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Film and Audience Experience

jclarke | Wednesday November 13, 2013

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR A2, OCR AS, EDUQAS A Level, EDUQAS AS, EDUQAS A2, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience


Everyone seems to enjoy talking about movies. Why is that? Not everyone enjoys talking about sport or politics or literature or cookery or healthcare for example. The variety of movies we talk about is diverse.


Films are made to be watched by audiences. It’s the most obvious fact to state but it does remind us of a set of fundamental concerns. This resource will concern itself with a number of issues that you can also revisit in more detailed in several of our other FilmEdu resources.

For this resource we will focus our discussion around two very different films: Red Tails (2012) and A Song for Marion (2012). The former is a contemporary American feature film, financed by an independent production company (Lucasfilm). The other film is a contemporary British feature film, also financed by an independent production company (Steel Mill Pictures). More specifically, the films have different target age groups comprising their demographic. We can reasonably say that Red Tails is targeted at young people and Song for Marion at older audiences. Each film offers a useful way in to the contextual issues that relate to audience experience of movies.

Originally, and for most of its history to date, film viewing has been a collective experience. We visit a cinema and view a film. However, since the early 1980s the viewing of films has also become a smaller group activity, even a pursuit for the individual. Additionally, with the preponderance of our mobile media film viewing has evolved again, meaning that we are not only able to watch a film alone at home but to watch it alone in public. Some of you will have seen people watching films on their phones and tablets as they sit on the bus or the train. Critically, technology has exhibited the capacity to change audience experiences of cinema and the impact on audience response in that we are able to view a film at a cinema, on TV, on a tablet or a desktop computer screen. For Red Tails and...

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