While the word fandom may not be defined by Merriam-Webster yet, anyone who has flipped on a television or spent anytime on social media knows what it means. But what does it mean to be apart of one of these massive groups, who come together out of love for a television show or movie? I’ll tell you, it means family. TWDFamily is far from different.
The first time I heard the term used was actually by Gale Anne Hurd herself. So when you have an EP of the show talking about the fans will such love and adoration, using the word “family” for the entire cast and crew as well, you know you have something pretty special.
Amanda Rosenblatt, founder and webmaster of Fan-Culture.org knows it too. So well in fact that she is putting a spotlight on TWDFamily in a very cool, unique way – “DEADicated", a short film featuring her trek to various conventions, fan interactions and even some cast interviews.
So why The Walking Dead? There are a number of other fandoms out there, what made Amanda Rosenblatt want to feature TWDFamily?
I have tried to carve out a little piece of the universe to share fan stories and the culture of what being a fan is all about. I love zombie culture and TWD felt like the missing piece of the puzzle. I want to show that our fan community, the TWD Family, are not a group of “freaks” who have a dead people fetish. We help each other, we help others, we have existential questions about life, death, survival, and ethics. Above all, I did this project as a means to see if I want to pursue film. I have done one feature and two short documentaries on fan communities and I value the experience.
DEADicated is a fantastic 30 minute film with some behind-the-scenes footage from Walker Stalker Con Boston, Terrorcon RI 2014, as well as some interesting fan interactions and cast interviews with Steven Yeun and Vincent Ward. Amanda goes to the heart (and not in a creepy walker-eating-flesh kind of way) of the fandom and shares tales from the people she encounters.
Due for release Tuesday, July 15th, the “DEADicated” short film will be available for viewing by visiting the site at Fan-culture.org or by visiting Amanda’s YouTube page on the same day. It’s a fun, eclectic look at the fan interactions, cosplay and general craziness that comes with our love of The Walking Dead.
After all the hard work and dedication of her own, I had to ask her, “What’s next?”
Where life will take me down the line, like our TWD survivors on the show and the graphic novels, only time will tell. As long as I don’t run into a big dude with a baseball bat he named named Lucille, I am happy figuring out where to go next.
Same here, Amanda. Same here.
Make sure you check out the short film “DEADicated” to get even closer to your other fans and their experiences. If you are ever fortunate to attend one of these fantastic events, who knows, maybe you’ll end up on film, or making connections with others that will endear the show to you even more. If that’s possible!
The best part is, it will definitely help fill those hiatus blues until [The Walking Dead](series:201193) returns this October.