The Gay Audience
The gay audience as a whole is a niche market, usually
produced by independent film makers on low budgets which is what my romantic comedy Classmates has in common with the gay film market.
Like many representations in film, the depiction of homosexuality has been generally distorted over the years, when it hasn’t been ignored altogether. Jan Oxenberg states that people are “starved” of images of themselves in film and this is why the famous actor and play writer Harvey Fierstein suggests that the gay viewers have to learn to read mainstream films in a certain way in order to actively find representations on themselves to identify with.
Steve Drukman wrote the formulation of a “gay gaze” in order to address gay and lesbian spectators and their identification with what is seen in film. Drukman also says that gay spectators are already used to modifying their gaze to the codes of traditional filmic narratives but that they want to make this gaze “centric” In other words, Drukman agrees with Fierstein’s comment that gay audiences have to translate mainstream texts in order to find the films more relevant to them and to be able to identify with characters onscreen.
Famous films marketing at gay audiences include
A Single man (2009) which grossed $9,166,863 in the US,
Brokeback Mountain (2005)which grossed a large $83,025,853 and Milk (2008) which grossed $31,841,299 in the US.
The London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (LLGFF) takes place every spring in London. It began as a season of gay and lesbian films at the National Film Theatre in 1986 and 1987 under the title "Gay's Own Pictures", curated by Peter Packer of the Tyneside Cinema. The festival showcases some of the best gay cinema from all over the world.
I have included to do research on the gay audience as my romcom Classmates includes two main characters that are homosexual. They will appeal to a gay audience as well as a heterosexual audience as gay people can relate to the homosexual characters portrayed in the film. The lesbian characters portrayed in my film are not stereotypical lesbian characters you would expect to see in other films. Lesbian couples are usually portrayed in the film industry as their being one more masculine female taking on the male stereotypical role in the relationship, and the more feminine female, who is more typically female. However in my indie film both female characters are typically feminine and womanly. This is not
stereotyping gay females that the film industry usually takes part in.