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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Participants sought for a major international study on The Hobbit audience


Nov 15 2012, 11:31pm

Post #1 of 10 (843 views)
Participants sought for a major international study on The Hobbit audience Can't Post

Hi everyone,

some of you may know that a major international research project has recently launched, the first stage of which seeks to explore audience engagements with The Hobbit prior to the film's release. If you might be willing to participate, we'd be most interested to hear your views! Here is a little more information about what's involved:

In this survey we are keen to hear people’s thoughts, expectations and hopes relating to The Hobbit prior to its international release. We’d like to hear from people with all kinds of views, including the many fans of The Lord of the Rings movies, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, and Peter Jackson. And that means we would like to hear from you :)
About us: We’re a team of academic researchers located at the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand) and Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada). We are interested in the nature of audience reception, and in understanding why different people often have very different views and understandings of the same film. In the recent past, we’ve studied cross-cultural receptions of James Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar. Now, we’ve turned our attention to another major film production that already seems to be generating a diverse range of responses – Peter Jackson’s forthcoming film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
What is involved: Completing the survey will take around 30 minutes (yes, it's a little long, sorry!), and involves a combination of sorting and ranking a selection of statements relating to The Hobbit, as well as a more traditional questionnaire with click responses and a few open ended questions where you can tell us what you really think, in your own words, saying as much or as little as you would like to share.
While the survey method may seem unfamiliar at first, most people find it quite straightforward. Please read the instructions carefully, and if you need to read them again you can do so by clicking ‘help me’, which you will find on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Unfortunately, those using Apple macs or ipads may not be able to complete the survey because it uses Flash, but if you have access to a PC or android tablet it should work fine. It probably won't be possible to complete the survey on a smart phone, sorry.
If you do decide to complete the survey, clicking http://goo.gl/4vsvf will take you to the formal consent agreement, which looks rather ominous but provides important details about your rights as a research participant. The most important things to know are that your participation is entirely voluntary, your answers will remain anonymous, and you can say as much or as little as you wish. We would really appreciate your involvement - Lay hah-non!


Nov 16 2012, 12:38am

Post #2 of 10 (378 views)
I enjoyed the survey [In reply to] Can't Post

I know you warned me that it would take 30 minutes, but I finished it quite a bit quicker. Best of luck with your study - I'd love to hear your findings.


Nov 16 2012, 1:21am

Post #3 of 10 (356 views)
Thanks for this [In reply to] Can't Post

Happy I could contribute! I look forward to seeing the results

"After all, I believe that legends and myths are largely made of 'truth', and indeed present aspects of it that can only be received in this mode; and long ago certain truths and modes of this kind were discovered and must always reappear." Professor Tolkien, 1951

The Shire

Nov 16 2012, 9:28am

Post #4 of 10 (270 views)
Done! [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, that was really interesting.
Good luck with the research!

...in every wood in every spring there is a different green...(c)


Nov 16 2012, 10:45am

Post #5 of 10 (277 views)
Reposted it on a Russian forum... [In reply to] Can't Post

...in case you are interested in truly international participation. :)


Russian LotR/Hobbit Site:

Henneth-annun.ru - the Russian LOTR site


Nov 16 2012, 1:00pm

Post #6 of 10 (277 views)
When/where will you publish the results? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd be curious to know what everyone said--not just because of The Hobbit, but because I've been thinking about how audiences are responding to movie promotion generally. What do most people connect with? How do you arouse someone's interest in a movie or a book?


Nov 18 2012, 9:10pm

Post #7 of 10 (158 views)
Thank you for doing the survey! [In reply to] Can't Post



Nov 18 2012, 9:15pm

Post #8 of 10 (151 views)
That would be great, thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

Unfortuately this first survey is only in English, but if there are Russian fans who can complete it, that would be wonderful. We are hoping to extend the range of languages used in our second survey (which will go live early next year, once the film is released internationally), as we are hoping this might come closer to a truly 'international' reception study. We hope to include Russian in this second phase, as it seems like there is a very active fan base there?

Carolyn Michelle
lead researcher


Nov 18 2012, 9:30pm

Post #9 of 10 (157 views)
publishing the results [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Iduna,
we are hoping to have some preliminary results by mid December, which will be released to news media in New Zealand and Canada, and possibly picked up elsewhere. We can put this summary on this forum, if you and others are interested? We'll be working on a conference paper and later a journal article in the first part of 2013, and we can post the link to this once it is published.

The questions you've asked are of interest to us also; we haven't specifically looked at this issue in terms of the marketing techniques that help build connection and interest among prefigurative audiences, as we are more focused on understanding audience receptions and fan discussions and debates, but some of our results will certainly point to elements that have had greater resonance. Of course with The Hobbit there are different audience segments already primed to be interested, but for different reasons. It would be interesting to know what supports and extends that interest, and what potentially turns some among those audiences off in terms of marketing and promotion - for instance, whether the TV spots and trailers are delivering what people hoped for, or falling short. This seems to be an issue for some, based on some of the 350 or so responses we've had so far, and comments I'm seeing on those texts on Youtube and elsewhere. A film like The Hobbit has to live up to very different and at times competing expectations; it will be fascinating to see how well the final product has managed to juggle these!
Best wishes,
Carolyn Michelle
lead reseacher


Nov 18 2012, 11:48pm

Post #10 of 10 (220 views)
Thanks! I would be interested to know [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I would be really curious to know what the results of your study were--just to see how my answers compared to everyone else's!

And even though it's not the main point of your study, perhaps there might be some more general marketing lessons that can be learned from people's answers, too.

In any event, I agree, it will be fascinating to see how the movie meets the expectations of so many diverse people.


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