Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Potential audiences for short films...

The range of audiences who view short films is of a much smaller scale than that of a 'Hollywood' feature film. The reason for this is due to a range of institutional implications. The main reason being; short films are rarely commissioned, therefore generally based around a low budget for production and distribution costs. This means that it is more difficult for a short film to meet large audiences; distribution is limited due to the low budget available, therefore such issues as promotion arise and directors of short films do not have the money to promote their short films to a wide range of audiences to find out about. Limited oppurtunites to view short films has led to the development of niche audiences; these are groups of people who are specifically interesed in this type of film. For example schools who use short films as a form of teaching in particular in citizenship lessons, film festival goers, media students in college or university who use short films as a form of research or just generally watch them for self entertainment and large film directors who use short films as a means to discover successful independant film directors who they may potentially consider employing; for example Hollywood directors looking for new employees. Directors of short films are familiar with the certain audience they aim to please therefore the conventions they portray intend to meet the likes of these niche audiences. For example if an independant director wanted to become noticed by a big Hollywood director they would use unique and original styles in terms of cinematography, editing, sound, mise en scene, furthermore a unique theme and narrative structure. Through having a low budget it shows the producer that they have the ability to work at a low budget yet produce something that is of good quality and is unique. This intended short film is a great way to become discovered by big film producers.
A short film named 'Alive in Joburg' directed by a man named Neill Blomkamp was intentionally created to meet the likes of big Holywood directors- a specific audience. His short film was successful and has gained thousands of hits on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ1vHRs_EOs.

The rise in internet technology has opened a door to the distribution of potential short films. Before the internet it was hard for a new film director to distribute their films, mainly having to rely on competitions and film festivals to become noticed, however the internet and such commonly used sites like Youtube have provided this oppurtunity to many talented film directors. Youtube is a free and easy site to use; you sign up and upload your videos, which internet browsers can then view and share. All different demographics of people use the internet; from big budget film directors to Year 12 media students. When a video on Youtube is viewed and the person watching likes it, it can then be distributed further to friends via such sites as Facebook and Myspace, the constant viewing of the video will up the views and eventually may become a constantly searched Youtube video, this `viral` effect allows short films to become recognized. For example if you were a University student studying media and film you may want to research short films, by typing into Youtube `short films` the highest viewed `short films` are likely to come up first this further increases views. Youtube has aided the search for talented film directors to provide films for film festivals and in turn the likes of big budget experienced directors.

Neill Blomkamp's Alive in Joburg went through this process of success on the internet which lead to recognision by big directors- which he was aiming at. The internet provided the oppurtunity to come into contact with big directors and he was offered many director roles. He bgecame the director of 'District 9' a science fiction thriller following similar conventions of his short film Alive in Joburg. He had a much bigger budget to work with of $30 million dollars, which enabled greater distribution; therefore this film met a larger range of audiences in comparison to his short film, this showing how short films have limited audiences in comparison to bigger budget films.

The Effect limited audiences may have on our film...

As the audiences for short film are much more significant relying mainly on niche audiences, this could affect the potential audience for our film. For example if we choose the film to be a romantic comedy theme it is most likely it will be made purely for entertainment purposes. It may not fit into a niche audience catagory well. However if the romantic comedy theme was unique and challenged common conventions of the genre it may meet the audience of big directors looking for successful independant directors to take on or it could meet the likes of young media students who like to view short films for self entertainment. If we choose to aim the film at young adults, we would have to consider how the short film would be distributed to this audience. This could be done through creating a short film for school instituations to use in citizenship lessons. Therefore the film would have to tackle in some way an issue of current society that could be discussed in lesson. As the film has to explore notions of 'Britishness', the short film could explore issues of contemporary Britain that would meet the likes of school institutions that could be watched and discussed in citizenship lessons. This would mean that the audience is an established niche audience and expectations can be seen through a range of short films readily used in school instituations. Further research into BBFC classifications will determine the age range of students that would be able to view the short film in terms of what we would like to contain in our film and what legal age classification in comes under. This certain BBFC classification along with my research in niche possible audiences and their expectations we will be able to come to a decision on a specific target audience for our short film.

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