Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary added the word “fanboy” last year, and they list its first usage as 1919. Sadly, they don’t provide any examples for that usage. Curly Lambeau founded the Green Bay Packers that year in Wisconsin, but I don’t think he had throngs of fanboys around him just yet. For the record, Merriam-Webster defines a fanboy as, “A boy who is an enthusiastic devotee (as of comics or movies).” Interesting that they don’t include the term fangirl, which I hear all the time. Can’t a girl be just as enthusiastic as a boy, Merriam-Webster?
Although fanboys really came into common usage when it applied to comic book fans, since the 90s it’s come to cover enthusiasts of movies, video games, TV shows, music, and anything else people seem to line up for. It’s also grown out of its original usage as a derogatory word used to conjure up images of people like the Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons, and has become the marketing demographic that every company covets.
Given the rise of the power and size (no pun intended) of fans, it’s only normal that film cameras would start turning the other direction to document the phenomenon of fandom. First you have films that generate fans, then fans start making their own films, inspired by their fandom, then films that are made about the fans, and finally fictionalized movies depicting fans of fictional shows. It’s come full circle, and in today’s GeekBomb we explore the world of films about fans.