Sunday, 20 March 2011

Evaluation Question Four

Who would be the audience for your media product?

Name: Ruby Parker

Age: 17

Lives: Ilkley, Leeds

Studies: Studies at Ilkley Grammar School 6th form (Spanish, ICT, Psychology and PE)

Marital Status: Single

Interests: Football, Cricket, Going to the cinema, hanging out with friends, partying

Income: Works part-time at Troutbeck Care Home, earns £6.50 an hour

Favourite Movie Genre: Horror/Slasher

Ruby is a typical member of my core target audience because she likes going to the cinema and experimenting with different films. She is within the same age range and same relationship status as the characters in the film so would be able to relate to them well. One of her interests is partying and going out with friends so she would be able to understand how the girls are feeling and the sorts of things they would be doing together. It has the added bonus for Ruby in particular that it would intensify her experience of the horror in this film because it is making it seem more realistic for her. One of many aspects of our film that has been heavily influenced by the area we live in is the socio-economic grouping. Our characters are all middle class, the same as Ruby so this is an additional factor as to why she will be able to relate to the film and the girls in it.

We have aimed our film opening at a core younger audience, for people between the ages of 15 and 24. We chose this because youths are often represented as being a problem due to them being rebellious, disrespectful, ungrateful and promiscuous. This is very stereotypical of the media and I am sure that this target audience will have experienced such prejudice at some stage, meaning they will be able to relate to the characters. Our secondary target audience is to people 25-34 years old who are interested in the genre and focus solely on viewing horror movies.

We originally gave our film a BBFC rating of 12 because according to

Horror of moderate or physical threat may be permitted, provided disturbing scenes are not frequent or sustained. Nudity is allowed but in sexual context must be brief and discreet. Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood but occasional gore moments may be permitted if justified by the context.

However after conducting more research on existing film ratings of this genre we have made more structured ideas about how our film would continue. Our film opening is quite tame in comparison to the rest of the film so we have reconsidered our overall rating, not just basing it on the opening we have created. Our overall BBFC rating would be 15 because strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised and dangerous behaviour is allowed so long as it does not dwell on detail which could be copied. In addition to this, weapons that are easily accessible in day-to-day life must not be glamourised. As far as language is concerned there may be frequent use of strong language and the strongest terms may be acceptable if justified by the context. There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context and nudity is allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. Leading on from this sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail and strong verbal references to sexual behaviour but may have to be justified by context. Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence however any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.

Some existing films in the slasher genre that have also been given this rating are: ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ (Wes Craven, 1984), ‘The Grudge’ (Takashi Shimizu, 2004) and ‘The Ring ’ (Gore Verbinski, 2002). Here are some more recent releases that have been rated a 15 as well: ‘Let the right one in’ (Tomas Alfredson, 2008), ‘The Orphan’ (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2009) and ‘The Mist’ (Frank Darabont, 2008)

In order to fit within this rating of a 15 rather than becoming an 18 and limiting our target audience we have had to exclude the strongest gory images, strong sadistic or sexualised violence, aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language because they are unlikely to be acceptable and works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation is not permitted. Material must not be in breach of the criminal law or appear to the BBFC to risk harm to individuals.

Due to the demographics of our school and the area we live in our cast is purely Caucasian. This however was not intentional and I do not think that this will narrow our target audience since many films that already exist in the market of our genre are not suffering from this commercially. Another factor that will influence the audience of our film is that all of our actresses have a northern England accent which has many preconceptions associated with it. It does not signify sophistication and wealth like a more southerly accent might which would result in lower box office sales. We have also not included someone with a disability in our casting but again we hope that this will not affect the diversity of our target audience.

Our audience will be kept wide because of our use of an all female cast. It will draw in the female audience because they will be able to relate to the characters. Laura Mulvey’s (1975) feminist theory of expressing the idea of male power and control over the representation of women plays a part in our film. As a ‘male gaze’ they attract a male audience because they are very pretty and are a bit of ‘eye candy’, wearing some very revealing or very little clothing at some points.

I think that there is definitely an audience for this genre and this has been demonstrated by existing films such as ‘All the boys love Mandy Lane’ (Jonathan Levine, 2006) and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’.

This graph shows how both males and females watched this film, rating it pretty similarly. The younger audience enjoyed the film more rating it 6.2 and 6.7 whereas with the older audience the ratings generally decrease.

This is a chart referring to the ratings of the original ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. From looking at it we can see that the audience response for the film was more evenly spread out across the ages than the previous one. Again males and females rated it equally but this movie was more appealing to my secondary target audience and the numbers for the younger audience are substantially lower.

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