Since: Apr 2011
This has the potential to lack any common sense and AJ’s statement is actually a bit of a concern.
Last year my team intro had a perspective about a comment from a judge on particular content they personally didn’t want to see in anymore in CHCH films. I’m completely against this type of agenda setting; especially from a judge.
The point I was making in my intro was that I pay the entry fee which actually should allow me to make the film that I want to make – and as such, importantly, holds me accountable for standing by that film and its content. By way of example, a few years back a local boys school made a homophobic piece of shit that got screened (probably shouldn’t have been) but then later was banned by the school from any further publication. So, there were consequences and the film-makers were accountable.
This is how it should be with this whole guns/no guns. Instead of this competition looming over teams with a “Don’t put guns in your film”, why not treat teams with a bit of respect and let them actually decide on the content of their film. Give them some damn credit.
The other thing is why just guns? Isn’t violence an issue here? Are we going to put a ban on violence of any sort? We certainly shouldn’t see any domestic violence, no matricide or heads of animals being cut-off (animated, simulated or real); no children in the same location of drugs and certainly not witnessing fighting or executions; no bad language either used aggressively; no horror or supernatural films either please. No bombs or explosions. Death, self-harm, suicide or car accidents? Likely to be people in the audience impacted by those.
Also, other areas that might cause offence - no mocking of religion or blasphemy; no nudity full or partial. No poo, piss or vomit or people in the act of doing any of that. No drunkenness or drug use (simulated, animated or real) – what message does that send. No fat people used for comic relief or put down or marginalised. No characters male, female or gender neutral called bitch, slut or whore – even if that is their character or they’re from the same gender talking about each other and that’s the language they typically use. Sigh...
The thing is, just like every year, you don’t actually have to use guns in your film. No one has ever stressed this as being important. I’d wager that the gun per film rate is actually pretty low. Leave it to the teams; let them self-regulate but don’t force them to not do something just because they fear some sort of shunning if they don't follow the pack. If they make an unwise decision and produce a first-person shooter film then they will be held accountable and there will be consequences – a wasted entry fee for one. Maybe a shame bell too.
Also, as someone who is actually living in CHCH (and has done for all but three years of my life), was here on the 15/3 & experienced the lock-down and comes into direct contact with 100s of people daily who also were living here at the time, I can make my own sweeping generalisations as others have done on this forum - that actually CHCH people are doing OK and getting on with their lives. Most Cantabrians couldn’t care less about 48HRS either. Just a few of them went to Endgame and saw lots of violence, explosions and weapons use. Even a beheading. Some went twice. You could argue that they quite liked it.
Maybe guns should be the compulsory element this year. You must show them in your film being destroyed or discarded, in close-up no less. Maybe that’s a powerful political statement.