If in Doubt, Cut
A list of instructions to program personnel and film editors to guide the selection and editing of CBC children’s programs with respect to the CBC’S policy on violence in children’s programs.
1) Avoid excessive aggression, including all torture and sadistic beatings.
2) Avoid animals being hit, or cruelty to animals in any form.
3) Children identify themselves with other children. Accordingly, avoid all cruelty shown by adults to children, or children to other children.
4) Verbalized exclamations of panic or pain should not be emphasized.
5) Avoid lingering close-ups of faces in pain.
6) Avoid lingering on painful death scenes, especially when shot in close-up. 7) Edit out sequences intended to induce irrelevant tension consequent upon unfulfilled threats or other situations which do not directly advance the story line. 8) Avoid scenes in which tension is prolonged without relief. Heavy music, dead silence, and ticking clocks enhance tension, as do scenes shot in shadow or half light. Watch for cumulative tension-building effects, and avoid sudden dramatic noises after a long period of silence.
9) Avoid scenes in which wild animals on the loose may come upon a child or pet animal.
10) Edit out sequences of ugly or frightening faces emerging from shadow to close-up light.
11) Avoid weapons that are easily obtainable by children. These include clubs, razors, knives, bottles, rocks. Avoid hanging scenes, trip wires, booby-traps— things which children can easily imitate. Guns and swords are acceptable if the camera shot is long and there are not multiple intercut close-ups.
12) Cartoon material is justified generally by the need for comedy and laughter. Emphasis should be on comedy effected through the sudden reversal of expected action. Avoid comedy that achieves its effect through human indignity. Avoid aggression linked with sexual overtones, or aggression linked with physical or racial stereotypes. Emphasis in cartoons should be on beauty of animation and movement and pleasurable situations.
13) Serialized items must not end with tense or bewildering scenes. Editing of segments should provide for natural reduction of action and motion.
14) If in doubt, cut.