One of the highlights of Van Con 2015 was the premiere of the SPN Fandom–The Movie trailer.
All photos are used by permission. Credits to LadyMickeyD and Raloria
Mitch Kosterman spent an entire convention circuit doing video interviews with as many fans as he could covering a range of topics from fan art to cosplay to the charity works the fandom does. It looks into fan conventions, the experiences and stories we tell at them, and how we as a fandom family have bonded around this common denominator we call Supernatural. The camera is focused on us, giving us a platform to tell our story to each other and to the world in our own words and emotions. It all started when Clif decided he wanted to document what made this relationship between show and fan so special. Mitch and Jason Fischer took it to that next level.
And yet, the fandom wouldn’t be what it is if not for the talent that creates Supernatural for our enjoyment. As the project grew, several of the cast and crew agreed to do their own interviews about what makes this show and fandom special. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles gave voice to their own thoughts and feelings surrounding what Supernatural and the fans have given them throughout the years. Guest star actors that help shape so much of the convention circuits also spoke about how special this experience has been—how so many of them originally saw the role on the show as simply just a job and ended up with so much more than they ever imagined.
In the trailer, Osric Chau states, “I just can’t imagine it happening on any other show.” Samantha Smith remarks that the conventions, for the fans, are like “reunions for them.” Jensen Ackles states, “It’s one big giant dysfunctional family—and we wouldn’t have it any other way.” A fan states that it’s “not just seeing the actors, it’s about seeing the friends that we’ve made at you know Las Vegas or Germany or Italy.” The Supernatural Fandom—The Movie trailer summed up so much of why this show is as powerful and compelling as it is now as it ever was—even going into its eleventh season. Meshing both the cast and the fans interviews into the film also allowed everyone to see that the feelings we share are mutual and reciprocated in ways we will only truly understand upon seeing the full length project.
At Van Con, when the trailer was played, the entire audience watched with such emotion and interest. This wasn’t just a fan video using clips. It wasn’t simply tweets posted on the screen from the convention. These weren’t just pictures capturing a brief moment. It was real, human fans telling their stories on screen—our stories. Afterwards, after the last moment faded away, the entire audience stood on their feet, giving it a standing ovation. Here, in this space, we were not only safe to be who and what we are as fans—we were being celebrated in new ways we had never ever anticipated or expected. We were the focus of everything that made this fandom so unique and special. Not only were we standing to give the Kosterman brothers and Fischer our gratitude for capturing it on film, we were standing proud for ourselves, acknowledging that our fannish experience was something to celebrate and embrace no matter what society thinks.
In that moment, we were truly representative of the Supernatural Family at its best, willing to put our own emotions out there and show our solidarity in how powerful the fandom can be.
A Q&A session followed the trailer. Several questions were raised about how to watch and support the film, how those with disabilities would be able to watch it, and how many languages it was already translated into—if you’re curious, Fischer stated that it had already been translated into 10 because “we want everyone to be able to share it.” One fan asked if it would be closed captioned for the hearing impaired, for instance, and Mitch Kosterman didn’t miss a beat in telling them that they had already done so out of the gate. They went onto say that a documentary is never “finished.” Instead, a documentarian simply “stops making it.” In many ways, then, the Supernatural Fandom—The Movie is only capturing a slice of our story—that even when they’re done making the film and sharing it with us, our story will continue on and grow beyond its portion of our experiences.
I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Mitch Kosterman for the film at Van Con 2014. Having finished the Devil’s Trap, I was granted a moment or two to show off my embroidery and explain just why this show not only inspired me to make these designs but to go even further and give them to charity to further the influence of Supernatural’s goodness into the world. It was an honor to be part of this film, to represent so many other fan artists that take the time to pour their love and emotional vulnerabilities into a project that captures not only their appreciation for the show but the inspirational good that can come from being a fan. In many ways, that is the true root of fan art, the reason that fans create it and share it with others: it is in the good it can bring that makes it transcend the simple pleasure of making something that captures our fannish pursuits.
Supernatural is a special show for so many of us. It gives us hope. It allows us to feel deeply. Supernatural inspires us with the triumphs and tribulations of the Winchester brothers—two men that we can see so much of ourselves in. It can give us a safe space to escape from the realities of this world. It can help us to cope with them, too. Supernatural, as a text, can give us so many themes to explore ourselves and our world to understand it in ways we may never had thought of. It provides a reflection to our own lives and world under its guise of fantasy and magic—that we, too, will struggle and strive to do the right thing even when that may come with a high price.
And yet, that’s not what makes it as special as it is. It is the communion of the fans that makes Supernatural special. It is our friendships—built over the decade plus run of the show. These friendships can bridge so many gaps—geographical, generational, and cultural. It is in our fandom that makes Supernatural rise above so many other shows. Without the fans, the show would cease to exist. It wouldn’t have the sustainability without our loyalty and our bonded unity to support it and connect with it as a collective. So many have talked about why Supernatural is special. So many have tried to capture just what the Supernatural Family is and what it means to them—trying to explain the shared understanding we have built as a wide spread fandom.
The Supernatural Fandom—The Movie does this—and yet it is still only the tip of the overall iceberg in capturing so much of what this show means. It is a starting point that we hope will continue to further the bond, the love, and the communion that shapes the Supernatural Family. The Supernatural Fandom Movie allows us to look in the mirror and be proud of what we see and who we are as individuals within the fandom and of the fandom as a collective whole. It shows us how much good it can bring—and that we are all in this together from the stars, Jared and Jensen, to the crew, to the fans that follow it all over the world.
In so many ways, the Supernatural Fandom Movie captures the truth of us: that fandom is our family business.
If you’d like to support the Supernatural Fandom Movie, you can find it at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/supernatural-fandom-the-movie#/story or https://www.facebook.com/spnfanmovie or http://spnfanmovie.com/ their Twitter ID is @spnfandommovie
Here is the 9 minute trailer for the movie. Enjoy!