ERIC Number: ED214211
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Motion Picture Audience: A Neglected Aspect of Film Research.
Austin, Bruce A.
There has been little valid and reliable research of the motion picture audience. Specific reasons for the movie industry's own inattention to audience research include the early popularity of films and the fact that since the industry does not sell advertising it does not need to account for its audience size and preferences. Some researchers suggest that the artistic nature of film making and the industry's mistrust of researchers also account for the shortage. The fact that little audience research has been conducted by independent scholars and social scientists can be traced to at least six factors: (1) the notorious difficulty of access to facts about the secretive and insular film industry, (2) researchers' agreement with the film industry's assumption that each film presents a new problem and cannot be considered a typical product, (3) the difficulty or inability to attract funding for such work, (4) the vulgar associations attached to the newness and popularity of the cinema, (5) the feeling that what little there is to be said on the sociology of cinema is trite or well known, and (6) widespread research attention directed at television at the expense of movie research. Whatever the reasons for this shortage, and these suggested are not conclusive, there is clearly a need for such research in the areas of antecedent conditions to movie attendance, contexts of the movie experience, public preferences for movie genres, and attitudes toward motion pictures. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the Ohio University Film Conference (Athens, OH, April 1982).