New questionnaire….

Posted: September 11, 2010 in Media

Here’s my new questionnaire. Hopefully more specific so that the answers I’m given are more helpful when I come to actually storyboard and then make my trailer… 

What would you expect from a trailer that has a cross genre of thriller/revenge? 

 Why did I choose this question??: 

Well I wanted to really get my audience brainstorming. Thinking about things in general they would expect from a thriller/revenge film and then allowing me to think: ‘shall I stick to what audiences expect from a film or should I push their perceptions and break the boundaries/conventions a bit?’  It’s a choice I’m going to have to make, but I’ll wait until I’ve heard what they’ve got to say until I  actually make any brash decisions… 

Do you like main characters in thriller/revenge films that you can sympathize with? 

 Why did I choose this question??: 

Well I want to know specifically about the characters audiences like- whether they prefer good guys or bad guys etc etc…and since I seem to struggle on characters sometimes- like I’m not sure of what role they play in the film, by asking what audiences prefer it could give me some idea of what kind of character my protagonist is going to be. 

Some people complain that thriller/revenge films are predictable- how do you think this could be overcome? 

 So, why did I choose this question??: 

After researching a lot into just revenge films (I felt I needed to because I know a lot about thrillers from the AS course, but not a lot about revenge films) I found a lot of people complaining they didn’t like revenge themed films because they were far too predictable and therefore, all too similar to distinguish. So, I don’t want a predictable trailer, so I thought I’d ask the audience whether they believed this to be true, and then their own personal ideas of how it could be overcome. It’s probably a long shot but it may inspire me to think of a way my trailer can break the rules of revenge films a little bit. 

Which are better in thriller/revenge films- male or female protagonists? 

 So, why did I choose this question??: 

This is pretty much a vital question: I’ve already chosen a male protagonist for my trailer, so if I find out they enjoy female protagonists better than erm well…I may have a problem there. Would I carry on with a male protagonist and ignore the results of my questionnaire completely? Or make a whole new plot just so I can make the audience happy? I don’t know, but I’m rather hoping they prefer male protagonists to be honest…which they did in my AS course questionnaire. Male protagonists won hands down that time…. 

What settings or locations would you expect in a thriller/revenge film? 

So, why did I choose this question??: 

Well, this is a thing I really am not very sure about…I have various locations available but I’m not that sure of which ones would be appropriate for the trailer I’m trying to create. So hopefully the audience will have some expectations of locations which I have to hand and this will help me decide where I need to set my trailer… 

What colours would you associate with a thriller/revenge film? 

 So, why did I choose this question??: 

Well, this I thought would be helpful not just to widen my knowledge of revenge films, but also for when I come to choose my titles for my trailer. As I’ve realised from constant analysis that titles are pretty vital for trailers I think that by the audience telling me what colours they associate with thriller/revenge films it could help me choose what colours to have my titles…  

My Plot idea: 

A stranger moves into a village with his child, 

No one ever sees the child, though at first it seems that it is just because the man is a bit controlling, but later it appears it is more than that, 

Meanwhile, the local youth founders are being threatened/intimidated and then picked off one by one: although their deaths are each thought to be accidents/suicides, 

Although a girl who attends the local youth club believes their deaths are suspicious, 

She blames the stranger and tries to find out whether he is the culprit, 

He is, but he has a good reason for what he did: revenge, 

When he was younger, he attended the same youth club, which was still run by the same people, 

And they exposed him to crime and turned him into a criminal, 

He reveals that the boy he has with him is in fact him: it is his innocence, the innocence he lost, which explains why no one ever saw him, 

So he kills the last member and then turns himself into the police, 

But the girl is left wondering whether he fully deserves to go to prison as he actually saved her from having her and a lot of other child’s innocences destroyed too. 

Do you like this idea? If yes, why? If not, what could be done to improve it? 

So, Why did I choose this question??: 

Well it’s pretty obvious really. I want to get my idea out there to the audience and see if they would enjoy it if it were to be made into a film. Because if a film’s plot isn’t that steady or thrilling then the trailer isn’t going to be too good either. So by telling them the basics of my plot idea they can hopefully give me some feedback. Hopefully they’ll like and say why, which will probably give me things to emphasise in my trailer. If they don’t like it, feedback can always help me develop it to make it more appealing to the audience… 

  

Do you think making a character who isn’t actually real could mislead/confuse audiences?Do you think it is therefore a good idea to include the character? 

 So, why did I choose this question??: 

Still on the subject of my plot, it is one of the things that is most bugging me about my coursework: I am always changing ideas or making them too confusing for others to understand (or maybe it’s just the way I explain things) but I think my idea of making a character out to be real in the trailer, and then in the film he turns out not to be real, could be somewhat confusing. Of course I want to mislead my audience, but I don’t want to totally confuse them out of their minds. So, feedback should help me decide whether to change this part of the story, or keep it in or maybe even change/develop it a little. 

  

Out of the plot of I have give you what do you think I should/shouldn’t include in the trailer? 

 So, Why did I choose this question??: 

Obvious reasons a side, I do get quite in a muddle when it comes to choosing what to leave in the trailer and what not too, as trailers are very misleading and confusing things most of the time. And it’s as hard to make something seem confusing as it is to understand something confusing. Anyway, their ideas may inspire me to think about things I want to include in the trailer and tell me what I definitely shouldn’t put in… 

What kind of balance (genre wise) do you want to see in the trailer? Like, would you want revenge to be obvious? 

 So, why did I choose this question??: 

Well, the thing with doing a mixed genre is that I want both genres to appear clearly to the audience in the trailer- so they can judge whether they’d want to watch it (which, from the other questionnaire I did, they apparently prefered). But I’m not sure whether to make one genre more dominant than the other…and I think I should ask the audience as well, they’re going to be the ones watching it! 

Do you think that a lot of violence is appropriate to include in a thriller/revenge trailer? 

 So, why did I choose this question??: 

From watching a lot of thriller/revenge films lately, I felt that revenge normally resulted in violence. And I mean a lot of it. We have Richard in ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ st*bbing people and punching them so hard their necks snap and kill them…and in ‘Sweeney Todd’ he slits throats, bashes heads in with kettles and turns them into meat pies…so yes, revenge films do not seem to be the nicest of viewing in terms of genre, and I want to know a few things: Do the audience expect it? Do they want it? And more importantly: do they want it in a trailer? Because personally I don’t feel I could film violence and make it look real enough…considering the equipment/resources I have… 

Do you think that subtle hints at violence may be more effective than just seeing it? 

 So, why did I choose this question??: 

Well, because this is what I have my heart set on to include in my trailer: instead of having full blown violence, to include subtle hints at violence that are easier to film (for me at least) and would look more professional. So, do they want these subtle hints?? That’s what I’d like to know. 

Do you value music as an important factor for a thriller/revenge trailer? Why? Can you give any ideas as to what kind of music would suit my kind of trailer? 

 So, why did I choose this question??: 

I know music is important in trailers and films. That I’ve been told in almost every questionnaire I’ve ever created. But, this questionnaire is about being specific and I specifically want to know what kind of music the audience expects from a thriller/revenge so that I can take their answers in and have something in mind when I actually go to search for the music for my trailer. 

Do you think a voice over would be useful for my trailer? Why? 

 So, why did I choose this question??: 

Because I can’t stand voice overs. I really can’t. Especially in trailers. And I really really don’t want to include one in my own trailer as I think it’d take away the tone I’m trying to create and would sound cheesy when revenge/thrillers are all usually pretty serious and horrible films. So I hope the audience will tell me what they want and justify their thoughts on voice overs in trailers to help me decide whether to include one or not. Of course, the audience knows best, and if they really dow ant a voice over, I might have to think about including one! 

Do you think dialogue is useful to convey information in a trailer or can it give too much away? 

So, why did I choose this question??: 

Well I thought it’d be a good idea because I found dialogue to be pretty two sided in trailers. A lot of the time I thought it was useful because it: gives information to the audience about the plot/characters, can be used to trick audiences/deceive them and adds atmosphere to the trailer itself, as well as a lot of other things. But, sometimes too much dialogue can give too much information away or drag out the time of the trailer (like including whole conversations) which can make the trailer boring and slow. So I want to know what opinion the audience has of dialogue within trailers and then I can decide (when I go to actually film) whether the dialogue is vital, has a purpose and is actually doing something to help my trailer convey information tot he audience, and also whether it’s giving too much of the plot away. Of course, some trailers have absolutely no dialogue to build tension (like a ‘War of the Worlds’ one I have seen) and this might be something to consider depending on what the audiences answers are.

So, there is my questionnaire, and now I’m off to hand it out to a wide variety of people being sure to consider getting a diverse range of age groups and gender to fill it out and hand it back into me…

And  by the way any words I’ve put a * in is a word that I have predicted the school’s computers won’t approve of, but hopefully you can work out what it says.

I’ll post the results later, and analyse what I have discovered and come to a conclusion of what I will do with the rsults I have got…

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