Lina Basquette newspaper photo

Production Code

This iMovie exercise teaches:

● How to dub, that is, create A(utomated) D(ialogue) R(eplacement) dialogue
● How to think like a MPPA code administrator
● How to preserve your vision armed with stealth, cunning, and imagination

(Instructions for Windows Movie Maker are here).
  1. Download and study the 1930 advisory version of the MPPA production code guidelines. If you prefer, you can track all 1930-1967 code revisions here.  
  Consider these six MPPA letters objecting to Dalton Trumbo's 1961 screenplay for Lonely Are the Brave (1962), then entitled The Last Hero.  
  2. Download and scrutinize (the way a MPPA code administrator would) this 72 minute version of I Cover the Waterfront (1933). If you prefer, you can screen the film here.  
  3. Identify elements of these scenes that, sometime between 1934-1967, code administrators would likely have required rewritten, reshot, or cut.  
  4. Download and import into iMovie ""Create a new iMovie standard project. Call it "Production Code 1." Load your entire clip into the workspace. View it.
  5. "Adultery and illicit sex, sometimes necessary plot material, must not be explicitly treated or justified, or presented attractively," the MPPA code states.
  Trim ""enough to avoid the "explicit" and "attractive" MPPA trip wires. Hint: try deleting the shot boxed in yellow below:  
  6. Download and import into iMovie "Kirk's"Create a new iMovie standard project. Call it "Production Code 2." Load your entire clip into the workspace. View it.  
  7. ''The following words and phrases," the MPPA code of 1939-1945 states, "are obviously offensive to the patrons of motion pictures in the United States and more particularly to the patrons of motion pictures in foreign countries and, therefore, should be omitted:  
Chink (Chinese)
Dago (Italian)
Frog (French)
Greaser (Mexico and Central America)
Hunkie (Hungarian)
Kike (U.S. and England)
Nigger (U.S.)
Spic (Mexico and central America)
Wop (Italian)
Yid (U.S. and England)'' 
  8. Dub over the second speaker's dialogue. (Your dub will poorly match the film sound track acoustics, but it will show you how dubbing, in principle, works.) Use this statement—"I wouldn't care if the man had Kirk's drawers on! The police won't make an arrest on that evidence."  
  9. Advance the cursor to a mid-clip frame where neither voice is audible. Split the clip. Control Click>Split. Mute the second clip. Select>Edit>Mute Clip.  
Click the voice over button. Position the cursor on the first frame of the muted clip. Click. At the prompt, deliver the dialogue. Click anywhere in the work space to stop recording. A purple voice over sound track icon displays your replacement dialogue.
  9. With the clip trimmer, trim the ADR (Automated Replacement Dialogue) you just created. Drag the dubbed dialogue to wherever it appears best to synchronize. Add this white noise to both clips to help restore a common tone.