My idea for this project is to create a short film that is an original idea created by me. This idea is titled ‘Eden’. This will be a Dark Fantasy Short Film.
‘Eden’ is the story of Ed, a lonely guy riddled with anxiety. He is invited to a party where he becomes overwhelmed and falls into a room that he believes is empty but really isn’t. This is where he meets Eden, a mysterious and dark, goth looking girl. she can’t talk at first but after a while of Ed talking to ease his anxiety, she starts to talk using little words. after a while, she asks Ed about his life and what he wishes it could be. The screen splits to show the present and the alternate reality that Ed imagines. a moment after the story, there is a brief silence before Eden opens a rift in front of Ed. She holds out her hand and Ed takes it and they walk through to the other reality, which is the beginning in an empty, peaceful field. This is Ed’s version of Eden/Paradise.
This story will only use two main characters, Edward and Eden. This is simple and easy to work with as it won’t require trying to find a large group to act in the production. I already have people in mind to play these two characters if they have the time.
Edwards costume will be smart-casual clothing as he is represented as a moderately normal teenage guy. His anxiety and problems will be shown through his personality and his dialogue and body language throughout the film, where he is uptight, worried and sad at the beginning but towards the end with Eden, he starts to become someone different.
Eden will have a darker costume and mysterious costume to reflect her character. I have the idea that she has the same styling as Wednesday Addams from ‘The Addams Family’ films. I feel this costume of a black dress and boots fits with the character of Eden as she is mysterious and dark and only uses a few amount of words that she knows. This costume signifies her character as mysterious and unknown as little is ever revealed about her. Her character can be inferred to be in the imagination of Edward who takes him away to his version of paradise, also known as his ‘Eden’. Eden’s character can also be inferred as being a conscience or representation of depression or death, or also as life.
This production will use a limited amount of locations as it is a short film. Most of the film will be in the bedroom where they meet, which I feel will be the best location and most accessible for a long amount of time. The other locations I will need are a bathroom with a mirror, which Is another easy location. A party scene will also be needed and I’m sure this can be arranged so that extras will be there too. The rest of the scenes, such as the end in the field and the alternate story sequence will use various easy to access locations that are around. No locations will be a problem to arrange to use, the only worry is that there will be no party gathering to use but this is something I can work around if needs be.
I will not need any main props for this production as most is to do with character and locations. Most will be already in each scene so nothing needs to be purchased to fulfil the filming of the scenes, and if any props are needed, I will leave a budget for these things to be purchased but at this time I have no prop ideas to think about as they aren’t needed as much.
Other items that I will possible need to complete this production other than the camera kit, is lighting for lighting the scenes effectively and to give effect to the rift being opened. I will also need a sound kit as there will be a part where the character of Edward narrates the alternate reality story. I may also need a green screen for the rift but I’m not sure of this as of yet. Most of the production will be down to location, acting and post-production.
I have split my idea into four parts to make it easy to produce. The first part will be set in a bathroom where Edward is talking to himself in the mirror, reassuring himself that it will be okay and he will be fine and have fun. This scene shows his anxiety and how alone he seems to feel by talking to himself. This will then lead to the second part where he is at the party and feels awkward and he drifts away and begins to panic, so he leaves and heads to the room where most of the production will be set. This is where the third and longest part will be, where the major scenes happen with Eden, and also this will be where the split screen scene is. The final part will be the short end scene where Eden opens the rift and they step through. I feel this will make it easier for me to produce the product as I can easily film the production in parts, which makes things easier in post-production.
The production will use some special effects when it comes to editing in the post-production stage. This will simply be for the rift that Eden opens at the very end of the film. This makes things easier as the production is very simple in idea but effective in the outcome. This also makes editing easier as I can spend time getting this part of the production to an effective standard.
This idea has come from the ideas created by different sources and short films. The character of Eden came from the characters of Wednesday Addams in ‘The Addams Family’ from her costume, eleven in ‘Stranger Things’ for her general character and also from Elizabeth in the game ‘Bio shock: Infinite’ as this character can open rifts to other dimensions. In this sense, Edwards character is very much based on me but also the character of Jacob in the book ‘Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children’. As for the overall production, Tim Burton’s film style is a big influence to me as I will try and channel this vibe, but also is influenced by a short film called ‘Normal Doors’ where the primary idea of having a split screen sequence comes from. Other influences are ‘Ghild’ and ‘Let It Be’.
How Is An Audience Targeted?
Professional media directors identify audiences in many different ways. These ways can either be seen as an effective way to identify them or just a simply stereotypical identification method.
Demographic profiling is the most basic form of identification for media directors to use to find their specific target audience. This method of identification consists of defining them by their age, class, gender, geographical location, economic status and religion. This simple way of defining the target audience assumes that every person in a largely broad group has the same attitudes to the media. As an example, there has always been a form of identification in the broad group of class. This is that the middle class prefer to watch things about the higher class such as ‘Made In Chelsea’ so they identify as being more ‘normal’ to them and their high class ‘drama’. Another time honoured example comes from gender differences in the media, with two broad groups of male and female. Media directors subject the male group to things such as football and space, and female to things such as princesses and reality TV. This identification doesn’t let the difference show, like how the male group can enjoy things females like such as Disney Princess films and females can like things that a typically for a male audience such as Comic Book Films. This doesn’t seem to be useful to my production as my product is suitable for all demographics so using this method to identify the target audience wouldn’t be helpful to me.
Another way of identification for media directors is psychographic profiling. Psychographic profiling categorises audiences in terms of their needs and motivation rather than the simple demographic factors that can be used. Consumers of the media can be targeted directly through what media directors identify as their needs and desires. This is more effective for advertisers as they can find what consumers want and need, and then create what the audience desire, which draws them in more effectively than demographic profiling does. This also applies to broadcasters and publishers as this works effectively in the same way. This would be the most useful to my production as it would allow me to identify the target audience through what the ideal audience want, and so if the audience are fans of Harry Potter, this will be a way to identify them all.
The ideologies of products can be linked to those of the consumer to generate a better bond between the consumer and the brand. For example, Disney is one of the top film companies because of the bond that it has between it and its consumers. The loyalty to the brand is important, especially in today’s market, as more brands that have hardly any differentiation between them are on the market and so the consumer always goes back to the brand they are loyal too, which can be used to identify the typical target audience for the products that brand produces. My production is a part of a brand so this applies in a way, which means that consumers that are loyal fans to Harry Potter will view my product because of this loyalty.
Another identification method that media directors use are the cross-cultural consumer characteristics. This is a method of categorising and identifying people in terms of their personal aspirations.
Mainstreamers are the largest grouping of the audience. They tend to be more concerned with stability and security, putting trust in recognized brands and have conformist and conventional ideas. They mostly have conservative ideology and consume more mainstream texts rather than other less mainstream ones. For example, they are more likely to focus on films that are in the cinema rather than short films that are online. They are suspicious of change or anything new, and as a result, hardly try any of the new or changed products. An example of a mainstream film are things such as Star Wars, as they are a recognised brand, more so now that they are owned by Disney, as these are two top brands that people buy into. As my product will only be a short indipendant film, this category doesn’t apply as much but it could as it is based on a short story from the Harry Potter franchise, which is a big and well known brand.
Aspirers always seek to improve themselves on a daily basis. They tend to have materialistic and individualistic ideologies associated with them. They define themselves by higher status brand names and absorb the ideologies of the products as their own ideas. This leads them to believe their status is established by their consumption of products. They are largely believed to subscribe to the ideals of the American Dream.
Succeeders are typically people in positions of power who feel secure and in control, though positons of power may often not be the case. They have materialistic, individualistic and conservative ideologies associated with them. They then tend to but brands that reinforce their feelings and idea of power and security.
Reformers are idealists who embrace the idea of change and are never afraid of it. They tend not to be conformist and have inclusive, green liberal or subversive ideologies. They actively consume eco-friendly and healthy products to maintain the idea of caring and responsible ideology. This
The individuals are highly media literate. They are typically educated in college or university about the arts of the media and consumption. A result of this is that they tend to be more interested in the image rather than the product, and have high expectations of these products. They tend to require more intelligent and sophisticated advertising campaigns to draw them in.
The life matrix defines 10 categories of the audience. These being the tribe wired, which are the younger digital, free spirited and creative individuals. The fun/atics are more aspirational and fun seeking active young people. The dynamic duos are the hard driving involvement couples that focus on the ‘work hard play hard’ ideology. The priority parents focus around family values and the media strongly dominates their lives. The home soldiers are home centric and family oriented, they tend to be materially ambitious people. Renaissance women are the active, caring, affluent and influential mums or mother figures. Rugged traditionalists are the lovers of the outdoors with ‘macho’ attitudes and have the typical male values. The struggling singles tend to have high aspirations in life, but have a low economic status. The settled elders are older senior citizens that live sedentary lifestyles and are often overlooked and forgotten in the media world. Finally, the free birds are active, creative and positive, often non-conventional and independent and are a vital part of the media.
In terms of media product creation, each way of grouping the audience can have its pros and cons. They can be effective in some situations but if you look into them in detail, they can all be seen as stereotypical. Demographic profiling can be effective because it is simple and easy to use to identify your target audience but it stereotypes the different genders, economic classes and races, which is a big and controversial topic in the world today, especially in the media. Psychographic profiling isn’t as stereotypical as the rest of the, which can make it more effective for both the audience and the creator, but some aspects can come across as stereotypical at times in the production process. Cross-cultural consumer characteristics and the life matrix are the most stereotypical of them all as they contain broad categories that are set to one idea, such as the stereotypes of males being adventurous and ‘macho’ and females being caring mother figures.
Overall, I’d say that, though they are all effective in their own way, I see three of the four methods to be highly stereotypical, these being demographic profiling, cross-cultural consumer characteristics and the life matrix, and although it can be stereotypical, I believe that psycho graphic profiling is the most effective because it identifies the audience by their wants and needs, rather than their lifestyle attributes, which can have some pros and cons, but overall works effectively when it comes to getting the audience’s attention.
Homing In On Your Target Audience Excerpt
An excerpt from a book by John T Trigonis discusses the issues and how to home in on a target audience to filmmakers. This excerpt raised a large amount of valid points about filmmaking and targeting the audience.
The first major point that is raised by the excerpt is that a films success has more to do with the filmmakers have taken the time to focus on their specific target audience rather than on the quality of the finished product, because without the audience being researched, the quality of the product wouldn’t matter because no one would be interested in viewing it on its release.
Another point it made is that you need to clarify a specific genre when creating a film rather than using a large variety of genres at once as this way you wont be able to easily target an audience for your product. A big example of this is with John Carter, as I studied below, which tried to use a large amount of genres rather than sticking to one, which proved to be a flop when it came to the audience viewing the finished product. Once you have a clarified genre, this allows you to figure a specific target audience, seek out the target audience using websites and blogs and then a crowdfunding campaign for the product should home in on this target audience that has been decided.
Crowdfunding to the right target audience not only provides you the funding to create the product but it also raises awareness from the audience and builds a fan base for your product or you as a creator. You have to think about where to find the audience and who will watch the film. The title of a film can be key to the audience as a film should have connotations in the title, using enigma codes to suggest what the product is about, and this should peak their interest. Other things to think about come in the form of who or what might promote the film.
Joining communities is a good way to engage with the target audience and show your serious dedication to the media and film making. These communities shouldn’t just be film-centric groups but also the open public who will view your finished product. Showcasing work to potential audience members gains interest in a product, and if other people in the community do the same, give feedback to them and they should give you feedback in the same way, also opening collaboration opportunities. Using crowdfunding as well as social media such as Twitter and Facebook is just as good a way to engage with the target audience as anything else. Using social media as a promotion method opens up the potential to find audience members and contributors to a campaign. Keeping up with activity on these social media accounts gives more opportunities to demonstrate your drive and involve your audience in the production which gets them excited and engaged with the film.
Utilizing Social Networks Excerpt Summary
This source suggests that as search engines are only one way of getting information, and social networks are a big part of peoples daily lives, these would be a good way of promoting the film your producing to the audience as a large amount of people will see this. At the minimum, consider having a twitter account for the production and pages on Facebook and YouTube to engage and promote to the audience. To make the most of Facebook, first create a page or group for the film, this is to engage the audience and gives something to distribute and promote your film. When filling out the profile section, fill in all the boxes to make sure the audience knows all the information about your page or film. Also when setting things up, make sure privacy settings allow all the public to see the posts. Once the page is made, make sure that its updated constantly with posts and changes to keep the audience engaged to it. Also, join and post on other peoples groups and pages, which promotes you to their audience but also to the page owners too. Finally, use Facebook’s advertising feature to create an ad and promote yourself further.
The source also suggests ways to make the most of Twitter, starting with posting about a variety of Topics, not just your film, to keep people engaged and informed on other interests you have. Follow important people such as influences from the media so that you can keep track of their ideas and it may influence your own ideas, as well as the possibility of them looking at your profile. Don’t ‘sell’ through Twitter, use it as a promotional platform to guide the audience to a website or Facebook or YouTube channel. Don’t use automated updates for your posts as this will over promote your product.
Try and get everyone you know on Twitter so they can promote your page for you too. Always reply to tweets that mention you in them, as this promotes you as a person rather than a brand, and always search your name to find new posts about you. Engage with followers by asking questions and listening to answers, and responding to what they say and taking it on board. Don’t underestimate the power Twitter has at promoting you to people from all over the world.
The final section is to do with making the most of YouTube. Firstly, post your trailer or short film to your channel so the audience can see the video onto the channel. Subscribe to other members and ask them to subscribe to you, which allows you to make friends through your channel. Always post comments on your video and other peoples videos to show your engaging with your audience and people that may help you in your production. Ask friends to favorite your video, and add favorites to your public profile which will promote the video to other audiences that haven’t discovered you. Always have a link to your website to drive people to your site, gaining more promotion on other pages you have. Always update tags on videos to reflect what is trending that week as this will get it to the top of all tags so that people will see it and be interested. Create and share playlists as a way of grouping all pro motive videos together. Share videos by email and other social media so that the audience will be brought to your video and channel on YouTube, but also post the video straight to other sites and blogs.
Some social networking tips from the source are to always personalize the page, communicate with the audience through email or messages, answer audience comments as soon as possible, focus on one to three social networks, promote trailer and clips on as many sites as possible, embed the trailer from YouTube into sites and connect all sites and social networks together.
Case Study: John Carter
For a film to be successful and be seen, the creators of a product have to target a specific audience effectively and successfully. This means that they have to create a product and advertising that targets this audience and draws them into the film. This can either be successful or not effective at all, and many films throughout the history of the media have seen this.
A major example would be the film John Carter from the well-known brand of Disney in 2012. The film was apparently set to be doomed from the first trailer. Disney invested around $250 million into the film, thinking it would be a success. Films set on Mars were rarely seen after they died off for a while, but after Mars Needs Moms, another Disney project that had a budget of $150 million but flopped and made only $39 million a year before, it appeared films set in mars where not what people were looking for in this modern age, which is one of the reasons for the name change from John Carter of Mars, to simply John Carter. The reason for the flop could be down to the effectiveness of how they targeted their audience they had set in mind.
The genre of the film is a fantasy/science fiction film targeted at teens to twenty somethings, directed by Andrew Stanton. This targeting is present from the trailer of the film. The first thing that the effectiveness of the audience targeting can be tested against is the title. After being adapted from the first book in a series called The Princess of Mars which would have no interest to the target audience at all, so this was changed to John Carter of Mars. One problem with this was that as research showed, films on mars didn’t do well so this was the decision to shorten the title to John Carter, this title being meaningless to the audience as it gave no indication as to what the film is about.
Secondly, the trailer for the film was ineffective in promoting the film, as it showed the whole plot of the two hour and twelve-minute film in just over two minutes, which is not a good thing at all. It leaves no open questions that make you want to watch the film to find out. The audience can figure out and predict the whole plot easily using just the trailer, which leaves nothing for the audience to be hooked on and give the film an appeal to it.
Also, the mise en scene of the film clearly vibes other more successful films and games, such as Star Wars, Prince of Persia, Gladiator and Avatar. This made it somewhat predictable for the audience after viewing the advertising and leaving the ones who go into it bored by the in-originality of the whole film, as it feels like something that has already been done successfully.
The sound and camera work of the whole production don’t offer anything new that the target audience haven’t already seen in a sci-fi film before, with visuals mirroring films that have already been made before. There are no new sounds that distinguish this film from any other and no different types of camera work have been used to make the film more original, which won’t attract in much of the audience who like to see the changes and new styles in Sci-fi/fantasy films.
Overall, the film wasn’t effectively targeted at the specific audience as it had the same style as any other film that had been made before. The trailer seemed to give most of the plot away and didn’t leave the audience hooked to find out anymore of the story from seeing the film. The film offered no new visuals or audio, as a lot seemed to mirror other more successful films. As a result of the ineffective targeting to the audience, the film bombed the box office and left another unsuccessful mars themed film for audiences, which may have been better if the audience had been targeted more effectively.
Analysing And Researching Outlets To Reach My Audience
YouTube–YouTube is one of the top video sharing websites in the world. Created in 2005 and bought by Google in 2006. It has over a billion users and every minute, more than 100 hours of footage is uploaded to the website by users. YouTube has been the platform for many viral videos, such as ‘Gangnam Style’, which broke the view counter which led the company to have to upgrade their system. YouTube is home to many popular YouTubers who have changed the way the platform is used over the years, turning it from something for fun to a complete job opportunity. These YouTubers have built there own community through this site, creating content for their audience and earning money from this, despite recent issues in 2016 regarding monetization and money making. This is a popular platform for media directors to either showcase or promote a film or short film as it reaches a large audience and fan base, such as the trailer for Star Wars The Force Awakens, which became the most viewed film trailer in YouTube’s history. This proves that the platform is a very effective in reaching the audience as it is used by billions of people all over the world and builds a very good fan base for a production. As well as trailers, short films are often published on YouTube such as the short films of Bertie Gilbert, making it a very effective way to get your work seen by an audience. Profit can also be made on YouTube, the biggest way being by enabling monetization and allowing ads to run on videos, although this is under attack lately as terms of service have changed and YouTube have been demonetizing videos without the creators acknowledgment, meaning that money that was being made from ads wasn’t being given to them. In terms of a showcasing platform, this would be very useful for me to use to promote my short film in its production stages but also in the end, to upload and make money from in the long run as it can be monetized and use ads to make a revenue. Also, with their being over a billion people using the site, it would be a good idea to use as it means that the target audience will be able to view it and it will be more noticed by a larger amount of people.
Vimeo– Vimeo was founded in 2004 as a video sharing website that was later bought in 2006 by IAC. The site attracts more than 100 million visitors a month, with over 22 million users registered. Unlike YouTube, this platform is used more for high definition videos of broadcasts and indie filmmakers and fans showcasing short films. They host their own awards ceremony held in New York City which is dedicated to showcasing and awarding creative videos on the site. They also have a section of the site called ‘Vimeo Staff Picks’ which is where Vimeo staff curate and handpick the best videos from their site and feature them regularly in their own section, usually picking good quality short films to feature. This is a more effective way of reaching a particular target audience that share interest in the media rather than everyone in the world as YouTube does. This means that films get more recognition in the media as the community is mostly media-centric, opening up many opportunities to further in the media. Money can be made through Vimeo using either the Tip Jar where fans can show appreciation through a small cash payment, or through the pay-to-view service, where creators can charge for access to see videos they upload. This is also a site to consider using to promote my completed product as it will reach a more specific, film centric target audience that will appreciate the video and give useful feedback on the video. I am thinking of uploading my final product to this site once it is finished.
Short Of The Week– Short of the week is a video streaming service, set up in 2007 that is specifically for showcasing short films of many different genres. They believe that from how films are funded, produced and consumed, it is online short films that are the future of the film industry. The most interesting and unique stories are being told on the internet rather than in cinemas and on TV, as this is where new ways of filmmaking and genres are being made. New directors and creators wont be found at film festivals, they will first be online. Each week, they discover and promote what they hand pick to be the best short films from around the world. This website is useful for reaching a more media sophisticated audience that enjoys viewing professionally made short films., although the product would have to be good enough to be discovered and picked by the staff to be featured on the site, making it a less useful outlet for this particular project. As the short films are hand picked and promoted, this site doesn’t directly make the film a profit but it indirectly promotes the video which brings an audience to the video, which then means you earn a profit from views of your film that the website has brought in.
Short Film Festivals– There is a number of short film festivals all over the world, especially across the UK. A large portion of these festivals are open to just young people, which means that any short films that are shown here aren’t going up against top filmmakers and work is viewed and promoted to potential employers and top media industry people. A large amount of these are in Sheffield, such as Doc/Fest and Sensoria, which allow students and young people to create short films and have them seen by people to promote themselves and their work to media professionals which allows the chance for possible employment. A profit can’t be gained as such from these festivals, but they are a very good way to reach the audience that you target as many people who enjoy all genres are at these festivals, and a large portion of this major audience will be your target audience.
Where to showcase the film
From researching outlets and other short films that apply to my production, such as ‘Ghild’ and ‘Let It Be’ I have come to the conclusions on the best place to show my finished film. As the internet is becoming a big media outlet for short films in recent years, I believe the internet is a better place to show the film rather than enter it into a festival as of yet. This allows me to reach the intended audience all over the world and allow me to get a reaction and then decide whether to enter it into a festival from the fan reaction.
With this in mind, I have researched into the platforms that other related short films are on and I have decided that the best place to showcase my product would be through both Vimeo and YouTube. YouTube allows me to reach a large majority of the target audience of teens to young adults in a simple way as a large portion of people use YouTube on a daily basis, so are more likely to discover the video when using the website from their recent search results. Also by turning on monetisation, a profit can be made from the videos through ads and views that the video gets, which goes towards creating other successful projects.
Alternatively, with Vimeo, this would be another good place to showcase my product as it again reaches a large portion of the target audience as there is a large amount of daily users but in this case, the viewers of the video are more inclined to short films as the site is more professional, which opens the possibilities to meet other people within film making and potential employers. There is also the chance to be selected and featured on sites such as Short Of The Work or the Vimeo Staff Picks. A profit can be made through this method as well but would require the audience to enjoy the video and decide to tip it with their own money rather than just viewing it and this making the money.
Social networking wouldn’t be an effective way to showcase the film but it would be a very effective way to promote the film, such as through Facebooks promotion which creates an ad for your product and promotes it to people’s pages. It also doesn’t make any profit so it wouldn’t be an effective way to make money from the film either.
Analysis And Research Of The Target Audience Of My Production
Demographics And Audience Research
As I am heavily influenced by dark films such as those of Tim Burton, I have decided that my production will be a dark contemporary fantasy film as this best fits both the story and the style I would like to go for. As a result of this, I will need to keep this in mind while targeting and researching my audience, as the audience will have to enjoy films of this genre to enjoy and be interested in the final film.
The audience I am aiming for is Teens to young adults that are more a niche audience as the vibe of the film will be more of an arthouse style of film, which sticks to the theme that most short films go by. This also shows in the way I will showcase the final product as more of a younger and niche audience will subscribe to as opposed to the ways that the mass audience usual subscribes to.
As my film is an original idea created by me, this means that it would be most likely to appeal to the individuals, using the Cross-Cultural Consumer Characteristics method. This is because they are most likely to be the same age as my intended target audience, typically in higher education and educated in the arts of media and consumption, and they enjoy media literate products that range from feature films to short films. The only problem is that this would mean that they are more focused on the image rather than the product itself, so the product would have to be well made and the image be appealing to this group for them to view it, which would mean creating a more complex promotion to reach them as well as a professional looking film.
In terms of the Life Matrix method of grouping, the target audience could be seen as being the Tribe Wired, as they are younger and more free spirited and creative which is where the appeal of the film comes from, but they also live in a digital world and are more likely to view creative short films more than any other. The audience could also be the Struggling Singles as they may relate to the film little more than most other audience groupings would. As Free Birds are active, creative and independent, they tend to enjoy these types of short films the most, which means the majority of the audience could be in this grouping.
As far as age, gender and social class are concerned in the target audience for my product, it doesn’t really matter as the production will be suitable for any ages or gender. If it has to be narrowed down to an age, then the target audience would be as I said, teens to young adults as I feel it is this age group that would show the most appeal to the film and would be find the issues, contexts and hidden meanings in the film relatable to them. Social class would have no effect on the target audience group either as the film can appeal and apply to any of them despite their economic or social status. It is a universal film in the sense that it is made for any gender, social class or even age, even though I am making this with a specific age in mind.
The target audience will be more based on their attitudes and interests. The basic attitude and interests the target audience will have to have is that they will have to enjoy short films and know where to view them as this is what it will be and most likely, the product will be consumed through internet sites where short films are often showcased. The audience has to also be interested in the dark contemporary fantasy genre as this is something that, although a large mass of the audience likes to watch, they often don’t know they are viewing this particular sub-genre, so this may allow them to realise that this is something they like.
To gather some research from the audience, I decided to set up a focus group to gather a small selection of the audience’s views and feedback of the idea. This proved to be successful as I have found that they find my idea to be something they would view if it is made successfully. They also gave me reasons for their views and ideas that benefit my production.
The first set of questions where to do with short films in general. I opened with the question of ‘Do you enjoy short films and why do you enjoy them?’ The response I was given was reflected in all of their views, as they all said yes because they find short films to go straight to the point and not drag through a long storyline. They also said that they are sometimes my engaging and creative to normal styles of films as they seem to be home to more creativity than films that are made for cinema.
I then asked them what they feel makes a short film successful and why they felt this. Again, their responses reflected the same feeling throughout. They said that an engaging idea that is successfully made is key to a successful short film, specifically the narrative and how that idea is executed as it is all down to what is seen in the end product, so the acting, mise en scene etc. needs to be good to make it successful. They also said that the director and their ideas and visions for the film are also key as it is them that needs to ensure that the idea is executed and made successfully through the cast and crews work.
I then followed this by asking them what their favourite short film is and why. I didn’t get answers from some as they felt it was a difficult question but the first person said ‘Destino’ as they like the style of the short film and it’s very different from other short films they’ve watched before. Another said a recent short film they liked is ‘Borrowed Time’ by two Pixar animators as they like the narrative and find the film emotional. The final person said they really like ‘Let It Be’ by Berty Gilbert, as they like the narrative and themes that the film holds.
I then asked a set of questions that are based more on my idea. After telling them my idea, I asked for their views on dark contemporary fantasy films. They said that they find it is an intriguing and modern sub-genre that doesn’t depict life as fairy tales in made up lands, it tells the story of modern people living in our world, but in a world we can neither see nor believe exists. They also said that it puts the idea that magic doesn’t have to exist in made up worlds, it can exist in our time and it’s just hidden from our view. They also stated that this sub-genre has become more popular in recent times so it is something large amounts of people will want to view.
I then asked them if they think the narrative of my idea is engaging and why they think this. They agreed that it is engaging as it targets something invisible that isn’t always used in films well, but it is shown as something positive in a way using the idea of fantasy. They also said that in modern times with the issue becoming more common, they find that people are more willing to watch films that are based on true stories affecting people’s lives and that films that present the issue of mental health, such as anxiety and depression, are more watchable to a modern audience, while it also brings acknowledges the issues and brings them to light for the audience.
My final question was about my characters. I asked if they thought the characters were engaging. The said of my male character Edward, ‘He suffering from something that a large amount of people suffer from in the modern world so it focuses on an everyday thing and targets emotional pain, while adding an element of fantasy and magic to the serious issue.’ They also said of my Female character Eden, ‘She proves the importance of friendship and listening, but also proves the seriousness of mental health as she can be inferred as the embodiment of Ed’s conscious or represent the issue Ed has, or alternative life and death.’
Overall, I feel this focus group was successful in my first stages as it allowed me to gather feedback on what the audience want to see from a successful short films, and it gave me examples to look to and research. I also feel asking questions on my production allowed me to gather feedback about whether the idea is engaging and whether they would like it, and this have given me ideas on how successful my idea is and whether there are any changes that need to be made. I plan to conduct another focus group later on in the project to get feedback on updated ideas and other things regarding the final product.
Commissioning and Analytics
Commissioning is when big distribution and media production companies are seeking out new ideas and encourage creators to make use these ideas to make new products for their platforms. Channel 4 is a big distribution company that seeks out new content for their platform. The content that Channel 4 is looking for can be found on their commissioning pages of their website. This shows what ideas they are looking for and how they will work with creators to make these ideas into sellable products.
For example, on the website, they identify what they are looking for in their new way of putting comedy shorts online. They are named Blaps that are showcased on their website, YouTube, Vimeo and as ITunes Podcasts. Each of these Blaps are commissioned as an online mini-series of three films, with an episode length of four minutes each. These are open to anyone, so the entries aren’t just from production companies but also from indie creators too. They require a full piece that explains and sells the idea, with details of who the cast and crew are, and a clear, separate breakdown of all three of the four minute episodes. They also would like to see documents such as scripts, links to teasers, examples of scenes, show reels and previous work. They say that the more information that is shown, the more they get a sense of the idea.
Another example on their commissioning pages is in their creative diversity section. They say that they are ready to invest in the next generation of creative and unique content as they aim to be the most creatively diverse broadcaster in Europe. They work across all genres and platforms to commission developments and pilots to bring talent into the media system and make early work be made into a full production. Further into the document, they mention something that is very relevant to my production and career ideas, as they work with individual creators to help them with practical things as with the way the media industry works, ‘too many talented people are locked out.’ They have decided to listen to indie developers on what they need help with to access the industry, which they do in a practical ways as other big companies don’t. Using their growth fund, they aim to find and invest in independent creators.
This relates to my product as Channel 4 is looking for intriguing and creative indie content, especially film shorts, which my product will be. I and my product would possibly be something they would be looking for to showcase on their platforms. They may also consider investing in the product if they find it fits what they are looking for. This could be a good way of showcasing this and many other products in the future.
Other Production Companies
After spending some time researching other production companies that take interest and invest in ideas for TV, Film and Short Film specifically in the UK, I have discovered that there aren’t many production companies that fit with the idea I’m thinking of. Most accept scripts from unsolicited creators for example the BBC Writers Room where scripts can be sent and possibly invested in or Red which invests in Drama TV ideas or Red Planet Pictures which invest in any genre of successful TV show ideas such as ‘Hooten and the Lady’ a popular new series. I find this to be a positive outcome as this is helpful information for future ideas and projects, especially in giving career opportunities, but for the time of this production, it isn’t relevant as this production is designed as a short film rather than something larger and longer.
There is one company that would possibly be fitting for my production and this is the BFI Film Fund. They are interested in supporting UK filmmakers from any media background with interesting and engaging ideas of any genre and film production style. They have a large sum to invest in ideas as well as providing assistance throughout the whole production, which is funded through the national lottery. They encourage all filmmakers to apply, although an average of 90% of applications are rejected each year. This would be the best place for commissioning of my production as they fund and aid short films to be showcased on many platforms and festivals. There is the downfall of the high percentage of rejection so, although this is a good idea, this wouldn’t be very effective at all for this production in the end.
As commissioning isn’t relevant for all productions, this doesn’t really matter as my production is one that commissioning possibly isn’t right for. As my production is designed as a short film, investments from Kickstarter or Indiegogo and showcasing online on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo would be more relevant for this product. It would be a good idea to keep an eye out for any opportunities that arise by any company for commissioning of this particular product as there may be an opportunity that arises in the future.
After looking through YouTube for similar products to mine, I have found only one that is close to mine. This is called ‘Angel’, a short film about a young man whose life changes after discovering a beautiful and powerful angel. This film is relatively unknown as it has only 32,235 views, 311 likes and 47 dislikes, although the channel it is on, RodyPolis, has 5,000 subscribers.
As I couldn’t find many relevant existing products on the site, I decided to look into content and channels that influence both me and my idea. The first video I looked at is one of my influences for the idea, and filmmaking in general. This video is ‘Let It Be’ by Bertie Gilbert, a short involving a couple and death in human form who has to take one away but can’t bring herself to do it. This is a popular short film as it has over 413,500 views, 46,000 likes and only 214 dislikes. Bertie Gilberts channel has over 432,000 subscribers and he regularly showcases new short films on this channel. Over 41 uploads on his channel, he has over 6,000,000 video views and is predicted to earn $64-$1000 a month and $770-$12,300 a year.
Another influence of mine is the short film ‘Friend Like Me’ by Sammy Paul, which is about a guy called Toby, his genie and how he will use his last wish. This video is slightly more popular than the one by Bertie Gilbert, as this video has over 497,000 views but has less likes than ‘Let It Be’ with only 37,049 likes and 236 dislikes. Sammy Paul’s channel is more popular though as he has a subscriber number of over 79,000, although the two channels may share fans as they often collaborate regularly with each other on short films, such as with this video as Bertie Gilbert Stars in it. Over 32 videos on his channel, he has a collected 2,494,973 video views, and is estimated to earn between $113-$1,800 a month and $1,400-$21,600 a year.
I emailed both of these creators and asked for their help.
YouTube analytics is a control panel tool that allows you to view what is and isn’t working on your channel and show deeper insights that have proved to be vital for a channels success and growth. There are three parts to the analytics dashboard. First is real time, which allows you to see how many people are watching your channel and the views that are on the top videos that allow an estimate of real time views. There is also watch time reports, which allows a creator to see a breakdown of the total minute’s people watch content, information about who the viewers are, where they discover the channel from and what parts of a video cause them to stay or leave. The final part is engagement reports, which allows the creator to see how viewers respond to a channels videos and whether they like or dislike them. It also allows them to see which videos the viewers were talking in the comments; which videos were shared with friends on social media or which videos the viewers added to a playlist on their channel. It also shows whether the viewers clicked on additional features that are added on videos. There is also a feature that shows how much money is being made from videos and the channel and when the most is being made.
The creator can monitor and view their audience in the demographic report for their channel. This shows who views the videos and the channel by age, gender and geography. This breakdown of the audience and videos can help in making creative decisions that affect the content that is published to a channel.
When a creator looks into the watch time that the audience are viewing the channel, it shows what the audience like and how long they spend on that type of content, which can lead to decisions to create a series or playlist that groups that popular content together.
If a creator wants their channel to grow, then getting an audience to watch videos is vital. When the audience’s views, likes and dislikes are discovered, this can be used to create content that keeps them engaged and causes increases in the channels watch time. If a loyal community is built, this also helps to promote a creator’s videos and channel to new viewers through social networks. It takes time to build this loyalty but it is rewarding if done correctly. This is why likes and dislikes matter to a channel as they are a way of measuring the audiences interest in particular videos and also allows the creator to see what content is more or less popular than other pieces of content.
From this research into YouTube Analytics, I have discovered key information that is both useful within this project but also useful with my future career ideas. In terms of this project, I feel that it will be useful to use this control panel tool to monitor the audience to see whether I am reaching my intended target audience, such as through looking at the information about the audience demographics in the report. I could also find it useful to look at how long the content is being watched and whether the audience like or dislike it, and also whether they are commenting and sharing it with others. I could also use analytics to see if the audience use the links I provide to view the website and social media sites and how the audience have discovered the channel as this will help to evaluate the success of the of the product and its campaign. I could also use it to show and find ways of making content better and to be more successful for future productions. Overall, I feel this research has given me some very useful information to use on this production, other productions and possibly my future career.
Crowdfunding Case Study
Kickstarter is a website that allows creators to campaign and promote their creative work to a large audience, in hopes that the audience will pledge money and help to raise the creators target goal. The people that pledge money are thanked by using rewards that are earned with different money amounts that are pledged. These can be anything and are set by the creator of the campaign.
According to stats that are on the website, there has been a total of $2,670, 436, 216 pledged to projects on Kickstarter, with 113,623 projects being successful funded. Although, there is only around a 35% chance of a project being successful, with a total of 204,026 projects being unsuccessfully funded by their deadline. This makes the use of the website a well calculated risk, and why a successful and effective campaign is needed in order to funded well.
After spending some time researching effective Kickstarter campaigns for short films that a somewhat similar to my own ideas, I have found an example of how a campaign is successfully done, although the campaign is yet to reach its $3000 target goal. I have discovered from looking through and selecting what I found the most interesting to be, that not all the campaigns have any trailers or footage of the film. These campaigns are more to pitch the idea to the audience than show them apart of the film, which can be both effective and ineffective.
The campaign I found was relatively more alike with my own idea, this being the use of magic and portals and the theme of peoples souls, desires and wishes. This campaign was called ‘The Maker’. This is a short film about the character of the ‘Maker’ who help people to understand themselves by interacting with a person’s soul and guide to healing, while the makers carry the people’s burdens. He has mentor his apprentice who will become a ‘Maker’ herself one day. The film will take place over one day.
The campaign has reached a total of $1687 of the $3000 the creators pledged for, with only 9 days left of the campaign [as of 19/10/16] and 29 backers. The overall campaign is a successful and professional looking campaign as it shows a simple but detailed outline of the plot of the film without giving too much of the story away and what impact the film has on them. This is effective as it details the plot of the story, but it doesn’t give away any spoilers so that the audience stay gripped and also shows that the crew are dedicated to the film and filmmaking. The campaign also shows the crew and their budget plan of how they will use the money, so that pledgers will be able to see how the money raised will be used. This is effective as, if people see what the budget will be divided and used on, this information can help to influence their choice of pledging as they see that their money will be used effectively towards the film and that the crew are dedicated to making short films. The campaign page also outlines the risks that they will face, which shows they know what they are up against making the film, and also they include contact information so the audience can ask them questions regarding the film.
The support section where the audience pledges money, is also effective in gaining their target goal. The pledges range from $5 to $1000, with simple rewards for making a pledge, such as a shout out on their social media and your name in the credits, to copies of the film and soundtrack, to posters, concept art and props, to being names the producers or executive producers in the film. This section is professional and effective in creating a successful campaign by making sure that with each amount of money that is pledged to the film, they will be well rewarded for their donation.
The Video that they have added isn’t a trailer for the film, which most people would think is a bad idea, but it works more effectively if it isn’t. The video first gives the visuals for the titles, which are professional looking. This then goes to showing some concept artwork mixed with interviews with the crew discussing the project to the audience, as though they are pitching it to the audience so that they can gain the pledges from the audience to reach their goal. This makes the video effective because it shows the dedication the crew has to the project and gives a better idea for what the money that is pledged will help to create in the end.
Overall, I think this is a successful campaign for a good looking project. It uses effective methods to pitch the idea to the audience, while also outlining the budget breakdown so that the audience knows what their pledged money will be used for, while the audience get unique and great rewards for thanks for helping with the film. I will take all of these points into consideration when it comes to creating my campaign.