Audience Research|Media Studies Focus Group

This is our media studies focus group that has been uploaded to Youtube and here is the video:

For this video we where asking questions similar to those that where on the Fluid Survey website. And I think that this was a great thing to do because it meant that we could find out first hand what things made horror films appeal to the audience of my chosen age bracket. I think that some of these answers are going to influence the way that we create the content because eventhough the fluid survey was good and it will be helpful, this focu group is going to really help us and beneficial in some way or another.

Potential Audience Research

I have compiled a couple of images that represents the demographics (age,ethnicity) and the psychographics of the horror genre.

The first is the age/year groups that like to and prefer to watch horror films. There are a lot of films that have ben released recently that have lowered the age rating of their horror films to 15 from 18. They would have done this because it means that they can reach a wider range of audience and get groups to go to the cinema and watch the films. Furthermore a lot of 15 year olds like horror aspects within films and particularly video games such as Dead Rising and other various zombie films.  Gore and other horror related items are becoming more common in video but there always seems to be violent scenes in  most films that are released.


I think that the main gender of the horror film target audience is most likely Males, I think teen males would be more likely to watch horror film as the simple stereotype of males being the more ‘harder to scare’ gender, whereas females are supposedly easier to scare and quite feminine. Horror film is also a typical ‘date’ film because the male gender feel they can ‘show off’ and ‘protect’ the female, and the female would enjoy this. Not only this but we also see the male as being the person who will “save the day” and not protect the females, but protect everyone as well

The next significant aspect is the psychographics of an individual. There has been speculation that watching horror films could influence the way that members of the public act and could lead to violence and has been the cause of it as well. The attitude of fans could make them paranoid and scared to walk into unfamiliar territories or walk into dark rooms just after watching the film. These actions/superstitions are a common aspect when watching horror films. When seeing the victim screaming it is always showing a female and this relates back to the connotation that females are the more vulnerable out of the two genders and that they are not able to “defend” themselves against whatever character is the main focus of that film.

male heroes

Props are a big influence within horror films. Friday The 13th is a good example of props being used and they are commonly used within the Slasher sub genre of Horror. They are a big influence and they are a major part of these films. Chainsaws and other weapons can also give the impression of what the perpetraitor is like emotionally and whether or not he/she has any guilt/remorse for they have done in the film. Bladed weapons are denotated often in horror films and seems to be the main weapon of choice and leave the audience thinking about what the villian is like

horror (1)

Social Media is a very popular source of infomration for this age bracket and it is something that is bound to promote a film for either the bad reasons or the good reasons. Adverts can be created on Facebook to ensure that members of the public get notified about the upcoming films prior to release. Most films are advertised either beofre or on the same day as they are on the TV because nearly everybody has access to the social media and this can contribute to the success of the film when it hits the cinema. In relation to my own product I can advertise the trailer and website on my account and get the information across to the audience that are of the same age bracket as myself.

facebook twittericon

I would assume that the audience of my specified horror trailer would like to eat/drink very sugary products. this is because the film would normally be watched with a group of friends “huddled” together and with no lights on watching the film whilst having sweets and drinks. Not only this but the same would happen within the cinema with the temptation of feasting out on sugary products.

sugary products200429986-001

Website Analysis – Paranormal Activity 4

For my next website that I will be analysing for the horro genre, it is Paranormal Activity 4. I don’t think that this website comes close to that of World War Z but it is very good in its own way. The first thing that I find good about this website is in fact the homepage. it is very simple but I think it is very effective as well. They have just simply shown what appears to be a quick glimpse of the film. I think that this is effective because it shows the girl happily sleep and then there is just a shadowy figure appearing in the background. This is a good technique for trying to entice the audience and this could be a good idea for trying to get them to watch the film on DVD, Blu Ray or a digital copy.


On the other hand they have added a feature which is of the same as World War Z. This is shown when you first go onto the webpage. As soon as the page loads a YouTube link opens with the trailer being shown to the public straight away. this is a good technique, and also a common convention, because it gives the audience of glimpse of the film and the first impressions about the film will be made up after viewing the trailer.


The actual simplicity of this website is something that I really like and I am thinking about doing something like this when it comes to creating the website.

With regard to the colour scheme they have done well in this area as well. They have kept to the common convention of using dark colours such as black and red. The use of the shadowy figure is very effective because even though it doesn’t fully show what it is to the audience it still connotes the mystical and slightly tense atmosphere. As a whole this feature is effective and I feel that I may use something along these lines when producing my own website for this project.

title PA4

Furthermore the way in which the title has been created is giving the sense that it is slowly fading away and I think that this represents the possible life of either the girl in shot or of the whole family.

Apart from the figure in the middle of the shot, this homepage is very basic and there isn’t anything to draw the attention away from the centre of the web page. With regards for the rest of the web page it has the typical conventions that are very common with, not just horror, but with any other film websites. There are other tabs such as “Gallery” and “About”.

menu pa4

These are good features to have because it means that fans feel as though they are getting exclusive access to behind the scene images or images of the web page that can persuade them to go and view the movie. This website, I think, subverts the features of a normal horror website because even though it does in fact shows some horror elements there is only one main image that really draws in the attention of the audience. Now this could seen as a good idea but I would feel more intrigued if there was something else on the home screen that shows me something else about this film.

Overall I like the way that this website has been constructed because there are certain aspects hat can leave the audience “on edge” because they don’t know the full story and this can be a good feature to use when creating website home pages.

Contemporary Films – Altmans Development

I will be analysis and looking for some films that relate to 4 the groups from Altmans stage of genre development and the four stages are:

  • Parodic
  • Primitive
  • Classical
  • Revisionist

Parodic – This stage of the genre development is effectively a parody and a comedy side of the original horror film. One example of a parodic is the Scary Movie franchise. Scary Movie 5 consists of Paranormal Activity, Cabin In  The Woods and Mama, Insidious and other horror films. The genre is represented in this film because there are glimpse of the original horror films such as paranormal activity and there are actually horror aspects in this film that have still got the fright factor about them.

Primitive –  This stage of the development process is the original film to be released and is also the formative stage as well. an example of this stage is the film The Devil’s castle in 1896 by Georges Melies. For that period of time this film was probably very effective because even though today it looks extremely basic and simple, the editing process of the main character suddenly appearing and disappearing without leaving the room physically. The horror genre is represented in this film because they have the main character (that of a vampire) terrorising and scary the people of the local town.

Revisionist – This section of the development process is the revisionist. This entails an original horror film being reevaluated and re-released . An example of this is Evil Dead. It was released in the 1980s and was then released again in 2013. Because of this film being released in 2013 the graphic where significantly better and as a result of this there was a increased fright factor and horrific sense about it. This genre also includes films that have been remastered and change the way that we seen this genre of film.

Classical – This part of the stage is where the genre hits the peak and that associations with this film start to become apparent. An example of this is the 1980s film Friday The 13th. Most of the conventions of this film such as the props are things that we know associate with the genre horror as a whole. Things such as the setting as well have become a major part of the horror genre because forests are isolated and secluded and help is near impossible. the classical films are as good if you compare them to the films of today but this was because the graphics aren’t as good as today but for the period of time this was probably the pinnacle of graphics and horror films.

World War Z – Website Analysis

For our project we are thinking about creating a website for the trailer that we are creating. By analysing current websites this will help us when deciding what to include when we create our own website. And for this website I believe that they have followed the conventions of what a horror webiste should consist of for it to be successful.

I think that this website is very good and very effective. This is because it has reviews being displayed at the footer of the page and this is a good technique when trying to entice customers to go and watch the film when it gets released. Furthermore it also plays the trailer of the movie in the background of the whole page and this is something that I am thinking of doing when it comes to creating our website.

The menu for this film is very well hidden and it can catch the audience out in some way. It has been made using a drop down menu and as a result it makes the whole webpage seem bigger and that everything isn’t crammed in at once to try and fit everything in. This is a very good and effective way of creating the menu for a film website. I believe this because it means that the audience aren’t going to get distracted by anything that may catch their eye and gives them time to fully watch the trailer and make up there minds about what they think of the film. When looking at this website, I originally thought that it didn’t contain a menu with anything else but the trailer, however I noticed a “+” sign next to the “Menu” and this was interesting. once you hover over it the menu appears down the left hand side of the webpage and then vice versa for when you go to get rid of the menu.

World War Z Menu

World War Z Menu

menu2 Screen shot 2013-09-17 at 12.54.43

They have changed the website because of the film being released on the 17th September 2013. They have allowed website to have a designated area to buy the film for blu ray, 3D blu ray or you can “Enter Site”. I think that this is good feature to have because it allows the audience to buy the film or they can access the website to see what they think of the film before they think about buying it.

Something that really caught my eye about this website was that it was optimized specifically for Google Chrome. This is because when you load the website it plays the actual trailer very smoothly and without any problems. However when played on normal internet Explorer it plays the trailer of the movie but not as smooth as the website on Google Chrome

With regards to colour scheme this is very good actually. The main colour scheme is a dark red and obviously black. this is good because these two colours are used so often for Zombie/horror films that it almost becomes human nature that we associate these colours with this genre when we see these colours. The connotation of red is significant for blood, anger and it some ways revenge as well.

And finally the typography of the website has been used to a great extent as well. This is because they have used the red, blood dripping effect which is very effective because it connotes the death and violent side of things that are associated with most horror films. Furthermore the use of the Z is very good as well. This is because the Z represents the basis of the film but I think that it connotes much more than just that. The letter Z is the last letter of the alphabet and I think that it has been used to show that the earth has come to the end and there is no hope of ever going back to what it used to be.

As a whole this website is very effective because it acts in way that entices the audience and gets them submerged into film and gets their full concentration, no distractions.

This website is good example of a horror website because it looks very basic but I believe that it is very effective and it is good for promoting and advertising the movie as well.

Untitled-1 copy

360 Branding Marketing Campaign – Avengers Assemble

I have been looking at the way in which the 2012 box office hit The Avengers carried out a marketing campaign for the film.

The start of their marketing campaign happen in 2008 when the first iron man film was released. This is because iron Man is one of the main characters in the box office hit Avengers. Later that year the incredible hulk was released and at the end of the film Tony Stark (Iron Man) walks in to the bar and says to the general “I’m putting a team together” and this is a reference towards this successful film. Further clips of the soon to be Avengers’s Assemble film is in the next successful marvel film Iron Man 2. In this film Captain America’s shield is handed to Tony Stark, which has been recked/destroyed, and it is used to level up and hold a laser up for Tony’s next project

At the end of every film starring Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain there has always been a reference, and in a way advertising The Avengers, at the end either starring Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) who is the head of the S.H.I.E.L.D who is putting the team together for the plot of the film.

There have also been numerous TV interviews about the film and there was even a world premiere for the film as well. Mark Ruffalo (who plays the incredible) was on the Graham Norton advertising and explaining each character and what the film was generally.  They had even leaked a clip of the film as well along with the poster of the film. The film was advertised hugely on talk shows with Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres shows also promoting the film. When it came to the trailer itself they got straight to the point and they got straight into the action and they didn’t try and build suspense.

Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 10.22.12

Twitter and Facebook became a massive hit with the Avengers because this was the perfect opportunity to actually advertise and promote the film along with cinema tickets etc.

The social media has become a vital part of all advertising for any type of new film being released. This is because the online industry has become a part of everyone lives and its probably the easiest way to let people know of any new “Rumours” or new releases. The amrketuing side of the film is very inmportant and the fact that they have technically been advertising since the first Iron Man film, all of the talk shows appearances and radio shows etc. played a huge part prior to this film being released.

Roles within the film:

Within the film itself there are certain elements that suggests that it isn’t just for young teenagers/young kids. Robert Downey Jr. shows us that there is a violent side and angry side to Iron Man and we can notice this in his own films that he has produced but also things don’t go to plan in this film. A particularly common character who has an angry side and uses his ability to threaten and kill a lot of the villains is Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye. There are two characters who would appeal themselves to the younger/female demographic. this is because of their build and fatigue and they would know as the “Hunks” of the film. But this would also appeal to the younger audience because they would look up to them and aspire to be what they portray themselves as in the film.


The marketing was obviously successful because they hit $1,511,757,910 on the box office with on a $220,000,000 budget for the film. it has also appealed to people than the stereotype of males because 50% over 25, 40% female, 55% couples and 24% families and this just shows how successful this film was

Poster Analysis – Friday The 13th

The next and final poster that I will be analysing is the 2009 re-make of Friday The 13th.

This film poster follows all of the stereotypes that are used when creating a poster for a film of the horror genre

The first thing that I notice about the poster is the typography of the title. The title of the film is all in bold CAPITAL LETTERS and this is good because it will instantly get the attention of the audience. This makes it look as if it is being screamed/shouted at someone to try and get their attention also. The screaming/shouting is a typical convention that is used in horror films and in particular when trying escape the clutches of a killer. not only this but the title is, like all horror posters, in the colour red and this is the most common thing used because of what it signifies and connotes to the audience which is danger/anger and death.

Because of it also saying its made by the same producers as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” it will interest the reader an will then make them believe that they will be seeing the same level of gore and violence.


The weapon that is being shown is clearly a machete and this is very clear image and understanding of what the audience is gong to expect from this film. The machete is a clear sign that there is going to be a lot of violence and it is definitely going to be a bloodthirsty killing movie. Also the fact that the blade is in the dark and covered in blood  it just increasing the intensity and the gruesomeness of this possible notorious killer. It could be because of the background in which it is set, which is a dark and a very isolated area an where help would be near impossible.


The whole poster is shot with a low angle shot. As a whole this makes the character seem even more superior and an even greater danger to his victims. Overall his gives a sense of just how serious this person is towards the audience. Furthermore the use of the angle shows that he has the ultimate power and that she is more powerful and that his victims are very vulnerable when you visit crystal lake.

friday the 13th

The “hockey” mask that is covering his face is a vital and very significant prop as well that has been use very effectively. Because the mask is covering his face the audience, the denotation of this is that they can’t see what/how is feeling and this gives the impression that he has no remorse or doesn’t feel guilty for what he has been doing to his victims. It also stops us from seeing his emotions about what he has been doing in the forest with a machete. The lighting has played a massive role in this poster and this is because there is a small glimpse of it shining onto the side of his face. This shows that he means business and that he wants the audience to be focused on his face and not the fact that he is holding a blood stained machete in the middle of the forest.


And the final part of this film is the tagline at the top of the poster. “WELCOME TO CRYSTAL LAKE” is almost acting like an invitation for the audience and enticing them tot come and see the film and it also tells us the setting of the film. However we would normally associate the word “Crystal” with either the wealth, jewels/diamonds or if we where to associate it with a lake then this would be “crystal” clear but because he has the blood stained machete it gives the impression that the lake will definitely not be crystal clear at all.



From the findings and the analysis that I have undergone we have com to the conclusion that the idea of the forest like background within the poster will be the best option for us to do. This is because it can really set the scene for the plot of the film but also the idea of a secluded, isolated area gives the idea that help is going to be hard to come by and the victims will not be able to escape the first easily.

Poster Analysis – Sinister

The next movie poster that I will be blogging about is Sinister.

I believe that this poster follows the typical conventions of a horror movie and here is why I believe this:

To begin with there is an image of what appears to be is the monster/culprit in this film. The image seems to be drawn in blood which, like most horror films, has connotation an links with blood, anger, danger, violence and even death. As a whole this would indicate and set the scene for the rest of the movie that the fact that it will be something to do with a person or monster who is bloodthirsty and lots of people are going to get effected.

There is a tagline which reads simply “Once you see him, nothing can save you” this can be very effective because it could suggest that the thing behind this film is still at large or that it isn’t only a fictional character but that it could be based on a true story and still alive. It could also be linked to the fact there is an unravelled tape on the floor which could be an indication that once you watch the tape, you will be a part of the devil. Furthermore the background of the poster is a wall which is starting to crack and shows a darkness about this as well. The use of all of these together gives a spooky and abandoned impression.

Another key part of this poster is of the little girl who is smearing the blood across the wall as she is walking past. She is in her pyjamas and her face is covered. This could only assume that she is either a regular but very vulnerable character or that she is being possessed by the evil character that is the main basis of this film. The blood that is being smeared by the girl reveals the face of the devil that is possibly possessing this girl.

The title of the movie is in the centre of the page, it is in black and has drips coming down. This makes the text appear as if it were written in blood, emphasising how many horrific deaths are contained in this film. The image of the poster makes the film seem very gruesome and really scary because in most horror films, children and the devil is a typical use of iconography for this genre of film.

A final thing that makes this poster very effective towards the audience is the fact that it says from the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious. This is a good technique for the audience because it lets them know that they can expect the same sort of horror and fright that is associated with these two films. Furthermore the fact that it will be the first thing that the audience will read when they see this poster, its a good way to intrigue an attract the customers into watching this film that is sure to give them a  big fright and will terrify them.


Poster Analysis – Evil Dead

The next film poster that I will be analysing is for the film evil dead.

This film poster, I believe, follows the common conventions of a typical horror traile. This is because the main colour of the whole poster is red. This is very effective because it gives the audience a sense of the  danger and terror that could be inflicted with this movie. The excessive use of the red gives the impression to the audience that gore and blood is going to be the main focus of this film.  The girl also the audience the sense that she is the main character for the film.

The tagline is very significant as well. “THE MOST TERRIFYING FILM YOU WILL EVER EXPERIENCE” and this is a good way to get the message across that it will not be like any other horror film that the audience will ever see. Furthermore this poster also says that the prodcuers are from the original producers that did the classic.  From this the audience can expect the same sort of horro and terro that they did from the original film of Evil Dead. Most of the conventions used in this film are the same that are used in most horror poster which gets to the audience and shows them the full terror that can came from that particular film.

As a whole this film poster really sets the scene for the rest of the film amd from this the viewers know what to expect when they see this film, which will consist of jumpy moments and the main character, which is the little girl

Another convention about this poster is the fact that the girl iswalking away and looks like she has already been killed by the way that she is standing and the stance that she has taken.


Poster Analysis – Dead Silence

The next poster that I will be analysing is for the film Dead Silence. The thing that is significant about this poster is the use of the doll as the main picture for the poster. The decaying hand in the foreground of the poster gives the impression of what the story is going to be like, of the undead, which is a common convention for most horror films. However the doll gives a sense of innocence because you wouldn’t normally associate childs dolls with anger, possible death or even horror.

Not only this but the way in which the title of the film is shown (Dead Silence) looks as if it shouldnt be there or as if it is dying and slowly fading away. This is also backed up with the colour of the background. A black background is a common convention because it gives a sense of the unknown which can easily build tension and suspense compared to something that is actually visible in the background.

The tagline is another specific part of the film as well. This is because it reads “YOU SCREAM. YOU DIE” which is actually a good tagline to use for this genre of film. When watching this film people are bound to scream and this could give the audience terror because they might feel that if they as much scream a little bit then they will be the next victim…..  This is also backed up with the image a the hand over the dolls face and telling the audience to “Shhhh”

I feel that this film poster follows the convention of a horror film. The reason as to why I believe this is because it is just a simple still photograph of what appears to be the perpetrator and the use of the black background gives the sense of the unknown and this is a very effective film poster. I feel that this film poster is quite close to the same effect as the film Chucky because that’s included a doll who was terrifying its victims.

dead silence

[Poster picture to be inserted]