I was on the Internet the other day, ignoring my professional and personal responsibilities like I usually do, and I came across the following two videos:
So they got rid of the mullet, but not the upsetting half-shirt?
I think I might be the one on mushrooms right now.
So I think it’s safe to say that fan films are getting crazy. Fan films, the act of making a film based on pre-existing intellectual properties, have been around for almost as long as there has been film. But since anyone with a cell phone and a computer can make a movie now, fan films have pretty much exploded all over the pop cultural spectrum. Some are great, most are ok, and a lot are DREADFUL, but the one thing they have in common is the passion that went into making them.
This raises a question that I find myself pondering, and it’s one I pose to you: “are fan films art?” On the one hand, these are all works based on someone else’s intellectual property. These are movies that you can’t make a dime from unless you want to be sued into oblivion. They are, by nature byproducts of someone else’s creative work. On the other hand, fan films are labors of love. These movies are made, not by people looking for profit, but by people who care so much about a character or characters that they personally need to continue breathing life into them. It’s also a great way to exhibit filmmaking talent. I could make an impressive short film, put it on YouTube, and no one but my Mom would watch it. However, if I take all of my talent and make a Robocop Versus Buckaroo Banzai fan film, it’s a safe bet I’ll get more hits than you’d expect.
Generally, I tend to have a soft spot in my heart for fan films. So, while you contemplate where you stand on the subject, I’d like to present my four all-time favorite (until something cooler comes out next week) fan films:
If you were in college in 1999, you proudly spent 30 minutes downloading this…
Batman: Dead End
Yes, that’s Boner playing the Joker.
Portal: No Escape
The cake is a lie.
The original working title was “Robin’s Big Adventure”
So what do you think? Are fan films a waste of time and money made by obsessed fan-people? Or are they labors of love? Got a favorite fan film or know of one that’s so bad it makes you want to gouge your eyes out?