So you’re thinking of renting Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, and you notice the box has a PG-13 logo on it. That means the movie had a theatrical release, right? Nope. Actually, almost anything can get a rating: direct-to-video movies, TV movies, even home movies. Yes, you can get a G, PG, PG-13, R, or NC-17 rating from the MPAA — just follow these simple steps, as we recently did.
1. Shoot a home movie (like ours). We shot Vincent Lovece, age 6 to 9 months, rolling around on the floor, and titled the production Home Movie. Running time: about three minutes.
2. Get your movie copied onto a 3/4-inch videocassette through an electronics store. The MPAA doesn’t look at VHS or Beta. It’ll cost about $15 to $30 to copy a short tape, depending on where you live.
3. Order ”Submittal for Rating” forms from the MPAA’s Classification and Rating Administration, 14144 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91423. Mail the completed forms with a check for $80 to the MPAA; the charge jumps to $800 if your film runs more than 33 minutes.
4. Wait by your phone. The process may take as little as a week (as it did for us) or as much as two months (if the MPAA is backlogged). Soon you’ll receive your official ”Certificate of Rating” in the mail.
5. Enjoy your rating. We got a G.