Allow me to welcome you all to my bedroom, part of it anyway. Ever since I was little I have loved two things, sharks and film, and as you can see I’ve decided to show my love of film by plastering my walls with posters and magazine cut-outs of all my favourite movies.
This undying love was not a conscious decision that I made one day, for some people it may be a certain movie that opens up their eyes to the magical world that is film making, but for me this is something that has been happening for as long as I have been able to stare at a screen. I vividly remember making my cousins watch Jurassic Park with me every day for years and begging my parents to let their eight-year-old daughter watch Lord of the Rings and The Others (after terrifying myself with Goosebumps books and movies like The Gremlins I became obsessive with horror).
I have spent countless amounts of money on DVD’s, posters and movie theatre tickets, being a young fan involves doing lots of chores for little money but massive reward as you rip off that plastic to uncover one of life’s greatest smells, fresh DVD plastic. However being a ‘film buff’ has proven to be a lot harder and time consuming than you might think, not only have I spent thousands of hours watching film, but it takes time to choose the right movie, watch it a second time to make sure you didn’t miss anything, and then go talk at anyone who will listen to constant ramblings about a film they probably haven’t seen. Nevertheless, I have loved every second of it.
After years of feeling unfulfilled with discussing movies with my uncultured friends, I took the plunge into the exciting and scary world of the internet and discovered that I was no longer alone. No more would I have to sit through hours of talking about Harry Potter or how funny the new Scary Movie is looking, my eyes had been opened to the world of fandoms and there was no turning back.
I found myself sitting on the edge of tumblr looking in at all the different styles of blogs floating around, if you have a passion, no matter how strange, you sure as hell better believe that there is a tumblr blog out there dedicated to it. Into anime? Fashion? Robert Downey Jr maybe? Do you have an obscure sexual fetish? IT IS ALL THERE.
Jenkins (1992, p. 56) states that, “The difference between watching a [television] series and becoming a fan lies in the intensity of their emotional and intellectual involvement.” I only truly began to understand this after befriending fellow movie lovers on tumblr and bonding over our strong attachments to certain actors, directors or films. Fans are not just people who enjoy something, plenty of people enjoy watching movies but not everyone watches them in the same way or takes the same feeling away from it, the same way I couldn’t just sit down and watch a couple of games of cricket and call myself a fan.
When you have so much passion and you care about something so much you don’t want to sit there and keep it all too yourself and that’s where the internet comes in. If it were not for the internet and the people I have met there my film experiences would be completely different and less satisfactory, this way I am able to grow and learn from everybody around me, and this goes for fans of anything! Sharing, learning and experiencing with other people can have a very positive impact on you and your interests, and the internet has made this all possible as we are no longer limited to the people in our immediate area, we can now all be a part of an online community and openly share and discuss our passions with one another.
Jenkins, H. (1992). Textual poachers: Television fans and participatory culture. London, England: Routledge
Sullivan, J 2013, ‘Media Fandom and Audience Subcultures’, in Media Audiences: Effects, Users, Institutions, and Power, Sage Publications, London available at: http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/50993_ch_8.pdf (accessed 05/09/2013)