The Hollywood Fandom Culture

By: Cal Parsons

If you’ve ever been on the Internet and looked up movies, you’ve probably come across some article comparing Star Wars films, or a discussion about “which Tarantino film is REALLY his best.” The Internet has become a wonderful place for fans of movies to come together from all walks of life and discuss their favorite movies or franchises. This has made fandom culture increase significantly, as more people can discover their own niche group of people that enjoy what they also enjoy. What has this done for people outside these groups that also talk about those kinds of movies?

Well, sometimes, it ain’t pretty.

Fan culture has become a phenomenon. You may have noticed the plethora of ComicCons and all other variations of the “Place-Whatever-Here”-Con that has all increased in popularity. Part of that is because “Geek” Culture has been embraced by more people and has become a socially acceptable thing to embrace your geekdom and go to one of these conventions and show off how much of a fan you are of your chosen facet of geek culture. And I’m sure that somewhere out there, there is a TarantinoCon where everyone dresses up as gangsters or killers and talk about their fave Inglorious Basterds quotes.

There’s nothing wrong with this at all. In fact, me being a fan of all these geek things, I think it’s great to see that it’s become more acceptable to let your geek flag fly. But as all fandoms have their pros, they also have their cons (pun intended?). If you’ve ever seen someone disagree with a “hardcore fan” of, say, Star Wars, by saying “the prequels were okay”, you’ve probably seen “Harry the Hardcore Fan” berate the opinion of someone that didn’t think the prequels were absolute garbage.

There’s also the fans that just can’t fathom when you don’t like what they like. “CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS THE BESTEST DIRECTOR OF THE MODERN ERA HOW COULD YOU NOT LIKE HIM?!” People have opinions, but some people believe that opinions are facts and that your opinion is wrong if you disagree.

This has started a reverse-side to fandom culture, where people would form groups of their own that are “anti-fans”, or people that just talk about how much they hate a director or a franchise of movies. Now, these anti-fans will gang up on you if you like something that they don’t, and berate you and your intelligence for liking things.

Fandom has become a hostile environment to be a part of. Not every fan is like this, but you come across them more often than not. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to talk about Marvel movies to almost anyone now, but beware of the fans that can’t discuss your different opinions.

This is the article that got me thinking about this topic.

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6 Responses to The Hollywood Fandom Culture

  1. mediaphiles says:

    This was an interesting, insightful post about the audience rather than just the media. I have also noticed the growth of fandoms, and how it has become a subculture all its own. However, it has its own internal issues as well. Very interesting!

    -Meg Schmit

  2. mediaphiles says:

    Good point. I find the beauty in the discussion and it is appreciated, but I also acknowledge the people who taint this beauty just to undermine the opinions of others. Nonetheless, with the internet being an integral part of society, people are connecting all over the world in order to express their opinions. There will be a few that ruin it for the many, but I am glad to see such a wide network persist.

    -Shelby Halliman

  3. mediaphiles says:

    This is an interesting post, the “geek” culture is certainly becoming widely accepted and this is a great thing. I am a fan of a lot of these films, and it is great to see people so passionate about their interests. You are right though that this comes with problems, especially on the internet, where people take their fandom too seriously and use it as an excuse to berate or insult people.

    -Walker Rise

  4. mediaphiles says:

    Your note about trolls could not be more right. While I can’t say I’m a super fan of anything, really, I will say that I’m NOT a fan of people spewing negativity (on the internet or elsewhere) to spite another group or individual—which seems to be all too common nowadays!

    -Lydia

  5. mediaphiles says:

    Cal, this is a very interesting topic! It is so true that having a fan culture brings people together, but the question should be asked of whether that connection is for a positive purpose or whether it will result in degrading conversation. I was in San Diego last summer during comic-con (I could not go inside) but did not happen to have a negative experience, but that does not mean that someone else did not.

    -Luke Dellorso

  6. mediaphiles says:

    Wow I had no idea how extensive and complex fan culture is. I’ve always thought it would be fun to attend one of the “Cons” to see the costumes and hear the debate. I think anti-fan groups prevent thoughtful discussion by immediately shutting down any other viewpoint. We can all be fans of our favorite shows! I’m wondering if there’s a Grey’s Anatomy-Con anywhere… -Caitlin Herlihy

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