Language!

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Dave Watterson

Language!

Post by Dave Watterson » Mon May 15, 2006 10:04 pm

Once again comes the notion that "adult" language is not necessary and should
not be used in "Amateur" films. This time it was raised by a judge's comment
at the North Thames Triangle competition final.

To me this is a variation on the idea that amateur movies should always be
"light entertainment". That they should not be upsetting. And I don't buy
it.

Of course there is a place for family-friendly movies, but there is also
a place for more challenging, difficult and darker work. Like it or not swearing
is part of everyday life for a huge part of the population.

What do you think? (Without explicit examples, please!)

Dave

Derek Mathieson FACI

Re: Language!

Post by Derek Mathieson FACI » Tue May 16, 2006 6:40 am

"Dave Watterson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
Once again comes the notion that "adult" language is not necessary and should
not be used in "Amateur" films. This time it was raised by a judge's comment
at the North Thames Triangle competition final.

To me this is a variation on the idea that amateur movies should always
be
"light entertainment". That they should not be upsetting. And I don't buy
it.

Of course there is a place for family-friendly movies, but there is also
a place for more challenging, difficult and darker work. Like it or not
swearing
is part of everyday life for a huge part of the population.

What do you think? (Without explicit examples, please!)

Dave
We cannot as an institute be seen to be censoring movies entered in our competition...you
only have to watch tv any night of the week and you'll get plenty of bad
language...If it is so bad, we can issue a warning before screening...

Derek Mathieson FACI
7899

Graeme Webb

Re: Language!

Post by Graeme Webb » Tue May 16, 2006 9:02 am

To me this is a variation on the idea that amateur movies should always be
"light entertainment". That they should not be upsetting. And I don't buy
it.
Right on Dave



I feel that a lot of judges and the IAC to an extent would prefer to keep
Amateur (those made for no profit) films 'amateurish' I think they feel comfortable
with that sort of thing. Film makers should be allowed to address adult issues
without being penalised for content. We have known young film makers (in
there 20's ) who are put of joining clubs and the IAC by this sort of thing.
As an aside young film makers prefer to work in loose groups producing films
and then moving on. Most use the Internet and the massive film community
that exists there to contact like minded individuals and to work together
(we have used this resource to meet people with different skill sets). These
amateur film makers are striving for recognition through audiences of there
peers (and there are plenty of independent film festivals for them), they
are not particularly interested in in a 'judge' who's last major cinema experience
was the Sound of Music banging on about about the good old days and how these
young kids don't do it the way they did it.

Hey but what do I know.........:))


Graeme
Borderline

Peter

Re: Language!

Post by Peter » Tue May 16, 2006 9:27 am

"Derek Mathieson FACI" <derek.mathieson@dial.pipex.com> wrote:
"Dave Watterson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:

Once again comes the notion that "adult" language is not necessary and
should
not be used in "Amateur" films. This time it was raised by a judge's comment
at the North Thames Triangle competition final.

To me this is a variation on the idea that amateur movies should always
be
"light entertainment". That they should not be upsetting. And I don't buy
it.

Of course there is a place for family-friendly movies, but there is also
a place for more challenging, difficult and darker work. Like it or not
swearing
is part of everyday life for a huge part of the population.

What do you think? (Without explicit examples, please!)

Dave


We cannot as an institute be seen to be censoring movies entered in our
competition...you
only have to watch tv any night of the week and you'll get plenty of bad
language...If it is so bad, we can issue a warning before screening...

Derek Mathieson FACI
7899

Dave and Derek
I do endorse both your statements. Any sort of censorship is bad. We now
live in a society where swearing in the street, if overheard by a member
of the government's state sponsored law enforcement units can result in arrest,
fines and imprisonment.

Swearing and ("language" as you call it) should be discouraged simply on
the basis that it is boring, and overuse by individuals just shows how ignorant,
badly educated, and lacking in a proper vocabulary they are!

Television and commercial films contain a lot of four letter words, and this
is justified by claiming that they reflect the realism of everyday life.
This is probably correct, but would it not be more interesting to make films
about people who have had a broader and more interesting life, and although
capable of an occasional resort to using a word like “fuck,” would have a
richer language base. All such words are only words, and Dave, maybe you
are oversensitive about their use, on this MB. I heard, only this week, a
relatively young (about 40 ish) member of the Waugh family (in front of his
three year old son) using that word several times in a TV documentary about
his life, and the Waugh’s history – and it did not seem out of place. If
four letter words are going to be used, then I would plead that they were
used with good pronunciation, making certain that all the vowels and consonants
are clearly articulated, and some emphasis is given to such words, meaning
that their full colour and richness comes out. No apologetic mutterings.


This will of course mean that about 95% of our (UK) actors will need to be
retrained, not to mention the 100% of American actors, who generally have
even worse diction. (And who also need to learn proper English as well!).
(Sorry, Ned! – it has to be said – I’m not being anti-American, and having
read a lot of your posts on here, I’m sure you will take this in the spirit
that it is intended).

Going on, I dare say I might have upset one or two people by this posting,
and therefore I apologise in advance. (I’m referring mostly to the f word
used here). My excuse is that we need to educate our children to learn and
understand the context of every word in the English language (not ignoring
the Scots and Welsh language – and others) so that they may have a deeper
understanding of the richness and variety of this means of communication.
If we then need to teach our children such words, even pre-nursery, we may
then find that they have little or no need for them in later life, having
learnt them. Then they may have outgrown their limitations.

P.S. There is a company in the UK selling clothes, I think, called Fcuk Ltd.
(It could be French? – as it stands for French Connection UK Ltd. But do
people, even young kids, see it like that? The BBC objected to me using “fcukitall”
as a pseudonym on their Radio Three message board. But then, some sections
the BBC are still rooted in the nineteenth century – so we should not use
them as a yardstick, culturally or otherwise.

Ian Gardner

Re: Language!

Post by Ian Gardner » Tue May 16, 2006 11:23 am

"Peter" <sonata@pocoanimato.co.uk> wrote:
I do endorse both your statements. Any sort of censorship is bad. We now
live in a society where swearing in the street, if overheard by a member
of the government's state sponsored law enforcement units can result in
arrest,
fines and imprisonment.
.................................................

For once I may agree with you Peter, but you did have to use `That` swearword
didn`t you! Dave did mention about not swearing! You may have said sorry
but doing something on purpose AND THEN saying sorry is a bit sad really.
We can all swear if we want to.
I don`t really like all that much swearing in films. People seem to think
that it makes them look bigger. But think of it this way. I like to watch
Lee Evans. Some people may not like him because of all the `F` words. I on
the other hand creese up. Lee Evans joke would not be soo funny without the
swearing. He is the only comedian who can get away with it.

Ian Gardner

Dave Watterson

Re: Language!

Post by Dave Watterson » Tue May 16, 2006 11:59 am

"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
For once I may agree with you Peter, but you did have to use `That` swearword
didn`t you! Dave did mention about not swearing!
Hey - at last these two have found some common ground.

(Knowing a little about each of them from outside this forum I knew they
had much in common as well as their strongly felt differences.)

I asked for restraint in using swearwords so that we might hear from people
who have a deep-rooted objection to swearing. Their views should be heard
and given due respect. None of us has a monopoly on standards.

Derek mentioned warnings - and that is what happens at BIAFF festivals and
in the IAC video library. A note in the programme brochure or catalogue warns
of content that might upset some people.

When I was a kid and just learning rude words I thought what we now refer
to as "the F word" was actually spelled with ph... - such is the joy of a
Scots education!

I'm struck by how often those who object to swearing / nudity / violence
in non-commercial films (or any other film and tv come to that) are people
who have spent time the in armed forces, heard lots of swearing and seen
horrible sights few of the rest of us can even imagine. They are not prim
and proper prudes who have never been exposed to such things. Some of them
are among the bravest individuals I have ever met. I have great respect for
them even though I do not share their opinion on everything.

Dave

P.S. Ian and Peter ... which is worse: censorship from outside forces (parents
/ law / military) ... or self-censorship through fear of upsetting outside
forces? It is a question which broadcasters often face.

Peter

Re: Language!

Post by Peter » Tue May 16, 2006 12:02 pm

"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
"Peter" <sonata@pocoanimato.co.uk> wrote:

I do endorse both your statements. Any sort of censorship is bad. We now
live in a society where swearing in the street, if overheard by a member
of the government's state sponsored law enforcement units can result in
arrest,
fines and imprisonment.
................................................

For once I may agree with you Peter, but you did have to use `That` swearword
didn`t you! Dave did mention about not swearing! You may have said sorry
but doing something on purpose AND THEN saying sorry is a bit sad really.
We can all swear if we want to.
I don`t really like all that much swearing in films. People seem to think
that it makes them look bigger. But think of it this way. I like to watch
Lee Evans. Some people may not like him because of all the `F` words. I
on
the other hand creese up. Lee Evans joke would not be soo funny without
the
swearing. He is the only comedian who can get away with it.

Ian Gardner

With all due respect, Ian, I think you have missed the very point I was trying
to make. Perhaps you should read my post again, and you will see the reasons
explained there. I hope the points I have made are clear? If not, I will
try again.

Peter

Guest

Re: Language!

Post by Guest » Tue May 16, 2006 12:19 pm

"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:

P.S. Ian and Peter ... which is worse: censorship from outside forces (parents
/ law / military) ... or self-censorship through fear of upsetting outside
forces? It is a question which broadcasters often face.
Well, Dave, I think that self censorship is to be prefered, but not through
fear of upsetting "outside forces." We should respect other people beliefs
and views, and not unecessarily upset them. For example, I would never use
any (even mild) swear word to a Muslim and in connection with his/her religious
beliefs. That's not to say I'm a believer myself, just that, in the same
way, I would not like someone to call Beethoven a C***. (Or Bach or the Beatles
either).

At the same time, I've used a certain word on here, and someone had to do
it, so it has hopefully broken the ice, as it were, and people will, I hope,
not find it necessary to repeat it. (Repetitions can be boring anyway).

I do hope Ian can understand my motivation, and although he and I do not
see eye to eye on many things, and are ideologically opposed in many ways,
I hope we can agree that this is an area that can be part of any education
system. If you like, my education, as well as some young kid that may read
this site. We should all be equal here, no matter what age, a six year old
or a seventy one year old (take a quick bow Michael!!). And we should at
least try and use our films in an educational way as well, as I know people
like Michael and many others excell in doing.

Look at Shakespeare's plays and sonnets, and you will find many obscenities,
and that's on the National Curriculum - I think? (John Donne's a naughty
boy too).

Peter

Re: Language!

Post by Peter » Tue May 16, 2006 12:38 pm

"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
">I asked for restraint in using swearwords so that we might hear from people
who have a deep-rooted objection to swearing. Their views should be heard
and given due respect. None of us has a monopoly on standards.

Dave

Dave, I have to take issue here! I don't think people will be put off from
commenting (even if it is to tick me off), especially as I am saying more
or less the same thing. We all have a deep rooted (I hope) objection to swearing,
as apart from any other reason, it's dead boring, as I've already said. Let's
all learn the words, and then we can forget them, both children and also
we "so called" "grown ups."

These words are written in the quality Sunday papers as well as the so called
"broadsheets" on a daily basis, so let's not kid ourselves, they are part
of our vocabularly, and in the Oxford and other dictionaries. (It's possibly
only the tabloids - or gutter press - that avoid those words - but as I don't
read these "papers" - I can't be certain about this).

I think people who feel as you describe, (regarding swearing) do get due
respect, and what are standards? We all have different standards. Your standards
could be objectionable for me, and visa versa. I would defend anyones standards,
but at the same time I could reject them for myself. So I think you are on
a slippery slope here.

I remember gigling at school (aged about 12) when we read in Shakespear's
Macbeth "and plucked my nipple from his boneless gums." (Lady Macbeth) Well,
that's not really swearing, but is it in some way more suggestive?

Ian Gardner

Re: Language!

Post by Ian Gardner » Tue May 16, 2006 1:27 pm

"Peter" <sonata@pocoanimato.co.uk> wrote:
With all due respect, Ian, I think you have missed the very point I was
trying
to make. Perhaps you should read my post again, and you will see the reasons
explained there. I hope the points I have made are clear? If not, I will
try again.

Peter
I don`t really want to get into the i`m right your wrong situation again!
I may have agreed with some of your statements, it wasn`t certainly not all
of them.
Like I said, I don`t really like swearing in films and I certainly don`t
like it in real life.
What`s wrong with having some restrainghts in life?
Freedom of speach and `My Human Rights` are getting this country in a right
state. Children now-a-day seem to not be punished. They think that they can
do what they want. Look at the Chavs and the yobs on the street. What looser
lets their 8 year old out walking the streets at 10 o`clock! Someone who
doesn`t give a SH 1 T!
We as filmmakers have a great privelage. We can make films almost on all
subjects, even without a certificate! We may put a warning on the front of
the film saying it`s content. Is this to safeguard ourselves or minors?
We must have restraints in life. It keeps us strong. If we can do anything
we want then that is like a spoilt brat and a kid that gets his own way.
That`s my last and only thoughts on this subject.
Ian Gardner

Ian Gardner

Re: Language!

Post by Ian Gardner » Tue May 16, 2006 1:35 pm

"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
P.S. Ian and Peter ... which is worse: censorship from outside forces (parents
/ law / military) ... or self-censorship through fear of upsetting outside
forces? It is a question which broadcasters often face.

Dave
That`s a hard one to decide!
`censorship from outside` may seem the worse but we do need laws. Without
them we would collaps.
You need to be strong to self-censorship yourself and alot of people (for
various reasons) would not be able to do this. I could give loads of situations,
but so not to bore you all I won`t. Sometimes we may see a programme on television
that pokes fun at us. You`ve got to live with it. The next week it would
be someone elses turn. Win some, loose some.

Ian gardner

Peter

Re: Language!

Post by Peter » Tue May 16, 2006 2:45 pm

"Ian Gardner" <ian@gardner44.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
"Peter" <sonata@pocoanimato.co.uk> wrote:

With all due respect, Ian, I think you have missed the very point I was
trying
to make. Perhaps you should read my post again, and you will see the reasons
explained there. I hope the points I have made are clear? If not, I will
try again.

Peter

I don`t really want to get into the i`m right your wrong situation again!
I may have agreed with some of your statements, it wasn`t certainly not
all
of them.
Like I said, I don`t really like swearing in films and I certainly don`t
like it in real life.
What`s wrong with having some restrainghts in life?
Freedom of speach and `My Human Rights` are getting this country in a right
state. Children now-a-day seem to not be punished. They think that they
can
do what they want. Look at the Chavs and the yobs on the street. What looser
lets their 8 year old out walking the streets at 10 o`clock! Someone who
doesn`t give a SH 1 T!
We as filmmakers have a great privelage. We can make films almost on all
subjects, even without a certificate! We may put a warning on the front
of
the film saying it`s content. Is this to safeguard ourselves or minors?
We must have restraints in life. It keeps us strong. If we can do anything
we want then that is like a spoilt brat and a kid that gets his own way.
That`s my last and only thoughts on this subject.
Ian Gardner

Ian darling, don't get your thingies in a twist! Cool down a little, let's
all let it hang out a bit! (And you've used naughty words too like s... Our
Dave will chastise you for that, you naughty boy!)

As for beating 8 years olds, well, I agree, it can pay dividends, except
that they will want to beat the naughty word you used out of you when they
grow up and get bigger than you. And oh Boy, they will get bigger than you.
Power is not strength. Strength is being able to die in the gutter for something
better.

Restraint is fine, but you have to practise what you preach and then we will
respect you for it.

Actually, Ian, neither of us are right or wrong. They are just our opinions,
and we all get a bit over-passionate about opinions sometimes, and I'm guilty
of that.

We should listen to the kids a bit more sometimes, as they do occasionally
have wise heads on young shoulders, unlike we "oldies" who often have very
unwise heads on very old and prejudiced shoulders. It comes down to listening.
As that great pianist and conductor, Daniel Baremboim, said recently during
his Reith Lectures, we fail to listen to each other enough. I feel that you
don't listen, but I'm not criticising you on this point, as I'm often just
as guilty, and it shames me sometimes. We all must really listen and digest
what other people say, even if they have got it wrong, and they are certainly
not our betters. No one is anyone's better.

I feel that you have a certain anger in you, which could be a wonderful vehicle
for inspiration for a film, as often such emotions can be incredibly creative.

I totally and wholeheartedly apologise for the things I have said about you
in the past, and you can accept it as a sign of total weakness on my part
that I have fallen so low as to react in that past way against you. This
is a genuine olive branch.

Ned C

Re: Language!

Post by Ned C » Tue May 16, 2006 2:55 pm

No offence taken, Peter, here in the US some Brit films with strong regional
accents have to be sub-titled. Regarding swearing it is a part of everyday
life at almost every level of society so its intentional exclusion from films
purporting to show or document life is entirely artificial. If you grew up
in the East End of London (as I did) we all swore a great deal except in
front of women which was absolutely taboo. When I joined the army I found
I fitted right in! I agree that a warning about language/sex/violence is
kind as it prepares the audience and those who may be offended may leave
but under no circumstances should we apply censorship. Age has brought me
a more realistic view of the use of language and I now swear when it is absolutely
necessary and delivers the desired effect. Please read Graeme's letter very
carefully, this is important and underlines why the traditional amateur film
making world is in decline in many countries (it certainly is here in the
USA). The question is how do we involve this new and exciting breed of film
makers? You can find them on www.shootingpeople.org and perhaps we should
make them aware of the IAC?AMPS and what we have to offer.

Finally at the risk of repeating myself (have I told this story here before?).
I wrote the script for an industrial film about a major ocean civil engineering
project off the coast of Scotland. The Chief Engineer was a Dutch woman and
when I told her we were arranging for a Scottish narrator she asked me how
was it possible to find a Scot who could complete a sentence without saying
f***. Sorry about that, Dave, but having filmed the project for almost a
year I knew exectly what she meant.

Ned C,



"Graeme Webb" <graemewebb@mac.com> wrote:
I feel that a lot of judges and the IAC to an extent would prefer to keep
Amateur (those made for no profit) films 'amateurish' I think they feel
comfortable
with that sort of thing. Film makers should be allowed to address adult
issues
without being penalised for content. We have known young film makers (in
there 20's ) who are put of joining clubs and the IAC by this sort of thing.
As an aside young film makers prefer to work in loose groups producing films
and then moving on. Most use the Internet and the massive film community
that exists there to contact like minded individuals and to work together
(we have used this resource to meet people with different skill sets). These
amateur film makers are striving for recognition through audiences of there
peers (and there are plenty of independent film festivals for them), they
are not particularly interested in in a 'judge' who's last major cinema
experience
was the Sound of Music banging on about about the good old days and how
these
young kids don't do it the way they did it.

Hey but what do I know.........:))


Graeme
Borderline

Ian Gardner

Re: Language!

Post by Ian Gardner » Tue May 16, 2006 4:53 pm

"Peter" <sonata@pocoanimato.co.uk> wrote:
I totally and wholeheartedly apologise for the things I have said about
you
in the past, and you can accept it as a sign of total weakness on my part
that I have fallen so low as to react in that past way against you. This
is a genuine olive branch.
An Olive Branch is always welcome Peter. I also can get a bit OTT sometimes!
This year has been a big learning curve for me at club level and on here.

I do have some friends that I email regually, and we can say whatever we
mean. I could say his car is a big piece of C**p! He can say the same thing
to me! It doesn`t matter. I sometimes get confused and write the same way
to other people!
I must admit that in life, one cannot speak ones mind 100%. There (most
of the time) has to be a comprimise.
maybe now, you and I can have a good old discussion with a good heated debate.

Cheers.

Ian P Gardner

Cinema For Thurso Group

Re: Language!

Post by Cinema For Thurso Group » Tue May 16, 2006 8:36 pm

Absolutely ffffffffing right! Amateur or otherwise whether we make fiction
or fact based movies they must have reality otherwise plausability is lost.
One could could just as easily say no fat or ginger haired people should
be allowed into amateur movies. Oh heck, "Bilbster Adventure" stars a fat
person and "Seven Shades" whole plot is hung on one four letter substitute
for excrement. Well I guess there's one judge out there who's going to have
to lump it mate!

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