We’ve Come A Long Way Since Super 8

>Some of my closest and dearest friends I met through Sci-fi conventions. We had a tight crew that was full of talented and creative individuals. We made costumes and props and generally had a blast making Super 8mm movies that we’d screen at conventions and a variety of other local venues. Well, today we’d be called cosplayers making fan films.

Today I went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to work on just such a fan film for my friends, Eric “The Smoke” Moran and Brian Gregory. Smoke and Brian are the creative team behind Together Brothers Productions. Their first fan film Clash in the Knight may be seen on YouTube. I can’t tell you anything about this latest venture as I’ve been sworn to secrecy on pain of death. Smoke and Brian are out to change the landscape of fan films. But perhaps I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. There may yet be some out there who don’t know what a fan film is.

A fan film is a movie about some established property or character made by fans of the genre. These are labors of love, painstakingly made by those who are deeply emotionally invested. The filmmakers spend their own time and money to create stories about the worlds and characters so near and dear to their hearts. Some of the fan films my friends and I had a hand in were such classics as, Superman: The Spoof, The Empire Cracks Back, and Star Wars on Earth , just to name a few.

The tools available to modern fan filmmakers enable the creation of works that are on par with many Hollywood productions. If you’re skeptical then just seek out such fan films as Batman: Dead End or Grayson.

Cosplayers are fans who dress as their favorite characters. With passion and painstaking attention to the most minute detail, these fans create costumes that could have walked off the movie screen. Take these two disciplines combined and you’ve got the recipe for screen success. In fact, with the numerous avenues available for distribution and Hollywood’s penchant for the acquisition of existing properties with a ready made audience some fan filmmakers have struck gold. YouTube views go over a certain number and all of a sudden the studio is calling to offer you a contract.

Don’t forget us little people after the ‘phone rings, fellas!

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