Primary research is first hand research gathered directly from the researcher themselves. It can be designed to meet your specific needs as its conducted by you and  you can decided what is carried out. However, it can be very time consuming to create your own research and finding secondary research can be quicker and easier, although it may be less relevant to your project compared to primary. You also have full control over the quantity of the research

Secondary research is second hand research that has already been collected by someone else and can also be known as desk research. This involves searching for existing data from things like journals, libraries, or online sources .  You can then apply the secondary research you find to your personal research problem. The problem with secondary research is that because it wasn’t designed by you specifically for your project, it may not always be completely accurate or representative.

Research methods:

  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Observations
  • Experiments

Sources of research

  • Magazines
  • Internet
  • Books
  • Experience

Planning Research

Step 1: What are you trying to find out

  • be clear and definite about what you want to find out
  • examples of a film project could include:
  • what different equipment can you use for lighting
  • which film scenes best shown lighting
  • the history of lighting and which lights were first used in film

Step 2: How am I going to do this

  • you must plan out how you will carry out your research before doing it so you are prepared and that you are sure it is feasible to do
  • plan the different research methods you could do and see which one fits best
  • for example an interview with a camera man may be hard to make happen for a student, however giving out a questionnaire on what films people associate with lighting is something you could do

Step 3: Locate sources

  • read through your sources properly to make sure you understand
  • analyse them to find which parts are most suitable for you
  • highlight the key parts so its easier to

Step 4: Apply it

  • this means actually applying the research you have found to your project
  • this can help you to come to an overall conclusion with your research and answer any questions you had

Why research is important

Research can be a tool for building knowledge and can help to take your project to the next level.  By researching all the facts you can be better equipped to fully understand the what you’re trying to find out. Research can also help you to find out what is true and what isn’t, you may have an idea about something but doing research will confirm if this is true and valid to put into a project.

Example of research plan –A horror film

Image result for horror film sara jane (2011)


In order for a horror sequence to be effective you may need dark lighting as a bright light would not help to create a scary mood. You would therefore need to research if obtaining your lighting preferences is feasible and if you have the right equipment to do so.


If certain props were needed for your horror sequence such as a knife or blood you would need to research the best available places to get these props to ensure they were both within your price range and looked realistic.


You may also want to research existing horror films in order to find out what can be most effective in scaring people, but you would also want to research this to ensure that you are not using any already existing ideas. ensuring your work is original. This similar research would also need to be carried out when deciding a title for your film to ensure you are not using one already being used.


Finding out the audience for the horror film could be done by carrying out questionnaires which would be given to a range of different age groups asking if the horror genre is one of their most watched / favourite film genres. Finding out your target market is crucial when it comes to marketing the film. The age the film will be aimed at would also depend on how horror based you are able to make the film and how much violence or gore you should use.


Research would also need to be carried out on where you are going to film the horror sequence as you may want to film the scenes in a gloomy looking dungeon, however this may not be available where you live so you would need to research other places that would help to create the same effect.

Harvard Reference  

‘Business case studies’ (1995-2016)  – Last accessed 21/10/16

Jane. S (2011) – Last accessed 21/10/16

Mcleod, S. A (2007) – Last accessed 21/10/16

Zarah L. (2016)  – Last accessed 21/10/16