For my digital storytelling project my teammate Rochelle and I expanded on the topic ‘The Dark Side of Fandoms’, concentrating on how fans and fandom’s create pressure and demand for more extensive knowledge on certain celebrities and the consequences this can have.
We concentrated on Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian as both these women have spent a large amount of time in the media spotlight and have been affected hugely by it. Britney grew up in the media beginning in her days on the Mickey Mouse Club, as she grew and succeeded in expanding her fan base more and more pressure was put upon her, and this had a negative effect on her mental health. Everyone remembers when Britney broke down and shaved off her hair, this was the result of media pressure and these consequences are the morel behind our digital story.
Kim Kardashian has been in the media for a much shorter time but has received insane amounts of attention, for example, I found it difficult to look at a stack of magazines and not find the Kardashian on at least one of the covers. She is also currently struggling with her media fame and working on ways to keep her life private, making it very interesting to look at a current issue and how she is dealing with it.
We mostly used sources such as magazines, social media, academic articles and blogs, the internet allowed for an abundance of information and at times this was overwhelming. However, we were able to overcome this bombardment of information by concentrating on certain significant events in the celebrity’s life as well as the media.
In the beginning stages of our project we were excited to use Barbies to re-enact significant events in the lives of celebrities as it was a perfect metaphor for how celebrities are viewed and treated by the media and fans. In today’s society, celebrities are treated as a commodity rather than a human being and we wanted to show this through the comparison of Barbie dolls and celebrities. However not only did we struggle finding remaining Barbie dolls, but we also found it difficult to position and re-enact scenarios, leading to less than perfect results but still allowing for the metaphor to come though our digital story.
We settled on using Prezi as our platform as I had previous experience and it allowed for the easy use of text and pictures. While I did struggle at first after a quick tutorial, I was able to create exactly what I wanted through Prezi.
I did however encounter an issue early on as I, as well as many others, had never attempted a digital, informative story before. I struggled finding the balance between the story and information, and at times my story began to read like an essay. Nevertheless after a couple of drafts I found my story and sources flowing together to create the digital story.
Through this project, I was able to see the potential negative effects of fans and fandom’s on the lives of celebrities. At times it becomes very easy to forget that celebrities are real people, rather than just a picture in a magazine or a character in a movie. This has lead to the downfall and collapse of many celebrities throughout time and this was the cautionary tale that we attempted to tell through digital storytelling.