OTW Fannews: It’s Your Fault

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  • A post at GQ focused on a documentary about the making of a fan film tribute to another film and decided that fanworks have become too common for notice. “[T]he genre’s been so co-opted by the mainstream that it’s now part of the marketing playbook. Cultural gatekeepers are now enlisting us to submit our footage for their projects. Take the Ridley Scott-produced documentary Life in a Day, or EMIC, Google Play’s recent collaboration with Christopher Nolan to promote Interstellar. In a weird way, people look at you funny if you’re not filming something for your YouTube channel, or figuring out how to conquer Vine. These days, it’s almost more audacious to say, ‘No thanks—I’m just gonna be the audience.'”
  • Nintendo Life didn’t get the memo, and instead wrote about a Zelda fan film. “The Zelda Project is a fan run website based in Los Angeles, California that focuses on recreating various scenes and locales from the Zelda series via photography, film, and art. Player Piano is a YouTube channel run by Filmmaker Tom Grey that primarily focuses on classically-trained musician, Sonya Belousova, recreating video game music on a piano. Both of these groups appear to be quite talented, so this fan-film could definitely be worth a watch when it’s completed.”
  • A number of outlets wrote about the implications of the all-female and all-male Ghostbusters remakes. Salon decided that the fault doesn’t just lie with a sexist culture but that the blame also lies with fanworks. “[S]tudios are actually listening to their customers, and remakes are what you want. It’s what you’re making, after all — and by ‘you’ I mean the vast majority of people out in the indie fan world that supposedly serves as our alternative, our escape from the moribund studio system. What has the Internet been spending all this time making? Fan fiction, fan art, fan films. It’s hard to tell at times if the people making ‘gritty reboot’ trailers are parodying Hollywood or unironically creating something they want.”
  • The author of Vulture‘s recent piece on fanfiction was interviewed by New Hampshire Public Radio, and asked if she thought there was great fanfiction available. “I found fanfiction that was ok and every once in a while something that I thought ‘Oh, that’s pretty good’. But I think…it’s really more the writing and the reading and the sharing than the end product…Every single piece of fanfiction is like a work in progress…and it’s such a sort of group experience that it’s difficult to apply a term like ‘great’ to it. That’s like saying ‘Is there a great fairy tale’, I mean there isn’t a definitive version of any fairy tale, there’s just a million different tellings.” (No transcript available).

Has the spread of fanworks reached a tipping point? Write about your evidence in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.