Films do not just have the potential to have an effect on audiences but also audiences can have an affect on films. With fandom it can go both ways. Fans are people who love a particular film, genre, character or star and they share camaraderie with other fans. Sometimes being a fan can involve a huge range of activities such as attending conventions, dressing up, writing fan fiction, blogging, starting a website, attending premieres, collecting merchandise, writing fan mail or even getting into film production and referencing the films you are a fan of.
Though the films have clearly had an effect on the fans by making them get obsessed and turning the film into a hobby for the person, the fans also have an impact on the film. They turn it into more than a film, making it a cultural phenomenon such as Star Wars. Fans are now becoming filmmakers so Kevin Smith references Star Wars in most of his movies and J.J. Abrams is now making a Star Wars movie after being a huge fan of the original. Fans have expanded the Star Wars universe by writing their own fan fiction and their continuing love for the franchise has led to more and more sequels. Some fans have even gone as far as to call ‘Jedi’ their religion and some Trekkies have learned the (fictional) language Klingon from Star Trek. Some Avatar fans were even reported to be feeling depressed or suicidal as they could not visit the fictional planet Pandora. How much of this is really believable is debatable but there can be no doubt that fans take films very seriously and films can have a big impact on peoples lives.Check out this story on the tension between fans.
Did you miss...?
Part 1 on active vs passive spectatorship.
Part 2 on the pleasures of film watching.
Part 3 on frameworks of interpretation.
Part 4 on media literacy and intertextuality.
Part 5 on the effects of film.
Read more:Part 7 on pre and post-viewing experiences and conditions of reception.
Are you a fan? What do your fan activities consist of?