Sunday, 28 February 2010

Refined Subject and Audience Research

This is an update for the idea of my documentary. Recently BBC2 has aired a new series known as “Mastercrafts” which has similarities with my documentary idea.

The programme (Mastercrafts) itself focuses on a master craftsperson teaching 3 hopefuls the basic of there given craft over a period of 6 weeks. At the end of these 6 weeks the 3 hopefuls will create a final piece using the skills they have learned and have there piece judged by the master craftsperson. This examination will divulge whether the hopefuls have the skills to further there work or become apprentices in that craft. This is also dispersed with a history of that particular craft and how it has shaped our heritage.

The programme is in keeping with my idea of looking at how traditional crafts have shaped our cultural heritage, so following the programs ratings will give an insight to how popular this subject with the public. Currently I have found that the first episode of Mastercrafts (focusing on green wood work) achieved 2.7 million viewing figures (11.1%). Though I cannot accurately tell if this is significant amount compared to other programs it is a sign that there is interest in this particular subject (or at least for the first episode).

I also looked at online forums to find out individuals opinions about the content. The two I used was the digital spy forum and the facebook group. The digital spy forum is good because it is a forum devoted to television programming and content which offers a valid opinion. The facebook group is valid because it shows both the numbers of people involved and can offer positive feedback. This positive feedback shows areas that I will have to consider that people may want to see?

Another program for me to inspect would be the Victorian farm. This program was one of BBC 2’s most popular shows during 2009 and again encompasses hints of my subject in their content. However what may be more useful that online feedback about other programmes is first hand public research. This should be looking at what the public already understand about traditional crafts to see what else would be useful to cover in the subject, what are there favourite documentaries to see if there is a common theme to follow.


I have now narrowed down my idea:

The subject is looking at the traditional crafts within modern day British society and investigating what is being done to preserve them for future generations and craftspeople. This also looks at what has happened to crafts that are endangered or extinct and the effect this has had on the craft industry in Britain.

The subject is also an investigation into the British craft industry and wants to touch on what makes British craft different from any other craft in the world (essentially what makes British craft British). This is to show how crafts are apart of this countries cultural heritage and how important they have been in its history and will be in its future.

From this the documentary looks at the modern organizations that are working to preserve Britain’s traditional crafts and looking at what needs doing to ensure there survival. This area will also look at a selection of endangered crafts/craftspeople in Britain; to further understand there current situation and what can be done to help.

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