Posted By Kathleen David on May 23, 2012
The Internet has changed a lot about fandom. It is much easier for fans of the same thing to find each other. There is plenty of fanfic and fan art to peruse. Recreation costuming has become so much easier with a lot of information at our fingertips. Some times too much information. I really don’t think there is more drama now than then, it is just a little more in public and more rapid to spread. Fans can give Actors a run for the Drama Queen or King title.
The first time I did the Vincent costume from the TV series Beauty and the Beast back in 1987/88, my friends and I had one issue of Starlog, fuzzy video tapes of the TV series, and a couple of photos from the newspaper. That was it. And we worked very hard to create what we thought we saw. Now we had the good luck that George RR Martin was at the convention (well not that good luck since one of the reasons we wanted to do it was because he was going to be there) and he sat down with us and went over the costume giving us insight into what we had gotten right and where we were just a bit off. He was impressed that we had done as well as we had considering what we were working off of. The reason there was no clear photo of the make-up was because they always shot it (and the photo shoots) through a gauzy filter to soften it. So we took the information and redid the costume to make Vincent Mark 2 which was much closer to screen accurate.
Fast forward a number of years and we decide to do the sketch Beauty and the Beast(s). Since I still had the foam mask for Vincent and it still fit my face and was is pretty good condition, I was going to be Vincent. I didn’t really have anything from the previous costume except the mask. Some pieces belonged to the other people who worked on the costume. The good cloak got stolen at a bar on Halloween. The sweater I used had been worn out. So I decided to go on the Internet and see if I could find photos I could use to recreate my recreation. I remembered most of what George told us that night so I had that. I found a lot of pictures out there including the fact that the costume had been sold at auction pretty piecemeal so I had good photos of all the pieces front and back. That made it so much easier to recreate.
I have been part of Doctor Who fandom for quite a while now. When I started it was hard to find in the US unless your PBS station happen to be showing it. I lucked out by meeting a bunch of Doctor Who fans at a convention. A number of people that were in that room are still friends of mine. We hung out and watched Doctor Who. Some of us wrote for fanzines. And over the years I have made a lot of friends through that one TV show.
I was invited to a viewing of the Doctor Who movie in 1996 with what was left of the Terminus TARDIS in Atlanta (a lot of us moved around the country by that point). We had a great time and took over one of the local sports bar to watch. The sports fans were puzzled by this but a number of them watched along with us which was interesting because they didn’t know anything about Doctor Who. Afterwards we were talking about the movie and the PMEB was born from a couple off hand comments. This was also the night I took on the DragonCon Challenge to make one of each of the Doctors as puppets. I got an email a couple of days later and joined the PMEB. That is really my first online fandom that I participated in. It is also the first time I found screen captures of the movie. It was a lot of fun and I kept up with the group for quite a while.
Now fandom seems to happen before the actual product is released which, for me, is a little weird because I need to see before I squee.
I am grateful for fans of things I like. It is nice to have other people to talk to about them.