Links Roundup for 28 November 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories about fan creations that might be of interest to fans:

  • The Daily Dot recently featured an interview with the creators of the Rap Industry Fan Fiction Tumblr blog. ““Why rappers? Because no one writes about rappers,” Jones told the Daily Dot. There’s something “endearing to read about rappers that feel vulnerable. And I mean vulnerable in a stupid, relatable way, like saying ‘duvet’ instead of ‘bidet,’ not grand lost-love vulnerability,”” Asked about any response from the subjects of their blogs, one replied “Upon two occasions rappers have asked us to post their music videos. I do not think they understand that our site is about made up stuff.” Their future plans include podfic, and hopes for a book deal.
  • One of the exhibits by a performance art group in Japan “taxidermied…rats, painted them yellow, and stuck wires in their tails.” The artists explained that the exhibit was inspired by the endurance of female Pikachu cosplayers. “These super rats have developed into what they are because of human activities. Even though humans are trying to exterminate the rats, they have become an eradicable [sic] part of society. I also thought that the type of girls that hang around Center-gai are a bit similar.”
  • Wizard World recently featured what they called The Best Fan Fiction on Video, a collection of fan films that somehow failed to include last year’s Emmy winning Star Wars fan film, “Star Wars Uncut” which was creatively crowdsourced. Crowdsourcing has enabled the production of an increasing variety of fan films for properties such as ElfQuest and Riverdale, an Archie comics fanfilm that “was produced with the help of almost 100 Craigslist volunteers from the Vancouver film industry.”

If you create fan videos or fan films or are part of rap music or Pokemon fandom, why not contribute to Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Still flying: Firefly fans’ creativity transcends cancellation

Actor Nathan Fillion, who played Capt. Malcolm Reynolds in the 2002 television series Firefly and its sequel film, Serenity, said in a recent interview: “If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.” Following this remark, Firefly fans swiftly moved into action, launching a Web site and Facebook page to gauge fan support for funding a buyout. Almost 12,000 fans responded, pledging more than one million U.S. dollars total.

Reactions to the movement were mixed. Some commentators speculated that a successful buyout could revolutionize the studio system of television production, while others expressed doubt that 20th Century Fox would be willing to part with the rights to Firefly regardless of how much money was pledged.

The project has now halted, but the momentum it gained in only two weeks demonstrates the passion, creativity, and capacity for swift mobilization that are hallmarks of fandom. Yet it bears pointing out that a revival of Firefly — or any other cancelled series — is not necessary for fannish creativity to thrive. Firefly fandom is clearly alive and well. Browncoats: Redemption, a fan-produced Firefly film with proceeds benefiting charity, premiered in 2010 amid great excitement from fans. There are nearly 1,700 Firefly fanworks in the Archive of Our Own, and many more elsewhere on the Web. Such fannish interpretations will continue to be produced, for fun and for free, regardless of who owns the series’ production rights or whether new episodes are being aired.

The passion and creativity of fans transcends the bounds of cancellation. To paraphrase Mal Reynolds in Serenity, love is what keeps fandom in the air, and that love can endure decades after its source texts.

October Drive – Celebrating our Vidding Roadmap!

The final project we have time to talk about during this drive is one of the newest and, we think, one of the most exciting. Our Vidding Roadmap. What’s that? An economy pack of assorted awesome things — initiatives that will serve a purpose beyond vidding, and which we believe will educate, advocate, and entertain. It includes a portal for learning about vidding, aimed at the curious, whether they are coming from inside fandom or from outside; a safe, stable place to store vids for the future; a way to share multimedia fanworks; and integration of multimedia into the Archive of Our Own.

The educational Vidding Community Resource Site is in development right now. The Dark Archive is also getting very close to reality. Video embed functionality for the AO3 is being coded and tested as we speak.

The Torrent of Our Own (TO3), however, is a more complex project. We are developing a bittorrent tracker for fair-use transformative fanworks, including fan vids, fic trailers, political remix, AMVs, machinima, and other forms of transformative digital media. This is a way to share our work with each other that isn’t an afterthought to someone else’s aims. A way that is designed for us, built by us, and owned by us. Running on our servers, with our advocacy behind it. After all, the vidding community has been increasingly disrupted by inaccurate content-filtering systems, the commercial failure of small streaming sites, bullying cease and desist letters, and wrongful DMCA takedowns. The TO3 will provide a stable, scalable home for vids; because torrents work best when there are high levels of collaboration and participation, we can open the network to any and all forms of fair use digital video and audio.

Our Vidding Roadmap, all of its parts, is a big project. It’s one we believe there is a pressing need for. Preserving our work, advocating for its legitimacy, and building for the future.

Donate to the OTW now.