I'm nearing the end of the line with the Serbian Film audience research project. With over 300 responses, there was a lot of interesting data to swim through. One of the most interesting little facts that came out of it, for me, is that 78% of all participants watched an illegal download or bootleg copy of the film. 88% of British folks who took part watched an uncut version of the film, too, despite the BBFC's cuts. It seems like the real impact of censorship - it doesn't appear to be stopping anyone from watching the film - is the massive financial damage it does to independent filmmakers and distributors. My research isn't about that aspect of censorship, but it'd be fun to explore something like that in the future. Alexandra Kapka has written an interesting article about how piracy of A Serbian Film affects possible interpretations of the film, given that illegal downloads don't come with the same director's introduction which is bolted onto the front of the DVD release. I'm looking forward to getting this all polished up and ready for submission so I can share a little more (and hopefully publish the beast somewhere!).
Almost all of the Attackosaur Comics back catalogue, including the latest release, The Watchful Sea, is now available in Amazon's Kindle Store! Exciting times! They come with the fancy "panel view" and everything! You can either search for "Attackosaur Comics" or head here to The Watchful Sea and then click on the author name to see our other work. (That's the UK store; the comics are available on all Amazon sites.)
We'll have little promotions here and there, so keep your eyes peeled on here and on Twitter for more deets. If you do give one of them a go on the Kindle Store, I'd be super grateful if you could leave a short review!
(As you can see, I caved and plumped for a Transformer after the research mentioned in the last post!)
Not content with having one audience research project on the go, I've decided to attempt another one in the little spare time I have left over. It's a look at the reception of Michael Bay's Transformers series. I'd love to hear from anyone who's seen any of the films. If you love them, you won't be shamed for it! Equally, if you hate them, go for it. Give me your finest internet ranting. The project grew out of a seminar on fandom on a module led by Matt Hills (author of Fan Cultures, The Pleasures of Horror and a shedload more) which dealt with anti-fandom. I thought it'd be a perfect case study for looking at anti-fans of the films within the larger fandom of the Transformers franchise. I've gathered a lot of great responses so far - over 500 - and I'm aiming to turn it into a journal article (since the data set got too big to realistically use in my 2, 500 word assignment for this class).
The Transformers fans have been especially keen to get involved over at r/transformers, TFW2005 and Seibertron.com. The only downside to this project is that it's leading to a lot of dribbling over Transformers toys. I used to have one of these guys from the Armada range. Gutted I can't find it now and I've spent literally hours looking at these things now trying to stop myself from wasting this month's food money. I've also rewatched the films again. I've been told countless times that I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself, but I think they're amazing. I saw Dark of the Moon three times in the cinema (at £9 a time, that's high praise from me!) and it remains one of the coolest cinema experiences I've had. There's a shot in there which blows me away every single time (I've watched it a few more times on Blu Ray), when the wingsuit mission is getting underway and the Decepticons are blowing the helicopters out of the sky. The soldiers start leaping out of the helicopter as it's crashing and as the other 'copters are crashing around it. There's this frickin' shot from inside the helicopter where the soldiers are all leaping out of the back in slow motion as another helicopter goes crashing and burning beyond them. It's ridiculous. Anyway, I'd love to hear your take on the films, good, bad or indifferent. Hit up the survey over here. It's very short. Cheers, ears!
I'm conducting large-scale research into audiences of A Serbian Film at Aberystwyth University and looking for participants. If you've seen the film, I'd love to hear from you. Doesn't matter if you love the film, hate it, or don't care either way. The film was heavily censored in the UK and the BBFC have since relied on some very sketchy research by Ipsos MORI (available on the BBFC website here) to justify their aggressive cutting of films featuring sexual violence. My research is designed to interrogate some of the baseless claims made by the BBFC in light of the dodgy Ipsos MORI report and to better understand audiences of "torture porn" and the like. (I use the scare quotes not because I don't like the genre - anyone who's read one of my comics can probably tell that I'm a big fan! - but just because the term is contested by some folks.)
If you'd like to take part in the research, please head over here and complete a short survey. In-depth audience research is perhaps the best way to combat the kind of ridiculous hysterical reactions to violent films found in the press, so it's for a good cause!