In the first question, 91.3% of participants identified themselves as between the ages of 16-21. This suggests that the potential viewing audience are teenagers; people that potentially may be far more interested in the issue of bullying, as it is something that most teenagers experienced, which issomething that is detailed in a later question. Having a text that is relatable to the demographic means that the audience can engage in the text more.
In the second question, I asked where participants lived. 87.2% of respondents said that they lived in parts of Surrey, such as Banstead, Carshalton, Epsom, Cheam, and Wallington. Surrey is described as one of the wealthier parts of London, with the highest GDP per capita of any county. It also has the highest proportion of millionaires in the UK. Surrey is a particularly suburban county, with leafy green fields dotting its landscape. This says a lot about my target demographic: they are particularly middleclass, living in a county that is rated as one of the highest earning in the UK.
Even though Surrey is regarded as a middle class area, 41.7% of respondentsto my survey have identified themselves as “Working-Middle Class”. This could be due to the area that they live in, or the occupations of their parents/ howmuch they earn. Regardless, trying to identify your own class could be seen as slightly biased; some people may want to seem more important than they actually are. However, the class of the target audience does matter; children from a higher class background will have different childhood experiences tolower class counter-parts. So, children from a middle class or working-middlebackground will, potentially, be more likely to have experienced some form of bullying during their lives. This relates to a later question in the survey.
54.2% of respondents in the survey had said that they had previously seen a short film. As explained further on into the survey, this could have been for many reasons. For example, some respondents had stated that they had actively gone out and sought to see a short film, whereas others had seenthem through education, such as English or Media Studies. However, nearlyan equal part of respondents had said that they had not seen a short film. Inlight of this information, it is made clear that, as a film-maker, I have a “duty” to potentially convince the No population that short films are worth seeing. However, some of the “No” population were not out of not wanting to see them, but instead, not being able to find them, with problems such as sites not being able in the UK. By planning to host my film on Vimeo, it will be available in all countries, and will avoid the aforementioned problem.
This question gave a multitude of responses, the most enlightening being in “If No, would you be interested in watching one and why/why not?”. Respondents that had seen a short film gave specific examples, some in the social realism genre, such as “About A Girl” or “Antonio’s Breakfast”. The participants that stated those filmsspecifically were Media Studies or English students. However, some students stated the reasons why they were not interested in watching short films, and made points about the timescale of the film itself. For example, oneparticipant in the survey said “No, I think it would be too condensed and/or lacking detail.” The key part of this sentence is “I think”. The respondent stating this, by saying “I think”, has almost admitted that they may have never seen ashort film because of an assumption made on editorial or narrative contents of short films in general, an assumption created from a stereotype. In contrast to this statement, other respondents had a more positive outlook on short films, stating that they had not seen one, but would be keen to watch one. One respondent stated : “Would be interested - see a film in less time but still enjoy it - Interesting to see how well characters can be developed in a short amount of time”. This kind of outlook shows a more open-minded viewer; someone that I would want to target my film towards.
As a result of this question, I found that 87% of respondents had previously heard of Social Realism. This had been mostly through education, in classes such as English, Media Studies or Art. A viewer that knows about Social Realism, I believe, would bemuch more understanding of the themes and issues that I am going to try and representin my short film, and as a result, would be much more responsive to the film as a whole. Viewers that had not heard of Social Realism may not completely understand thethemes and issues presented in the film, and as a result, are not part of my initial target demographic.
Concerning the optimum length of a short film to keep a viewers attention, there was a mixed set of responses. From the survey, 43.7% of respondents had said that a 40-60 minute short film would be an adequate length to keep viewers interested. However,60% of respondents stated that a short film of 20 minutes or under would be suitable forthe length, as it is short enough to be considered a short film, but is still long enough tocontain a message, and address issues that the director wants to address. The general consensus between respondents of the survey was that 10-20 minutes was theoptimum length for a short film from an audience point of view, so that an audience will not become bored, and lose interest quickly.
70.8% of respondents to my survey had experienced, or been a part of, bullying in the past or presently. I believe that this would mean that the demographic that I ampresenting my film to (16 - 24 year olds ) would be able to relate more to the film, as the film deals with themes of bullying, but also of ingenuity and comeuppance. 29.2% of respondents had stated that they hadn’t been a part of bullying in the past or present.This doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be interested in the short film as a whole, but maynot be able to completely relate to the characters, or the themes and issues presented during the film. This, however, does not mean that they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the short in general.
92% of respondents to this question had a positive outlook to the question, with only 8% having a negative outlook, and not being interested at all. With 92% saying that they would want to see the film, I can assume from this that I am aiming for the right demographic. Many of the respondents stated that they believed that the film would be “relatable”, meaning that they can engage more with the film, but at the same time, itmeans that I will have to be more careful when representing certain aspects of bullying. If I represent something in the wrong way, I could potentially alienate my audience.
There were a wide variety of answers taken from the question, but one in particular that was common across several participants was that people wanted to see the“directors viewpoint” on the subject. This is a particularly crucial answer, as it detailswhat users want to see from the film. Participants stating that they wanted to see my viewpoint on the subject meant that I would, potentially, have much more creative freedom when creating my short film. Other participants stated other, more specific things such as focusing on sound, or the quality of camera shots. One conflicting statement given was that one participant wanted to see what “the audience wanted to see”, instead of seeing a directors viewpoint. This creates two kinds of viewers for my film; viewers that are interested in seeing a directors standpoint on an issue, and viewers that just want the film to please the audience. The statements presented in this question create almost a boundary for me to work within when creating my short film. The audience has effectively given me aprioritised list of what should be focussed on most during production, and what might not matter as much. The most prominent statement was to give my own spin on the subject, whereas, according to the audience, the least important was “What the audience wants”. However, in spite of this, I believe that it is important to keep all of the mentioned features in; no one feature is more important than the other. Ifsomething is missed, then the audience will notice, and it would be detrimental to the quality of my film.