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Journal: Re-edited 'family' versions of films

Journal by nightgeometry
This is a continual of a thread in the story on a company ripping DVD's, putting them on an iPod, and then selling the whole bundle. Some discussion arose about the legality of companies that re-edit films into 'family' version. My thoughts went way off topic, so I thought I would put them here instead.
The comment I was replying to was from and anon user, which is a pity, because I would like to continue this conversation. The post was here
The original post that I replied to not from an anon user, and is here

Okay, I am not intending on being a twat here, and I hope I don't sound like a jerk, I am interested in this perspective.

I understand that some films have gratuitous scenes, off the top of my head I can only actually think of one though. Could you let me know what films you have seen re-edited like this?

As for the deleted scenes you so often get on dvd's nowadys. Often they are not sex or violence related (though I can see why these wouldn't be added as extras anyway, so that probably skews this perspective). But that is irrelevant to my thoughts here - often you watch deleted scenes and they don't seem to add much to the story or message anyway (to me). Another example I guess would be directors cuts, I can understand how a director can feel his (her) artistic vision wasn't captured in the actual release, and so wants to release a truer version. (apologies for the overly pretentious wording of that).

I think a lot of this is, at least nowadays, just a push to make more money though. Which sets me off on a whole new train of thought - with a lot of films released you could include multiple cuts on one disk, especially with BluRay and HD-DVD discs. On the face of it the argument would be that if the director wanted a different cut, but wasn't allowed to release like that then they could put that cut on the disc with the original.
Obvious counter arguments would be:
It costs money to recut, there needs to be some indication that this extra money will ensure some extra return (I guess)
The new cut could push the film into a different rating bracket, and thus reduce the audience (could work either way, if the director wants less violence in a film then the new cut could be a lower rating, and thus reach a higher audience, which would be a reason for releasing seperately - does anyone know if this has happened?)
Possibly a new cut needs to be resubmitted for classification, thus costing extra money again.

Another thought - do (did) the editing companies tend to cut explicit material (someone getting hit on screen), or also implied material (the sound of someone getting hit, off screen)? I tend to think the latter can be far more effective anyway, but the film has someone getting hit either way.

And a (possibly) final thought - it seems in the USA you (in general, not meant personally to anyone) are more ok to see violence in films than sex. I think in a lot of countries the other way round (seeing two people shag is more 'allowable' than seeing someone getting beaten up, at similar levels of...? explicity, explititiousness?). Did these companies tend to follow that approach, or was it a more even handed edit, cutting both?

I actually think the clearplay system isn't such a bad idea, in and of itself, allow a filter to be applied that the user controls, such that if any segment, of the film may be able to be skipped automatically. Of course there are concerns (slippery slope, the government censor controlling the filter, abrogation of responsibility to a third party by both the film maker and viewer, loss of artistic integrity et cetera). But it does seem reasonably good to me.

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