How does affective economics function in post-modern Cinephilia?
Cinephilia has changed drastically since the classical times. Nowadays thanks to transmediality, we can watch movies from the comfort of our own home. “Facilitated by the development of new technologies, magic retrospectively appears as an inherent trend in cinema consumption as soon as cinema becomes a “universal” type of leisure, potentially encompassing all types of societies and social classes”(Hills, 146). There are a few websites out there that allow us to look up, write reviews, and rate movies, for example, Letterboxd and Imdb. The fact that we can read and share, or disagree with arguments from ordinary people around the world, has made it possible for fan bases to grow easily. Fan Cultures, do not only write reviews but they can rewrite and produce their own content as well.
Fans have not only the power to actually bring back a show, like Brooklyn 99, where the massive backlash from fans was listened to, and previously produced by FOX, NBC promised to produce another series (O’Brian), they can also participate in the making of different projects. Since these massive fan bases exist, producers have taken advantage of this mass of fan bases in order to produce content through Crowdfunding sites. This is ‘Affective economics’. “In short, affective economics mobilises a concept of emotional engagement between consumers and branded goods in order to position itself as beyond mere ‘commodification’.” (Hills, 185). The fans can through crowdfunding, feel like they are part of the production. In some cases by backing a certain project, like Veronica Mars, “Fans may poach from a Kickstarter project by interpreting it not only as securing symbolic proximity to the showrunner/production, but also as offering limited edition or time-sensitive merchandise not otherwise available” (Hills,194).
They work together, the fans and the producers. This blurs the line between ordinary people and educated media people. (Hills). By establishing love marks, the producers of the show avoid “cold impersonal brands” (Hills, 187). The backers and fans feel more involved in the project and can practice cinephilia almost hand in hand with the project itself since they are the ones funding it.
The post-modern cinephilisist has the advantage of the internet and the capability of funding projects they believe in. By working together with project leaders and choosing whom to fund, they are ultimate choosing what is put out there in the market to be shown for yet other cinephilisists.
Jullier, Laurent and Jean-Marc Leveratto. “Cinephilia in the Digital Age.” Audiences: Defining and Researching Screen Entertainment Reception. Edited by Ian Christie. Amsterdam UP, 2012, pp. 143-154.
Hills, Matt. “Veronica Mars, Fandom, and the ‘Affective Economics’ of Crowdfunding Poachers.” New Media & Society 17.2 (2015): 183-197.
O’Brian, Kelly. When Does Brooklyn 99 Come Back? Season 6 Return. 29 May 2018, www.women.com/kelleyobrien/lists/when-does-brooklyn-99-come-back-season-6-return-052818. May 29 2018 Accessed 5 December 2018.