I started thinking about the ratings system because we are putting together the DVD packaging right now for my feature film, Nothing So Strange. Like many indie films, Nothing So Strange will not be submitted to the MPAA for a rating--it costs too much. However, the box designer has asked me if I think we should put one of the made-up ratings on there--"NR--Not rated" or the like.
And that got me to thinking... What if we take the approach of a lot of bands, who proudly display warning stickers on their CDs as a marketing tool, and we give ourselves that dreaded X rating? We could use a graphic like this:
This proposal is currently being batted around by various folks who have input on the box art. On the one hand, branding our DVD "X" might mean we won't slip through the radar of some mainstream retail stores (who usually don't carry non-MPAA-rated titles, but who sometimes just look the other way). On the other hand, an X rating might add marketing value.
The job of the DVD box is to entice a prospective buyer to pick it up, and then to persuade the person to buy the DVD. My feeling is that an X rating might add an element of danger and excitement to the DVD (and the grisly shots of Bill Gates getting his head blown off more than justify such a rating) that could help convince someone to buy it.
What would your impression be of a video with the X-rating graphic above?