How does your media product represent particular social groups?
We have used mainly stereotypes of our character but countertypes also feature. I am very happy with our choices because it is obvious enough to appeal to fans of the horror genre however it also changes it slightly which some people may prefer. One movie critic, Anne Billson from the Guardian feels that this particular genre of films has become rather predicable. In Friday 4th March 2011 newspaper she wrote an article on ‘The Resident' (2011, Antti Jokinen) starring Hilary Swank. She commented
“I think we can guess what happens: there will be running, and screaming, and disposable supporting characters will duly be disposed of in a rehash of Crawlspace-meets-Silver. But I am sure at the same point Swank will strip down to her vest… anything than just another terrorised female, please.”
Some of the things we would like to change next time to make the representations more obvious would be when they are in the woods have them wear more revealing clothes but the filming time we had available and the weather on the day meant that it was very cold so it was not practical to dress like this. Another thing is to have more extras making an appearance in the opening, including males to suggest more of a party with drinking and hinting at a sexual dimension. However this was not practical because we didn’t have enough time to kill everyone off in the opening to set up the rest of the film accurately.
Our film is most representative of older teenagers, mainly girls. We chose our characters to be teenagers due to the fact that Jess and I are teenagers ourselves and it was easy to the find the people to be included in our opening because we could ask around our friendship groups. By using actresses of this age, it would allow our target audience to engage with them further and be able to relate to what was happening in our production. We have also used an all female cast which keeps our target audience wide. Visually 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. However equally it appeals to a female audience because they can relate to what the group is doing. We have stereotypically used a female cast because they are expected to be more passive, physically weaker than the men and are an easy victim that needs rescuing by their handsome male hero. Our opening is lacking male characters which would secure a wider audience for both genders. We had planned to use a male as a boyfriend for one of the girls, which would also bring in aspects of heterosexuality, however on the day of filming our actor was unable to attend filming so we had to change our ideas slightly.
Our production includes a purely Caucasian cast however this was not intentional. Due to the demographics of our school and where we live, finding an ethnic variety of people to cast was not possible. I do not think that this aspect will narrow the target audience of our film as many existing films are not commercially suffering from this. Also, because of where our school is located we have used actresses from Northern England. We could possibly be at a disadvantage with this because of the many preconceptions that people from Yorkshire receive from people around the country which could result in lower box office sales. However in our film the regional accent is a positive thing because it signifies that they are in a rural and isolated area, reinforcing the fact that there is no one around to save them. It could also signify that they are unsophisticated and relatively poor.