For my primary research, I have decided to carry out an online survey in order to aid
me in perceiving the necessary means of construction of a short film, which is to be my
future project. The survey itself will be created using Google forums, which seem to be
like the ideal option due to it’s easily understandable and intuitive nature and will be
constructed from 10 questions. All questions have been formulated in such a way that
they can be easily understood by a wide range of individuals.
As a distribution method for my survey, I chose to email my questionnaire out to
audience, which I made sure consisted of a variety of ages. This was done in order for
the answers to more accurately reflect my audience and yield valid feedback which is
of immense importance and help when coming up with an idea for my short film.
Additionally, what I hope to gain from the given questions is a deeper insight into what
my target audience is interested in seeing presented in a short film and how these
expectation may be challenged.
The American Friend
4. As a basis for my market research, it was essential
for me to make sure that my questionnaire was
designed with an unbiased structure in mind. This
was done in order not to put too much influence on
the person who’s taking the survey and thereby
receive results which most accurately represented
the opinions of the respondents.
The purpose of the second question was to identify
the age of my potential target audience. There
should’ve otherwise been a larger divisions between
different group ages, allowing for a more diverse
range of perspectives and thereby increasing the
5. The third question was essential as it asked whether or not the
individual taking the survey actually watched short films,
thereby being the target audience. In retrospect, it would’ve
made more sense to position this question at the very
beginning as it would be more effective at preventing people
from having to stop the survey whilst already 2 questions in
and perhaps finding it to be a waste of time. That way they
would be given the possibility to turn back immediately and not
only waste their own time, but mine as well, as there answers
would be of no real value to my research. Luckily, any of these
types of “fake” responses were prevented by me setting up the
survey in such a way where the completion of it was possible
only under the circumstance that every single question has
When it comes to the fourth question, a significant problem
comes in the form inconsistent level of reliability. It is question
which may have been structured differently, as in its current
state it gives the respondent a difficult (and near impossible)
task of recalling how many short film has he/she seen. The
specification of that an approximate guess is enough should
have certainly been done. If I were to do this again, I would
most likely scrap this question in its entirety.
6. Question 5 was aimed at figuring out what platform would be
most appropriate for the distribution of my future short film. The
question itself was design in such a way where it tried eliminating
any sort limitations, giving a wide range of all plausible options.
This type of research generally helps the director to distribute
his/her short film to a place where his audience’s attention
already sort of is, but it is a completely different thing to actually
capture that attention.
The sad truth is that, modern day audience simply don’t have
long attention span. You may think that this exact mindset is
perfectly fit for short films, which don’t take up nowhere near as
much time as feature films, but I’m afraid that’s where you’re
wrong. Unlike with feature films, which are viewed in a dark and
(hopefully) silent room, known as the theatre, short films are most
commonly distributed online. A world of its own where nearly
everything else is fighting for your attention and the only thing
preventing you from watching something completely else is the
mere click of a button. As a result, keeping the viewer engaged in
what you’re presenting is essential and this is one of the many
questions designed to figure how to do so.
7. The most popular genre shared by 80% of all the candidates was drama. That could be associated to the fact that
there are codes and conventions that drama shares with other genres and serves as a good middle ground when it
comes to genre blends as well. A potential interpretation for this result may come from the sense of realism that
dramatic storylines hold. Relatability with the characters, authentic reflections of daily human experiences may
emotionally resonate with many audiences who have gone through the same thing at one point or another in their
own life. At the end of the day, people can’t get enough of stories, as they connect them in some way to themselves
and we all love hearing about ourselves. So long as the people in the stories are us, but not us.
The rather significant (20%) inequality between the responses whether non-linear or linear storytelling is preferred,
came as perhaps the biggest surprise. My expectation originated from an analytical look at popular modern day films
and the visible pattern of bland linear narrative structure. It is clear from these results that my target audience is a bit
more openminded than I might have originally thought, thereby giving me more confidence in taking my film in a more
experimental and ambiguous direction.
8. Short films usually work best when constructed around a singular theme or idea, which helps to focus the
attention and allows for a meaningful exploration to a deep level. The number of different themes that can
potentially be explored is infinity, therefore it was my priority to create an even representation of possible
options. Taking into consideration the commonly used themes in other films, so that responds may have
some sort of reference when answering and not having to solely rely on their own imagination and
interpretation which may be misleading.
Furthermore, it is quite clear that the majority, though not that significant, of the respondents are not willing to
attend a film festival as a means of watching a short film. This is understandable as my survey has been
primarily distributed among “casual viewers” and their interest for short films are nowhere near as large as for
others. The conclusion that has been reached from this that even though film festivals are important in
promoting not only your film, but also yourself as a filmmaker and receiving critical constructive feedback, it is
essential to focus on an online distribution, considering the modern day circumstances.