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Evaluation Part Three What have you learned from your audience feedback?


Throughout the planning, construction and editing stages of my short film, I relied heavily on the positive and negative feedback from participants that anonymously completed four individual audience research questionnaires. During my AS level Media course, I conducted three hard copy; paper based questionnaires and one post production video to aid me with the construction and editing stages.


However, although I found this system useful, I felt that some people were not being completely honest, as I handed out the paper based questionnaires to family and friends and the post production video consisted of sixth form students, all of which were personally known to me. This year for my A2 Media coursework, I wanted to take a completely different approach, so that my participants could anonymously be, as positive or as negative as they liked, with their constructed criticism. First Stage As the internet has a wide usage, I decided to attract a potential audience from ‘facebook’. In order for this to happen, I created a public ‘Like’ page, and implemented it with the title GR Media and I created a recognisable page logo.


When the ‘Like’ page was launched it immediately received several confirmed likes. This method of communication allows people to subscribe to updates and contribute to discussions and at this particular point; I believed it was vital for any audience research. Subsequently friends of friends would hopefully be attracted to the ‘Like’ page through its inquisitive logo. Second Stage With enough responses from the above attraction, I used Google Docs to create a web data collection form (electronic questionnaire) and posted a link to this on the GR Media ‘facebook’’page. I designed the questionnaire to take into consideration a variety of options and my main objective was to obtain a fair and honest outcome. Although this was still very much in the experimental stage, I hoped to attract several participants who had subscribed to the GR Media Page. As social networking sites are used leisurely, I decided to keep the questionnaire simple and fairly short, otherwise participants may have deferred from completing it. Its main design plan was to establish my participant’s biological information, tastes along with preferences, viewing habits and their knowledge and understanding of the genre ‘Social Realism’, that I had chosen to base my product on.


After a couple of days I had received twenty one responses from over the internet and in order to analysis them, Google Docs automatically generated the results for me, as a mixture of detailed graphs and data responses.


From the analysis of this internet based questionnaire, it was evident that the method of internet based questionnaires attracted a younger participant. The mean age of twenty-one people was 23.19 From their response, I was then able to generate film ideas along with different themes and issues, but most importantly keeping it in line with my participant’s majority. At this stage, the theme surrounding relationships was a highlighted possibility and because only seven out of twenty-one participants had previously viewed a short social realism film, I decided to base my second audience research questionnaire on short films.


Third Stage I designed my second questionnaire with simplicity in mind, in order to attract volunteer participants and linked it to two BBC Film videos.

About a Girl - Brian Percival

The Most Beautiful Man in the World – Alicia Duffy

After a period of seven days after launching this questionnaire via the GR media social networking page, I had received fourteen responses, and it was through these particular responses that key concepts were conveyed.


After analysing the responses that were automatically generated for me, I found that this questionnaire helped me to generate an initial idea, for a potential short film; in particular I established that there was a positive gender divide amongst my participants. Males were more inclined to enjoy a film that contained a female protagonist. Females were more inclined to prefer a film that involved children and a main male character. At this stage I knew my own product had to have a mixture of both male and female characters to ensure it not only captured the imagination, but also gave empathy and gripping suspense that both genders would enjoy. Fourth Stage Taking into consideration, the analysed answers to both audience research questionnaire one and two, I developed questionnaire three, this questionnaire was designed to aid me through the developing stages of my product.


This was the most productive questionnaire, as it did allow me to take all the positive correlations and construct a series of synopsises. I believe if the questionnaires were not anonymously completed, then I would have had very little to go on. How would you define the word ‘Disability’? Prior to constructing this questionnaire, I had an initial storyline in mind and again I wanted to know what my volunteer participants conceived the word ‘Disability’ to be. Again, the majority correlated to give a mental and physical outline, but one older male participant wrote: “Ive lived with disability in my life more than most and i can see that it can be a problem to do certain tasks given the disability while at the same time many people with disabilities excel in other aspects of their lives more so than able bodied people” While one older female participant stated: “something that has a somewhat negative impact on a persons life” From my initial storyline idea, I had visualised my protagonist to have a social disability connected to shyness and this interesting statement cleverly summed up that as long as something has a negative impact then that can be perceived as a form of disability.


Fifth Stage With my final synopsis complete, I approached several sixth form Drama students and asked them if they would help me with a brainstorming, open discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of my synopsis. The session lasted approximately one hour and the table below illustrates the main result. Strengths Setting is described

Weaknesses Michael is too stereotypical

Main character is well established

Conventions are not challenged enough

The ending creates a buildup of tension

Not enough suspense, midway through the synopsis.

The input and direction the Drama students gave me, proved to be a valuable and a rewarding exercise and it allowed me to focus more deeply on the weaknesses that were described. I then went on to create my scripts and each script improved until I had eliminated the weaknesses that the Drama students had highlighted.


Sixth Stage When my final script had been developed, I arranged an audition, as I had no idea what character would suite what amateur actor. This process enabled me to: Listen to their suggestions, especially their own dialogue with reference to the sexual taunting that Jessica had to incur, as I had not previously wrote this in detail, in the script. Chop and change characters.

Discuss costume design.

Audition

Positioning of the set

Bounce ideas around.

Answer any questions the actors had.

Establish how comfortable the characters felt with one another.

I was able to generate a rehearsal time table that suited the actors, around their own heavy A level schedules.


Seventh Stage After filming and editing a rough copy of the film, I generated my fourth audience research questionnaire. I posted this on the GR Media social networking page and uploaded the rough edited copy of ‘Impulse’ to You Tube for my participants to view.


After a period of four days, I had received twelve responses. I would have liked to have left this post production questionnaire live for at least a couple of weeks, but because of tight deadlines, I was extremely pleased to have received twelve replies in such a short time frame. The majority of these participants responded in a very positive way with reference to the questionnaire and there was hardly any constructive criticism. I really needed some direction especially in a media way, so that I could have filmed any necessary pick up shot to improve my product. Although this was a worthwhile exercise, I will in the future endeavour to split any post production research to involve both a target audience and media experts. For full analysis details on all four questionnaires, please go to: http://bit.ly/h93abk


Evaluation - Part 3  

Media Coursework

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