Evaluation Question 5: How did you attract and address your audience?
We conducted a number of methods in which attracted our specific audience, and used methods to address them directly.
Firstly, we conducted a questionnaire asking the general public their age, gender and which genre they most enjoy. I then put this data in a bar graph using Microsoft Excel. This helped us analyse which age groups enjoy which genre, and eventually came to a conclusion that we will choose the age group of 16 to 26 due to the fact they are close to our own age group, and so we already have an idea of what we want to see ourselves, and therefore that can show though our opening sequence. The age group of 16 to 26 most popular genre choices were Thriller and drama so we decided to choose thriller but still include some aspects of drama as both these genres interest us and our audience of 16 to 26.
As the genre is thriller, most of the audience will be interested in similar thriller films, therefore we needed to research many films to do with our genre such as Paranormal Activity, and The Dark Knight to understand the style and features they incorporate into their films, so that we can do the same to our media product in order to attract a similar audience. We found they often use mise en scene in order to conceal the antagonist and this helps the audience feel intrigued in the narrative. This was inspirational to us due to the fact that well known thrillers used this technique and managed to engage with their audience using mise en scene, therefore we could achieve the same effect by using this.
Another aspect of mise en scene is in the opening titles we used a track by Nine Inch Nails titled Reptile’ which could create connotations in the audiences minds as they may be into a similar style of music. This could interest them further as they may feel they can relate to the situation and social group of the characters more. Our choice of sound was proven successful when Luke, 17, stated how he enjoyed the choice of music which had a “good beat” thus conforming to our musical ideology and research in which we found how music controls the atmosphere. I am sure we made the correct musical choices due to its minor tones and technical instrumental melody, and this quote backs this up.
As for the imagery in the opening sequence, the natural field and forest shorts combined with the characters costume can also provoke audience’s connotations and allow them to interpret it to their own lives. For example they may be familiar with the country side if they go out for walks or just the occasional walking home from going out, or the type of clothing they wear or see around them. Even if they don’t fit into the particular social group that we are representing, they will still have an understanding of what other social groups act or dress like, causing them to engage with the film further.
Characterisation was a huge part of attracting and addressing our audience. We chose characters of the age group 16 to 26, which was the same as our target audience’s age group. This enabled our target audience to become engaged further as it creates verisimilitude and exaggerates everyday situations that the audience can relate to which therefore makes them interested. The light floral dresses worn by the female victims could create connotations with similar things available on the high street at the moment as these are in fashion for spring and summer 2012. Our audience will most likely be aware of these current trends and therefore by conforming to current fashions, we can relate to our audience more.
We engaged with our audience throughout the course by conducting a series of interviews in which we gathered information about their film preferences. We noticed on the whole they enjoyed the idea of using mise en scene to conceal the antagonists identity due to the fact it creates suspense in which causes it to be a more exhilarating film. For example, Luke, 17, said he enjoys the film scream due to the use of “hooded jackets”, which conceals their identity. We also asked Warren, who stated he enjoys the use of masks in films due to the fact this is scary. We took on board our audiences preferences and decided we needed to give them what they want to see, in order for them to watch our own sequence. This is why we decided to give the male antagonist both a hooded coat and a mask in order to make his appearance both scary and intriguing. We also showed them our current work throughout the editing stages, and asked them whether they enjoyed the camera angles and editing transitions, or whether they thought we could improve. This feedback caused us to reflect upon our work in a more in depth way, where we could see areas to improve thus making our opening sequence a higher quality and conforming to the needs of our target consumer.
We explored a variety of ways in which we received audience feedback. We handed out some questionnaires then conducted some interviews with people in our target audience. We asked 10 people to watch our media product and tell us their honest opinion. The questions we asked them was: “What is the genre of the opening sequence?’ and “if given the choice, would you continue watching our opening sequence?”. After we got the questionnaires back we were glad to find 7/10 of people who watched our opening sequence correctly identified our genre. The remaining 3/10 believed that our genre was horror thriller, due to the harsh confrontation between the male and the female. However, we are still pleased because a horror thriller is categorised under the thriller genre, and the abrupt confrontations can be associated with horror films. Also we did research the Grudge and the Ring which both have aspects associated with horrors, which meant that our research paid off and was portrayed though our work. 9 out of 10 people said they would have continued watching the opening sequence because they said it looked ‘promising’ and that it ‘intrigued’ them.
This was exactly what we hoped as a response from our audience as it made us realise that we did in fact produce a product that was suitable for our specific target audience. The reason that the one person that said they would not like to watch on, was because it wasn’t their ‘preferred’ genre of film and they said it could look to ‘scary’ for them. We respect their judgement as we realise that not everyone enjoys the genre of thriller, especially if it does have aspects of horror or violence in it. This feedback proves that our opening sequence was suitable and enjoyed by an audience of males and females between the ages of 16 to 26, as we had originally aimed for.