Utah Valley State College is heeding a clamor for edited versions of blockbuster movies since Brigham Young University decided to forgo cutting current shows in favor of cinematic classics.
Mikelle Hartman, coordinator of special campus events for UVSC's student association, said there is a demand for edited movies at the state-funded institution. The Orem school is populated largely by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which encourages members to avoid movies with nudity, profanity and excessive violence.Hartman said more than 450 people this summer attended a cleaned-up version of "Good Will Hunting," which won two Academy Awards. It was given an R-rating by the Motion Picture Association.
"There are people who don't want to see the stuff in an R-rated movie," she said. "We are here to serve the students."
Plans are being made to book edited cuts of popular movies about once a month.
A trimmed version of the jailhouse saga "Shawshank Redemption," which was based on a short story by horror novelist Stephen King, will be shown at 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday in the Ragan Theater. Cost is $3.
Student Dean Tom Hover said UVSC is not in the business of cutting films for content. He is aware of the recent brouhaha over the deletion of two charged scenes from box-office champion "Titanic" by an American Fork theater, which spurred blacklisting threats from studios.
Paramount also is irked at Sunrise Family Video, a Utah County shop that offers to trim the same snippets from the three-hour-and-14-minute movie for $5. Companies such as ATM Productions in Murray and AeroAmerica in Salt Lake also are editing personal copies for a nominal fee.
Litigation against Sunrise owners Don and Carol Biesinger was threatened, but no action has yet been taken by the studio. Some 2,300 copies of the Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle have been dropped off for the selective edit.
Sunrise Video's editing practices have been profiled by USA Today and Newsweek, discussed during LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley's interview on "Larry King Live" and mentioned twice in Jay Leno's late-night monologue.
UVSC leases movies from a film supplier who distributes movies that have been edited to be shown on airline flights. To ensure royalties are paid, Hover said, additional fees are charged by studios and distributors to such companies dealing edited cuts.
"They have everybody's blessing," Hover said.
In the wake of controversy stemming from Towne Cinemas' editing of James Cameron's disaster tale, BYU officials announced the school's theater would stop showing spliced versions of films and instead show movies that, unedited, do not warrant an R-rating.
Public schools such as Weber State and Utah State universities don't have policies against showing R-rated films on campus. Cult favorite "Pulp Fiction" has been a favored attraction at WSU's Wildcat Theater, said Melisa Holmes, school spokeswoman.
But despite funding and philosophical differences of public and private schools, UVSC and BYU share similar student-body demographics. BYU is owned by the LDS Church.
Nearly half of UVSC's 15,000 students enroll in classes at a nearby LDS Institute of Religion, and a good number willingly live in apartments whose owners enforce a strict moral code in order to board students from BYU.
"If you look at Utah Valley and the dominant culture," Hover said, "you try to go with what is a community standard."
Bob Rasmussen, director of student programs, said he advises students to plan activities that would appeal to all students and not just a particular group.