Director's Cut Tutorial

Created by Magdalena Somerset aka "Maggie Locke" on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 @ 2:18pm

While yes we are a PG-13 sim for legal reasons because, in all honestly, I don't want to get taken down for publishing inappropriate content, we all like writing graphic scenes from time to time. This tutorial written by our wonderful Don, will tell you when it's appropriate to make a director's cut or DC post and how to do it!

Siyo Gang!

We have some new writers so I feel it is time again to go over "Public Release" posts and "Director's Cuts."

X-men: ReAwakening is an adult-rated sim that deals with mature content and subject matter. Story content and subjects can include graphic language, graphic violence, and graphic sex. We are however mindful that many of our readers might not want to read graphic content. XA has a system in place that encourages creative freedom while empowering readers with the choice of what they want to read. This system is the "Public Release" post and the "Director's Cut" post. This also helps keep us in compliance with laws about what information is made publically available to minors.

Public Release posts are defined as posts edited for the general readership of the sim. Graphic content is edited to a presentable level. A disclaimer is offered by the writer stating that content might be too intense or offensive to some readers. The writer offers an unedited version of his post along with a URL listing where readers may write for unedited copies at their discretion.

Director's Cut posts are the unedited posts. These posts contain explicit and graphic content including: violence, sex, or resoundingly shocking events based on graphic actions. A rule of thumb called the "Wet Rule" is offered to help writers determine was kind of activity is considered too graphic. The Wet Rule goes as follows: if a scene involves the graphic exchange of bodily fluids or displays "wet" bodily organs it requires a Director's Cut.

Apply common sense to this rule. Kissing involves exchange of bodily fluids but it is obviously acceptable. Graphic sexual intercourse and oral sex involve the exchange of bodily fluids in an unacceptable manner and require a Director's Cut. Detailing the evisceration of a murder victim involves showing "wet" bodily organs, as does going into visceral detail about mutilation. In short, if a scene involves "wet" body fluids or graphic depiction of internal organs then it requires a Director's Cut.

There was controversy in the original incarnation of this sim concerning a gruesome murder depicted in a story (c.f. "The Nightmare Before Christmas: Part XI"). In this story a woman was described as having been skinned alive and hung from the ceiling by a system of hooks and rope. While this broke the "Wet Rule" in describing the victim's skin being removed and parts of her body put on gruesome display the key to remember about Director's Cut rules is action. Describing the killer in the process of skinning his victim in gory, wet detail demands the Director's Cut. This separates shocking, graphic violence from the description of a murder scene. For those familiar with these examples I offer this: CSI versus the "Friday the 13" movies. Therefore the "Wet Rule" has been appended to stipulate that the graphic action must be in-progress with details. Examples are given below to help clarify this distinction.

What is acceptable in a Public Release Post:

    Graphic language: This includes controversial topics as well as "inappropriate" language. This includes vulgar or coarse language along with things like racial slurs. These are allowed as long as content is in-character and dealt with in a respectful, appropriate manner. For example, it is appropriate to have a bigot in a story use racial slurs as long as it is clearly in-character and part of the story presented.
    Mature content and subject matter: This includes things one would see in an "R-rated" movie and include things like: rape, racism, murder, and "hot" political issues like race, religion, and politics. Some of the characters are bisexual, gay, lesbian or defy sexual classification. These topics are acceptable within context. It must be clarified that XA tolerates this content only so long as it is in-character and relevant to story.

What Requires a Director's Cut Post:

    Graphic sexual intercourse involving exchange of bodily fluids outside of kissing; Active and graphically detailed violence involving exposed bodily organs; graphically detailed violence involving traumatic physical violation.

Example for Public Release:

    Saying characters had sex or describing them in the act of sex without any mention of "wet" details of penetration, coitus, or details of genitals. Describing violence in a general sense (sticking a knife through a hand, blowing a hole through a bad guy's chest), saying a character was raped, verbally abusive or offensive language in-character; describing a "gruesome" murder scene. Having a character talk like a bigot or have radical personal views on social issues; characters of different lifestyles and cultures, characters of different religions.
    Key words: implied action, vague details, and actions having taken place in the past.

Example for Director's Cut:

    Describing sex in wet, juicy detail. Describing the wet, juicy details of slicing open a gut and watching organs fall out; describing a rape in vivid, shocking detail. Describing the details of blowing a hole through a bad guy's chest.
    Key words: Details of bodily organs and exchange of fluids. Also, action is current. If it goes into visceral detail and it is currently taking place in the story then defer to Director's Cut.

How to do a Director's Cut post:

    1. Write your post normally, including all graphic content.
    2. Save this post with a title and add "DC" on the end.
    3. Save another copy of the file. Delete "DC" and replace it with "PR."
    4. Edit the "PR" version of the post to make it suitable for the public.
    5. Add a disclaimer at the top of the "PR" version of your post announcing that there is a Director's Cut available on request; include a URL to contact.
    6. Release the "PR" or Public Release version of your post to XA.

When in doubt contact your team leader or XA staff


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