OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Briony

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Briony is a vidder from the UK who has been editing fanvids for more than 12 years. Her work can be found on YouTube. Today, Briony talks about her experience creating fanworks.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

Like many, I have always been very fannish for as long as I can remember. As a child I committed intensely and wholeheartedly to any given media text that captured my attention. I was also very creative and would often create de facto fanart. It wasn’t until I was in my early teens that I serendipitously discovered Real Fandom. I was trying to find a scene from Titanic (one of the first texts I engaged with in an intensely fannish way as a child) on YouTube and I was instead presented with a fanvid.

I was completely enthralled. I loved the synthesis between image and sound and the way that the vidder had reworked the footage to highlight salient aspects of the text. The creator of the vid mentioned a popular Titanic fansite in their description that hosted a range of clips available for download. I soon headed to the fansite, downloaded all the footage I could find on there, and almost immediately began editing what would become my first ever fanvid. This soon introduced me to the world of fan forums, fan sites, mailing lists, and the like.

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Sharon Marcus

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Sharon Marcus is the Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and editor in chief of Public Books. Today, Sharon talks about the book she published this year, The Drama of Celebrity, from Princeton University Press.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

I became a fan long before I knew what a fan was, and my initial experiences of fandom were very out of phase with those around me. When I was around six, in the early 1970s. I saw Errol Flynn on television in the movie Robin Hood (1938) and developed a crush on him. No-one else my age even knew who he was, and my parents mocked him, but I liked his insouciance, his bow and arrow, and the fact that he wore tights.

A few years later, I developed an interest in Vivien Leigh, who died in 1967, a year after I was born. None of my friends had heard of her, either. My earliest experiences of fandom were solitary, mediated, and nostalgic –- the celebrities I became obsessed with had long departed this world. Perhaps as a result, I never thought of myself as a fan, at least not the way my friends were fans of David Cassidy, Farrah Fawcett, or John Travolta. (I did, however, develop an opinion about Charlie’s Angels: Jaclyn Smith was my favorite.)

The first times I heard the word “fan” used, it was associated with violence. Irving Wallace’s novel The Fan Club became a best-seller in 1974: the plot focused on five male fans who kidnap an actress they’re obsessed with so that she’ll have sex with them. In 1980, Mark Chapman murdered John Lennon; in 1981, John Hinckley tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan to get Jodie Foster’s attention. Fandom seemed excessive, criminal, pathological.

In college and graduate school, I studied nineteenth-century literature and learned that fandom had a long and complex history. The young Charlotte Bronte wrote a fan letter to a favorite poet and asked him for advice about her writing. Charles Dickens’ readers felt a personal connection to him that he fostered by addressing them directly in prefaces to his novels and by giving live readings from his works.

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Lauren Rouse

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Lauren is a PhD student at the University of Central Florida in their Texts & Technology program. She’s been writing fan fiction since age 11, has recently become an avid indoor gardener, and probably can be found with a cup of coffee in her hand. Today, Lauren talks about her recently completed research on fan responses to fanworks.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

I first found out about fandom through the Harry Potter fandom. I hated how Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (the book) had ended, so at eleven, I took to my Word document to rewrite the end of Dumbledore’s life and Harry’s time at Hogwarts. Because this was 2006, I ended up stumbling upon Fiction Alley a few weeks after writing my ending and started reading fanworks there (I spent all my time in Schnoogle because the romance fiction scared me: I was 11, boys were disgusting).

From there, I was hooked on fanworks. My mom limited my computer usage to an hour a day, but I probably spent that whole hour on the computer reading updates and new fics. I’ve been a part of many fandoms (Harry Potter, Twilight, One Direction, Kingsman, Star Wars, Teen Wolf, Fleabag, the MCU, and Sherlock) and have written in many of the fandoms.

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