Building Sites Bite

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Building Sites Bite is a public information film produced for British schools to warn children about the danger of playing on building sites. It was written and directed by David Hughes and produced by Maggie Evans; the film was shot in early 1978 and is 28 minutes in duration. Because of the style of filming and grim subject matter, it is often compared to the earlier films, Apaches and The Finishing Line, both released the previous year.


The informative film focuses entirely on the perspective of Ronald, a young boy who aspires to become a Builder or surveyor when he grows up, his cousins Paul and Jane, decide to test Ronald's know-it-all attitude by teleporting him to a building site, where Ronald must avoid several hazards and obstacles without getting hurt. In each test Ronald disobeys various warning signs and shows great disrespect to the dangers present, resulting in him getting killed in each one.

Each time Ronald is about to die a heartbeat sound is played to warn sensitive viewers. In order, Ronald's deaths are displayed as him being buried alive in a trench collapse, electrocuted in a condemned building, run over by an earthmoving vehicle, breaking his skull against a metal retaining wall, crushed to death by a pile of bricks and finally drowning in a disused quarry.

Back in the real world, Ronald announces he intends to abandon his ambitions, and goes outside to play with Paul and Jane. Over the closing shot of the film, Paul reads out real-life stories of children who were killed in similar fashion as those seen in the film.

Home viewing availability[edit]

Building Sites Bite was made available for home viewing by the BFI in 2010, along with other such public information films of the time such as Apaches, on the compilation DVD COI Collection Vol 4: Stop! Look! Listen!

External links[edit]