So that I could get a better understanding of who my target market was and what their general preferences were, I created an online questionnaire. I conducted this survey online as studies have shown that people will answer questions more honestly to a computer than if they were handed the questionnaire by a person and therefore I will be able to get more accurate answers of what the audience actually wants, rather than what they think the enquirer would like to hear. From my questionnaire I found out that that the majority of my target market were males between the ages of 10 and 18, which means that I will have to include people of that age group, and content that they would like to see in my film so it is more appealing to them. I then found out that the target demographic usually goes to see films with a group of their friends which would mean that I should perhaps incorporate a group oriented theme throughout my film, and have links to share the films website on social networking sites, also it was said that the audience would prefer it if there were characters that they could relate to, so I will try and incorporate a group dynamic into the story of the film so that the film is appealing to the audience. From question 5, the matrix question I discovered that the preferred genre was horror/thriller and the second most popular genre was drama, so I will have to ensure that my film will me a dramatic horror movie. To appeal the majority audience I will try and make the story line appear strong through the website as the answers from question 6 suggest that the target demographic will prefer a strong story line, also from question 8 I found out that that the trailer is included in the website, it has an attractive design and a downloads page to make the website most effective at a appealing to the target audience. And finally question 7 showed me that the most effective type of trailer would be a cross between a drip campaign and a revealing trailer so I will have to make my trailer mysterious but with a focus on the story line.
After the questionnaire I conducted a focus group with people that would be classed as a part of my target market so that I could get a better idea of what they would like to see from the film I will be producing. From the first question I found out that the target demographic would like to see a film in the same vein as 28 Days Later as it falls into the dramatic horror category as well as incorporating several other genres such as action. I then created few mock-ups of film posters with different names that could be used for my film and got the focus group to pick which they liked the best, the name with the best response was Infected so that is what I will call my film so that I can make the biggest impact on my target market. The next question was with reference to the design of the website, from which I found out that a simple design would be most effective and in the next question I found out that it was most effective because it’s simple, user friendly, has an attractive background and has the trailer featured on the main page. I also found out from the focus group that trailers that feature images related to the film so that they get an idea of what the film is about but without revealing too much about the story.
As a final part of my audience research, I conducted a mini questionnaire on the IMDB forums. Because I had already found out who my target market was and what sort of film they wanted I was able to ask more direct questions about the film. From my forum research I found out that the most important elements of the film are believable characters and a strong storyline which tells me that I must somehow communicate the strong storyline and characters into the trailer. I also found out that in the trailer I will have to make sure that zombies that are featured in the trailer are generally obscured so that the audience is only just aware of what they are as this was the most popular choice. Finally I asked whether the zombies should be of the sprinting variety or the slow shuffling kind, the response I got was mixed, so to keep to the connotations set by the textual analysis’s of the other 3 films I will make the infected in my film the running sort, also I think it has more of a frantic and dramatic edge over the kind you can just outrun.