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Office of Film and Literature Classification: Be careful what you share

Wednesday, March 14, 2018   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: young people, social, media

‘It’s not everyone’s fiction. Be careful what you share.’  is the message two 15-year-old Wellington filmmakers want everybody to take notice of in a new social media film they’ve created on behalf of the Classification Office.

The short film - produced by Grace Medlicott and directed by Finn Culver - focuses on the ways that personal experiences shape individual responses to media, and that what’s ok for one person might not automatically be ok for another. Grace describes it as “centering on the… idea that somebody wants their friend to watch something that they are not comfortable watching.”

The new film is part of the ‘Minds Over Media’ campaign from the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) encouraging young people to ‘Watch carefully – think critically’ when consuming entertainment media. They contracted the young filmmakers to develop a film that could be used on social media, and gave them full creative licence. They were mentored by the creative team at Wellington’s Capital E, led by Melissa Conway.

Chief Censor David Shanks says that the new approach merited a whole new way of creating the message when their office decided to start developing a social media campaign targeting young people. “Technology has fundamentally changed how teens watch and share media. They love the freedom but our research tells us there can be some real downsides.

“We know that young people often have the best insights in this area. They live and breathe this stuff. So it was really important to us that Finn and Grace were given the creative freedom to develop their own ideas around the key message and how to get it across.”

“The wide open brief and the complexity of the subject would have been a huge challenge to any creative team, but we were blown away by what they came up with.”

Finn and Grace storyboarded various ideas and the film went through a series of iterations before the final concept and strapline were decided. They put together their own creative team, and after multiple reshoots the two are confident about their work. Grace believes the film will connect with teenage audiences “because it’s not something made by adults who don’t really understand.”

Finn is hopeful too. “At least like when they are showing their friends something they will think twice maybe and ask them first.”

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