Filmmaker trolls the British film board with an unbelievably long movie of paint drying

The length of Charlie Lyne’s Paint Drying will depend on how much funding it can raise

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 November, 2015, 5:44pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 November, 2015, 5:47pm

British filmmaker Charlie Lyne made a 14-hour movie of white paint drying on a wall, and he’s hoping that the British Board of Film Classification will have to watch every second of it.

The movie, titled Paint Drying, is now a crowdfunding campaign. Donations don’t go toward the cost of making the film, but for paying the fees necessary to get the British film board – the equivalent of the Motion Picture Association of America – to give it a rating.

Lyne’s film is a protest of what he sees as an unfair cost for independent filmmakers who want their work released in Britain. “UK law ensures that, in effect, a film cannot be released in British cinemas without a BBFC certificate,” Lyne’s Kickstarter pitch reads.

“Each certificate costs about £1,000 (HK$11,745) for a feature film of average length. For many independent filmmakers, such a large upfront can prove prohibitively expensive.” Lyne is also concerned that the effectively compulsory review process leads to the censorship of films in Britain.

The submission fee is £101.50 per film, with an additional charge of £7.09 for each minute of the film’s length. That cost typically runs at £1,000 per film, Lyne says.

The British board factors the length of the film in question into the total cost of reviewing it, and promises to watch any submission “all the way through” before evaluating its content and assigning a rating. So the more money Lyne raises, the longer the film he can afford to submit. The BFCC confirmed that it will watch every minute of Paint Drying, as long as it’s submitted for review just like any other film.

Right now, Lyne has funding to submit a film that’s more than six hours in length. A fan of the project created a website (paint.ginnter.net) that shows in real time how long Paint Drying will be, based on funding for the Kickstarter campaign.

There are no plans to screen the very boring film for the public right now – Lyne is focused solely on making the British film board’s examiners enjoy the fruits of his labour. Although a 14-hour version of the film is already completed, Lyne promised to reshoot the film to make it even longer if his funding campaign takes off.

If that happens, he says, Paint Drying will become the longest film the board has ever rated. That title is currently held by Jacques Rivette’s Out 1.

Lyne’s campaign is already fully funded, but it will continue to take donations until December 16.

Washington Post