Welcome, this is our AS media Coursework blog.

In our group there is Becky Wholley and Hannah Ferreira. Our media coursework is a two minute opening to a horror film, our production is called Sleep Tight.
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Sunday, 13 February 2011

HF - Audience Research

The target audience for our coursework is teenagers as it will fit into the teen horror genre. All films in that specific genre contain teenage actors or actresses as does ours. Our film has a similar theme/story line to that of Prom Night and therefore we have teenage actors in ours. Our film opening to 'Sleep Tight' is set in the 1990's and the present day. This appeals to the younger audience more than period films do.

The main target audience for horror is teenagers and 'twenty somethings'. Age 15-24. We would give 'Sleep Tight' a BBFC rating of 15. The BBFC guidelines for a 15 rated movie are as followed,

Films under this category can contain adult themes, hard drugs, strong words, moderate-strong violence/sex references, and mild non-detailed sex activity.

We chose '15' as a rating as there are flashing graphic images of an attacked girl. Her face looks bruised and there is much blood coming from her stomach and chest area. It is typical representation of a 'wet death'. The girl is in a bath with a white vest top and jeans whereas before she was wearing a blue turtle neck jumper and and a denim shirt. The change of clothing is ambiguous. A possible interpretation is that the killer stripped her of some layers in attempted sexual assault. This is another reason for why we chose 15 as a suitable rating. 

Many people who spend money on films are young and so many genres with this target audience are very successful. An example of teen horror success is:

Scream (1996)
Directed by Wes Craven. The gross takings from the film was $103,001,286 (USA).

A new wave of low budget Brit Horror was pioneered by Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. Shaun of the Dead, Dog Soldiers, Wilderness and Creep followed the lead.  However, These were not as successful as the Hollywood films of the genre. This may be an argument against our film being successful as it would be classed as a low budget Brit horror film. Nevertheless, I feel it would be a popular film with teenagers as there are many teen horror films such as Jennifer's Body (2009), Prom Night (2008), All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006) and Sorority Row (2009).
These have been successful as Jennifer's Body had had a gross of (USA): $16,195,523, (UK): £1,196,718.

Ethnicity: Our film only contains caucasian actors and actresses. In our film we challenged the codes and conventions of horror and had our stereotypical final girl killed. We wanted her to look like the typical final girl which is white and dark haired. The young girl that we had available to play Rachel was also white and therefore we needed a caucasian teenage girl to play the older version of Rachel. 
We were also restricted to the actors available to us and due to the surrounding school area being predominantly caucasian we did not have a multi-ethnic cast. 
Jennifer's Body is an all white cast apart from one actor, Sal Cortez, who has Spanish ethnic roots. 

Gender: The target gender audience for our film is female. The main characters are female. If we were to create the entire film, the story would continue to show the little girl grow up and be followed by her stalker who is trying to kill her. She would fulfill the role of the Final Girl and not be killed. This would draw in a female audience as there is a girl portrayed as tough, strong and resourceful. There are attractive young women in our film which would appeal to the male audience. It could be argued that the bath photos of the attacked babysitter could provide material for the voyeuristic male gaze (Laura Mulvey's feminist theory). 
We have not included any Scream Queen archetypes such as flaunting flesh and exaggerating beauty by making them wear lots of make-up. This is because the Scream Queen is portrayed as the Final Girl.

Nationality/Region: In 'Sleep tight' there are nationally diverse actors and actresses. The main actress in our film opening has a naturally North American accent due to her having migrated to Britain. This contrasts to the accents of the child 'Rachel' and the teenage actors as they have standard English accents which could be interpreted as southern English. Their dialect is similar to those typically portrayed in Hollywood films with an English accent, rather than a strong, localized accent. The easily recognizable English accents and the North American accent would help not only tap into a UK-wide audience but a nation-wide audience.

Fans of... Prom Night (2008) and When a Stranger Calls (2006) would appreciate our film opening as there are similarities within the plot line. It may also appeal to fans of other teenage girl slasher movies such as sorority house massacre as there are similar themes of horror conventions.

Sexuality: In our film we do portray the default hetrosexual relationship; however this is not dwelt on as there is only a small snipet of the teenage actors holding hands.

Socio-economic Groupings: Our film does not contain a complexed plot and there is little dialogue therefore it would appeal to more to a C1/C2DE audience which includes middle and lower class. Also, because the film is centered on teenagers, the ABC1 audience, upper and upper middle class, may not be drawn in as it could be argued that it is not intellectually stimulating.

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