Twenty four people participated in the questionnaire, with a variation of eleven males and thirteen females. This I felt was a good mixture and gave me a wide range of results. The aging however was more one-sided than I would have liked. Nineteen sixteen to twenty year olds were involved, our twenty one to twenty five year olds and one twenty six to thirty year old. Although the majority are in one age band, overall there is a range of sixteen to thirty year olds which is quite expansive.
As seen in the graph. the most popular film that was chosen was This is England, which implies that the most popular themes in social realist films are to do with racial identity, peer pressure and a large amount of violence. The second most popular was Trainspotting which is majorly drug abuse, a theme I was thinking about using in my opening sequence. I think it would appeal to my target audience massively, and this is shown by the fact it is liked by the people questioned.
The most important aspect in social realist films is demonstrated to be the story line of the film itself, with characterisation being close behind. Clearly I will have to ensure that in the opening sequence the story line is obvious, and the character is well portrayed. The music seemed to be unimportant in the eyes of my questioners, and so will be the least focused on thing, however it can change the mood of the story and can be a useful tool in making my character who they are. It may have been that the people answering my questions are not aware of how the music can create a mood for any piece of work.
After finding out this in my questionnaire, I have decided in my animatic to show only the main character and the second most important, as it will focus solely on them. This then shows the characters and how they act, including what was chosen as important in the questionnaire. I also want to make the story fairly obvious, by following the one character throughout that evening and what she is doing.
The question directly approaches which films are most popular, and people could choose more than one of the answers. As displayed the most popular was drug abuse, with the second being criminal offences. These are intertwined anyway, and so it should be quite easy to include both in the film. The most common reason for choosing these themes was ‘because they are interesting and makes the characters both who they are and more interesting’ and ‘because they tackle taboo subjects’. From this I have decided that as long as the drugs are used sensibly and are not superfluous to the film, then they can make the film more interesting and can add to the film’s story. Mental health problems are not far behind as the third choice, as ‘they give a different outlook’ and ‘affect many people’ so the film becomes relatable. This will be the main theme in my opening sequence as it seems to give the films an extra layer and the people questioned think that though it may not affect them, the issues raised can be interesting to learn about.
In my animatic I want to have a shot of my character smiling as though she is thinking about something separate to what is happening around her. I think that if she does not speak throughout the opening then it shows her to have some problems also.
Question number six was another multiple choice question, with the questioners being able to choose any number of answers. The most popular character trait seemed to be rebelliousness as this is often seen in the teenage years, and the people asked were either teenagers or only a few years older. This means that people want to see extremes of what they are living everyday and so my character should have that rebellious streak. This will be shown by the character attending the house party and taking drugs. The second most popular trait is mysteriousness, with answers such as ‘it makes the film more interesting and keeps you hooked as you are trying to work the character out’. The feeling of not quite knowing what the character is thinking or why they are doing something means that the audience are waiting for answers right to the end of the film. Therefore my character will primarily be mysterious to ensure the audience is wanting to watch the whole film. She will be shown to be mysterious by her lack of speech and uncertainty of how she is feeling.
The last question told me how many special effects or large blockbuster type techniques I should include in my opening. Most people said that the film should be suitable for both home and cinema, and so the camera shots and angles should be both simple and suitable for the big screen.
The red writing in this post is showing the ideas for my opening sequence, how they were influenced and why I have chosen these specific things.