Examiners watch DVD films and TV shows on their own. Today I watched over five hours of DVDs. These were mainly episodes of TV programmes (including The A-Team and Dynasty, which I remember from when I was younger) and series aimed at younger children, like Balamory and Peppa Pig. I also saw the first part of a new drama for grown-ups, which was downloaded through my laptop. Although I have to write detailed reports, even for programmes like Fireman Sam, it was a fairly fun morning and some of the episodes made me laugh.
I did get to go to our special cinema for examining films this afternoon though. I had to watch some trailers including two sequels to films I enjoyed in the last few years. These take special concentration because we have to remember that people going to the cinema don’t have any control over which trailers they see. Have a go at rating a trailer yourself here.
Today I didn't have any viewing to do at all. Instead I wrote BBFCinsight for older films and videos which are just being released now on DVD and Blu-ray. This is fun to do as I get to think about the issues in films I haven’t seen for a while. The BBFCinsight says exactly what’s in a film, to help people, especially your parents, teachers and carers, make the right choices about what they want to see. You can learn more about BBFCinsight here.
Some of the films I wrote about today are so old that my Grandma remembers when they were first in the cinema! I like this part of my job as I get to read the original files and Examiner reports. These are often hand-written and the files I looked at today had stuff from before I was even born. It is funny to see what was said about films then - sometimes the Examiners then were very shocked by things that wouldn't worry me today (like cheeky references to people flirting). At other times, they were worried about exactly the same issues we still think about when age rating films today (like violence). It does make me wonder whether, in 30 years time, someone else will read what I have written, and what they will make of it... They won’t be able to see my handwriting though as all our reports are typed up these days, and the old files are gradually being scanned into our computer system so we can read them without searching through the bits of paper.
This morning I had two important meetings. Firstly I met up with my team to talk about what we have planned for the week. We discussed things like recent school visits and a poster we are designing for teachers. Then we went to the main Examiners' Meeting. This always takes place in a large room and we talked through what we saw over the past week. We also watched clips of films, DVDs or Blu-rays and discussed the issues in them.
Today I watched more trailers in our theatre and then a recent film that is about to be released on DVD and Blu-ray. This version of the film included some extra scenes not used in the original film classified for the cinema. These extra scenes contained stronger content than the origianl film so the age rating for the DVD and Blu-ray version is going to be higher than for the cinema film.
In the afternoon I completed my morning viewing reports and watched episodes of a TV programme on DVD. Then it was time for the weekly Staff Screening. Every week a new film is shown on a Thursday night. This gives everyone who works at the BBFC a chance to see the latest releases. Find out about the age-rating of new releases here.
The last day of the week and I had to be in an hour early to watch a film in our cinema. This is my favourite part of being an Examiner, despite the early start. People often ask if I am bored of watching films all the time – but the answer is no! I still find it exciting to see them before they come out in cinemas. Today we watched a documentary about the environment. We also saw a horror film. There wasn’t much blood but it was a bit scary as it was about ghosts, and I squealed a couple of times.
The company who made the horror film were keen to get a quick decision so we chatted about whether it was fine to recommend 12A and made sure our reports were finished before lunch. We gave the film BBFCinsight which says ‘Contains moderate horror and threat’.
After our lunch I wrote a more detailed version of the BBFCinsight for both films, the longer version of BBFCinsight is published for parents on our main website. Then there was more viewing to do including a documentary (documentaries which are going to be shown in cinemas or released on DVD usually need age ratings just like feature films).