Celebrating Fandom, Not Tearing It Down

Image Courtesy of Lionsgate
By The Nerdling

We here at The Collective love Fandom. The three of us are big believers in embracing your inner fangirl (or boy). We also are big believers in allowing others to have their fandom, even if it is not our thing. Gatekeeping will be the death of fandom.

When one of my favorite YouTube channels (and we know I have many) came out with a documentary focusing on Twilight fandom, I was worried. Fandom Entertainment is a secondary channel for Screen Junkies, a channel famous for its “Honest Trailers”. The “trailers” lightheartedly make fun of movies and all of their glorious flaws. It is a video I look forward to every Tuesday.

But there have been times where they were unnecessarily harsh during an “Honest Trailer” simply because it was popular to bash. The Twilight films were big-time the victims of this. So, I was worried the documentary was going to take that biting (pun intended) humor and aim it at the fandom.

Twilight & Harry Potter mashup

I wasn’t planning on watching “We Made a Twilight Documentary!? Fandom Uncovered”, the last thing I wanted was to support fandom bashing. Even when it is a fandom that is not my thing. I have all of the Twilight books and movies, but they are far from my favorite. I felt I need to own them out of obligation since there are some aspects I do enjoy, such as the new take on vampire lore. I re-read the books and watch the movies occasionally and enjoy them. But cringe quite a bit during moments which strike an unhealthy tone for me.

Eventually, my curiosity about the documentary got the better of me after hearing Fandom Entertainment and Screen Junkies talk about the making of. Roth Cornet is the host and executive producer for “Fandom Uncovered”. She is someone who has never displayed a mean-spiritedness in any video I have seen her in. Her involvement had me deciding I needed to give the video a chance before judging it.

The documentary starts about how you think. With the real citizens of Forks, Washington talking about how strange it was to see fans invade their sleepy (and dying) town because of a book series and eventual movies series. Cornet introduces us to a few super-fans who moved to Forks to be closer to their beloved characters. Many of these fans confess to how much money they spent on cosplay, screen-worn outfits, the house and cars seen in the films. It seems as if this is going exactly where I thought it was going to go. Look at these crazy people who are so sad they resort to living in a fantasy.

Twilight Wedding

But as the doc goes on, Cornet dives deeper into their love of the books, movies, and the connections the fans make at the annual Twilight festival known as “Forever Twilight in Forks”. Many of those who attend the festival come to connect with those who share their passion. In the process, many developed lifelong friendships. A couple even met and eventually got married at “Forever Twilight”.

The hatred Twilight fandom receives from other fandoms, most of it unwarranted, is also explored. Cornet goes into the vitreal a “Twi-hard” received after being killed in an accident at a con. Those who hated the books and movies celebrated, saying she deserved it for loving something they didn’t. Even though this fandom is bashed for their passion, they band together and feel sad for the haters. They don’t get to experience the love they have.

Cornet highlights something important at the festival so many cons have lost. That in the end, it is about sharing the love of your fandoms and making connections with others. She asks why these people related so hard with the books and characters. Their answers are surprising and amazing. I teared up a few times.

I highly recommend you watch this documentary. It is less than 30 minutes in length. It will warm your heart and have you taking a deep look into your own fandoms (in a good way). The message is truly a great one we as fans need to spread.

Your fandom may not be my thing, but I can respect it.

The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram