Thursday, 4 February 2010

Coursework Evaluation Question 3

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

My audience feedback I think will be the main factor to determine whether I have achieved my goal of creating a children's TV drama opening sequence which would be targeted at 5 - 11 year old children.

I gained feedback from my class by letting them view the video first and giving them a blank sheet of paper to write down their thoughts on the video. From the feedback I received from my class, I recognised that on a majority verdict that there were a few points that were mentioned in more than one persons verdict which I thought were the most important to evaluate.

But, I had to take into consideration that my feedback would be less valid in this case as the audience I was questioning was of a different age range to my targeted audience, this ranged from age 17 - 19. Another problem with using this age range for my audience feedback would be that they may have too much cultural capital and expect a much more complex video and therefore with our video being simplistic they are likely to take an aberrant reading from it. Because of this, I carried out further research to gain more audience feedback but from children within my target range which is evaluated after my initial class research.

The first feedback note that I received which was also mentioned in several others was that the video on a whole was a bit too simplistic. I thought that this was an important point to consider as we were unsure in the initial planning and research part of our coursework if we were to use a simplistic or complicated approach to it. We noticed from researching existing children's TV dramas that generally they were all quite complicated and there was a lot going on in every one we viewed. But, we did come to the conclusion that we wanted to differentiate from existing TV dramas and not use the stereotypical style which is carried out through many others.We would also use this oppositional style as recognition to our programme from our target audiences perspective.
The second feedback point i received which I thought needed to be included in my evaluation was that the use of fast editing was a good way in which to keep people's attention purely on the screen. We used this to create a direct effect on the audience and to add a bit of energy to the simple idea we had. Also throughout our initial research and planning for our coursework we noticed that the use of fast editing bought new colours, shots, animations and characters into the frame very quickly so that the target audience doesn't have to view the same thing for a long time and therefore getting bored and maybe not watching the programme. We thought this was very important and recreated that style within our coursework using fast editing into different coloured backgrounds, different shot types and different characters to offer lots of different pleasures in a short time from our video.
The third point made by the class audience which I thought was valid to be included in my evaluation was that the characters weren't introduced properly. We wanted to do this on purpose and expected people to comment on it from the age range of our class when carrying out audience feedback. This is because they take a different reading towards the media text and have a much more developed cultural capital and therefore their expectations of reading the text would be of a higher standard than the age range we were targeting. Therefore, we came to the conclusion that this point would be much more valid to us if a target audience member had commented on the same problem. We thought that the age range we're targeting need an obvious reason given to them to keep watching on. This we decided would be keeping the character's names anonymous until the start of the actual programme. We used this as we expected the target audience to read the text with receiving pleasure from the fast editing, use of bright colours and the fun, happy atmosphere we tried to create and therefore would want to watch further in to find out the names of the 'lucky' boys who have this fun, happy lifestyle which was created by the use of luxury props like pool tables, game consoles and darts boards etc.
The fourth and final point I wanted to evaluate from my class audience feedback was that the editing of the video working well with the soundtrack. This meaning that of each change of tempo, pitch or volume in the song there was a fast cut. We had to use a fast and jumpy soundtrack not only to create the fun, happy atmosphere we were aiming for but to keep up with the fast editing we wanted to achieve within or video. When researching initially into existing children's TV drama soundtracks we found they lasted on average from 10 we recorded, 23 seconds. We have many frames we wanted to include in our video and to fit them all in using fast editing we had to find a high tempo soundtrack which we did and we think it works well.
Next, I carried out a discussion with some children within my target age range. These were the points that would be more valid to us in making our decision in whether we had been successful.
I wanted to carry out a discussion because in that way it would allow the children to develop their answers and not give them closed questions which would end up in being qualitative data which is not what I wanted as it would take vast amounts of time and money which at this level would be not possible. Quantitative data allows people to be more specific on the particular part of the video they're evaluating.
We started on Saturday 26Th February at the location of all the filming for our coursework video and had a group viewing of the video first. The people within the audience included our two neighbours which were also the actors within our video names Ashley and Dominic. The next audience memebers were family members of mine being theree of my cousins names George, Louis and Josh. Lastly I used my sister who is called Natasha.
We viewed the video initially on the largest TV we have in the house so everyone had a clear view of the video. During this time I thought it was important to study the audience's reactions as the video progressed and it definitely became apparent to me that the reactions were much more enthusiastic from the younger audience members. I put this down to that they would take a different reading of the text to the older members as the maturity levels are higher in those which are more older. I also used this observation to evaluate that the younger members took much more of a preferred reading of the media text and that they received much more pleasure from it than the audience members at the peak of my age range. I used these observations to say that I think that if I were to carry this out again I would change my age range from my first observations to a shorter span around the younger ages.
Then, I started the conversation by asking a few trigger questions to get everyone involved. I asked simply if they enjoyed watching the video as it is a simple and understandable question for their ages. Louis one of my cousins only aged 5 mentioned that he like the 'flashing' (fast editing) and how colourful it was. Then another of my cousins which is age 12 at the top end of my age range said that he did not understand the storyline. From this I could see that the age difference was a major factor in the way that the text was being read by my audience and that the older members were assessing it more in depth than the simple aspects of colour like the younger members were.
It became apparent to me that this trend followed throughout the questions with the older members of the audience coming up with more technical answers which I found hard to take on board as the younger members didn't understand as their knowledge of terminology and vocabulary was less broader than the older members which also supports my decision to use a shorter span of age ranges and keeping them of a lower age. But, I did target my audience to be of ages between 5 and 12 years old so I obviously didn't succeed at that and didn't include enough to pleasure the older audience members. This I think though would be tough because it risks confusing the younger members which have not got the amount of cultural capital the older members have and may risk loosing their attention from the video.

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