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Samuel Penn

Analyse one of your coursework productions in relation

to the concept of audience. (25 marks)
The concept of audience is important in the making of a media text. A producer
must take into account the age, social status and gender and interests of a
target audience in order to make the product appealing to them as possible. For
my A2 coursework I created an action trailer called End Process. The issue of
age and censorship is important when selecting a target audience as this limits
what is able to be presented within a production. Films are screened by the BBFC
and given an age rating for the minimum age of viewers to watch the production.
A lot of ratings for action films tend to be rated at 12 as they have some violence
and maybe one or two uses of excessive language. However we decided to fit
ours within the 15 age bracket as we would have fewer restrictions on the
amount and nature of the violence we could show.
The first theory I shall apply to my production is that of the hypodermic needle
theory. In this theory it is stated that the audience are completely passive,
meaning that they may adopt the actions shown within our production and just
copy what they see. Within my A2 production there are scenes of violence and
even a scene in which our main character kills someone. This has connotation of
promoting violence within self-justification of revenge; Meaning that it is made to
seem that it is okay to kill as long as it is justifiable by revenge. Applying the
theory this could imply that the audience would be more violent as a result of
watching our production. As of the rating of the film which was a 15, it is unlikely
that it would too negatively affect the intended audience, as they are mature
enough to realise the nature of the product and that it is a fabricated reality. For
me this theory is not too useful as I believe that my audience is active and will
seek out my media of their own accord for entertainment. The age rating of 15
years of age will also protect potential audience members that are perhaps more
impressionable than more mature members.
The second theory that I shall apply to my own media production is that of the
uses and gratifications theory. The uses and gratifications audience theory
suggests than an audience consume particular texts in order to receive
something from them. Bulmer and Katz identified four uses and gratifications as
the need for diversion, surveillance and personal identity. The main need that my
media text gratifies is the need for entertainment. However the other need that
the production gratifies is the need for surveillance as it gives information as to
how and when to view our production. I think this theory is somewhat useful
however it does not much affect the creation process of a media text as it is just
how the audience wishes to receive it.
The final audience theory I shall apply to my production is that of the audience
reception theory. This model based on Stuart Halls encoding model, suggests
that a producer will encode a text and the audience will decode it. The key

Samuel Penn
messages we wanted to convey was the narrative of the text itself and the
themes of revenge. Most of the audience took the preferred readings and
understood the main key points of the narrative. The majority of the readings
from the audience were the preferred readings and they understood what the
main points of the narrative; they all understood that the main character was
getting revenge as he finds out who kills his parents. The only exception was that
one of the audiences had a negotiated reading about one of the characters and
did not fully grasp their role, which was a father figure to our main character. The
usefulness of this theory is quite apparent as it is very important that the
audience understand the text to be able to enjoy it and watch it willingly. It also
reflects on the quality of the production, as if it were not very clear then the
audience would not be able to understand the narrative or the roles of each
character at all.
In conclusion I think that the most important theory in relation to our audience
and the production is the hypodermic needle theory. I think this because having
an age rating assigned to our production massively affects what we can and
cannot put into our production; this is because we have to think about how the
content in our production is going to affect the audience. So it was rated 15 for a
more mature and sensible audience so that the violent content would not have
as much of an effect on the audience we were presenting our production to.