Genre and demographics

The Genre of The Spellsinger series is a Golden Fleece Style film. It’s a fantasy quest myth with Rock and Roll. This genre is the single most successful and popular format in box office history.
It’s a fantasy road trip. A journey taken by diverse characters united against a common enemy. Examples include: Avatar, Paul, The Wizard of Oz, Jason and the Argonauts, Star Wars Episode 4, Back to the Future and Lord of the Rings,.
The main character is pushed into a situation by chance/fate and circumstances. There is no going back. The character goes in search of something and finds something else.
In Spellsinger, Clothahump has brought Jon Tom to a far off world. There is no going back. Jon Tom desperately wants to find a way home even after he discovers that he has a magical gift.
He joins Clothahump’s quest against the plated folk and along the way he develops strong feelings for the beautiful thief Talea.
The film has action, magic, rock music and gritty out there characters.
The mood is dark (We are talking about a threatened world and a race against time to repel an invasion) but the tone mostly is light and liberally laced with humour.  Mudge the foul mouthed otter with the cockney accent contrasts with Jon Tom brilliantly.  They play off each other.  But they really bond as friends.
 Spellsinger is not a film for really young children or even young teens. Am I a prude for saying that?  People ask me is it worth risking a demographic, 14-17? it’s a vital demographic but my moral fibre  questions it’s suitability.
And yet I remember seeing films like the Terminator at 14, Dirty Harry at 11 and the Shining  and Game of Death (Same Bill LOVED Drive ins!!!) when I was 10. We watched Cheech and Chong at 14 and Terence Hill and Bud Spencer.  I saw Porky’s Revenge at 13 and as an Aussie before I was 16 it was the height of Ozploitation Video and we saw Stone, The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey shoot, Mad Max, Mad Max 2 (Road Warrior).  Clint Eastwood’s Tightrope was presented as a double feature for GHOSTBUSTERS that my parents dropped us off at.  I guess that things have changed and the world has changed but by how much?  Twilight the film loved by Tweenies covered demonic pregnancy and nobody batted an eyelid.

I have seen posts from friends who have seen young kids at The Hunger Games and questioned their parents judgement.  Would there be a backlash and would it seriously effect the franchise.

While we do not want to attract the R Rating, how young an audience is appropriate?
There is a little weed in Spellsinger (Nothing on the scale of PAUL or  Cheech and Chong)  and yet Hunger Games has teenage genocide.
PG or not PG that is the Question…
We could easily tone the movie down to a PG rating through implying the psychedelic elements.  (Like the Australian Media use story more than image for the news.)
For  example when Saddam was hanged, in Australia we just needed to be told.  In the UK the entire event was broadcast live. We are a sophisticated audience and using implication rather than use is a reasonable approach.
We also have a much improved rating system which has MA and MA15+ in between PG and R.  This makes decision making a lot easier for our Classifications people and for parents to make a more informed decision.
15-17: These are the people we want to attract .  We know that they make up the biggest attendance.  We can nail it with hype and social media just like they have done recently with The Hunger Games and Project X.  I know that 14 and 15 fit in this demographic but I am not sure about suitability for a 14 year old.  I heard similar feedback about these kids seeing the Hunger Games.
18-24: This audience will love the genre and the action elements.
25-39 People like myself who have read the books since they were teenagers. There will be older patrons who were aged between Eighteen to Twenty-Five in 1985 who bought and read the books and passed their enthusiasm on to their children.
Niche Demographics
1. Hispanic Audience. As there is a strong and attractive female Hispanic Character in the first 2 films, it is reasonable to suggest that the picture could attract an interest from the emerging Hispanic demographic.
2. Fantasy film geeks that love quests and Comicon and probably still play Dungeons and Dragons. The people who saw PAUL.
3. Alan’s existing fans.
What do you think?  Have we got it right?  Is our approach sound?
Look forward to your comments.

About spellsingerthemovie

I am a huge fan of Fantasy books. My favourite without question is the Spellsinger series by prolific author Alan Dean Foster and we are going to do everything it takes to put this amazing book series onto the Big Screen! View all posts by spellsingerthemovie

6 responses to “Genre and demographics

  • mcolmo

    I can be the strong attractive Hispanic female, YAY! 😀

  • Ian

    I actually think there is a bigger market here in the younger audience. Let’s face facts here, the story is targeted at adults (communism, drug references, swearing) while the environment in which it is presented is more targeted at kids (other worlds, talking animals, dragons, etc). This will be a difficult balance to achieve. I think you want to aim right where Back to the Future did… try and reach a very wide audience, keep it reasonably clean for the kids and make it fun for the adults.

    I don’t think your target market is “furrys” or Alan Dean Foster fans. I think your target market is anyone who enjoys fantasy. I think it would be a mistake (both marketing wise and budget pitch wise) to present this idea as a fan pleaser. The movie will carry just as well without swearing and drug references. There is a way to keep Mudge’s personality without the swearing and excessive lady-loving ways 🙂

    Two major points that I am not sure of your take on though; 1). is this proposed to be CGI or part live, part CGI? 2). Are you rolling the first two books into the one movie?

    I think the target is this: CGI animated PG rating, both books rolled into the one movie. Aiming for any rating above that will alienate people who are unfamiliar with the story.

    Consider the reaction of an adult friend who is not a furry or sci-fi buff when you tell them the premise of the story. There is no real way you can explain it as an adult targeted movie. Their reaction is often derisive… “Sounds like a kids book”.

    Something else important to consider. I believe in this movie. I desperately want to see it made. To the point where a number of years ago I considered writing a screen-play version of it. I believe that if this movie is not made to reach as many people as possible, then it runs the risk of being ignored by any potential financiers.


    (Major Spellsinger Fan)

    • spellsingerthemovie

      Hi Ian thanks for your feedback. This is precisely the feedback that we wanted. In answer to your questions. We are looking at a CGI and Live Action Combination and the first two books as 2 separate features to begin with.

      • Ian

        I’ve been dreaming of this movie for so long I feel I have something invested in it’s future.

        With something as popular as Lord of the Rings, I think you can get away with rolling out movies that end without ending (so to speak). Being that Spellsinger will be new to a lot of the viewing public, I honestly don’t think you can start out like that. Believe me, I would love to see them separate so nothing is missed, but when you look at it realistically, I can’t see how it will work.

        The movie needs to blow people away at the end (like 99% of movies attempt to do) so that people go away telling their friends about it for the right reasons.

        For further example, I again refer to the LOTR series. I never read the complete set of books, and in fact only read the first one.

        To then watch the LOTR series and see a movie that just ends – stops – without closure, was one of the most annoying movie experiences of my life. It’s very frustrating.

        I don’t see a single plot point in Spellsinger that would be a big enough statement to end a movie on aside from the Battle at Jo-Troom Gate. I’m not trying to piss anyone off here, I’m just playing the devil’s advocate and putting forward what *I* think will stand the most chance of moving forward.

        With a new series, I think you have too much at stake to alienate newcomers to the series, when there is still plenty of potential movie adventure left in the rest of the series for sequels.

      • spellsingerthemovie

        Hi Ian. Thanks for your comments. Both our vision and business plan are completely different and when you see the final result the last thing that you will feel is disappointment. I agree about LOTR1 to a degree. It ended on a low but how else was it to end? We were unimpressed initially about the things that were left out but that’s the thing about adaptations. However after re watching and reading,you realise that you can’t keep everything and if the event does not drive the story/central protagonist forward then you have to question it’s relevance in a film. Sometimes devices in books are created to give the reader a breather. it’s a different experience. The ending was odd. However the experience more than made up for it. I doubt the packed cinema had even read the books. Unlike Harry Potter which at times is loosely based on the book series. The more radical readers were unimpressed. Some stormed out!!! The non readers had a ball. Go figure. Do all of the Harry Potter films end on a high? Not to my knowledge. Then neither do all of the Star Wars films. The LOTR Series ended on a high. Star Wars ended on a high and Harry Potter was subdued. All were successful.

  • Ian

    I am sure I won’t be disappointed… please don’t think that!

    To address some of the examples you site… Harry Potter was insanely popular BEFORE it was made into a movie, and so people wouldn’t care if Harry sat there and picked his nose at the end of movie 1, they would go and watch movie 2.

    LOTR *series* ended on a high, however one of the singular movies did not. But, again- this was hugely popular before it was made into a movie.

    And it would not have mattered how George Lucas made the second two Star Wars movies – because of the success of the first one, he had completely free licence. I really hope Spellsinger can achieve this status and have this freedom!

    Spellsinger was not a mainstream success, as much as I wish it to be.

    But, then again, Shrek was a book before it was a movie and VERY few people actually know that.

    I would dearly love to know how the screenplay would be structured for two separate movies – but clearly that’s not something you guys want to bandy around.

    Unfortunately there is no way I can make it to see Allan on the Gold Coast next week, family situation prevents me from doing so, however I would like to know more about the project if you have anything at all you can share!

    I wonder if there is anything us fans can do to help you with this project?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: