A common question asked many many independent filmmakers is, “Does my film need to be rated by the MPAA?”  The MPAA, which stands for the Motion Picture Association of America is an independent board comprised of parents and clergy that view and rate movies. The rating system, G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 helps parents select appropriate content for themselves and their kids. But, the rating has a serious impact on where a film can be released.

You’ve definitely seen the red or green band screens that appear before a movie trailer.  And yes, even trailers are rated by the MPAA.


FilmSkills recently partnered with Barry Freeman, former member of the MPAA and one of the people directly involved in the movie rating process. In his lesson, he teaches you how the MPAA functions, how a rating can affect a film’s box office revenue, when an independent filmmaker needs to have their film reviewed, the costs involved, and how to appeal a ruling.

In this lesson, Barry walks you through every step of the film ratings process, from how to prep your script at the beginning, to navigating the tricky review process itself.

You can check out Barry’s lesson and 240 other lessons from leading Hollywood Filmmakers by subscribing to FilmSkills Gold.

Join FilmSkills Gold


Share this post

Join FilmSkills Today

 Choose a subscription below and access world-class training  from Emmy and Academy Award winning Hollywood filmmakers. The Gold Subscription includes 50 bonus lessons plus discount codes for popular software and filmmaking gear!

Online Certification Courses

Learn a specific skill set from Academy Award and Emmy winning filmmakers

Are you only interested in one area of filmmaking? Then FilmSkills Courses are for you. Each course features 10-15 video tutorials featuring working professional filmmakers, projects and exercises, and quizzes to test your knowledge. If you achieve an 85% or higher, you will receive a personalized Certificate of Completion, and will be added to our international Certification Database, used by production companies and film commissions globally.

Interested in 5 or more courses?

Join FilmSkills Unlimited, and unlock ALL 20 courses