Fandoms

 

A quote that stuck with me was one from the “Audience” section of Keywords. “I am no longer simply an audience for media texts; I also consume other audience members’ consumption of other media…” I feel that so much of what we consume as an “audience member” is greatly impacted by other people’s interactions with that same media. It made me think of how I am less likely to watch a movie or TV show if (even just one person) has expressed their dislike for it. Reading reviews on films, shows, music, books, and goods are how many people base their decision to either consume or not consume the product, regardless of whether they are written by professional critics or by random people at their computers. The reading made me think about how things were prior to technological innovations such as social media and even sound/video recording. Before these advances, consuming media, such as music and other entertainment, was a live event. There was no rating out of 5 stars that popped up when you considered attending an opera or a ballet, and you consumed the same entertainment at the same time as the other audience members in the space with you. Now, there are so many factors that influence what, when, and how we consume media. Moreover, the idea of fans/fandoms is also quite interesting to me. Growing up, I was no stranger to terms such as “fangirls.” It seemed that most popular actors, musicians, films, shows, and book series had well-established (and devoted) fandoms. There were Justin Bieber’s Beliebers, Twi-hards for the Twilight Saga series/films, and so many more. What I found very interesting growing up, and still am intrigued by now, is how much hate could be found within the fandoms. “Haters” seemed just as common as fans! Today, “haters” are still given attention through segments such as “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” on the Jimmy Kimmel show, as well as through peoples’ total freedom to post reviews, instagrams, tweets, etc, bashing whatever media they dislike. I believe that the seemingly unlimited and continuous source of hate that can be found online has a huge influence on how people consume media today.

 

For my video, I wanted to capture the different sides of fandom. Firstly, I included a part of a video that broadly defines “fandom” and acknowledges the significance of social media in the world of fandoms. To highlight the positive side of fandoms, I put together a video scrolling through wikipedia’s list of the many, many fandom names, pictures of fan pages on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and positive reviews from Black Panther. To create a contrast, I found and included videos of fans rioting after the Eagles Super Bowl win, fans fighting after a sports game, negative reviews from an Adam Sandler film, and a smart part of “Celebrities Reading Mean Tweets.” Over the footage and photos I decided to use Mariah Carey’s song, “Obsessed,” because, regardless of whether or not you are considering the positive side of fandom or the negative side, there seems to be an overarching theme of obsessiveness in the fandoms of today. Overall, I wanted the viewer of the video to see that fans play a huge role in the consumption of media, as well as how we understand the simple, mass, and diffused audiences reactions to that media.

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