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2. Find your audience

This guide aims to provide useful industry insights, resources and advice that can help you get started in the screen industry.

Many people new to the screen industry make the mistake of only thinking about who might want to see their project after they’ve finished making it.

Filmmaking is not just about making the film, it’s also about connecting your story with an audience. The ability to connect with an audience (beyond your family and friends) is what makes the difference between a hobby and a sustainable screen career.

Think about why someone would choose to watch your story rather than everything else on offer. Is there something about the subject that makes it particularly relevant now? If you plan to apply for funding, you will need to identify your project’s appeal to a well-defined audience and explain how you will reach them.

When defining the target audience for your project, think about people who share an interest in a specific subject or genre, whose content choices are influenced by the rest of their media diet, or alignments related to their age, gender, education, income, where or how they grew up etc. (the fastest way to kill a screen project when talking to industry is to say it is for ‘everybody’ –  this just means you don’t know your story well enough to identify and connect with a target audience). Listen to the podcast episode with Alyce Adams from Screen Australia’s Online team here for more on how to connect to an online audience – with tips that are applicable for any format.

If you are working with a story that comes from an ‘authentic’ place for an audience that you understand, either through personal experience or extensive research, then the story is much more likely to attract support and attention. If your content gets a good reception with its primary audience then it has more chance of being discovered by a broader audience.

The earlier you can define your core audience, the more informed your choices will be when developing all aspects of your project, from the script, creative team, actors, artistic direction, production design and music, to funding partners, distribution platform, festival entries and marketing.

We’ve created these resources to help you think more deeply about audiences:

It’s worth noting that using online platforms to screen your work gives you immediate audience feedback.