Genre Expectations Audience Research

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Genre Expectations: Audience Research and Survey:

Genre Expectations: Audience Research and Survey Jamie-Lee Clarke Her Duplicity: Crime Thriller


This question provided a mixed response. Since the majority of those asked claimed that an interesting narrative is the most important component, I will ensure that my opening sequence has items that keep the narrative exciting. For instance either dropping a clue, or ending the sequence on a cliff-hanger. 30% of respondents also implied that dialogue is an important component to have and s o I will aim to use this as either diegetic on-going conversations between characters or an asynchronous voice over. It is additionally just as important to include some stunts in our opening sequence as 30% of those asked claimed it is their most important component. Including stunts will even help promote an interesting narrative. However, as 0% of these people asked claimed that props were not their most important, I will divert my attention to improving the narrative but still consider how props can help the opening sequence become more realistic. Everybody who responded to this survey were in agreement with each other as they have claimed that the most appropriate type of sound is fast and dramatic. This indicates to me that I must use a heavy non-diegetic soundtrack in order to keep my audience entertained and also to match with the genre. It has been implied that having any other type of music will not build the tension, but tension is a significant element of this sequence and therefore I will not use any other type of soundtrack. When composing this soundtrack, I shall aim to include instruments such as drums and guitars to ramp up the intensity. As 0% of those asked answered no sound at all, it is essential that we include some form of sound, and in preference some that is upbeat.


The most popular convention, by 60% for a crime thriller, was complexity. This demonstrates that we must include some forms to portray this. For instance, we could use more characters, add more dramatic music or purposely confuse the characters. I aim to use several characters but I have to be careful as the narrative can becomes too unclear for the audience. 40% declared that they prefer a cliff-hanger. As a result of this statistic, I will ensure that my opening sequence ends with a cliff-hanger. By doing this, I will leave my audience in suspense which is a convincing quality in an opening sequence. Despite 0% claiming that an interesting narrative is a popular convention, I aim to include one anyway. This is because I associate a police investigation with crime. As with any opening sequence there is always a protagonist and an antagonist. 90% of respondents claimed that they expect to see a protagonist. This indicates to me that I should include a protagonist in mine. To subvert this expectation, I will include several “good” characters, with this positive representation I will include the police as their work is beneficial to society. With 0% of those asked stating that they expect to see a sidekick or a damsel-in-distress perhaps it would be in our best interests to not include one, since they are not expected anyway. However, to add another dynamic to the opening sequence, I shall aim to use an antagonist, as agreed by 10% of the respondents. In order to include an antagonist I will have to ensure that within the narrative of the sequence “good vs evil” can clearly be defined.


I thought that this was a significant question to ask for my planning as this would give me an indication of how to develop the storyline. For example, the overall majority of respondents, 80%, said that they expect to see two locations in a crime thriller opening sequence. Since this can make the sequence become more stimulating, it is thoughtful convention to take on board therefore I shall hope to use at least two locations in my opening sequence. 0% also claimed that having one location was expected. I can appreciate this statistic as I know this would make the sequence dull and not as engaging for the audience. Although, I believe that more than four location s would be too complex and unrealistic for a crime thriller opening sequence. Fortunately, 0% of those asked believed this too. For this question, the majority of the respondents, by 90% were swayed with the idea that low-key lighting is the most suitable lighting for a crime thriller opening sequence. This seems like an accurate figure as low-key lighting sets the mood as dark and suspenseful. In order to include some form of low-key lighting in my opening sequence, I will edit the footage, but being careful to make sure that it does not affect the subject of the shot too much. Alternatively, 10% stated that they expect to see high-key lighting. With this in consideration, high-key lighting can be used to represent concentration or focus, something that is often felt in an opening sequence of a crime thriller. Consequently, I will plan to use scenes in which high-key lighting can be used. Despite 0% of respondents demanding that they expect to see natural lighting, I intend to use it anyway otherwise the genre can be confused with sci-fi.


This question again, had a majority response of 90%. This time, the question asked was what is expected first as an audience member watching a crime thriller opening sequence. The most popular answer was sound. As most leading films in the industry, they begin with sound. To replicate this, (agreeing our sequence to be as convincing as possible), I will begin the sequence with sound also. The remaining 10% of those asked, stated that they expect to see credits appear first. Credits can take place in many forms such as the distributers, film crew, sound crew. With this in mind, I plan to follow the use of sound to begin my trailer with the film distributer. Even though they are many other various ways to begin the sequence, I will follow the pattern of sound and credits as this is what the audience will appreciate the most. The population of this response remains divided. 100% were certain that crime thriller is either their preferred genre or not. The even distribution of this response makes it fairly difficult to asses what the audience would prefer to see. There perhaps are conventions from other genres that can be used in order to captivate those belonging to the 50% of not preferring crime thriller. Some of these codes include a disequilibrium, stunts, love story. We will thoroughly assess these options to determine which conventions to include in ours. It is just as important though to impress the remaining 50% who prefer crime thriller. As asked through previous questions in the survey, I now know ways in which I can do this.


Half of those asked this question, responded by declaring that the location they expect to see in a crime thriller film is a police station. This is a satisfying statistic as I plan to use a police station in my sequence. I believe that crime thrillers are too complicated without one. However, 30% stated that they expect to see a urban town. As a result of this, it would be in my best interest to include a town in my sequence. This seems like a good idea as earlier 80% of the audience claim that they anticipate to see two locations within the sequence. The remaining 20% of the data was divided equally, with 10% stating to see woods, and 10% claiming to see a rural town. If I was making more than an opening sequence, I would have aimed to have used to use them, therefore is not necessary for this task. By asking this question I learnt that 80% of my respondents believe to see an establishing shot within the opening sequence of a crime thriller. To portray this, when creating the shot list I will try to include establishing shots. These can be best used to suggest a location, such as a police station or a town. Even though 0% claimed to see close-ups and mid-shot I will still plan to use them as I believe they capture emotion the most, which is an essential part of a crime thriller. 20% though did claim to see two shots. These are particularly effective to demonstrate how one persons action can affect another. If the opportunity arises to include them in my opening sequence shot list, I will.