Group 1: Dark Summer

Preliminary Group 2C: Pens

Monday, March 29, 2010

Question 5: How did you attract/address your audience?

Firstly, we placed a member of the target audience (teenage girl) in the film, so that any viewer could identify with her or her situation.

Women in thrillers often portray a vulnerable character:

Examples of films with women:

Popular films such as Halloween (Carpenter, 1798), Scream (Craven, 1999), Babysitter Wanted (Manesseri, 2008), Hostel Part 2 (Roth, 2007) etc all use women who are attacked in some way by powerful men. 

Women tend to be vulnerable, crying and even though locations may be familar, they are not normal to the character. (ie a babysitter in somebody else's house.) The sense of familiarity can be important for an audience. Even though films such as Avatar (Cameron, 2009) are successful because they break the boundaries, using futuristic locations and effects, it's always a good idea to have films that viewers can relate to, which is what Dark Summer does.

We chose a topic that was relevant to society. The audience can relate to Dark Summer as there have been many cases involving kidnapping in the media. The Madeleine McCann case is still fresh in everyone's minds, as she disappeared 3 years ago and the story was publicised so much. She was taken from her bedroom while her parents were near, similar to how Summer is kidnapped from her own home while Zoe is only one floor below. 

Other stories such as the Joseph Fritzel case are even scarier, as the victim's kidnapper was her own father. This shows that nobody is safe-in this case, not even from parents. When watching Dark Summer, the audience could draw on this case when wondering about the identity of the stranger.

Audience Gratifications:

          As there have been real life cases on kidnapping, the narrative can shed some light on these situations and engage the audience.

Social Interaction: 
          >During the screening of Dark Summer, I noticed that when the masked man first appeared, many people were whispering about this. 
          >Important parts provide a basis for social interaction, when the audience are intrigued by what they see.

          >Pass time by watching an interesting film. 
          >Escapism; many people won't have experienced kidnapping or be able to identify with it, so it allows them to understand.
          >There are many twists in the opening, such as the man at the window and simply Summer being gone. The audience have more knowledge that Zoe, but this knowledge is incomplete, so enigma builds up which engages the audience.

We used different platforms to attract the young audience. As nearly all of the audience use the internet, we thought it would be a good idea to post an event on Facebook, a platform that is used worldwide. The internet is an example of cross media convergence, as all kinds of platforms come together for anyone to use.

Examples of websites we used include:

By advertising on Facebook, we were able to get a reasonably large audience who gave feedback.
I designed a notice that went around form groups, reminding them of the screening, as well.

They were all able to identify:
  • The name of the film as Dark Summer
  • The genre as Horror or subgenre of Thriller
  • The target audience as teenagers or young adults
Many suggested darker lighting, although this would have made the shots grainer.
Nearly everyone gave the film a high rating and said they would like to watch Dark Summer in the future, which indicates we addressed our audience well.