A few days ago we were treated to the final trailer for the upcoming cinematic imagining of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter spin off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I sat in awe as I saw a three minute look into what looks like a film that we bring all Harry Potter fans to their knees yet again. I am so excited to watch it.
Yet, all that being said, something didn’t sit right with me. And I realized it was the fact that it was called the”Final” trailer. Bringing us to the point of this post. In this article I will be talking about how Fandom has changed so much in the last 10 years that we as consumers are possibly taking it a little too far.
*WARNING* BLATANT FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE. FUNCTIONING ADULT DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
For those who consider themselves part of a fandom, be it Middle Earth, Harry Potter, Star wars or even Doctor Who. A large chunk of the fun no longer lies in the enjoyment of the actual show or movie. Our interests seem to get too much to simply enjoy latest installments or episodes so we end up taking our attention to aspects of the fandom that other people may not see as necessary. This might take the form of cosplaying your favourite characters, writing fan fiction or discussing with fellow fan the hidden meaning behind some of the themes explored in the movie or show. A great example of this is a field of study known as Tolkienology which was developed by die hard fans of J.R.R Tolkien and involves discussing aspects of his fictional legendarium as if it were a real world I.E Hobbit Genealogy, Geography and Middle Earth History.
Another way that fandom has broken free of the requirement to actually watch the movie or show is the use of trailers. 2016 alone has been littered with an onslaught of marketing techniques aimed at impatient fanboys/girls in order for them to have some to be a fan of even before they’ve even had a chance to buy their tickets. Countdowns to teaser trailers, teaser trailers that tease toward another trailer that then becomes the FINAL trailers all leading up to what is can actually be a very disappointing film *Cough* Suicide Squad *Cough* The same has happens to Fantastic Beasts To some extent. Now so I’m not just ranting at you. I’ll explain why this is not really a good thing.
More and more we are being shown the best parts of a film before we’re given the full thing. We’re buying toys, making costumes and even having arguments over the narrative and the characters before we even see this movie and it’s causing us to have a lesser experience when we actually sit down in the cinema. I’ll use Suicide Squad as an example again. Forth nearly nine months we were given Teasers, Trailers, cast interview, Cosplayers, memes celebrating the film simply because it seemed to a different than the others. Harley Quinn fans came out the woodwork and Jared Leto was being heralded as the best joker since Heath Ledger. And when the film film came out it was no where near the critical the for fan favourite we thought it was. And I believe it was down to this over exposure and premature fan confirmation. Even our lord and Savior George Lucas wouldn’t watch the trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens for this very reason.
So when you see the next confirmation for the next big movie or TV series. Lets try and reserve our judgement for what actually matters The story that we’re being told. Fair enough buy the toys, have the heated debates on forums but do it after you know for certain that you have actually had a chance to form an opinion on the art and not the marketing campaign.