British Columbia Film Classification Office

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
DatuDimatablan

Video captures courtesy of
Consumer Protection BC's official YouTube channel

Background

The British Columbia Film Classification Office is, since 2007, a division of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority (also known as Consumer Protection BC), a government agency of the Canadian province of British Columbia responsible for regulating businesses and consumer transactions within the province. The BCFCO's responsibilities is to classify and censor films that are exhibited within British Columbia in accordance with the province's Motion Picture Act. The provinces of Manitoba (since 2018), Ontario, and Saskatchewan also use the British Columbian film ratings via bilateral agreements.

In August 1960, the Restricted Cougar symbol was introduced (under the direction of R.W. (Ray) MacDonald, British Columbia's chief censor at the time) to accompany films classified with the Restricted category due to increased public demand for film rating information. That symbol (copyrighted on July 6, 1965 and trademarked on April 29, 1966) was chosen because the animal it represents is the largest wildcat native to British Columbia. The famous cougar symbol was discontinued in 1997 to give way for the new 18A rating when the government of British Columbia updated its film rating system to be consistent with the Canadian Home Video Rating System; several years later, the symbol was brought back to classify films "with artistic, educational, scientific, historic, or political merit" that are exhibited for adults only.

1st Bumper (1970s?-December 31, 1996?, April 6, 2007, 2011?- )

Bumper: On a black background, a red box wipes from the left side of the screen and reaches the left boundary of a tall dark red box which touches the top of the screen. Above and below the long red box is a dark yellow square and a teal square, respectively (which were already there before the long red box wipes in). The phrase "FOR YOUR INFORMATION...", with the third word below the first two, appears in a white bold Franklin Gothic font. Then, the bottom square shows footage of a white kitten playing with yarn. The "FOR YOUR INFORMATION..." text disappears as the top square shows footage of another kitten playing with yarn. The tall dark red box then shows footage of a dark-colored kitten playing with yarn while the phrase "THE FOLLOWING FILM IS..." (in the same font as the previous caption with a line break after the second word) fades in. The boxes showing the kittens fade out and the white text then fades into the Restricted Cougar symbol (facing right) with the word "RESTRICTED" (on the symbol itself) in a bold red Franklin Gothic font. The following text fades in together with the cougar symbol, in the same font as the captions inside the red box, right-aligned and positioned below the red box:

NO ADMITTANCE
TO PERSONS
UNDER 18

Technique: The red box wiping in, the captions appearing and disappearing, the squares and the tall box fading into the footage of the kittens, and the Restricted Cougar symbol appearing along with the accompanying text below.

Music/Sounds: An orchestral fanfare.

Availability: Rare.

  • It was seen in film theaters located in British Columbia from the 1970s to around 1996.
  • It also appears in the 2007 double feature film Grindhouse, shown before the Planet Terror feature.
  • Since November 2011, this and the other bumpers can be seen on this playlist on YouTube, courtesy of Consumer Protection BC.
  • In recent years, this bumper or one of the next bumpers can be incorporated into a film, provided that the film crew secures permission from Consumer Protection BC.


2nd Bumper (1970s-December 31, 1996?, April 6, 2007, 2011?- )

Bumper: A young blue cougar, facing the viewer's left, is strolling along a jungle (we can see a tree and some flowers in front of it). When it hears a roar, it turns around, then continues walking until it stops near a dark tree and wags its lower left paw. Then it looks surprised, with its tail pointing upward, then a lightning bolt strikes, startling the cougar. The cougar runs offscreen to the left, and the camera pans leftwards (with the dark tree shown in full) to a blue background with the Restricted Cougar symbol (facing left). As the cougar symbol's tail wiggles to its normal position, the following lines of white text appear one-by-one: "THE FOLLOWING FILM IS" (above the cougar), "RESTRICTED" (on the cougar), and "LIMITED ADMISSION" (below the cougar). The word "RESTRICTED" is in a bold Futura-like font, with the text above and below the cougar in Microgramma Bold Extended. The cougar then growls.

Technique: The blue cougar walking and turning around, the lightning strike, and the transition to the Restricted Cougar on a blue background.

Music/Sounds: Chirping crickets, screeching monkeys, and the roars of a cougar along with bongos.

Availability: Rare.

  • It was seen in film theaters located in British Columbia from the 1970s to around 1996.
  • It also appears in the 2007 film Death Proof (both as a standalone film and as part of the 2007 double feature titled Grindhouse) and in the 2012 film The Sleeper.


3rd Bumper (Late 1980s-December 31, 1996, 2011?- )

Bumper: We see a movie theater with "FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT" on the marquee and the word "GENERAL" under the window of the ticket booth, with a vendor snoring inside the booth. Then the scene shifts to another movie theater with "MATURE" on the marquee (the letter E falls off to the ground and breaks) with a man juggling his flashlight and a dog walking. A third movie theater is then seen, with "RESTRICTED" on the marquee with a star to the left of the word; so many people are inside that theater. To the right of the entrance doors is a film poster with a paper sign that says "SOLD OUT". Below the poster is a picture of the Restricted Cougar symbol (facing right) on a red background. One woman and two men walk to the theater entrance as the camera zooms in on the picture of the cougar. The screen fades to black and the end card is shown, which is the cougar symbol with the word "RESTRICTED" on it in a white bold Franklin Gothic font, and the words "limited attendance if under 18" (exactly as cased, in a black sans-serif font) below the symbol, all on a red background. A synthesized "banging" sound is heard, representing a cougar's growl.

Technique: Cartoon animation, with the scenes of the three movie theaters and the camera zooming in to the end card shown as a picture on the wall of the theater with "RESTRICTED" on its marquee.

Music/Sounds: TBA.

Availability: Rare.

  • It was seen in film theaters located in British Columbia from the late 1980s to 1996.

Legacy: The three other bumpers introduced in the late 1980s have the same end card.

4th Bumper (Late 1980s-December 31, 1996, 2011?- )

Bumper: A billiards table is shown, with a game in progress. A man pockets the nine-ball (a white ball with a yellow stripe), and the scene focuses on the eight-ball (a black solid ball), which is then struck by the cue ball. The eight-ball rolls itself to reveal the 1980s Restricted Cougar end card printed on it. The camera zooms on the eight-ball and the end card is shown.

Technique: The billiards game and the camera focusing on the eight-ball, which then transitions to the end card.

Music/Sounds: A jazz-like tune is heard with the sound of pool balls striking each other and the sides of the table. There is no growl at the end.

Availability: Rare.

  • It was seen in film theaters located in British Columbia from the late 1980s to 1996.


5th Bumper (Late 1980s-December 31, 1996, 2011?- )



Bumper: Three monkeys are seen watching the news on a television (the news anchor is also a monkey). They switch channels to one showing a dinosaur playing American football, another featuring a fish as a punk rock guitarist, and then one depicting the Restricted Cougar symbol with "RESTRICTED" in red, which flashes wildly, causing the monkeys to scream. The monkey closest to the TV covers its eyes, the one above the other two covers its ears, and the last one covers its mouth. The screen fades to black and the end card is shown, complete with the growl.

Technique: The monkeys changing the TV channels (and the content shown inside those channels), screaming when the repeatedly flashing Restricted Cougar symbol is shown on the TV, and doing the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" group pose.

Music/Sounds: TBA.

Availability: Rare.

  • It was seen in film theaters located in British Columbia from the late 1980s to 1996.


6th Bumper (Late 1980s-December 31, 1996, 2011?- )

Bumper: On a night-time cityscape, a cartoon representation of the Restricted Cougar symbol leaps on top of buildings and goes into a movie theater named Bijou (as identified on the building's neon sign). It then goes inside a dark room marked "Stage Entrance". The cougar opens a door to the main stage, then it "leaps" to the viewing screen and morphs into the rating symbol. The screen then fades directly into the end card, and the synthesized growl is heard.

Technique: The cartoon cougar jumping on rooftops and going inside the Bijou theater, then morphing into the rating symbol.

Music/Sounds: Generic cartoon sound effects accompanying the cougar's movements, all set to a Middle Eastern-esque tune, with honking car horns during the scenes when the cougar jumps on the rooftops, and the growl at the end.

Availability: Rare.

  • It was seen in film theaters located in British Columbia from the late 1980s to 1996.


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