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Q3: What have you learned from your audience feedback? : 

Q3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Slide 2: 

I decided to put our products up on social networking site Facebook for my peers and target audience, people aged 15 plus, to view. I have gained some insightful feedback which then helped me to change my product to make it better and even more convincing. When it came to our trailer, some real inspiration and a learning curve came from comments from past students of media who gave some great feedback which helped us in developing our idea and creating a more understandable overall product. At first the trailer was all over the place, with an unclear narrative to anyone who had not been told what the story was, which I know is not good for trailers, as if people are confused, they will not want to then go and watch the full film in fear that they will be wasting money on something they may not understand. One frequent question put to us by the audience about our first draft trailer was when it came to the scene with the girl walking through the school then throwing paper, what was exactly going on. It was not clear to them. I immediately knew this would have to be changed as if it was not clear to them, it would not be clear to anyone else, so this was changed to a scene of the killer smashing up a picture of a boy, who she later goes on to kill. This scene does what we wanted and shows a violent streak to the person, as that is what we intent to classroom scene to do, but it was undeveloped and needed explanation so would not have worked. Our new scene, I think, works well, and I owe this to the audience and their feedback and just that alone showed me how important it is to listen to the audience and see what their thought are as they are the ones who will be purchasing the products and they have to like it to want it.

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Also, some people stated that the chase/wood scene was a little too long, and as I learnt from my GCSE work, a long running scene can be the difference between a good film or a bad film! So to break this up we had the idea to cross cut this with a murder. And I am really happy that this came up from the audience comments as this works far better than what we wanted to do at first, as it not only cuts up the what could have been a overly long scene, but also helps to give a connotation that there are two sides to the girl. It may not be extremely obvious, but you may be able to infer she is the killer, and it shows her two frames of mind, vulnerable running through the woods, but also calculated and vicious when killing someone. It also allowed room for a mix in the mode of address as it goes from quite serious to nervous and jumpy. As we had not added music to our draft trailer many people observed that this was a problem as they were not able to comment on it as, obviously, sound can be very important as it can add to the atmosphere or could even create a juxtaposed effect with contrapuntal sounds being used. So when we added sound I kept this in mind and referred to these comments and made sure that the sound added was relevant and helped give something to the trailer instead of just being there for the fact of being there.

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From our first poster, one comment that was given was the unrealistic look of the eyes as the red was too visible and made it look quite inadvertently comical, and I took this into account when editing the second/final poster image and only gave a slight redness to the eyes to help them look conventionally ‘evil’ but not to the point of parody. I think this paid off as many people commented on how this works well to give a subtle horror connotation to the poster. On the first poster the text was slightly unclear and this was brought up by many people which indicated to me it was a problem, so we decided to make sure every single part of text was visible and this meant that the institutional information was taken off, but as we have a website I do not think this matter much as now everyone can go online and research if they wanted to, giving more power to the audience and giving way to the online revolution.

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One comment that was helpful and led to the complete change of the poser image was about the flower taking the focus and drawing attention to it when it was actually accidentally included, and also that the landscape layout didn’t work with this particular image as it was stretched to fit. I am glad this was brought up otherwise I we may have stayed with this first image and now looking I believe our final poster is so much better and many of the audience agree. What was very good as well was the many comments about the white outline around the killer on our second poster as they believed it to look odd and the black background good but the idea of it being a mirror did not come across, so I suggested that a metallic colour as the background and they all agreed this would work better. I am glad I listened as it really does add that extra detail to the poster and is easier to understand that it is supposed to be someone looking in the mirror at a reflection.

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With the magazine which was mainly my creation, I think the suggestion to take some more pictures really did help as now I can see the final image is so much better and the fact it is a close up helps to fill the frame and draw the audience in, whereas before the cover was too bare and there was a lot of wasted space which when filled with screen shots from the trailer really didn’t work. Some people also mentioned that the image was slightly too bright for them, as it was supposed to be promoting a horror film. Low key lighting would give a darker atmosphere and therefore scary mode of address. I adopted this idea when it came to my final cover, and I think the red filter works just as well to impart this ‘darker’ mode of address, and many liked this added touch which helps define it from other magazine and stand out, which reinforced my choice. As the magazine was to advertise our film, I realised that there was no indication to the split personality theme hinted at in both poster and trailer. I decided to add this crucial idea into the new magazine cover and many people commented that the light and dark contrast created by the knife in the middle anchored the split in personality, but also added a ‘creepy’ disturbing touch to the whole image, and when people first saw the image a comment that was very good gave me the indication that it should be included.

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The audience feedback was very important as they are the ones who, at the end of the day, the products are aimed at and if they did not like or understand them then it would be no hope for other. It also allowed me to have hope in my idea going from just a list of shots to a fully finished trailer which has many of the conventions of a horror trailer in and did give some people a thrill. But it also helped me have confidence in my work. I wanted people to like it, and as they could all tell the work was fit for purpose: that the poser was advertising a film, the magazine cover was a magazine cover and the trailer was trailer for a horror film, is showed me that I had achieved my goal.

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