Intention and audience

Now that the planning for your school assessed task is underway, you need to start thinking about the intention and audience of your media product. Who are you creating the media product for? What do you want it to achieve.

Writing about your intention

In the first sentence of your intention, you must clearly identify what you want to make. For example:

  • I am going to create a short, found footage horror film.
  • I am going to create a documentary about my grandparents’ migration to Australia.
  • For my SAT, I am going to make a music video for a local band.

Once you have clearly identified what you want to do in the opening sentence of your intention, you can go on to give more detail about what you hope to achieve.

What do you hope to achieve by producing your media product? Again, it is useful to be specific. When writing your intention, think carefully about what you hope to achieve. Write about the purpose, impact and outcome of your media product. A student creating the above mentioned music magazine might write something like this: “This magazine will be an engaging and intelligent read for people who are passionate about the alternative music scene. It will enrich their understanding of the music and artists by including indepth news, reviews and feature articles which not only comment on this subculture but also give an insight into the creative process. This magazine is for people who love alternative music and will encourage them to delve deeper into this world, appreciating and enjoying the music and artists even more, providing fuel for their interest and passion in this area. Ultimately, this magazine does not aspire to introduce new people to alternative music, rather build support for artists and musicians by creating further passion and interest among their existing fans.”

Question to consider

• What are you making? The first sentence of your intention should clearly state what you intend to make.

• What is the purpose of your piece? What impact or effect do you want it to have on the audience?

• Do you want your project to have a wider impact on society?

Writing about audience

Who are you making your media product for? It may seem like a simple question but it’s something you have to put a great deal of consideration into when completing your production design plan. The knowledge, expectations and experience of your audience will inform every stage of the planning and production of your media product. When you’re defining the audience for your media product, avoid generalisations. It’s not helpful to write that your intended audience will be ‘adults’ or ‘teenagers’. Simply referring to a particular age group doesn’t tell you much about the people who will be engaging with your media product. You need to have a clear audience in mind.

Let’s imagine that you’re creating a music magazine which will focus on alternative music. You might write something like this: “The audience for this magazine will be teenagers who are interested in music.” No very helpful, right? This is where you can start to be more specific. Write about the attitudes, expectations and knowledge of the audience. A more detailed response might look something like this: “The audience for this magazine will be people who are interested in the alternative music scene. They are the type of people who have their radios tuned to Triple J or RRR. They have an active and passionate interest in music and are always interested in discovering new acts. It is likely that they are not particularly interested in musicians who have achieved mainstream success or regularly have songs in the Top 40. They enjoy music that is more individual, expressive and may not appeal to a mass audience. They will enjoy acts like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Urthboy, Little Birdy, Eskimo Joe, Bob Evans, Peaches, Bertie Blackman, Numbers Radio, Children Collide and the Kaiser Chiefs. Individuality and musical integrity are important to the audience. They are not only interested in listening to new alternative music but they enjoy reading interviews with artists and band which give them a greater insight into the creative process. When choosing a music magazine, they will have certain expectations about its content. It must be fresh, detailed, insightful and have a great deal of integrity. It will be well-written and not feature shallow puff pieces. They enjoy reading serious music journalism. The audience for this magazine will have a very detailed understanding of alternative music already and will seek out magazines that enrich their understanding of music and its associated subcultures.”

Questions to consider

• Who are creating this media text for?

• What are their interests? What are they passionate about?

• What knowledge will they bring to your media product? Will they be familiar with the content, style or genre of your work?

• What expectations will they have of your film, magazine or other media product? Will they compare it to similar works? If so, what?