Entertainment Industries

  • OTW Fannews: Merging Into Literature

    Av thatwasjustadream på söndagen, 27 september 2015 - 5:44pm

    image of books stacked in a small pile with the words OTW Fannews next to them

      Fanfiction discussions continue to crop up alongside other discussions of literature. Montana's Missoula Independent promoted a fanfiction reading by pro writers at a book festival. Meanwhile, an Italian literary festival had a session on fanfiction writing. "Traditionally ignored by the publishing and media industries, fanfiction has been referred to as the refuge of frustrated aspiring writers...The subject is more articulated however, because it touches upon - and includes - literature criticism, copyright, cultural influences, social constructs, and it can't ignore the changes happening in the publishing industry. It's an ongoing conversation that involves an ever growing number of authors, scholars, fans and readers."

    • Not mentioned there but referenced in various other places discussing the new Millennium series novel, was that original fiction increasingly crosses over into fanfiction. "From the reviews and what I’ve read so far, The Girl In the Spider’s Web is a very competent and perfectly entertaining act of literary mimicry, recreating the feel of the characters and the world of the first three books as well as the technothriller procedural plots. But the question is, is there more than that to it? Does it have Larsson’s undertone of political anger and activism against injustice, misogyny and corruption, or is it just a fun pulp romp for the beach? Is it more than just fan fiction? Is that all the fans want? How does it feel to read this knowing that had he lived, Larsson would almost certainly have written a fourth book completely differently?"
    • A post in the Nevada Daily Mail about a local creative writing group discussed fanfiction as an option for writers. "[I]t can be a fun distraction from one's professional writing. And a distraction from your regular writing is one of the problems with fan-fiction! Still, if you have a favorite show, movie, character, etc., that you want to create a new story about, do a search for that one interest and fan-fiction about it. I'm sure you'll find lots of reading."
    • A discussion in Variety with Bryan Fuller touched on the lapse of canon into fanfiction, even when it's being written by its creator. "I feel like it was a unique experience of myself as a fannibal, writing the show as I imagined it — it was my fan fiction — and then sharing it with other fan fiction writers who then elaborated on it in their own ways. It was a wonderful communal experience. I’ve never had a show in the thick of the Twitterverse like I did with 'Hannibal,' and it was a really fantastic, exciting experience, and hopefully one we’ll be able to repeat on 'American Gods.'"

    How have you seen fanfiction merging into literary and canon worlds? Write about it 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Bedfellows

    Av .Ellorgast på söndagen, 16 augusti 2015 - 4:09pm

    Swirly text surrounded by pink flowers, hearts, and a cupid reading

    • The University of Leicester announced a conference on Fandom and Religion. "'Fandom is a major activity today: people’s passions become major commitments, and fans start seeming like religious devotees,' says Dr Clive Marsh, Director of Lifelong Learning at the University of Leicester, who is one of the organisers. 'I am particularly interested in researching the intensity with which people exercise their fandom, and how this signals the meaning and purpose that people find in, and through, their fan activity. Functionally at least, this can prove to be very similar indeed to religious practice.'”
    • BizCommunity discussed results of a survey of music fans and categorized them by eight 'Logics of Engagement'. "Music fans engage in their passion differently country by country. For example, the festive culture of Brazilians make them the fans that engage most strongly through the logic of Social Connection (62%), whereas 9 out of 10 Chinese fans engage through the logic of Play. Furthermore, age matters. Young fans aged 13-17 engage the most strongly through Immersion when they listen to music (64%). A majority of fans that are 35 and older engage through the Logic of Exploration (59%)."
    • Barnes and Noble was targeting fangirls as part of its Pop Culture events. "Barnes & Noble is calling all fangirls to its stores nationwide for a special Fangirl Friday meet-up...to celebrate fandom. From 'Potterheads' to 'Whovians' to YA Booklovers, there’s a fandom for everyone, and Barnes & Noble is calling all fangirls to unite and visit their local store to enjoy special events, giveaways and more. Cosplay is welcomed. Additionally, while supplies last, customers can pick up the Vinyl Vixen Metallic Wonder Woman, available only at Barnes & Noble."
    • Cosmopolitan discussed an unfortunate overlap between Cameron Dallas fans and porn viewers. "Cameron Dallas is a dreamy, wholesome male Vine and YouTube star who is 20 years old. As is typical of this genre of celebrity, his fans are mostly teen girls. So I found it pretty disturbing last night when those fans started posting tons of selfies for Cameron on Twitter under their fandom name: Cam Girls. Anyone who has used the Internet probably knows what a cam girl is (other than a Cameron Dallas fan, apparently) and if you don't, I'll just tell you right now: "Cam girl" is short for "webcam girl," a woman who strips and does porn via webcam for money. Another fact about cam girls is that — like most other businesses — they often use Twitter to foster a following."

    What strange bedfellows have you seen in fandom? Write about them 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Tourism

    Av Claudia Rebaza på söndagen, 2 augusti 2015 - 3:01pm

    Banner by Alice of a road sign reading OTW Fannews: Fandom Tourism and a dotted path from a compass to an X

    • Media outlets have been engaged in 'fandom tourism' articles for some time. Although there are fewer articles these days demonstrating surprise that fandom or fanworks exist, there are still a number of fandom profiles that either serve to stoke fandom nostalgia by pointing out activity surrounding a particular canon, or by demonstrating surprise that works exist in a specific fandom. Some recent examples were run in Jezebel, Flavorwire, and The New York Times.
    • While the spate of fandom tourism articles may have been inspired by San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), other articles involved SDCC directly. In a post at Belief Net, Nell Minow discussed her participation in the San Diego Comic Con panel Fandom: The Next Generation. "We all dream of sharing our passions with our children. But it is important to be careful about it. Everyone on the panel had a story about sharing the wrong movie — or the right movie too soon — with a child who got upset, and feeling that we had 'flunked parenting.' Young children will say what they think you want to hear and if it seems too important to you, they will tell you they like something when they really do not."
    • NPR talked with screenwriter Nicole Perlman, who discussed her excitement at seeing fans of her next project. "Perlman says she got very excited the first time she saw someone dressed up as her new project, Captain Marvel. 'She looked fantastic, so I completely accosted her and I kind of whispered it shyly, 'I'm writing the movie, take a picture with me please!'"
    • Polygon contrasted the approaches of Marvel and Warner Bros when fans promoted their new projects. "When trailers leaked from Comic Con, because studios show things to huge halls of people who are all carrying recording equipment and still think they can control the footage, the response from Warner Bros. was, to put it mildly, messed up." Writer Ben Kuchera concluded, "The reaction to the Suicide Squad footage was mostly positive; this was a great thing for Warner Bros. until they had to stomp in and make sure we knew they didn't approve of the way we were excited about their product and everyone needs to cut it out at once or they'll turn this movie right around and drive home."

    What articles could your write about your fandoms? Don't wait! Post them to 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fangirls in the Wild

    Av Claudia Rebaza på tisdagen, 28 juli 2015 - 4:00pm

    Banner by Alice of the top of a face peering out from behind some leaves

    • San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) season means it's time for the media to once again declare that fangirls exist. The New York Times thought this was the year for fangirls. "A bunch of oddballs — nerds and fanboys, toy collectors and cosplayers, gamers and fantasists — invaded the mainstream and planted themselves at the vital center of the entertainment industry...Lately, though, something else has been happening, too — a shift in the ecosystem of fandom symbolized not only by Sadness but also by another new addition to the Comic-Con costume repertory: Imperator Furiosa, the crew-cut, one-armed avenger played by Charlize Theron in 'Mad Max: Fury Road.' Furiosa’s presence amid the Disney princesses and Manga pixies is an especially potent sign of the feminism that is a big part of this event."
    • A more thoughtful article at Refinery29 points out that SDCC is hardly a bastion of feminism yet. "What we’re calling fangirls here covers an admittedly wide and amorphous group of women. They’re cosplayers, comic book collectors, sci-fi nerds, steampunk enthusiasts, booth babes, Lolitas, and more....And they are vocal: When the proportion of female writers and artists for DC Comics plunged from 12 percent to 1 percent in 2011, female fans started a petition for DC to hire more women. DC Comics responded by promising to try. Female fans from a group called the Carol Corps. were also instrumental last year in pushing Marvel to announce plans for a movie about Captain Marvel, a super-powered woman. In other words, fangirls are engaged and numerous, making up a significant portion of the audience that shells out hard-earned dollars to support their pop culture passions. And yet, despite that, this group remains the third estate of the comics / fantasy world."
    • The Chicago Tribune focused more on numbers. "'But when you start to break it down according to how fans identify themselves, we find that no individual fandom is that even,' continues Salkowitz, who will discuss his findings Sunday afternoon at Comic-Con. 'Comics, videogaming, hobby gaming and toy collecting are majority male, usually in the 55- to 60-percent range. Manga/anime, science fiction/fantasy and media fandom are 60- to 65-percent female. Because today's big conventions appeal to fans of everything, audiences coming to shows are pretty much gender-balanced. However, it's still the case that, say, 'comics' fandom tends more toward older guys, whereas manga appeals more to younger women.'"
    • As Neon Tommy pointed out, having female creators representing female fans in the media is a needed step forward. "As for today’s devoted fangirls — who have often been excluded from the full participatory side of media — Jarett says the 'Fan Girl' film's message is one of female empowerment. 'Telulah is a filmmaker,' he says. 'And being a fan of something can also be someone’s art — it’s a form of creative expression.'"

    How many times have you been discovered within fandom? Write about your history 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.

  • OTW Guest Post: Donna Davies

    Av Janita Burgess på måndagen, 27 juli 2015 - 4:27pm

    Banner by caitie of an OTW-themed guest access lanyard

    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.

    Today's post is an interview with Donna Davies, the writer, director and producer behind the documentary Fanarchy. The documentary explores how new affordable technology is allowing fans to threaten the Hollywood system by producing the films they want to see in quantities Hollywood can't keep up with. It premiered July 9 on Epix Drive-in.

    What inspired you to make this documentary?

    I made a documentary about the Hollywood film industry that featured some pretty high profile directors and discovered that several had made their own homemade tributes to the stories and movies they loved when they were kids. I was intrigued by the fact that these individuals were all inspired by the TV shows, books and movies they loved as children and were really still fans at heart. I wanted to look deeper into the idea of fandom as artistic inspiration.

    What is your personal history with fandom?

    I'm a fan of the old Hammer horror films, like The Curse of the Werewolf, Horror of Dracula, etc. I'm also a huge fan of Dylan Thomas. Not really a fan of superhero movies, although I did love the Super Chicken and Underdog cartoon superheroes.

    What was the biggest revelation when you were making Fanarchy?

    I was amazed by how powerful fans have become. As a result on fans and their desire to be part of the world they love, the entertainment industry has completely changed. It's become less passive than in has been in the past. It's become more of a participatory sport.

    What has the reaction to Fanarchy been, and what surprised you about that?

    I had imagined the San Diego Comic-Con crowd would relate to the film, but I didn't expect to have so much interest from the those who aren't involved in the fan community. The idea of ownership of story and copyright is clearly more relevant now then ever before in history.

    How do the philosophies of the OTW (such as that fanworks are fair use, female spaces and representations should be encouraged) fit with what you found?

    Early on in the process of making the film, I interviewed [OTW Legal Staffer] Rebecca Tushnet. Rebecca provided insight into the legal implications from the fan's perspective. I also interviewed media expert Jeff Ulin, a lawyer who had worked for Disney and Lucasfilm, where he managed worldwide distribution including the franchise sales for Star Wars. These two experts gave me insight into of the vast divide that often exists between the fans and the copyright holders.

    I was worried at the start of making the film, because, although I had dealt with fair use in previous docs, I had never pushed things this far before. Although the fan films featured in the doc have been available on the Internet, until now they haven't been broadcast on traditional television. Here's hoping I don't end up in jail.

    In all seriousness, I think we're making huge progress in the area of fair use in documentary film. I can do things today that were not possible just 10 years ago.

    As for female spaces, while fan culture is absolutely rooted in female culture, I think that has primarily been the "story" side. The "film" production side has traditionally tended to bias towards males. However with accessible distribution methods and affordable technology that is changing.

    My film is really looking primarily at fan films and TV shows, not literature or vidding. I'm totally fascinated by that side though, so maybe that's my next film!

    The main character of Fanarchy is Maya Glick, a black woman from Texas who, through the making of my doc ends up achieving her goal of making her own fan-film tribute to [Marvel character] Storm. I also feature several other female characters, including Brea Grant who, after much success acting in Hollywood films and TV shows like Friday Night Lights, Heroes, and Dexter, went on to write her own comic book, then engaged with her fans to eventually make her own feature film.

    There's also Stephanie Thorpe, who, along with her producing partner Paula Rhodes, made a loving fan tribute to their favourite childhood comic book series, Elfquest, and then used that fan film to convince the copyright holders to give them the rights to make the Elfquest TV series.

    In addition to Rebecca Tushnet, the film features other female experts such as film critic Maitland McDonagh and journalist Heidi Honeycutt.

    What are your thoughts on the monetization of fanworks?

    This is a tricky area to navigate. Some fans just want to play with the stories and characters they love. I believe that these fans should be able to do so freely. And I think that this has become more and more acceptable.

    Copyright holders are beginning to understand that these fans are not harming their franchises. It's very difficult to prove that these homages take away money from the original works. However fans still have to be careful. They have to walk a very fine line between freedom to express their fandom and directly profiting monetarily from that fandom. The fans who want to use their fan works to build a fan base can easily do so. Doing a fan film about Batman enables the filmmaker of that fan film to reach out to other fans, and gain an audience for an original film that they can legally profit from.

    Things are evolving very quickly. Some fan films are becoming so professional it is impossible to tell them from the original. Fan filmmakers who are doing these super pro films are hoping that they can eventually make a deal with original copyright holders to share in any profits that could be made from the fan works.

    They are always going to be fans who just want to do this for themselves as a labour of love on the one hand and on the other hand those who want to use the fan work as a calling card to break into a career.

    Finally, how can fans who've missed the previous airings watch Fanarchy?

    The film will be broadcast on Epix Drive-in throughout the summer. It will be available on Netflix in October.

    We're also doing the film festival circuit now and broadcasting in Canada in the fall.

  • OTW Legal Staffers Participate in SDCC "Fandom is My Fandom" Panel

    Av Janita Burgess på fredagen, 24 juli 2015 - 5:18pm

    SDCC Fandom is My Fandom panelists.

    At this year's San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), OTW Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt participated in the Fandom is My Fandom panel, moderated by Legal's Heidi Tandy.

    Betsy and Heidi were joined by Amanda Brennan (Community and Content Tumblarian), Flourish Klink (Chaotic Good, Inc., Transmedia Producer for East Los High), Meredith Levine (Fanthropologist, ZEFR), Aron Levitz (Head of Business Development, WattPad), Elizabeth Minkel (Writer, New Statesman/The Millions), and Missyjack (aka Jules) (Founder, Supernatural Wiki).

    A video of the panel is now available for public viewing.

    The panel discussed how fandom has changed now that fanworks are in the spotlight on social media and mainstream news and are being acknowledged by the companies that create and distribute source material. The panelists reflected on how advances in technology and improved understanding in copyright law, particularly in the area of fair use, have increased fandom's public reach and placed fanworks into the public consciousness.

    Panelists noted that fandom is even inspiring developments in law: in 2013, Holmesian scholar Leslie Klinger and author Laurie R. King received a "cease and desist" letter from the Conan Doyle Estate, ahead of the publication of their second anthology of stories inspired by the Holmes canon. Klinger successfully sued the Estate, claiming the copyright had expired on all of the story elements included in the anthology. Because of Klinger, all but the last ten Holmes stories are now officially part of the public domain, allowing fanfiction authors to publish and even sell works based on the majority of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and novels.

    Many fanwork creators prefer to stay non-commercial, though, whether to be better able connect directly with their audience; to use fanworks as a "training ground" for skills that can be used professionally; to avoid legal risks; or simply because they prefer to participate in a gift and generosity based economy and community.

    The panel pointed out that the companies behind commercial works are increasingly interested in fandom and fanworks, sometimes even offering fanwork contests. Because of this, many fanwork creators no longer feel the need to hide their work from "the powers that be" and can enjoy participating in these contests, provided that they are able choose what and when to share. Companies may use these contests both as a way to reward fans for their enthusiasm and as an additional source of metrics to gauge consumer engagement. The panel suggested that, while fans often appreciate nods to fanwork in their favourite source material (e.g. Supernatural meta episodes, characters referring to tumblr, etc.), they also want space to engage in fandoms without needing acknowledgement or approval from creators of source material.

    The increased visibility of fanwork has allowed mainstream creators to acknowledge their fannish pasts. As fanwork becomes better understood by people outside of the fandom community, we hope that stigma will decrease, and that the myriad forms of fannish engagement and creation will be met with the appreciation and respect they have always deserved.

  • OTW Fannews: Balance of Power

    Av Kiri Van Santen på tisdagen, 14 juli 2015 - 5:43pm

    banner by Tea Berry-Blue of a balance scale

    • Gamasutra hosted a post about the preservation of gaming history. "The second event – the most relevant and sadly the one that got less coverage – was that EFF made a petition to the U.S. Copyright Office, requesting an exemption to allow for games abandoned by their companies – such as MMOs that no longer have servers online – to be legally maintained by the fans. That is a fantastic thing both for consumers and for the preservation of our history – either companies keep their servers up, or they are giving permission for others to do so. So it doesn't come as a surprise that the Electronic Software Association also contacted the U.S. Copyright Office, pressuring them to deny EFF's request, supported by their buddies, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America – yes, those two also contacted the Copyright Office to pressure against the preservation of video games."
    • A post at Fansided suggested that it's not only the entertainment industries that don't have the best interests of fans at heart: technology companies also have an effect on fannish practices. "Look, if you’re watching the game at home by yourself...split your attention between your TV and your tablet/smartphone/laptop/whatever...But if you’re out in a public space that’s clearly meant to encourage a communal viewing experience, then put your phone away and be present in the damn moment." Exploring the pluses and minuses of tech use, writer Stu White adds "[Y]ou are told that by not participating in this second-screen culture, you run the risk of isolating yourself, of becoming an outsider, of becoming somehow deficient. Fears regarding outsiderness run deep, thus they are easy for brands to capitalize on. Are you worried about being isolated from the world? Then buy our product! We are the only viable path to connectedness and community."
    • On the other side, fans' loyalties may lie in interpretation. Writing about the new novel in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, The New York Times focused on how much 50 Shades fanfic is out there, as well as how much more satisfying readers might find it. "At this point, Ms. Fougner, who has published the equivalent of five novels totaling some 3,500 pages, has written far more about Christian and Anastasia than their creator has. 'I prefer her writing to E. L. James’s writing,' Ms. Brueggemann said...Another one of Ms. Fougner’s devoted readers...said that she read 'Grey' when it came out on Thursday and found it lacking compared with Ms. Fougner’s version. 'I know ‘Grey’s’ going to be a letdown for me...I’ve already read it through Emine’s eyes, and I honestly don’t think E. L. James can touch her version of Christian.'"
    • Trek Movie was among those who interviewed a fan who pitched their TV series idea to Paramount. "Michael Gummelt, owner of www.StarTrekUncharted.com (formerly www.StarTrekBeyond.com) and creator of the fan concept of the same name has been invited by Paramount to pitch his idea for a new Star Trek television series to the network, an unprecedented opportunity rarely (if ever) afforded to non-industry professionals. The concept, now titled Star Trek Uncharted, has been in the works for 20 years and takes place several decades after the time of Captain Kirk and the original Enterprise."

    What cases of fan and entertainment industry interaction have you observed? Write about them 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Paying Court

    Av thatwasjustadream på söndagen, 12 juli 2015 - 3:59pm

    banner with lines suggesting an envelope and a postal stamp and the words OTW FANNEWS

    • OTW Legal Staffer Rebecca Tushnet was among those interviewed for the new fandom documentary, Fanarchy. Fan Film Follies reported that it will premiere on July 19th, 2015 on the network Epix. "Fanarchy explores the rise of fan culture and the ways in which modern fandom is challenging the Hollywood system by becoming a creative force in its own right. Questions are raised about copyright, intellectual property and the concept of originality in a re-mix culture."
    • Another fan documentary premiered recently on the BBC. In When Pop Ruled My Life: The Fans’ Story "[t]he presenter’s murky past helps this enjoyable documentary explore the question of what drives small fanatics, but the beauty of the programme lies in its affection for the fans. Take, for instance, the Iron Maiden devotees – now white-haired men – who named their children after band mascot Eddie and now chuckle about their wives leaving them. Or the Bay City Rollers extremists who still turn up to reunion shows in tartan Rollergear, with the word 'Les' embellished on their backs in diamante."
    • Movie Pilot released a post highlighting the many fanart responses to the character of Yarny in the new Electronic Arts game, Unravel. "[P]erhaps due to the cuteness of the character alone or the excitement and nervousness of its director Martin Sahlin, the internet and video game community immediately fell in love with the little guy."
    • Entertainment Weekly promoted the MTV fandom awards, noting the new categories this year. Eligibility for at least one of them, "Fandom Army of the Year" would seem to be dependent on having a recognizable fandom name. Perhaps this is why celebrities seem to be increasingly involved in these choices, either by weighing in on different options or outright soliciting official descriptions.

    What forms of fandom recognition have you seen? Write about them 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Entrepreneurs

    Av Claudia Rebaza på tisdagen, 7 juli 2015 - 3:52pm

    Banner by Swimmies of a patchwork background with a lightbulb saying

    • A post at Digital Book World discussed lessons publishers should learn as the eBook market matures. For one, they should "[a]cquire readers, not just authors. Editors already know to look for authors who have already found a following, however small, but while publishers are turning more attention to fan fiction communities, many aren’t being utilized to their full potential. Publishers tend to see writers of online fan fiction and original fiction, like those on Wattpad, as a means for sparking initial sales. But they can sometimes exceed that marketing function to emerge as strong, independent brands in their own right and should be approached accordingly from the get-go. Amanda Black’s Apartment novels and SJ Hooks’s Absolute novels both originated as Twilight fan fiction posted as online serials and are now among Full Fathom Five Digital’s best-selling titles."
    • There's certainly no slowdown in converting fanfic to published work. But authors aren't the only entrepreneurs cashing in on fandom interest. Fanmail is one of many new products targeted at female fans. "The subscription box market has expanded hugely in the last year with buyers able to find mystery boxes filled with makeup, beer, vinyl records, dog treats, and more. In the pop culture world, the most popular boxes have targeted mainly male buyers, with only incidental inclusion of what could be considered female fandom goodies...'We weren't seeing our shows and our heroes and heroines represented,' said Del Vecchio...'And a lot of the boxes were just filled with items you could buy yourself versus handmade and fan-created stuff.' Among the properties that will be featured in the first six months of FanMail are Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, iZombie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Legend of Zelda, and many more."
    • The Ft. Leavenworth Lamp featured the business efforts of Mugglenet creator Emerson Spartz. "He wanted to 'build stuff' and when he came across a free webpage maker he was intrigued. He spent a month building websites that went nowhere until he came up with Mugglenet. He liked it but he didn't know how to get people to come and use it. 'So I just emailed every single Harry Potter webmaster on the entire internet. This was before search engines were a thing, so it was an enormously difficult process. I emailed thousands of them and a few hundred got back to me, and we linked to each other. And people started to come to the website...I had to grow up in a hurry because I was managing a part paid/part volunteer team of 120 people. I kept my age a fiercely guarded secret, thinking as soon as they knew, I would have to deal with mass departures."
    • Big corporations are also putting fans to work for them. "[O]nly a minority are superfans who write primarily about the company’s products and theme parks...To get on Disney's radar, Rachel Pitzel, a mother of two who lives in Playa Vista, California, filled out an online application for, and was accepted to, a social media event the company held in Scottsdale, Arizona last June...But the invitation doesn't come free. Attendees get deep discounts, but they nevertheless pay for their packages, which include three nights at Disney's Yacht Club Resort, theme park tickets, fast passes to skip lines and a beach-themed party. Families also pay for their own transportation." More companies want the free labor. "Disney was the first major company to tap the influence of moms across a wide spectrum of social media, but the approach is now being used to promote a range of products, including Hewlett-Packard printers and Cottonelle toilet paper."

    What cases of fandom entrepreneurship have you seen? Write about them 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!

  • OTW Fannews: Who's Fandoming Now?

    Av .Ellorgast på tisdagen, 23 juni 2015 - 4:29pm

    Several people are silhouetted against a sky fading after sunset, posing as though dancing.  Text in front of them reads 'OTW Fannews: Who's Fandoming Now?'

    • South Africa's Daily Maverick provided an overview of fandom with some definitions. "You cannot be a part of fandom if you love something but do not interact with fellow fans. Fandom is less a kingdom of fanatics and more a kinship of one...Imagine this happening; a group of fans sit down, someone says I really thought x should have been y and almost everyone agrees on the fact. Not that big a deal, right? Now imagine that they do that same thing on the internet. Suddenly the scope of people who are meaningfully discussing and often reach consensus numbers in the thousands, tens of thousands, sometimes much more than that. That alone is a powerful thing; hard for the original creator of a book or TV show to ignore, but it is not the only powerful thing about fandom."
    • As each year passes, it seems most people take part in fandom in some way, however unlikely. It's also increasingly seen as a professional outlet. ABS CBN News featured live erotica readings in the Philippines that included fanfic creations, though these at least were created by the performers. " The writers dream up their concoctions in various formats: monologues, radio plays, fan fiction, interactive games. They draw inspiration from everywhere: history, art, science, comic books, movies. Once a draft is ready, it’s submitted to a core group of writers who conduct an informal workshop, offering comments and and revision, until there’s a general consensus that the work is ready."
    • The Daily Beast focused on print erotica, interviewing a writer selling U.S. president fanfic on Amazon. "'I wanted to write something that had never been done, but then I thought, ‘Oh, this is a really interesting idea,’' he said, before adding that in fact, presidential erotica has sort of been done. 'There was some [erotica] that involved sex with four presidents, but they were all consecutive. No one had sex with William Howard Taft (1909-1913) but also Richard Nixon." No mention was made of Historical RPF fanworks.
    • As a conversation between Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro at The New Statesman pointed out, commercializing fanwork is hardly new. "I love the fact that, you know, in the early versions of King Lear, the story had a happy ending. Shakespeare turned it into a tragedy, and through the 18th and 19th centuries they kept trying to give it a happy ending again. But people kept going back to the one that Shakespeare created. You could definitely view Shakespeare as fan fiction, in his own way. I’ve only ever written, as far as I know, one book that did the thing that happens when people online get hold of it and start writing their own fiction, which was Good Omens, which I did with Terry Pratchett. It’s a 100,000-word book; there’s probably a million words of fiction out there by now, written by people who were inspired by characters in the book." (Gaiman is mistaken about the limits of his success, though).

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