Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Target Audience-

Ethnicity-  The opening two minutes of my movie includes two characters, both of which are Caucasian, British and of a middle class background. Therefore this may not appeal to a wider audience of other ethnic backgrounds. It would be very useful to have a multi-ethnic cast, but due to a limit of finding people to act I have picked two Caucasian characters. 

However many mainstream productions continue to use an all Caucasian cast and have not suffered because of this. Many examples include Donkey punch and Scream. They both proved to do well in selling their product. With scream currently having made $500 million worldwide, and being the most successful film series in the slasher genre.

Due to the actor suiting the role as my killer, I chose a non-Caucasian character, due to height and body build which were suitable for the role. This however may not widen the audience, as he is seen as a killer rather than a hero. However the only character that is portrayed in the opening as the "hero" or "survivor" is the girl. It could be argued that it would widen the audience, as he is not being killed off in the opening, which most non-Caucasian characters are.

Gender- Due to my female being connoted as the "final girl" and ends up surviving from the killer, this will bring in the female audience, rather than women being seen as "sex symbols" and only there for the male gaze, they will feel that the female plays a vital role in the film and has as much power as males. The film would not be able to function without this female. This shows the impact of feminism, and instead of females once being portrayed as the weaker gender, they have now obtained equality. The clothes my actress is dressed in will also bring in the female audience, as they will see that they don't all have to wear "low cut tops" and "short skirts" to be noticed and act in a film. Men are not as superior as they once were.  

The way I have portrayed my male character (Brad) is as fun, free, and good looking. He is the opposite of my actress, Chrissie, he is into sex, and this is connoted by him being more forward with Chrissie. Males, especially the youth age, will be able to relate to this and even look up to him. They will see him as "cool" and therefore like his character. My killer is also male, this may make them see the dominance of males, and will be interested as to whom and how he kills. 

The "kissing scene" will bring in the audience of young teen boys.

I have not included a scream queen, arguably this would bring in a male audience, for the male gaze, but I feel that a final girl increases the female side and also sets the storyline better. The kissing can bring in a young male audience.

Famously, the feminist Rita Mae Brown wrote The Slumber Party Massacre and its sequels. Giving the slasher genre much more appeal to a wider audience. 

As found in an article in The Guardian, more and more films are now being written by women. -The Guardian 

Nationality/ Region- As we are filming in the area we live in, which is Yorkshire, it is more like to be distributed by a low budget company, such as Donkey Punch was. Although the area that we are filming, with the famous Ilkley Moor in sight, and the Yorkshire accents would primarily attract a Yorkshire audience but due to the stereotypes, such as the accent, dialogue and scenic locations, they are recognisable to those of a different area. Films such as This is England, set in the North of England, proved to be very succesful, therefore it is clear that you can break the barriers. 

Yorkshire has produced many big movies, including Calendar Girls. In a recent poll by the Film Distributors Association on the most atmospheric use of location in British cinema, four of the top ten films were set in Yorkshire, proving that Yorkshire has a rich and recognisable heritage in film. Despite Leeds being the chosen location for the first moving image film by Louis le Prince in 1888, it was perhaps the 1960s New Wave that really put Yorkshire on the cinematic map. - BritMovies 

Fans of- I would expect my potential audience to be fans of horror films, that involve those of a young cast. And have some mild sexual connotations. Films such as donkey punch, Valentine, Urban Legend, I know what you did last summer and Cherry Falls

Often low budget, and not using big named actors and actresses. Also not necessarily set in the southern part of England. Also with a cast that may not have the desired middle class accent that you often see in bigger productions such as Hugh Grant in Love Actually, but those of an accent that can be recognised to where the film takes place, again for instance This Is England. 

However it is important to realise that many slasher films are breaking away from not using big named actors and actresses, which primarily started in the 1990's, Scream started off this trend, by using Drew Barrymore and Courteney Cox and other slasher movies gradually began to follow, for instance Brittany Murphy in Cherry Falls.  This widens the audience as fans of these actors and actresses will be interested in the work they produce. 

Sexuality- My film includes a heterosexual couple, but many films include just a heterosexual couple and have not suffered from drawing in the "pink pound" audience. Stereotypically, I have used a attractive male actor which arguably could bring in the "pink pound" audience as the male gaze. Often in horror films it is connoted that the killer is in fact a repressed homosexual and that is why he is killing females, this could be seen in my film by some of my audience. 

Psychographic Profile- Whilst researching "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" which is a psychological theory of the basis of what humans need to survive, I realised that my film portrays many of the hierarchy. For instance there is a connoted mild "sex scene" (the couple do not actually have sex, due the female actress refusing) in the opening of my film, which is one of the physiological needs of a human being. Also due to these characters kissing it shows the love and belonging needed by humans. Also due the the male actor in my film kissing his girlfriend and being more forward it shows his confidence,  which is needed as part of the esteem of the hierarchy. 

I expect the audience of my film to not be those of the "intellectual type." As it is a typical slasher film, it does not show any signs of history or psychological problems in the film which may of widened the audience to those of an audience that are interested in a more in depth sight as to why people may murder.

It would be more of those of a younger audience, that may watch the film with friends, and are maybe into drinking, sex and violence. This is also due to my cast being teens. 

However this is similar to many horror films, such as Cherry Falls and Donkey Punch, Halloween and Friday the 13th.  

Due to my film not including older characters, not being set in the past and not including any psychological aspects, and not being complex or challenging, where the audience has to work out what is going out for themselves this may not widen the audience to those of a ABC1 audience. Films such as Chiller, Theatre Carnival Of Souls and Phantom of the opera, would relate to the intellectual audience, who's interests are different to those who enjoy a cheap, slasher movie, and stereotypically will be higher up the social ladder. 

"However slashers usually do use victims which tend to be young, attractive, and of high school age. Some theorists claim that they young people are punished for indulging in vices such as pre-marital sex or drugs. Other theorists claim that is simply a matter of the activities making the victims unaware of their surroundings, making them easy prey for the killer."- Vera Dika

Socio-Economic grouping- Due to my film being a conventional slasher, containing characters of a middle class background this is more than likely going to appeal to a C2DE audience. Especially due to my film being centered on teens, and containing a mild "sex scene." (My characters are kissing at the beginning in a car, connoted they would of maybe had sex had the dis-equilibrium not happened.) 

My film also does not include any counter types, which may of been of interest to C1's. Had I chosen a blonde, busty female that is seen as sexually active as my final girl I could of increased the audience. 

I have also used the stereotypical killer of being male, this will keep the target audience at C2DE audience. And the killing using a knife, I have stuck the common conventions of a slasher film, again outlined by Vera Dika. This will limit my audience to C2DE.

  • The Killer—With notable exceptions, the killer in the slasher film is usually male. His identity is often, but not always, unknown and/or concealed either by a mask or by creative lighting and camera work. He is often mute and seemingly unstoppable, able to withstand stabbings, falls and shootings by his victims. His background sometimes includes a childhood trauma that explains his choice of victim, weapon and location (the killer can be made out to be pitiable or understood). Slasher villains tend to prefer hand held weapons such as knives, axes, hatchetes, and chainsaws as opposed to bombs or guns. As the sub-genre developed, some argue that the real star of a slasher is the killer, not the victims or Final Girl. Throughout most of the franchises, the killer is constant. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers are notable examples of this phenomenon.
  • The Victims—The victims tend to be young, attractive, high school or college-aged adolescents. Much has been made about the choice of victims. Some theorists claim that they young people are punished for indulging in vices such as pre-marital sex or drugs. Other theorists claim that is simply a matter of the activities making the victims unaware of their surroundings, making them easy prey for the killer.
  • Final Girl—Slasher films frequently only have a single survivor. She is frequently a female peer of the victims but is cinematically developed in comparison to his or her cohorts. She frequently doesn't indulge in the illicit activities of her friends. The heroine is also known as the final girl because by the end of the movie, all of her friends are dead, and she's left alone to deal with the killer. Certain movies do deviate from this in favour of having a final boy who tends to be morally suspect.
  • The Violence—One thing that separates slashers from thrillers and murder mysteries is the level of violence. Slashers de-emphasize plot and character development in favor of violence and terror. Plots are constructed around giving the audience the experience of watching the killer murders. The deaths are often violent and graphic, with originality being valued in the later films to hold audience interest.
However I have used a "final girl" in which she survives and escapes from the killer, and her boyfriend doesn't, showing she has more awareness, alertness and power than the actor. This will widen the audience of females in the C2 catergory. The actress is also not being portrayed as a "sex object" for the male gaze, which is commonly seen, therefore women of a C2 catergory maybe more inclined to watch it if they know it is not just about "females being killed."  And blondes being stereotypically seen as "dumb" and females being seen as "weak or powerless."My actress also refuses to have sex with my actor, therefore moving away from a stereotypical image of being seen as a "sexually active female" This is seen as a counter type, and portrays women as intelligent and they are induviduals, she is not persuaded by her boyfriend to have sex with him, she is independant and free. She is morally conscious. It shows her intelligence. 

Typical audience for this genre- 

Vera Dika whom famously wrote Games of Terror, defined the appeal of the slasher genre to it's audience in three ways:
  • Catharsis—Through a release of fears about bodily injury or from political or social tensions of the day.
  • Recreation—An intense, thrill seeking, physical experience akin to a roller coaster ride.
  • Displacement—Audiences sexual desires are displaced onto the characters in the film.
A NightMare On Elm Street is due to release a sequel in 2010, proving that the slasher genre is still going strong. With the first Nightmare on Elm street making $25,504,513 (USA). 

Recent films such as Tormented (2009- Jon Wright) have proven to do well in the genre, with the total budget costing just under 1 million, it made £284, 757. 

The movie Donkey Punch (2008- Oliver Blackburn), was filmed in three weeks, with a budget of £500,000,  a very low budget film with it end up making £144, 953 in its opening weekend. 

These figures show that the slasher genre still has an appeal and attraction to audiences. However many slasher films now do not get much cinema showings and often make more money on there DVD releases.

It has also been argued that slasher films are becoming far too "similar" and there is no variation between them. Films such as Halloween  made $60,000,000 worldwide. And Scream made $161,600,000 worldwide. Two films that have changed the slasher genre, proving that it can succeed. However these films had a much higher budget, with Scream's budget being $14,000,000. 


I have decided that my movie will target the age range of 15-24. Therefore my movie will be a 15. I have decided on this with help from  

Also due to my characters being of a young age this will appeal to a younger audience rather than a old one. 

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