Audiovisual communication review

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 21–30 | Cite as

Theory and application of preproduction testing

  • Nicholas Rose
  • Charles Van Horn

Summary and Conclusion

A showing, to a small audience, before production has begun, may be useful to give a film maker advance information about the reactions of an audience to his film. Such tests are most useful when used early in the process of production, but not before the material available for showing to the test audience bears a systematic resemblance to the finished film. In most cases, the story board is the earliest stage at which a film may be tested, although exceptions are found to this rule. Testing cannot be utilized unless the producer's intent and the target audience are specified, and is most apt to be profitable when the content is very complex or when the production unit has had no experience with a topic or technique. Useful information may be obtained by any alert producer, but if the target audience is heterogeneous or has not been clearly specified, or if precise and careful predictions are needed, the services of poll and survey specialists or a phsychological test constructor should be sought.

The production of a motion picture, as anyone who has attempted it knows, involves a series of decisions. Preproduction testing may be viewed as a sort of “decision insurance” which, although it does not guarantee the desired outcomes, increases the probability of their occurrence.


Target Audience Finished Film Motion Picture Audience Effect Board Stage 
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Copyright information

© Periodicals Service Company 1956

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Rose
  • Charles Van Horn

There are no affiliations available

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