The Widow’s Web: Focus Groups

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

This was the first focus group that we conducted and used the very first version of our trailer. Our ‘test subject’ correctly identified that the film was a noir and some of the key character types such as the femme fatale. This is significant because it shows that our job of communicating the repertoire of elements that the noir genre has to offer was done effectively. There were a few slight errors in her understanding such as the idea that Mark was framed for Hans’ suicide- which is not strictly correct but adds to the narrative enigma of the film so it is not an issue in my opinion. Her main pointers to improve were to improve the sound of the trailer and make the narrative ever so slightly clearer (so they didn’t think Mark was framed for murder).

We then worked on this as a group to dub our audio and add some new shots with Hans and Rosette to make the narrative even clearer to the audience. This is reflected in our progression through the piece which can be found in a blog post here.

In this video, we asked two separate focus groups for their thoughts on our trailer. From this, we were able to establish that the narrative and genre of our film were very clear, perhaps too clear and that to improve we should refine the pacing and music. This was a useful exercise to get direct feedback on our trailer.

Here is another focus group that we conducted as a group (feedback starts at 2:12). We learnt that the way in which we had constructed the narrative was effective with the wide array of shots. To improve further, we should change the mise-en-scene of the bedroom scene.


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