Market Research

November 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm (Uncategorized)

To help with my Opening Sequence to a Social Realism film, I carried out some Market Research on my Target Audience. To get a really good idea of what my Target Audience likes, I made a questionnaire asking questions about Social Realism films and what the audience enjoyed and got out of watching them. I got a range of results from my questionnaires, of which I handed out 20 to Social Realism fans of my age.

Question 1

Why do you enjoy Social Realism films?

I asked this question to get and idea of what the target audience enjoys and why they watch Social Realism films.

Most of the answers stated that is was the portrayal of real life issues and the ability to relate of characters and issues facing them. They liked how the stories are very realistic and how you can emphasis with the characters.

From these results, it tells me that my opening sequence must show characters facing real issues, such as drug taking, stealing, drinking etc.

Question 2

Out of the following films, which do you prefer?

This Is England



Why did you enjoy this film more than the others?

These films involve different issues and characters, so by asking it I could find out what kind of themes the majority of the target audience enjoy.

Results show that This Is England was the most popular because the characters were the same age as the target audience, and because of the issues of racism and violence it addresses. Kidulthood was also chosen because of the age of the characters, and Trainspotting because of the issue of drugs raised in the film.

These results show me that the characters in my opening sequence should be young adults around the age of 15-18.

Question 3

Do you think the majority of characters in a Social Realism film should be teenagers/young adults e.g. 14-22 year olds?

If no, what age should they be and why?

I asked this question so I could get an idea of the most popular age range for the characters in my opening sequence. However, this question has already been answered in a way in Question 2.

 14/20 people said Yes, but 6 people said No. The people who said no mainly said that they can be any age, and that it depends on the storyline.

I will probably still have most of the characters in my opening sequence around the age of 15-18 years old, as from the previous question you can see that the age of the characters is why most of the target audience liked the film anyway, and the majority said Yes to this answer aswell.

Question 4

In a Social Realism film, would you expect the cast to be mainly male or female?


Having ascertained the age of my characters, I now wanted to learn which sex was most commonly used and expected from Social Realism films.

Everyone I asked answered male except for one person, who didn’t answer either, but said that it depended on the storyline. Those who answered male said that male characters show more violence and a re more likely to get into trouble.

I will therefore make the main protagonist of my opening sequence male, and also several of the other characters. I will have at least one character female though.


Question 5

Out of the following, what do you think is the most effective in a Social Realism film? Please rate them from 1-5, 1 being most, 5 being least.




Drug Use


I asked this question to find out which issues my target audience enjoyed in Social Realism films most and what they thought was the most effective.

The issues that are apparently most effective and enjoyed are drugs and violence, and drinking also seems quite effective. Smoking and sex are shown to be not very effective.

Because of these results I will try to incorporate drug use, violence and drinking into my opening sequence.


Question 6

Out of these locations, where would you set the opening of a Social Realism film?




Urban Housing Estate


I asked this question so I could get help with where to set my opening sequence. I had a vague idea of where I wanted to set it – either an urban housing estate or city – but just wanted to ask the target audience what they thought.

You can see that Urban Housing Estate came out on top. People sais that an Urban Housing Estate is a traditional setting for a Social Realism film. All the other locations were not as popular.  The one person who ticked other commented that it totally depends on the films storyline.

Because of these results, I will set most of the opening sequence in an Urban Housing Estate.

Question 7

From your own experience of Social Realism films, what genres of music feature most in them?

I needed to get an idea of what kind of music Social Realism films conventionally used, and so asked the target audience what they thought from their previous experience.

I collected a range of results, including Rap, Hip Hop, Grime, R ‘n’ B, Punk and Rock. The most common answers were Hip Hop, Grime, Punk and Rock.

I am going to use Rock or Punk music, because I enjoy that more than Hip Hop and Grime, and I have actually seen several Social Realism films with Rock music in.              



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My Opening Sequence Genre

November 16, 2009 at 11:17 am (Uncategorized)



After completing 3 textual analysis’, producing a Pros and Cons List for several different genres and generally looking at different opening sequences, I have decided that the genre of my Opening Sequence shall be Social Realism. I have chosen this genre because I think it is a really interesting genre, and that considering the resources I have to produce my own Opening Sequence it will be achievable.THISISENGLAND_quad_new

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Textual Analysis of Social Realism Opening Sequences

November 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm (Uncategorized)

Although I’ve already done 3 textual anlysis’ of opening sequences, I didn’t do any that were from Social Realism films. After listing the Pros and Cons of the 3 genres I was considering doing, this is the genre I have decided to do an opening sequence for. I was planning on doing a Romantic Comedy, so I now need to do further Textual Anylsis’ to improve my knowledge of the Social Realism genre and their opening sequences.

Two Social Realism films with good opening sequences are Trainspotting and Billy Elliot.


Directed by Danny Boyle


Summary of Opening Sequence: The film starts with upbeat music and two men fp0275trainspotting-postersrunning down a street in a town or city, being chased by two other men in uniform. A voiceover begins in a male Scottish accent. As the two men keep running, DVD’s and CD’s fall out of their pockets and from under their shirts, showing they have probably been shoplifting. They run down some steps and down a quieter street where the first one runs into a car while the second one carries on running. The first one begins to laugh before the shot is frozen and he is introduced with a title as Renton. It then cuts to Renton smoking in a dark room, before cutting to a football match, where other characters are introduced with similar titles and freeze frames. Renton is then shown being hit in the head by the football, and the shots starts swapping between him gradually falling back on the football pitch and falling back smoking in the room from earlier. The opening sequence finishes with the camera slowly rotating around him and zooming out, as he states “Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

Locations: Outdoors during day in town or city where two characters running away from security guards. Sets environment for rest of film. Main protagonist smoking in dark, dingy room with bare wooden floor, bar walls, not much furniture. Shows characters lifestyle and personality. Small football pitch outside at night, lit with flood lights.

Characters: First two characters introduced young men. Camera focused on one in front more, setting him as main protagonist. Shots of him smoking in room on his own further sets this and shows partTrainspotting_ver2 of lifestyle. Other characters all male, suggesting target audience mainly male, introduced during football match. All introduced in same way – freeze frame of action with name shown as title. Good friends, get into trouble a lot.

Enigma Codes: What will happen to characters during film, especially main protagonist Renton.  How will heroin play a part in narrative. Do they get caught for stealing.

Cinematography and the effects: Mainly simple, eye-level shots. range of mid-shots, long-shots. Establishing shot at start, rule of thirds, main protagonist closer than other character in shot. Shots of feet running, adds interest. Medium shot then very long shot of protagonist smoking, shows surroundings and environment. Zoom ins on other characters as introduced. Track at beginning. Panning shot at end of main protagonist, then slow zoom adfgaway. Shows profile and then during zoom shows where he is lying and surroundings, further establishing shot.

Editing Techniques and their effects: Simple cuts, no special transitions. Match-on-action. Quick cuts between top of characters when running and feet, builds tension. Freeze frames when introducing characters. 180-degree rule followed.

Use of Sound: Non-diegetic sound – voiceover probably by main protagonist. Dialogue and tone of voice set tone and theme for rest of film. Also upbeat music, showing film possibly quite funny, witty and snappy. Also diegetic sound of action – cheers, groans etc. during football match. Sound of feet running on ground, car screeching to a halt. Adds tension and meaning to action.

Genre Characteristics: Locations: built up, city etc. Mise-en-scene with room where smoking – dark, bare, “kitchen sink”. Also language used by protagonist on voiceover.

When, Where and How Titles are presented in relation to the action: No titles for title, actors etc. Characters names shown as title though. Action freezes as names come up throughout opening sequence.

Font, Colour and Positioning of Titles: White, bricky, simple font. Positioned under or beside character it is introducing.trainspotting

Intended Target Audience and Signifiers: Mainly males, young adults, 16-30 year olds. All characters male so far. Playing Football – masculine. Fans of Social Realism.

Ideas you could transfer to your own opening sequence: Really like introduction of characters with names as title and freeze frames. Also type of music – upbeat, happy. – as shows film funny as well as addressing serious issues. 


Billy Elliot

Directed by Stephen Daldry

Summary of Opening Sequence: A young boy puts record on a record which starts to play as he starts to jump up and down on his bed. Parts of his face and body come into shot in slow motion as he jumps against background of his wallpaper. The titles come up between him jumping. The shot then changes to a longer shot, showing more of his body 3984_headingas he continues to jump in slow motion, showing more of the positions and actions he is doing as he jumps. The boy then goes downstairs and into the kitchen, where he gets a meal ready. As he carries it into another room, he sees an empty bed. Worried, he rushes out of the house, dropping most of the food as he puts the tray down, and starts running down a street. He finds an old lady, his grandma, in an overgrown field. He encourages her to go with him, and as they walk away out of shot, vans with riot police coming out if them can be shown on the road above them.

Locations: Young protagonists bedroom, wallpaper old-fashioned, 70’s/80’s – help establish time period film set in. Housing estate protagonist runs through, council housing, looks rough – convention of Social Realism.  

Characters: Young boy, thin, shorts and vest top.billy_061116011115208_wideweb__300x286,1 Established as main protagonist, first person we see, watch him for long time on his own and then with other character – always onscreen. Expects narrative to be about him. Other character introduced old woman, grandma of young boy. Has obviously wandered off on her own, not meant to. Seems a bit senile. Young boy obviously has to take care of grandma – cooks, looks after her. Loves her though, as very kind.

Enigma Codes: What will happen to young boy during film, will anything happen to his grandma. Why are there riot police there.

Cinematography and the effects: Close up shots of various parts of protagonists body – audience doesn’t see whole profile for a while, builds expectations, also establishes him as main protagonist. Slow-motion also adds expectations, jamie%20bell%20billy%20elliotand set calm atmosphere to contrast with later more tense atmosphere. Tension caused by hand-held camera, which is also convention of Social Realism films.

Editing Techniques and their effects: Simple cuts, no special transitions – conventions of Social Realism films. Match-on-action used.

Use of Sound: Non-diegetic noise – music over top, relaxing, slow tempo track. Adds to relaxed atmosphere set at beginning of opening sequence. Diegetic noise – dialogue, helps explain narrative.

Genre Characteristics: Locations, built up, council house type homes. Lower class, shown by language, accent. 

When, Where and How Titles are presented in relation to the action: Titles shown over beginning of opening sequence when young boy is jumping up and down. Shown in between jumps, when protagonist not onscreen.

Font, Colour and Positioning of Titles: Simple, plain font. All titles white and positioned centre screen, except title of film which is yellow and on leftjamie_bell_billy_elliot_003 side of screen.

Intended Target Audience and Signifiers: Males, as main protagonist male. Also perhaps younger teenagers because of age of protagonist, but certification suggests older. Riot police in background suggest more adult theme will occur throughout film, making target audience older teenagers and young adults.

Ideas you could transfer to your own opening sequence: Type of music used. Most Social Realism films use more rap and urban, but Billy Elliot doesn’t, more pop/rock. Also simple title and kind of locations used.



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Possible Genres For Opening Sequence

November 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm (Uncategorized)

The first thing I need to do in the planning of my Opening Sequence is to choose the genre. To choose my genre, I need to look at what genres are realistically possible to do with the resources I have. The following factors must be taken into account:

  • Achievability (can it be realistically recreated)
  • Target Audience and how you could appeal to them
  • Own interests and experiences
  • Budget constraints
  • Locations available
  • Authenticity of props, actors, costumes etc.
  • Time

After considering these factors, there are several possible genres to do my opening sequence for:

  • Romance
  • Horror
  • Comedy
  • Social Realism
  • Crime Drama
  • Thriller
  • Rom-Com

There are three I am considering doing; Romantic Comedy, Romance or Social Realism. There are pros and cons to doing all of these genres.

Romantic Comedy


  • The narrative of a Romantic-Comedy is mainly character driven, meaning no special effects are needed
  • A Romantic-Comedy can be made on a low-budget, as there are no special effects needed
  • There is a wide audience for Romantic-Comedy’s


  • Because the story is character driven, good actors are needed
  • The opening sequences of Romantic Comedies conventionally have a popular and well known track over the top. However, I am not allowed to use any signed artists, making this possibly difficult
  • Any dialogue used will have to be effective and witty. Lots of thought will have to go into the script writing



  • The narrative of Comedy films are mainly character driven, meaning no special effects are needed. This also means a high budget is not needed
  • No special costumes are needed, just normal, everyday clothes
  • There are no conventional locations of Comedies, so finding a location shouldn’t be too hard



  • Because the story is character driven, good actors are needed. They will also have to be good comedy actors
  • A lot of thought will have to be put into the script, as it must be funny
  • It’s hard not to cross over into Romantic-Comedy

Social Realism


  • A Social Realism film doesn’t need a big budget, as it’s about everyday people, not action movie stars
  • No special costumes are needed, just normal, everyday clothes
  • Locations need to be built up and urban, and there are places within Bury and Ipswich that fit this description 



  • The actors must be good and able to effectively portray characters surrounded by serious issues
  • Social Realism films traditionally don’t have a very wide audience
  • The narrative of Social Realism films are about real life issues such as drug taking and abuse, meaning thought must be put into the message I want to project

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