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Anyone want to make U or PG rated movies? Without CGI?

There are some talented people on this list, actors, writers, producers, crew, post, admin...
... here's the thing. I can't tell by the pitches or requests what kind of movies people want to make. So, when I was a producer or even looking at investing, I found a lot of films with swearing and other things I didn't really want. As an actor, well, it can be an even nastier surprise.

And, then there's those people who improve by adding unnecessary... No.

Now, I'm not into every PG rated film (most PG franchises and adaptations are horrible), and there are some 15 rated movies (The Heat, Planes Trains and Automobiles) that I thought were entertaining. But, I do find that many of the worst films (most boring and least original) are rated 12 and up.

Yet, there is no option in the pitch, or jobs to say what we think our film will be rated.

Blah blah blah.

Okay, now it doesn't really matter where you are. The starting point should be a commitment to making films like the third man, the first Jurassic Park and first Star Wars movies, Benji, Napoleon Dynamite, the first Bill and Ted's, Laurel and Hardy, Audrey Hepburn, Mr Hulot, John Ford, (Oscar Wilde, Moliere)... movies that didn't need "realistic" blood and offensive language because they were artistic rather than documentary.

Likewise, I'm not into the idea that you need mountains of CGI to make a U or PG film. I love working on Maya, it can be relaxing, and I do write aliens and monsters into my scripts on occasion, but I think talking animals are overrepresented on the big screen.

I would put it in a job, but it's not really part of the story. It's the way we make the film.

I'm looking for full time artists, any background but people who see film (or comic books) as a proper job as valid as starting a restaurant, a small shop or a building firm.

Investors, or a team to get together for funding, or actors looking for movies to audition to, or even just other filmmakers looking to discuss projects and encourage one another.

Mostly, I just to target my discussions to other people making U and PG films. I believe the entire filmmaking process is different.

I have a theory that if you take swearing or extreme violence or whatever else out of a script, it's still there in the rest of the script, so there's no point. The same goes when you edit it out of a production. So, I'll list this under "craft/technique."

Also, I'd like to ask SP to put a "rating" drop down in the script pitch. I'm not sure genre tells me very much about a film, (I myself struggle to define genre sometimes), and writers don't know about budget. But, not all PG or U films are aimed at children.

If you want to discuss it further, you can email me:

vasco dot desousa at ptara dot com

  • Hi Vasco, I understand what you mean. It seems Hollywood doesn't really like to make mid to high-budget movies at the "PG" level.

    Most of the family movies are aimed at teens now ("12" rated) with added profanity (shits and a fuck at a vital moment), sex references (the middle finger and wanker signs) and tougher action (heavier punches, kicks and bodyslams, but no blood). I, probably like you, find the crassness in teen movies irritating and unnecessary. An example is the Transformers franchise, filled with juvenile jokes and pointless racial, sexual and homophobic humour, added by the director Michael Bay despite the audience of children and the books & toys associated with it.

    If you look back to the '90s, studios were still experimenting with the "PG-13" rating, and so decided to err on the side of caution by continuing with a distict gap between children/teens with the "PG" and adults with the "R".

    I love films like "The Mask of Zorro", "Romancing The Stone", "Maverick", "Robin Hood: Prince of Theives", "A League Of Their Own" and "The Fifth Element". The writers and directors of these films used adventure over action, wit over profanity, romance over juvenile sexual remarks and practical effects.

    However, Hollywood started to spend silly money on movies and chased the older audience with the PG-13/12A retaining street cred.

    Today, it's difficult to conceive of successful live action "PG" movies, as the "12" gives them flexibility. The "U/PG" rating is now reserved for animated movies.

    11 months ago
  • Guns make for lazy drama! But yes I'm not impressed with films trying to get a higher rating just because. I think Tarantino is the opposite of what I want to be associated with. Young boys of all ages love him but that's his main demographic.

    11 months ago
  • I love nothing more than a film that challenges me on an intellectual level. The time-based curveball in The Arrival was quite opposed to the boring storyline in the film Passengers (so predictable). Guns and bad language really don't make a great movie. Great mvies do have those elements in them at times (Godfather, etc) but it's not what makes the movie great. All these Marvel creations with their overuse of CG, bad jokes and forgettable film scores don't hold a candle against films that challenge the old nut.
    Just my 2 cents...

    10 months ago
    • I like intellectual films too, although sometimes simple storylines can be fun (I prefer Lion King to Avengers). I don't remember Passengers. I think Godfather worked, but old James Cagney gangster films with less offensive language (still rated 15) were also great.

      10 months ago
  • Maybe I wrote too much here. The main thing is, I find a lot of projects that sound great, have a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and find out later that it's just not the kind of film I want to work on.

    (Most are outside of my area, so even if they pay a token amount would probably not be worth it for the money. But, if I were only in it for the money, I wouldn't be making films.)

    Sometimes my own pitch might not be clear. I suppose I could just put a ratings tag afterward the title, to show my expectations.

    With script pitch and jobs, the U, PG, 12, 15, 18 tag would save me a lot of time.

    10 months ago