General questions about movies, TV and more

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In film production, there are different levels of producers from "producer" "co-producer," "executive producer," and even "executive co-producer." What is a producer, and what separates the different levels?


Chosen answer: A producer is the person responsible for acquiring money to make a film. They talk to investors and deal with the studios for big films, or sometimes have invested their own money on smaller films. They are basically the business end of filmmaking, while the director and on-set crew are the creative side. The executive producer is head producer; the buck stops with him. Other producers work under him just like in any company, and there are various "co-producers" or "associate producers" that sometimes have little or nothing to do with the film itself. Sometimes it's someone who just writes a check or gives money to the production. IIRC, in the film "State and Main" they offered the mayor of the town they were shooting in an Associate Producer credit if he allowed the town hall to stay open late for them, or something to that extent. So someone credited as a "producer" can be a huge part of the production, or essentially have nothing at all to do with it.


I am aware that different aspect ratios were used by studios since the early 1950s, but why is it that dramatic or action films are usually shot in 2.35:1, while comedies are usually shot in 1.78:1?


Chosen answer: The correct ratio's actually 1.85:1 (1.78:1 is 16:9, which is what's used for home widescreen). The simple answer is that 2.35:1 (cinemascope) gives a broader picture, ie. more screen space to work with, which lends itself better to more visual presentations, be they action-packed or period dramas. Cinemascope is also more expensive, so lower-budget films will opt for the more regular format. I'd also argue that your generalisations are incorrect - just looking at the technical specifications for the first two films I thought of on the IMDb, 21 Grams was shot in 1.85:1, while Dodgeball was shot in 2.35:1.

I've read about the movie rating system, and how, in the mid 1980's, some movies (like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) were released with a PG rating, and many parents were upset because they felt the material was too mature for the young children they took to see the movies (given that it was only rated PG, and the only other option was R, which these movies didn't qualify for). This brought about the creation of the PG-13 rating in the mid to late 80's. My question is this: what was the first movie to receive the PG-13 rating?

Answer: From the IMDb: The Flamingo Kid (1984) was the first film to be given a PG-13 rating. It was shelved for five months, however, making Red Dawn (1984) the first film to be *released* with a PG-13 rating.

Brian Dillree

I watched this TV series a very long time ago, and am dying to know what it's called, as it was FANTASTIC. It was about a girl who travelled back in time, using a sundial. It was historical and set in large grounds.

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: The series you're referring to was called "Moondial", and aired in 1990. You can read more about it at

LuMaria 1

I watched this film ages ago but I have no idea what it's called. It is about a young girl who discovers she has leukemia and the only blood donor available is her brother. She goes through all sorts of complications with her Mum and at school. Does anyone know what the film is called?

Answer: I think possibly the movie you are thinking of was called "Desperate Choices." Reese Witherspoon played the girl with leukemia, and the issues with her mom were that if her brother donated the bone marrow there was no guarantee it would work. The procedure was risky and they might both die. This was a made for TV movie and I am unsure if you can get it on DVD or VHS.


What are "regions"? I have tried to access Easter Eggs on my DVDs only to find out they are the wrong region. Why are DVDs produced differently according to these regions and how many are there?

Answer: Regions were introduced because of different release dates - for example, many DVDs are released in the USA well before other countries, and if people can buy the DVD before it's even released in the cinema, the studios lose revenue. However, multi-region DVD players are now easily available. More info is here:

I saw a movie one time where a man was running through a park and being chased by birds (and it's NOT the movie The Birds), and he seeks shelter in a gazebo type structure and when he looks up he sees that there is no roof and they start pooping on him. Anyone out there have an idea what movie this is? It's at least fifteen years old.

This may be kind of long, so apologies in advance. I'm trying to find the title of a movie, possibly a telemovie, for my aunt. We saw it some years ago on TV, but never caught the title. It started with a struggling actress house-sitting for a wealthy friend, possible a judge or lawyer. The same day she starts house-sitting, a guy that the judge/lawyer put in jail is released (or escapes) and comes hunting for revenge. He comes to the house and asks for judge/lawyer's wife, with the plan of kidnapping and ransoming her. The actress, who has been going through the women's nice clothes, says that she is the wife (she's "practising" acting) and the guy comes in the house and ties her up and tries to get her to tell him where her husband is. The actress tries to tell him she isn't Mrs. Judge/Lawyer but the guy doesn't believe her and they go on arguing for the majority of the movie. At the end, they fall in love of all things and the very last scene we see is the criminal guy watching her on TV. This may sound kind of sketchy, but if anyone could help me, I'd be very grateful.

Answer: It's proabaly 'A House in the Hills.' Check out the plot at

I love the song 'I've Got A Name' by Jim Croce and am sure I've heard it in a movie or on a movie soundtrack. Could anyone please help me in locating said movie?

Answer: According to IMDb, that song was in the movie "The Last American Hero". (1973) Unfortunately, there is no soundtrack recording for this movie. It's also used in Invincible with Mark Wahlberg, during the opening credits.


Is it true that in all Disney movies there is a sex related slip in or reference?

Answer: There have been many cases of films such as The Little Mermaid and Lion King in which people were convinced Disney put some reference in. This site explains many of the references people claim they have heard or seen in Disney films

Lummie Premium member

Some years ago I watched a film, now I know this sounds strange, but some Electricity Pylons sort of came to life and started walking on a mission. The story seemed to revolve round a little boy if my memory serves me right. Does anyone know what the film was?

Jon Sandys Premium member

In many films, I have read, (and actually seen in the films) that an actor/actress onscreen mouths the words another actor is saying. It happens in Home alone 1, one of the Harry Potter films and in the latest Bond film. Why does this happen?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: I can't give a definite answer, but all I can think is that they've rehearsed the scene so often that they know other people's lines (possibly leading up to their own cue), so mouth along with them without even realising it, and no-one else notices. Kind of like during the filming of the Phantom Menace - Ewan McGregor was making lightsaber noises during the fights and wasn't even aware he was doing it until someone pointed it out to him!

Jon Sandys Premium member

There is a movie about someone who has to marry by a certain day in order to inherit lots of money. He ends up falling in love, and at the end of the movie, doesn't marry the woman in order to prove he loves her and isn't marrying her just for the money. But the next morning, she reveals that she is actually a millionaire. It's not, repeat NOT, "The Bachelor", starring Chris O'Donnell. Anyone know the title of the movie?

Answer: I believe the movie you are talking about is the Buster Keaton film "Seven Chances". The premise of the film is he has to meet a woman and marry her by 7pm.

Lummie Premium member

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