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.
Hansi Oppenheimer is a Filmmaker & Fangrrl committed to supporting and promoting underrepresented voices in Pop Culture. She has been called a the “By-any-mean necessary-MacGyver of no budget documentaries” and her films, the Rashomon of documentaries with their focus on oral history and on fan recollections. Today, Hansi talks about the collection of activities under her Squee! project.
How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?
I’ve been actively involved in online fandom since roughly 2001 when I began to collect interviews for a documentary on the band The Replacements. I used message boards and My Space as well as talking with fans at performances to collect interviews for the film Color Me Obsessed which was released in 2011.
In 2012 I discovered fanfiction and wanted to explore that as a topic for my next project. I was reading academic works but I was having a really difficult time getting anyone to discuss writing fic on camera and was told that many writers felt they had been burned by the media and its focus on slash. I was more interested in exploring why fanfic existed: some of it offers opportunities for representation and diversity, some is just for the joy of creating a “what if” story and some of it is just for fun and wish fulfillment. I support all of these approaches.