Evaluation Question 4: Who would be the audience for your media product?
The video below explains about who our audience is, including interviews with our target audience.
As you would have seen from our research in the introductory stages of planning, we devised a number of ways in which we decided on who our audience would be. Firstly we decided which genre we would concentrate on through methods of questionnaires and spider diagrams, and also through process of elimination. We decided on the genre of Thriller and then moved on to find out target audience using a number of methods. Some examples are questionnaires and interviews in order to gain the general public’s view on our chosen genre of thriller with a slight sub genre of drama, so that we could correctly aim our film at a target audience. Our main audience would be males and females between the ages of 16 to 26. However, our audience can extend to anyone who enjoys the genres of drama, and thriller films, and also to anyone who enjoys an exhilarating, immersive experience of film.
We strongly based our target audience in mind when it came to producing the opening sequence, which is why conducting interviews with members of our audience was of upmost importance. One interviewee, Luke, 17 stated that he liked the thriller ‘Scream’ due to its classic use of “hooded jackets and knives”. We used this as inspiration for costume and characterisation for our antagonist in order to conform to the mise en scene ideologies that our audience want to see. Another interviewee Sarah, 17, stated she liked the film Paranormal activity because it was “scary and gets your heart going”. Another person we interviewed, Warren, 16, stated he likes the thriller film ‘Nightmare on Elm street’ and in particular, “Freddie Krueger’s mask”. We thought of using a mask in our own opening sequence to conform to our target audiences expectations within a thriller film, but also to work on the parts of these films they find the most exhilarating and re produce these conventions in order to produce an equally immersive film to the ones they enjoy watching.
We decided to give our film the classification of 15, so that we could gain a wider audience, therefore making more profit. We did not give our film a rating of 18 as this would limit the audience and not allow us to make as much money as we know we are capable of. I think our audience of a younger generation would enjoy this film due to its context involving crime, murder and a suspense narrative. When we did our research we found that this was popular with our target audience, and therefore we decided to conform to stereotypes about the subject. This disobedient stereotype of teenagers is something commonly popular in films in our genre, and our target audience is of a similar age to that of the female characters we have tried to portray.
Although our genre is thriller, more psychological thrillers concentrate on the mental states of their characters to show the audience. We have taken inspiration from psychological thrillers in a way that allows the audience to relate the characters to themselves – for example they may be around the same age group, or in a similar social group which allows them to relate to the characters mental states. The antagonists character could be easy for our target audience to relate to due to the fact we based his costume and characterisation from characters like ‘Mr Harvey’ from the film, ‘The Lovely Bones’ – in which we found was popular with our target audience. We also based our antagonists dress on a character within the popular music video by Skrillex ‘ First Equinox of the Year’ which is also very contemporary in terms of our target audience’s interests. This direct relation to stereotypical murder antagonists that we have used enables us to ensure our target audience understands our narrative and representation in terms of power and dominance.
Our media opening sequence explores the inequalities between genders, power and dominance. I think that some of the female audience could relate to the female victims characters, due to the fact they could be in a similar position themselves. In my planning stages I explored the area of representation for our opening scene. It stereotypes the social group of the female teenagers and the problems they experience with ‘peer pressure’, or looking good and therefore revealing more which generally makes them vulnerable. We also explored the stereotypes of the innocence and purity within these particular female victims, thus making the outcome of murder all the more shocking. This area of representation could appeal to teenagers who either may be expieriening peer pressure, or the need to dress over the top. It could also appeal to teenagers due to the fact of our location choices. We chose to film in the location of a park, a field and forest all of which are locations associated with walking home. This in turn could work as a warning for the audience, explaining how walking home alone at night is dangerous.
As our genre is thriller, we decided to manipulate our areas of representation and exploit them in ways that will grab the audience’s attention and make it stay in their memory – for example the use of threatening weapons and body language combined with the use of daunting music can increase anxiety for the audience, therefore causing it to be more entertaining.
Overall we gained a good idea of who our audience for our media product would be and what they enjoy through the use of research such as questionnaires and interviews, and conformed to their own expectations about films within a similar genre in order to produce a film of a similar standard. Thus entertaining them and conforming to our brief.