luck, you may tune back into that little voice called a conscience and remove the rating on this sorry use of celluloid.

Sincerely,

Sharon Marzano
Chicago, IL 60660

Jamison said...

I'm going to keep my personal feelings about this to myself and just point out one thing that no one seems to have addressed in this whole affair: the official comment from Lions Gate films was that the screen shots that were used were sent unintentionally. In other words, the initial ad campaign was rejected, Lions Gate came up with another set of screenshots that did get approved, and then the hapless intern whose job it was to attach the file to the email used the wrong set of shots.
Now, I'm not stupid. It's a flimsy excuse in my opinion, however not implausible. Who among us hasn't ever attached the wrong file to an email? That said, it might be a lie, it might not, but in a country where our political leaders are caught on a daily basis contradicting themselves on record, why are we suddenly going to hold our entertainment to a higher standard?
If there's an internal memo or email that's been leaked in this situation that I don't know about, let me know, but what I see is a screw-up that offended a lot of people and that Lions Gate attempted to rectify. I just don't understand why we're crucifying people before we know whether or not they made an honest mistake. It's like every other "controversial" movie, the more we talk about it, the more reason we give people to go see it.

Dougie14th said...

To Jill:

Who approves the REST of the billboards, billboards that aren't about movies?


I have no clue. The MPAA shouldn't have control over promotional materials for film. Although I don't believe in censorship, I do think there should be limits in public and maybe the MPAA shouldn't have control. Their should be a seperate organization which can deem what's appropiate specifically for billboards.


I want to find out when the MPAA ruling is coming out and let them know we are prepared to do something big if it does not go in our favor...


So what you're suggesting is that if the MPAA doesn't abide by your wants, you are going to do something "big". I have no clue what "big" means in this case, but this is blackmail. "Captivity" should get a fair trial no matter what. The MPAA will decide what to do and to practically force them to go in your favor is very wrong.

Honestly, how can you complain that After Dark films is being unfair with it's promotion, when you have just suggested that if they assess the situation fairly, there will be consequences.

yes perhaps a few more idiots will see this horrible movie.

That's very nice of you. You just called people that want to see Captivity idiots. It shows how mature you and your whole crusade against this movie is. I don't think anyone opposing your "Rating Removal" has stooped as low as you have, to call you idiots. At least on this site I've seen no incidents.

Frankly, After Dark is coming off as the more mature and reasonable group. Even though what they did was a cheap tactic (as well as offensive), you've just condoned blackmail and insulted everyone who wants to view this movie because they don't agree with your views.

even the guys who LOVE horror movies hate the campaign and, BTW, the movie.

Who hates the movie? Harry Knowles, the most unreliable critic (if you can call him that) to ever grace the internet. I'm sorry, but we'll have to wait until there's more reviews. I don't think it looks very good, but it could end up getting good reviews. We'll have to wait and see.

To Cecily

As one parent astutely put it, where's the imagination, Alien was the scariest movie ever, and the ad was a cracked egg.


I agree (besides the Alien part. I hated that movie). I think imagination is much more powerful than graphic gore. I love the first Saw because everything is implied. There's barely any gore. The sequels decided to up the ante on gore and violence and were much worse because of it. I almost walked out during Saw III! There's only so much violence I can handle. However, you have to respect peoples preferences. You may enjoy Alien, but I'm sure there's someone else out there who thinks it was offensive or too violent.

To Carioca

What are you doing with your life besides allowing something as vile as the movie "Captivity" to be marketed as a snuff film to our teens?


Well, they're doing exactly what you want them to. Censoring films and compromising artists visions to make film more appropiate for children. You seem to not want movies of violent nature, and the MPAA cuts back on violence by a lot.

As well, you cannot comment on whether or not this movie is vile. You have not viewed it yet, so you can't comment. Simple as that.

Think about that tonight, in those few silent moments before sleep arrives. With a little luck, you may tune back into that little voice called a conscience and remove the rating on this sorry use of celluloid.

You're one of the most condescending people on this site so far, and that really is a huge feat. Implying that people who enjoy or take a part in these movies have no conscience is the most ignorant statement ever. I enjoy movies of violent nature. Does that mean I have no conscience? NO! It seems more likely that someone like you, who has no respect for other peoples tastes or opinions, doesn't have a conscience. I'm not saying you don't, but I'd say it's more likely someone who doesn't respect other people's opinions doesn't care about other people.


This campaign is supposed to be about the movies promotional materials. However, it's become apparent that you people just don't like these movies in general and are using the ads as an excuse to get rid of them. Why else comment on whether the movies good or whether the subject matter is appropiate? This is supposed to be about the movies ad campaign!

The Ferret said...

I think this an interesting idea and could be really terriffic, however I do not support how you're going about it.

Jamison and dougie14th come across as much more reasonable and sensible than you are right now. That may be due to anger or whatnot but the fact still remains, persuasive you may be trying to be you don't succeed.

May I suggest you consult them for ideas.

Mike said...

I would hope that majority of people reading this site would agree that this is another plite against american society. We all proudly boast that we are 'free' to do as we like and we have the constituional amendments to back us up, in cases that do not fracture the law. However, more and more people want to banish those to choose to exercise their rights of freedom of speech, as many have said, because it conflicts with the viewpoints, 'morals', values, beliefs, etc... of the majority. Now in this case with a billboard banner that has caused this much hype and distaste, naturally people want to stand on their soapbox and saya had truly awful it is, but take a deep breath and return to reality and ask yourself are you really offended? OR are we being sheep and causing a fuss because a fuss can be made, and we want to put a different spin on what every one else is say, 'that this is the decline of modern society"...and "I had nightmares"...I wish I could put it more elloquant, but SHUT UP! if you don't want to see this movie, then don't. If you don't like what the banner ad looks like, turn your head! You were probably ashamed and embarrassed that you were so intrigued with the ad, as to look at it for however long you did! Was that really wrong? Enough so that the makers of this site are wanting to do 'something big' if the MPAA does not revoke the rating!?? wow, giddy up america! Way to show we truly are a free country!