Target Audience Research Results

My target audience research has allowed me to hear and understand what my audience want to see/expect in my short film and how I can meet their demands best so that it makes it enjoyable for the audience and lives up to their expectations.

I had 100 people answer my survey allowing me to get many different opinions and therefore can use the feedback to improve my final product (short film).



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64.65% of the people who answered the survey were female, however this doesn’t mean that the majority of people who watch my final product will be female and therefore I will not target the female audience as I want my film to attract both males and females. 70% of were between the age of 15-18 which is ideal for my film as it will be rated 15 due to the themes and references within the film. Therefore, my film will not be able to be watched by people under 15 due to the slight gore.


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The audience feedback was relatively mixed as 44% said they would prefer an open ambiguous ending, 39% would prefer a closed clear ending and only 17% would rather a circular narrative. I will definitely not have a circular ending as this is the least favoured option and this could be because this type of narrative can sometimes be confusing and unclear. I will have an ambiguous ending for my short film as it will leave the audience wondering “what happens next?” and therefore get them hooked and make them remember my film and possibly recommend someone else to watch it as well.


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Despite 53% of people stating that they prefer low-key lighting in an action thriller, for my chase scene I believe having natural lighting will add to the sense of realism for the audience. However, for other aspect of my film (such as the murder flashbacks) I will use low-key lighting to make the scene more eerie and dark.


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38% of people said that they would prefer for the antagonist’s identity to be revealed at the end of the film and I will therefore reveal their identity at the end of the film so the audience can keep guessing throughout the film at who they are and keep them intrigued, furthermore it will enable me to add in a plot twist (making my film more memorable).


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42% said that a voiceover in an action thriller wouldn’t be an effective way for the protagonist to express their thoughts, however, due to my previous research I believe it could engage the audience more (especially if there is only a voiceover throughout and starts immediately) but I will add a montage of shots to add a visual aid for the audience as well.


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52.53% of people said that their preferred ‘typical’ plot twist is that the hero is in fact the villain, which I will use in two different ways: 1. the ‘hero’ actually turns out to have murdered someone previously and 2. that the ‘villain’ is actually the ‘hero’s’ conscience/guilt.


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60% of people said that a mixture of both hand-held shots and POV shots would make the chase scene seem more realistic and therefore I will use a mixture of the both, as well as shots using a tri-pod (ECU, CU, MS, LS, ELS, etc) to make it seem more professional.


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64.65% of people said that using music in a fight/chase scene could emphasise the violence/drama and therefore I will use dramatic music to make the scene overall more intense and gripping for the audience to watch.


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These are a few of the most important answers from my target audience:

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Having an open question has allowed me to get feedback and answers that I necessarily wouldn’t have thought of (such as creating confusion to the audience) and I will take all these answers and either use or at least consider using in my film to get the greatest affect on the audience as possible.

Suspense, editing, surprise, plot twists and music were mentioned multiple times from the 100 people who answered my survey and therefore I consider these to be the most vital aspects/elements in my short film and do everything I can to make these areas especially high quality. For example, I will look online for editing tutorials to make my editing skills of a higher quality as well as finding music and sound effects that fit my film perfectly.



Target Audience Research

I have created a survey of 10 questions (both open and closed questions) on SurveyMonkey from which I will gain 100 responses and analyse them.

Link to my survey:

Furthermore, once I have created my first draft of the action thriller short film, I will hold a focus group to see what other people think that I could/should improve on. Then, to see if I have improved, I will hold another one (at least) with the same people.

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Short Film Test Shots

I went to Langley Park in summer which is the location of my short film chase, murder and action scenes. I brought the actor to go through what I want him to do (e.g when to stop and when to jump over an obstacle etc) and ensure that he was capable of it, as well as giving him a clear idea of what I have envisioned and the paths he would have to follow. This means that it will save time as well as helping me figure out what I’d like to do in the film.

I took cameras with my to take pictures of angles I’d want to use and also give me visual aids of what I would like to film as well as what I wouldn’t like to film and overall saving time. I used many different shots and angles as well as different positions and actions I want the actor to carry out.

Test shots:



Marvel Entertainment is an American entertainment company founded only 19 years ago, in 1998 which merged with the Marvel Entertainment Group Inc and ToyBlz. The company is now owned by the Walt Disney Company. Marvel Studios formerly under the Marvel umbrella, became a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, where it develops and produces a shared universe that shares continuity with shows produced by the TV unit. Disney bought Marvel Entertainment for $4billion in 2009.


Quote from Ronald Perelman (an American business man who has invested in comic book publishing and TV and is the 96th richest person in the world):

“It is a mini-Disney in terms of intellectual property, Disney’s got much more highly recognised characters and softer characters, whereas our characters are termed action heroes. But at Marvel we are now in the business of the creation and marketing of characters.”

Marvel Comics:

Marvel Comics was founded 78 years ago in 1939 by Martin Goodman as ‘Timely Publications’ and by the early 1950s, had generally become known as ‘Atlas Comics’. In 1961 the company launched ‘The Fantastic Four’ and other superhero’s (created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and many others) which became well-known and popular.

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Martin Goodman (1908-1992) was an American Publisher of pulp magazines, paperback books, men’s adventure magazines and comic books.







Walt Disney

Walt Disney is a world-wide famous mass media company which is the second largest media company in terms of revenue in the world.


Disney was founded 93 years ago in 1923 by two brothers: Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney and at first it was just an American animation company but now has expanded into film (both animated and live-action), TV and even into theme parks in Florida and Paris etc. Walt Disney made a short film called “Alice’s Wonderland” in 1923 and the brothers formed the ‘Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio’ which was renamed later to ‘Walt Disney Studio’.

In 1928, to recover from the loss of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Disney came up with the idea of Mickey Mouse, however was actually originally called ‘Mortimer’. Steamboat Willie was hugely popular, but actually due to the use of synchronised sound and not the character. Today, although it is not played anymore, it is still highly recognised.

Steamboat Willie


In 1934 Disney produced its first feature-length film which took three years to make, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and became the highest grossing film of that time by 1939. These remarkable profits were used to buy a 51 acre piece of land in California and make the official headquarters of the new Walt Disney Studios.

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Snow White


In 1954, Walt Disney used his ‘Disneyland’ series (made on NBC by teaming up with Coca-Cola) to unveil what would become ‘Disneyland’, a “place where adults and children could have fun at the same time”. After this theme park attracted people from all around the world, they then expanded and built a second ‘Disney World’ in Florida.

They went on to make many more popular films including:

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Lady and the Tramp (1955)


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Sleeping Beauty (1959)




One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)


And many more.

However, in 1966 Walt Disney died due to lung cancer so Roy took over as Chairman, CEO and president of the company and renamed the previous “Disney World” to “Walt Disney World” in honour of his brother. He continued to produce films including the ‘Jungle Book’, ‘The Love Bug’ and many more. But then, in 1971 Roy O. Disney died due to a stroke and left the company to Donn Tatum, Card Walker and Ron Miller (Walt’s son-in-law) who were all trained by both of the Disney Brothers.

Disney kept making family friendly films however, they did not do as well as previous films in terms of box office. So, they hired outside producers from film projects and also entered a joint venture with Paramount Pictures in 1980 for the films ‘Popeye’ and ‘Dragonslayer’, the first time Disney has ever collaborated with another studio.

Finally, in 1982, the Disney family sold the naming rights and rail-based attractions to the Disney film studio for 818,461 shares of Disney stock then worth $42.6 million none of which went to Retlaw.

Disney has is now one of the biggest and arguably the most famous film studios in the world. They have expanded vastly throughout the years in order to ensure their success. One of their most popular attractions are their theme parks:

Walt Disney World Photo Gallery Disc



In 2016, the Disney theme parks hosted over 140.4 million guests, making the parks the world’s most visited theme park company worldwide.

They have a total of 11 theme parks in the world including:

  • Paris
  • Florida
  • Miami

As well as plans to build more Disney Theme Parks in Kent, England in the next few years.


Action Thriller Genre

The action thriller genre is very popular, and these are some examples of very famous action thrillers:

  • The Bourne Identity (2002)
  • Taken (2008)
  • Die Hard (1988)
  • Kingsman (2014)
  • Dunkirk (2017)

A thriller is a film with an exciting plot, usually involving crime and gives the audience intense emotions, such as fear or suspense.

An action is a film in which the protagonist or protagonists end up in a series of challenges that typically include violence, extended fighting, physical feats, and frantic chases.

Common conventions in a thriller film:

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Low-key lighting and black and white scenes




Sound is very important as it helps set the mood and tone of the film. Sometimes sound can be completely absent to create suspense. There are also diegetic sounds which add to the realism such as ambient sounds and breathing/heart rate.


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Camera angles such as CUs and ECUs help either hide the character or even highlight the characters emotions. The camera angles used are vital as they can portray hidden meaning.


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Editing is vital in both the action and thriller genre as it can be used to speed up the pace of the scene (usually by using jump cuts) or even use slow motion to intensify the scene. Montages are also often used to show a period of time passing.

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Plot twists are very common in a thriller film and play an important part as they engage the audience, shock them and put them on the edge of their seats as well as making the film memorable and stand out from other films, (“Luke I Am Your Father… anyone?).


Common conventions of the action genre:



The storyline in an action usually consists of a protagonist (hero) trying to stop the antagonist (villain) by using any means, but mainly violence.


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Camera angles such as CUs and ECUs help either hide the character or even highlight the characters emotions. The camera angles used are vital as they can portray hidden meaning.



Intense music is usually used to make the scene more dramatic. This is also done by using diegetic sound effects to also make the scene seem more realistic by using sounds of explosions, gunshots, cars, screaming and running etc.




Editing is typically the same as in the thriller genre.


In my short film, I will combine these common conventions of both the genres but also may break some conventions to make my short film unique and stand out.