The Rise of Fan Cinema


Once upon a time there were great stories that captured our imaginations and inspired us. We talked about them, wrote about them, made drawings, ran around with towels draped around our shoulders, climbed into cardboard rockets, and dreamed of all things possible in those distant galaxies far, far away.

Somewhere along the way fans began to do more than just dream. Fan-fiction is presently responsible for more franchise-related content than ever before. The lure of playing freely within these larger-than-life existing universes has inspired a colossal output that is now overtaking even original source material.

The more questionable iterations of this phenomenon can be experienced in the unstoppable juggernaut that are the Twilight films and 50 Shades of Grey franchise (fan-fiction-fan-fiction?). Overnight we are now seeing message board enthusiast and fan-fic bloggers rise to levels of popularity that rival and even surpass iconic authors.

A much-less-known but emerging scene in the cinema realm is the occurrence of the fan-film, a kind of homage genre (usually concerned with super heroes and popular video games) that has evolved significantly over the past few years.

Initially fan-films were a little more than very crude videos with homemade costumes, cobbled-together for 50$-100$ and filmed in the basement with some good friends. Today they have taken on epic proportions with production values having skyrocketed in the past decade.

It’s not only the DSLR revolution that has launched these projects forward; many newer films of this genre almost rival big studio products because aspiring writers, filmmakers, and animators are playing for keeps and using these outlets to showcase their ingenuity, regardless of their experience in the industry or affiliations. Some studios have even been smart enough to take notice and encourage this type of fan-fiction as they have only to gain from fans actively celebrating their intellectual properties.

Fan-films present a very unique opportunity in terms of filmmaking. You can demonstrate your work and style in an open forum and show the world what you would do if you had the reigns. It’s the best kind of reactionary art because you are literally putting your money where your mouth is.

More on this topic soon.

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2 thoughts on “The Rise of Fan Cinema

  1. Sarena says:

    Very well written article! Thanks.

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