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‘It’s not everybody’s fiction. Be careful what you share’


‘It’s not everybody’s fiction. Be careful what you share.’

That’s the message two 15-year-old Wellington filmmakers, Finn Culver and Grace Medlicott want everybody to take notice of in a new social media film they’ve created on behalf of the Chief Censor’s office.

The one-minute film, which will be released on social media on 9 March 2018, depicts a young woman watching a television screen in a darkened room. She receives a text from a friend asking, “Hey are you watching that film?” The young woman replies, “Idk it’s pretty messed up.” The friend responds with, “Come on get over it. You know it’s not real right?”

The young woman appears to stare anxiously at the TV as the camera cuts to the television screen itself.

The scene she is watching shows another young woman of a similar age walking through a darkened corridor and watched by two men. As she nears them, the men shove her into an empty room. The camera moves to a close up as she is pushed violently to the floor. The woman on the screen morphs into the young woman on the couch.

The tagline appears: “It’s not everybody’s fiction. Be careful what you share.”

The short film, which Grace produced and Finn directed, focuses on the ways that personal experiences shape individual responses to media – and what’s ok for one person isn’t automatically 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 Office of Film & Literature Classification’s ‘Minds Over Media’ campaign encouraging young people to ‘Watch carefully – think critically’ when consuming entertainment media.

The young filmmakers were commissioned by the OFLC to develop a film to be used on social media and were given 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 when the OFLC decided to start developing a social media campaign targeting young people, the new approach merited a whole new way of creating the message.

“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.

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.”

© Scoop Media

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