Fan made movie trailers

Here is a cute little introductory piece in the Arizona Republic about fan-made trailers for imaginary movies. It’s got 2 things worth noting. One is Fox Atomic’s wise embracing of the phenomenon:

At Fox Atomic’s Web site,, the Blender offers the raw materials so that people can upload and make their own mashups to share from movies in the library of Fox, Fox Searchlight and Fox Atomic.

“We want to be the anti-studio,” said Jake Zim, vice president of online at Fox Atomic. “Instead of fighting it, we want to embrace it, where we get a message out for our product. We recognize the value in engaging our audience in our content.”

The article recognizes that this is a way to get fans engaged and offer free publicity for studios. They also recognize that many of these pieces are so good they could be (and sometimes are) done by professionals. Yet they insist on referring to them as “time-wasters”:

Thanks to the popularity of Internet videos like those found on YouTube, movie-trailer remixes, also called mashups, are among the top time-wasters among Web surfers.

Why is this a waste of time? Is it a time waster if I go to a movie theater? Is it a time waster if I watch a tv show? Is it a time waster if I read a book? Or is it only wasting time if my entertainment is fan-generated?

Or are they saying it’s a waste of time when fans MAKE this stuff? In which case I have even bigger problems with the term.

Fans are providing a poorly understood but essential role in making and viewing these things. They are affecting the shape of the entertainment industry, the economy of that industry — and with it the economy as a whole, they are reshaping social relationships to one another, they are creating and validating new forms of art and media production. They are doing so many important things that are lost when they are dismissed as “time wasters.”

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