Entertainment Industries

  • OTW Fannews: What's in a Name?

    Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 19 November 2015 - 5:47pm
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    • The New Statesman weighed in on an important discussion as fanworks become more well known: what actually counts as one? "It comes down, as it often does, to money. Because money, and a lack of it, is at the heart of long-held tensions about fanworks. Fanfiction is overwhelmingly the product of unpaid labour, millions and millions of words given freely, whether for legal reasons or community norms. Because it isn’t compensated – and because it is so often done by women it is devalued, as an art form and as a way to spend one’s time. When money is added to the mix, whether in giant pull-to-publish book deals or, increasingly, fanfiction contests and authors sponsored by television networks and Hollywood studios, the place that fanworks occupy in the vast sphere of adaptation and reworking begins to shift. And not always for the better."
    • The confusion about what counts is understandable given the visibility of commercial works that either tell the stories of fans, that do similar work, or even co-opt the terms to market a product from commercial authors. What's promising is the increasing focus on available fanwork, especially when it provides a way to show audience response to a current event or topic of interest.
    • The visibility of fanworks means that its features and practices have been inspiring commercial creators and industries, whether it's to blend fanwork with their own work; to take popular genres more seriously; to respond to users' wishes about how they want to interact with stories; or to create works about them.
    • The transformative nature of fanworks is an important element in its legal protection but this is often overlooked or misunderstood by the media, even while examples of its commentary on commercial entertainment are easily found. One recent example is a fan edit focusing on Pulp Fiction and Breaking Bad. The need to educate others about what fanworks makes the effort of fans to do so all the more important.

    Do you think it's important for fans to explain their own practices and communities? That's what Fanlore is all about. Contributions are welcome from all fans so create an account there and share your knowledge.

    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: No Place to Hide

    thatwasjustadream on Sunday, 15 November 2015 - 5:23pm
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    a background image of many products from famous consumer brands, with icons suggesting a video player over the top of them all and the words OTW Fannews No Place to Hide next to the play button

    • AdNews discussed the use of YouTube fandoms as a marketing bonanza. "The quality of talent on display, and the reaction of fans got the point across about the premium content YouTube has to offer...Stuart Bailey, chief digital officer at OMD Australia, believes that, 'long gone are the days when clients would associate YouTube with skateboarding cats and other such content. It now has content credential in spades. Google certainly flexed their ‘influencer’ muscles and showed that some of their YouTube talent are stars in their own right, with engaged and loyal audiences - some queuing from 6am to catch a peek of their favourite YouTube stars,' Bailey said. 'The trick will be how to tap into that talent to not only communicate with a brand’s customers and consumers but to add value and customised experiences.'"
    • Comic Book Bin asked whether fan films should be crowdsourced. "I believe that copyrights holders should be tolerant of fan films and fan fiction but to a limit. When fan fiction and fan film creators earn money from the unlicensed properties they exploit, that is a problem. More than voluntarily breaching the rights of copyrights owners, they earn revenues from properties they have no right to exploit. If you want to make a Batman film, do it on your own, bear all the costs. Use it as a portfolio piece. But to go out of your way to ask people to fund your Batman film is wrong. You don’t own Batman."
    • MTV.com spoke glowingly about erotic fanfiction competitions and noted it's an expanding business. "If you’re not in San Francisco or New York, you can still observe the NSFW madness from afar. Shipwreck also has a regular podcast where they post recordings of their live show, as well as a Tumblr where you can read previous works — and last night they just announced they’ll be publishing a book sometime next year."
    • QSR promoted a Dairy Queen competition for fans. "Along with a new television advertising campaign dedicated entirely to Fans, both the Random Acts of Fandom Giveaway and the ad campaign showcase a wide variety of DQ Fans professing love for their favorite people, places, and things including vintage cars and the perfect nature hideout."

    What efforts to tap the fandom market have you been seeing? 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: Big Business Selfies

    Janita Burgess on Sunday, 25 October 2015 - 4:32pm
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    OTW Fannews banner with the text Big Business Selfies against a background of stacked silver coins

    • Here and Now did a segment on how important the Twilight film had become to the economy of the town it's set in. Focusing on the 10th anniversary celebration of Twilight's publication, the segment interviews citizens of Forks, Washington and discusses the events taking place. (No transcript available)
    • At Publishing Technology the economic impact of fanfiction is in focus. "[T]he way that fan fiction takes a piece of Intellectual Property and chops it up, plays with it and distributes it over multiple networks and media...is a very pure expression of the kind of creative approach to content exploitation that we at Publishing Technology have been talking to publishers about for a very long time. The possibilities opened up by digital media mean that the book is often only the beginning of the commercial life of a piece of IP. Yet it still remains the only focus of many publishers, who find it conceptually and practically difficult to unbundle the book and sell it as chapters, or a serial, or even a content marketing campaign paid for by a brand advertiser. The book is treated as the end-product of the publishing process, when it could be just the beginning."
    • Film School Rejects discussed how fandom documentaries are becoming a form of fandom selfie. "Other than that, Ghostheads doesn’t seem to have much of a reason to exist. Like too many other fandom docs, it’s not likely to reach or be appealing to the millions of non-extreme fans let alone total outsiders. It will tell a number of hardcore Ghostbusters fans things they already know about themselves and their beloved movie...I also wouldn’t be surprised if the studios start encouraging, maybe even secretly contributing to the crowdfunding of docs that in turn foster and support fans and enthusiasm for their upcoming slates. If nothing else, they might later on be cheap pickups to throw onto their Blu-ray releases of the original or new version of their respective properties."
    • Alaska Dispatch News mapped the growth of Senshi con "from [a school] cafeteria to UAA and in recent years mushrooming into an expansive convention housed in the Egan Center. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Bundick and other organizers are expecting more than 4,000 attendees, and Alaska Business Monthly is predicting it will produce an economic impact of $191,000" with the growth likely to continue. Its organizer said “We’re still getting [vendor and artist] applications for this year. This is the first time we’ve had a waiting list...Local people and businesses are wanting to get in on it."

    What sorts of economic and business growth have you seen tied to fandom? 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: Commercial Opportunities

    Sarah Remy on Thursday, 15 October 2015 - 4:25pm
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    fannews banner showing pennies and dimes on a black background, commercial opportunities written overtop

    • Airlock Alpha posted Ann Morris' discussion of What Mainstreaming Of Fandom Has Done For Me. Namedropping the OTW's Fanlore, she notes that tech advances have helped her follow her fannish interests despite having low vision problems. "I have low vision, and it used to be super annoying to go to the library and try to find large-print science-fiction books. The people who published large-print books didn’t seem to think that anyone with low vision would be interested in those weirdo books with the rocket ship on the spine. Here’s a pet peeve which is fortunately a thing of the past. The Science Fiction Book Club and the Large Print Book Club were owned by the same company. And yet, they did not publish any science-fiction books in large print. Augh!"
    • At MTV.com Taylor Trudon thanks the makers of Almost Famous for being able to see herself on screen. "When adults don’t take the ideas, passions and dreams of fangirls seriously, they’re missing out. They’re missing out on finding possible solutions to major social problems. They’re missing out on the opportunity to ask important questions. They’re missing out on the chance to view the world through a different lens and in doing so, are missing the voices that have the potential to change it."
    • At Popzette Tom Smithyman looked at how fannish activity is driving the growth of crowdfunding. "'We’re making the ‘Star Trek’ that we all want to see,' Peters told a crowd at the San Diego Comic-Con. And, judging from fans’ response, Peters is correct. An initial Kickstarter campaign netted more than $100,000, and led to a second initiative, which raised more than $600,000. It also sparked a competition among the crowdfunding sites to house the second. The campaign has since moved to Indiegogo, where it has raised an additional $525,000."
    • Autostraddle's Fan Fiction Friday column is expanding because "fandom is more powerful than ever...And because money makes people in charge pay attention, and social media makes our voices hard to ignore, the folks who make TV are listening and responding to us, both on-air and in real life...starting this week, Fan Fiction Friday will...include fan fiction recommendations, of course, but it will now also offer you news round-ups about fan culture, interviews with fic writers and TV writers and TV recappers and TV directors, mini-essays about fandom from people in fandom, polls, discussion questions, infographics, advice about harnessing the power of fandom to affect real change, and a grab bag where I answer questions people have been asking me."

    What commercial opportunities have you seen opening up because of 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: Merging Into Literature

    thatwasjustadream on Sunday, 27 September 2015 - 5:44pm
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    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

    .Ellorgast on Sunday, 16 August 2015 - 4:09pm
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    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

    Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 2 August 2015 - 3:01pm
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    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

    Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 28 July 2015 - 4:00pm
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    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

    Janita Burgess on Monday, 27 July 2015 - 4:27pm
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    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

    Janita Burgess on Friday, 24 July 2015 - 5:18pm
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    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.


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