Under the Children’s Television Standards 2009, commercial free-to-air licensees are required to broadcast at least 96 hours of first release Australian C Drama programming over three years (with a minimum of 25 hours per year)C Drama includes, live action, animation, puppetry and any combination of these.
Of the 12 programs granted C Drama classification in 2010-11, half were live action and the other half were animation.In 2009-10, of the 15 programs granted C Drama classification, 6 were live action and the remainder were animationIn the 2009 to 2011 time frame, no applications for C Drama classification were refused classification.So far, this financial year, one application for C Drama classification has been refused classificationMost Australian live action drama series are produced for a 30 minute time slot (usually have episodes that are about 24 minutes long). Animation episodes tend to vary in length and are either 24 minutes in duration or 11-12 minutes in duration.The 11-12 minute episodes appear to be driven by overseas market requirements (anecdotal evidence). Half of the animated programs granted C Drama classification in both reporting periods were 11-12 minutes long, the remainder are generally at 24 minutes
As with non-drama programs, applications for C Drama classification are assessed against the classification criteria in the Children’s Television Standards at CTS 6. (Note: these criteria are also in Jennifer McNeill’s presentation, which precedes this one and which refers to non-drama programs)
Applications for C Drama are generally assessed at pre-production stage , on the basis of scripts.This can pose some challenges for ACMA assessors as it can be difficult at times to ascertain the manner in which elements like violence, level of threat and dangerous behaviours will be treated in the final product.When assessing these elements, the ACMA takes into consideration factors such as:Potential level of impactPotential messaging ( are lessons learnt by characters)Have other means of problem solving been explored before the use of violence etc.Level of stylisationAre the ramifications of violence and dangerous behaviour exploredThe C audience captures children aged 5-13 years.Programs that are made specifically for late C audience may not be suitable for the early C audience and vice versa.
The question is: How should violence, level of threat and depictions of dangerous behaviour be dealt with in C programs, bearing in mind the age range of the C audience.This is an opportunity to enhance our shared understanding of how these issues should be dealt with in order to ensure the ACMA’s assessment and classification of children’s programs is line with the social and developmental status of the contemporary child audience and community standards.Introduce speakers:1st speaker: Dr Wayne Warburton, Lecturer in developmental psychology and is the Deputy Director of the children and Families Research Centre at Macquarie University. He will talk about key findings/research pertaining to media violence and effects on children.We will then hear from Jo Boag and Ewan Burnett., both experienced producers of children’s television programs2nd speaker: Jo Boag: - Creative Director, Head of Development and Production, SLR Productions, has extensive experience in producing animated programs for children3rd speaker: Ewan Burnett, CEO at Burberry Entertainment, has worked in the Australian and film television industry for more than 30 years.
Session 4 1st presentation - violence- jeremy fenton
Animation vs Live Action:Dealing with the scary bitsHow should violence, level of threat & dangerousbehaviour be dealt with in ‘C’ programs
Animation vs Live Action: Dealing with the scary bits> Panel: Dr Wayne Warburton, Macquarie University Jo Boag, SLR Productions Ewan Burnett, Burberry Entertainment> Moderator: Jeremy Fenton, ACMA
Animation vs Live Action: Dealing with the scary bits> C Drama quota on commercial free-to-air television = 96 hours over three years Annual quota of at least 25 hours> C Drama includes: Live action Animation Puppetry Any combination of the above
Animation vs Live Action: Dealing with the scary bits> In 2010-11: 12 programs granted C Drama (6 were live action, 6 were animation)> In 2009-10: 15 programs granted C Drama (6 were live action, 9 were animation)> Nil applications refused C Drama in 09-11> Most live action C Drama programs contain 30 minute episodes> Animated drama programs contain either 30 minute or 11-12 minute episodes
Animation vs Live Action: Dealing with the scary bits > Children’s Television Standard 6 classification criteria A children’s program is a program which: (a) is made specifically for children or groups of children; and (b) is entertaining; and (c) is well produced using sufficient resources to ensure a high standard of script, cast, direction, editing, shooting, sound and other production elements; and (d) enhances a childs understanding and experience; and (e) is appropriate for Australian children
Animation vs Live Action: Dealing with the scary bits> C Drama can be granted on completed program or at pre-production stage (with most applications assessed on the basis of scripts)> C audience: children aged 5-13 years early C: 5-7 years middle C: 7-11 years late C: 10-13 years> Programs made for a late C audience may not be suitable for an early C audience
Animation vs Live Action: Dealing with the scary bits> How should violence, level of threat and depictions of dangerous behaviour be dealt with in ‘C’ programs?