Evaluation Question 3: What have you learned from audience feedback? In general, when giving out questionnaires and gettingresults, the main thing I noticed was that the audience had views that, as the producers, we never would havethought of. It was good to know what they thought, seeing how our products came across in their eyes, so that we could develop our texts to meet our target audience as much as possible. As the makers of the trailer, poster and magazine cover, we were interested to find out what they thought, plus some of their opinions, we never would have thought of ourselves because we would be seeing them from adifferent angle. For example, when we were making draftsof the poster, the key image of the clown was very obvious to us (as we were the ones who created the character), however when receiving feedback, we realised that ofcourse, the audience had no idea what the image was, or how it linked to anything else on the poster. The knife the clown was holding was also clear to us, but the audienceweren’t so sure, this is why I moved onto the key image of clown’s wig, knife and confetti, to try and give some hint as to what the plot of the film is.Due to this type of feedback, I learnt that you have to think about being in the viewer’s shoes a lot more that in your own shoes, as they are going to be the ones seeing itmore, and for the first time. It doesn’t matter if the product makes sense to you; it has to meet the target audience and make things clear enough. Although, you could saywe did leave a bit of mystery when not revealing much of the face of the clown, to link it to the horror genre, but Ithink the three props of wig, clown and knife give enough information away without revealing too much.
The audience you survey may have completely differentopinions to you. You may think that something works well, but they may hate it and disagree totally.I learnt that you don’t totally have to do what they say, butsometimes they do give good ideas that maybe we hadn’t thought of before, such as in a magazine draft, they said that the main image of Amy was too big and overcrowding, but we, as the makers, didn’t really notice this. There were times when we didn’t agree with theaudience’s viewpoint, but there were also many occasions where we agreed totally. For example, the red and bluecolour scheme on an earlier magazine draft didn’t work. It looked too child-like and more masculine than feminine. We were happy to get rid of this idea. However, with the other magazine drafts, the audience didn’t like the flash of the star, when we initially thought it was a good idea. We chose to have a flash of a still shotfrom the film as many magazine covers have this. We also chose the star, as Amy is the ‘star’ of the film. However, our feedback told us that the star looked out of place and didn’t make any sense at all, even though we had given it a caption. But nevertheless, we got rid of the star as we did feel that it was overcrowding the page, making theoverall cover concentrate too much on our own film. In the end, my final magazine cover did have the clown as the key image, to make the magazine more masculine orientated and more film-magazine-like. Feedback from the audience revealed that they preferred this idea to the one of Amy which was more feminine. Another issue that we came across was the masthead ofthe magazine, when it was named ‘Clapperboard’. We had tried hard and put it a lot of effort to get it looking how it
already was, so we were reluctant to change it, howeverwe decided in the end that what the audience thought was the better option in our opinions too, so we deleted it and changed it- it was too small and unreadable for them as a masthead. This again is an example of how we didn’t put ourselves in their shoes, which we would try to do a lot more if we repeated this task again. As for the secondtime around, doing the magazine, the audience mentioned that the masthead didn’t look very ‘horror-like’, which is why I added the dripping blood effect, which they seemed to like.However, with the poster drafts, we were pleased that theaudience thought exactly the same as us- when deciding which poster was more professional-looking. We wereglad that they preferred the poster that we preferred, with the clown’s silhouette, as this meant that we had beenworking on the right track, and that we had thought about our audience more, and meeting their needs, more than we did with previous drafts etc. However, in the end, we noticed that due to the lighter colours; our poster washardly horror at all, which is why I went on to create more drafts with darker backgrounds. As for the trailer, when we received audience feedback, one of our main concerns was wondering whether we should include the ‘ringmaster’ voiceover or not. The results we received were confusing to us, as half of the audience said they preferred the voiceover, as itintroduced the clown and made more sense, although theother half claimed that the voiceover made no sense at all and was overpowering everything else! As the results were 50% to 50% on that question, it was our final decision as a team to come up with the answer on whether we should add it in or not. From doing this, I learned that the audience cannot always give you the correct, or a straight forward answer, so you as the
producer must take responsibility in making final decisions. It was a relief however when we got our trailer feedback, to know that we were successful in making the genre of the film obvious, as well as the fact that our targetaudience would actually want to go and see the rest of thefilm. From doing audience research and feedback, I learntthat this is probably the most important thing when making a film trailer, and that doing a questionnaire as you develop it lets you know whether you are heading in the right direction or not. We did this questionnaire just after the half way stage, so, knowing that our trailer came across as a horror, and knowing that people would watch it was pleasing for us, as it had meant that we had been successful in this part of the project.Furthermore, I was taught that the audience may disagreewith normal conventions of the film you are trying to make. For example, when surveying them about our trailer and poster, some of them thought that the words on screen and on the print work needed to be less dull and have more interesting fonts. We understood where they were coming from, but we noticed that what they were suggesting did not meet the conventions of horror film trailers or posters at all. Horror trailers have plain blackbackground with a simple bold font on screen, rather than anything fancy with more interesting fonts, and posters once again follow the same pattern where the fonts haveto be bold and stand out so this is why we could not meet these particular comments as they were heading away from making the genre clearer. A similar example of the 50/50 vote regarding the ‘ringmaster’ voiceover was when I was creating my own drafts of the poster. My audience feedback was helpful, but it also created problems at the same time. For
example, I had designed 4 different drafts and for each person asked, I made them choose a favourite design.The result of this was that each draft had an equal number of votes as a favourite, so in a way, I was back where I started; not knowing which draft was most suitable aseach one had both negatives and positives. However, this could have been avoided, if I had more time to ask a larger number of people, then I would have received a wider range of opinions, and then more of a majority decision. But, I have learnt that as the creator, it is down to you to make the final call. The other main occasion where we did not put ourselves in the audience’s shoes was when considering the actualtitle of the film. We used the name ‘Confetti’ for the clown, as clowns are mostly associated with being happy atcelebrations, where confetti is thrown. We kept it as it is amisleading title for a horror film, to make it mysterious, and give viewers a surprise when watching it. We wanted tochallenge the conventions in some way, so this is how we did it. The audience said the title was confusing, so we added in the voiceover to introduce it as the name of the clown.