x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The gentle touch of censorship

The censorship of films and TV series is now so sophisticated it is not noticeable, says Karim Daoud, the chief executive of Intigral in Dubai.

The digital media company, which provides digital TV channels and video-on-demand for the Saudi Telecom Company (STC), has a "live censorship" room and sophisticated editing facilities to remove content deemed offensive.

"You wouldn't notice the difference," says Mr Daoud. "You'd know that, let's say, a kiss has taken place, but instead of it lasting 12 seconds and being too graphic, it would be just two seconds and appropriate."

Intigral says it does not choose to censor TV shows and films, but complies with the requirements of its clients in making content suitable for specific markets.

To supply STC's video-on-demand service, Intigral staff digitise hard copies of films and series supplied by studios. A team then flags scenes deemed unsuitable.

There are six primary courses of action in removing the offensive material: to mute swearing, cut scenes, blur images, replace content, cover it or zoom in.

"The key concern is to respect the artistic integrity of the movie. You don't bluntly cut, you adapt," says Mr Daoud. "You'd be amazed at the level of sophistication and creativity that our post-production department applies to that."

 

bflanagan@thenational.ae