Thursday, 7 May 2015

EVALUATION QUESTION 4 - Who would be the audience for your media product?

Who would be the audience for your media product?

Primary Audience
Our primary audience would be 15-21. One of the reasons for this would be that this is the age group that attends the cinema the most frequently.  
If cinema going habits are tabulated according to age group it appears that there is a steady rise in frequency from the earliest age to the 16-19 age group. Thereafter there is a steady decline, which is particularly sharp between the ages of 30 and 39, when the claims of parenthood are probably most exacting. Among persons aged 60 or over, only 11 per cent attend the cinema once a week or more often, and it is worth noting that this is a smaller percentage than in the age group 0 to 4. - Uk frequency of cinema visits 
Usually a film's central protagonists reflect that age of the primary audience, for example in ours our protagonists are 16-17 years old and fit within our primary audience. After looking into genre research this was the most common target audience that we found. This already tells us that there is a market for our rom-com social realist hybrid.

Mainstream audience vs niche audience 

There is a big difference between the usual media language of an Indie film production company such as Warp and a studio or big 6 subsidiary like Working Title. Working Titles approach is primarily centred on widening audience appeal beyond the UK, a 'commercial' approach. Warp's style is more focused on giving 'positive representation to minorities and under privileged that would be invisible or negatively stereotyped by a Working Title film', for example Richard Curtis's film Notting Hill featured a predominantly all caucasian cast even though Notting Hill is a well known African American area of London. We chose to feature a mixture of both. We have taken common conventions that are frequently used in Working Title films and from Warp films. 

Why research genre audience?  

  • Financiers must be persuaded that a project has good profit potential.
  • Distribution companies demand to know the lead actors and comparison films to convince them the project is a solid concept that can be successfully marketed.
  • Quirky films are less likely to gain the big money support of the distributer. Simple, often used formulas being preferred by the movie business as they are seen as safe bankers.
  • To help widen the appeal to a secondary audience consider your casting, BBFC rating, locations, music and mode of address.
  • Same old rom-com formulas help widen the potential audience.
Social Realism Audience

Box Office
Social realism cannot compete with many genres in terms of mainstream mass 
box-office appeal. I began by looking at the all time box office figures for the American 
market on By doing this I discovered that in the top 200 films there
 was no social realist films included in this figure, but then looking at the top 20 all time
 box office figures in Britain, I found that 'The Full Monty' came 18th. I also discovered 
that most of the British all time top 20 were franchise's making it hard for other films 
to get into it as the audience are already familiar with the first film released. On looking
 into further detail on 'The Full Monty', I've found out that it is an exception that shows 
you can have a block buster social realist film. I also counted that it had 28 distributors 
in countries including Japan and Argentina and that it was distributed by one of The Big 6, '20th Century Fox'.
Usually in a social realist film the age rating is 15 or above for example in 
'East is East', 'West is West', 'Slum Dog Millionaire' and 'This is England',
 all of the age ratings are 15 or 18. This is generally because the target audience 
they are trying to promote their film too is an older age group. This is because 
social realist films don't have as much action as the youth of today want and
 is not the typical story line they will be interested in. On saying that some age
 ratings can be below that  for example 'Bend it like Beckham'. This is because
 he is an icon and idol to young children therefore the film he makes needs to be
 suitable for this age category as they are the main target audience. Another factor
 to age is teen characters. This is shown in 'Billy Elliot', 'This is England', 'Sweet Sixteen'
 and 'Submarine' as all of these films have characters that teens of today can relate 
with, making it easier to empathise with them and understand the character. In some
 cases such as 'This is  England' it is a problem as the age rating is an 18, therefore
 not allowing the younger teens to watch it.

International Appeal
Billy Elliot
International appeal is a huge factor as it will bring in most of the
 income to the film. This means that it needs to appeal to people in 
different countries where they have a different language, accent, 
economy, political views or generally an idilic film preference. This
 is proven in the film 'Billy Elliot' as it made a huge $21,995,263 in 
America alone. This was all down to the typical American idilic movie
 as it reflected the American Dream.

Gender is also another key factor in Social Realism films as it needs to appeal to
 the male and female audience. On looking into further depth about this I found out that 
'Tyrannosaur' directed by Paddy Considine does this very well. He uses violence
 with the main protagonist to promote his film to men but he also uses romance 
and empathy to promote his film to the female audience. By using both of these key 'genres'
 in a social realism film, it opens up the amount of people coming to watch it as
 it is for both men and woman. 'The full monty' also do this as even though the film
 has men in it, it has comedy and a feel good factor allowing a wide of people to enjoy the film.

The Full Monty box office figures
Tyrannosaur Cover
East is East Cover
Rom-com audience

Rom-com definition  
Romantic comedies are hybrid films which by definition from, means "a film or production that combines or intersects two or more distinct genre types, and cannot be categorised by a single genre type; see also cross-over " this means that the films audience has widened as it is not restricted to just one genre so it will appeal to a wider fan base, there for increasing profits

British rom-coms in US box office 

Using information from we can see that there are 3 British Films in the US top 50 (using the total gross) Romantic comedies from 1978 to the present day. These are: Notting Hill at 21, Shakespeare in Love at 27 and Briget Jones Diary at 47

Box office
'Despite falling another 50% from the previous weekend, and grossing just £357,000 over the Friday-to-Sunday period, Sex and the City 2 nevertheless succeeded in adding another £1m to its tally over the seven days. One likely factor is that while the weekend for many couples is time to be together, midweek is when they might catch up separately with friends of their own gender. SATC2 is performing better on "girls' night" than on "date night", predictably enough. Over the past four weeks, the film has grossed just £5.03m on Friday-Sunday, against £9.18m from Monday-Thursday. That breaks down as a 35/65% split in favour of midweek nights.'

Romantic Comedy


Rows: #1-100#101-200#201-300#301-320
RankTitle (click to view)StudioLifetime Gross / TheatersOpening / TheatersDate
1My Big Fat Greek WeddingIFC$241,438,2082,016$597,3621084/19/02
2What Women WantPar.$182,811,7073,092$33,614,5433,01212/15/00
4Pretty WomanBV$178,406,2681,811$11,280,5911,3253/23/90
There are 27 rom-coms which have topped $100m in the USA alone, and 3 of the top 50 are British (specifically, Working Title) productions: Notting Hill (21), Shakespeare in Love (27), and Bridget Jones's Diary (47). 
There have been many billion dollar box office rom-com hits, but this still doesn't compare to the repetitive success of sci-fi and fantasy tent pole films, for example Lord of the RingsHarry PotterStar WarsAvatar or most comic book adaptations, or the equally successful action tent pole films such as the Bond or Bourne franchises, or the Fast and Furious franchise.

BBFC ratings given to rom-coms 

From , we can see About time, a rom-com, received the largest gross (£2.7m) in the Top 10 Films in the United Kingdom and Ireland in September 6-8, 2013. They commented saying "It posted a comparable debut to films like 50 First Dates ($14.2M Cume), One Day ($13M), and The Time Traveler's Wife ($12.7M Cume). Universal is reporting that the time-traveling romantic comedy scored particularly well in exit polls among females over 25." This shows that rom-coms can do very well with the British public as many big hit films in the UK are rom-coms
Rom-coms are most usually given a 12 or 15 BBFC rating due to the lack of blood and violence that are seen in horrors and thrillers. They usually contain mild language and sexual references to help make their film accessible to their youthful target market. For example 
Producers and directors 
A company that largely produces rom-coms are Working Title, they have produced the likes of Bridget Jonesand Notting Hill both directed by Richard Curtis and which have both profited greatly globally.  Another main producer of rom-coms' is Woody Allen who has directed the likes of Annie HallMighty Aphrodite and Scoop.

Target audience
Usually the audience is mainly female based but due to the comedy aspect it also appeals to men. The age target varies from teen rom-coms' to adult rom-coms', but the romcoms' usually range from 12-44. E.g 10 things I hate about you (directed by Gil Junger) is a teen rom-com' and the main audience age will be teens and adult rom-coms' like About a boy (directed by Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz) a larger older audience
Most rom-com ratings are 12 or 15, due to swearing or sexual content which will appeal to the 14-44 ratingand that is a commonly used in rom-coms' due to the key love theme.  
Rom-com audience

  • Rom-coms have an excellent record of delivering box office success with many years featuring some global $250m smashes.
  • Richard Curtis / Hugh Grant rom-coms built the success of Working Title tossing over $2bn worldwide although more recent releases have not lived up to the large grossing Four Weddings, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones or Love Actually.
  • Rom-coms split across many audience types. 1. Sophisticated (arthouse) Woody Allen directed films. 2. Mainstream adult films such as About a Boy that still appeal to younger audiences. and 3. the teen rom-com, often set in high school environments such as Ten Things I Hate About You, Submarine or Wild Child.
  • Most hit rom-coms attract a 12/15 UK and PG/PG-13 US audience, though there are often exceptions such as There’s Something About Mary that was 18R.
  • Working Titles technique of employing major US stars tend to be the biggest hits on both sides of the atlantic.
  • Although mainly a female centred genre a key lead male can deliver a smash hit. The lead must have sex-appeal for the female viewer and an on screen persona that the male audience can empathise with. Great examples of this are Mel Gibson, Hugh Grant and and John Cusack in What Every Woman Wants, About A Boy and High Fidelity respectively.
  • Recent hits such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Bridesmaids however prove that the male lead is not always required.
  • Although the cast is key and budgets vary an important consideration is the intellectual property cost of the novel.  Prime examples being the already smash hit novels Bridget Jones Diary and High Fidelity.
  • The decline of the rom-com has seen them reinvent themselves by mixing in another genre such as the zoom-rom-coms Shaun of the Dead and Warm Bodies or the social realist rom com Submarine.
  • Indie rom-coms prove that it is not always about a stellar cast. Alternative classics such as Napoleon Dynamite, Submarine and Rushmore prove this by simply being odd, dark or simply great stories.
  • Shifting budgets of the big 6 studios to CGI sic-fi / fantasy and action movies have led to the rom-com struggling to get the support and therefore the audiences of their hay day.
  • AS the US and UK industry moves in to different areas, the domestic emerging markets are taking advantage. Finding Mr Right, a Chinese production kept other US blockbuster off the top spot in 2013.
  • Unlike the Sci-fi / fantasy trilogies and sequels the rom-com has little opportunity to reinvent its own sequel. The ending usually being happy where boy gets girl has little else to offer. As always there are exceptions with the third Bridget Jones instalment due 2017.

What the different BBFC ratings would mean to our film
12: Having the BBFC rating as a 12 would narrow the audience and also due to 
bad language it wouldn't be appropriate. 
E.g Working Titles Wild Child was a 12 
The film was passed '12' for moderate language and sex references. The film contains infrequent moderate language, when a girl is asked 'How many boys have you shagged?' and when the head girl later spits out an aggressive use of 'bitch' to the lead character. The moderate language was not felt to meet 'PG' Guidelines which allow 'mild bad language only', but was considered to be covered by the '12' guidelines which allow infrequent strong language.
The film also contains some moderate sex references, notably a passing reference to 'the missionary position and Lebanese fulcrum' as teen girls wonder if the lead character has had sex, and sight of a mock phone box escort card/ flier featuring the head girl in her school uniform and caption 'Naughty Schoolgirl Harriet'. The level of detail and the tone of the sex references were felt to fall in line with the BBFC guidelines at '12' which state that 'sex references may reflect what is likely to be familiar to most adolescents but should not go beyond what is suitable for them'.
In addition, the film includes frequent mild language (e.g. shit, arsehole/ A-hole, crap, slut, frigging, bloody, 'biatch') and uses of Jesus and Christ, implied teen drinking and a teen playing with a cigarette lighter which accidentally causes a fire. (BBFC)
15: This is our primary audience but we would want this as our BBFC rating at it 
would attract a larger audience it will also allow us to use mild infrequent language and sexual references which would appeal to our youthful audience. e.g  Warps Submarine was a 15
The quantity of strong language in the film went beyond what is permitted by the BBFC's Guidelines at '12A'/'12' which state that 'The use of strong language (for example, 'fuck') must be infrequent, but 'frequent use of strong language' is allowed at '15'. (BBFC)
18: Having it as an 18 would not be appropriate as there is no severe bloody 
violence or sex involved this would go beyond what we would want to include. e.g Warps The is England
The key factors which therefore placed This is England at 18, rather than 15 are:
  • The violence is directed against a vulnerable character – Milky is easily the most gentle of all the characters, vulnerable throughout because of his race and lulled into a false sense of security in the scene leading up to the attack
  • The violence and language are unexpected and shocking – the scene starts very calmly; the other characters don't realise what's about to happen
  • The scene is distressing – we see most of the film through Shaun's eyes and he is especially upset and confused by what is happening
  • Repeated aggressive use of the word 'c**t' along with racist terms within the scene. (BBFC)
 Considering the whole 90 minutes
Taking into account that we have only composed the first 2 minutes of the opening we have left out a lot of content that would effect our BBFC rating and audience. We would probably incorporate swearing and scenes of a sexual nature as this would keep our film within the limitations of a 15 rating as well as appealing to our primary audience. 
This fits with our love triangle as their will be a disequilibrium which will most likely be the wrap between to competing love rivals and scenes of a sexual nature will most likely be the cause of this. An example of this would be the fight scene between Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver as they fight over Bridget. These are the two male characters in the love triangle and this will mostly likely be what happens in ours. 

Audience testing
Audience testing is very important when producing a film, as it is key to see whether it appeals to the films target audience and is well accepted. For example Harvey Weinstein who was a big part of the production of Bridget Jones nearly stopped further production and distribution of the film when in audience testing people didn't respond to the first part however the scene where Mark Darcy reveals his reindeer jumper saved the film as it received a laugh. The film went on to be very successful making $281,929,795 and then ended up in an equally successful sequel. 

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