Fanfilms :: Bigger Than You Think

09/16/08 | Eldon


About a year after my wife and I were married, (so that would be about 10 years ago) I was given a CD with a whole bunch of 'stuff' on it, by some guy in our church.  It had sheet music and guitar tabs and pictures of who knows what.  It had old commercials and funny clips and such.  It also had a little known video called 'Troops'.  Troops is considered to be the fanfilm that began the craze of fanfilms.  Now, granted, fanfilms have been around since who knows when, (I know the Doctor Who fans have been making them like mad since the 80s) but this was my first fanfilm.

TroopsTroops is a offbeat, hilarious look into the lives of stormtroopers serving on Tatooine; a sort-of behind-the-scenes story about what really happened during the opening events in Star Wars IV: A New Hope.  If you haven't had a chance to see it, you can view it here.  It's worth it.

Anyways, I couldn't wait to show this thing to all my friends.  Of course, they all loved it too.  It got me wondering, "How did they come up with all the money to make this thing?"  "Were they going to get sued for this?"  "Is it really this easy to make films?"  I decided to dig deeper into it.

After snooping around on the interwebs, I eventually found out that George Lucas actually liked this production.  In fact, it spawned a whole new slew of films dedicated to the Star Wars universe.  They now have contests to pick the best fanfilm for the year.  It's absolutely crazy.  The cost of technology going down and the availability of it has made it so easy to make these things.  Over the years now, I found resources dedicated to fanfilms.  Websites like, which lists almost every fanfilm ever made of every TV show or movie or comic book (it's endless) and, which deals mainly with Star Wars fanfilms.  In fact, I remember reading a review on a fanfilm called Star Wars: Revelations and they were basically saying, Who Needs Hollywood.  The production was of such a high calibre, that it now seemed possible for us to skip the establishment altogether and start producing our own material.

Batman Dead EndOf course, it doesn't stop at Star Wars.  A group in the US recently came out with a series called Star Trek New Voyages, (now titled Star Trek Phase II).  It continues where the original series left off.  It has been so successful, that they have had some of the orignial actors such as George Takei and Walter Koenig appear on the show.  TV Guide voted their episode "World and Time Enough" as the best Online Production, beating out online show like Battlestar Galactica.  It was also nominated for a Hugo Award.  Another fanfilm called Batman: Dead End showcased a Batman squaring off against Alien and the Predator.  Several Lord of the Rings fanfilms such as The Hunt for Gollum and Born of Hope  are making waves in the fanfilm community.  These productions look like the real thing.  The Internet has become the next generation for entertainment.  Original stuff like Sanctuary, which got picked up by the Scifi Channel as a full series and Dr. Horrible, a hilarious musical about supervillians and superheroes written by Joss Whedon are getting massive exposure on the internet.

Doctor Who Time DistortionSo all of this brings me to Doctor Who.  This is what inspired me to do this.  I love Doctor Who.  I may be a new fan, coming in to the fray with the new series, but that doesn't make me any less of a fan.  I love the old series as well.  I thought that I could make a valuable contribution to the Doctor Who universe.  And just to make sure I'm not leaving out the Doctor Who fanfilm universe, I want to plug a few resources.  The Doctor Who Fan Film Database is a great place to find all sorts of fanfilms related to Doctor Who.  Westlake Films has a great selection of Doctor Who fanfilms as well as some other original material.  I would suggest checking out Time Distortion.  Of course, Youtube always has short fanfilms you can watch, and in any genre.  And it doesn't end with films.  Doctor Who has quite an Audio following as well.  There are literally hundreds of audio adventures made by fans.  So if you have a problem watching stuff that might not be up to feature theatre release quality, just find some audio adventures.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

I think that's enough out of me.  I given you all a lot to see and ponder.  Have a look see.  Sit down for an evening and do some research.  And hey, if you find something new, let me know.  I'm always onthe lookout to be entertained.




2008-09-17 15:22:04 | Permalink

Totally True

Fanfilms do need more exposure. Great article!

2008-10-17 12:03:59 | Permalink


Couldn't agree more. There are many talented actors, directors and producers out there, not to mention cameramen and props studios and they need recognition for their achievements.

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