No new bats under the sun?

As the majority of our shooting days are behind us – a few shoots still lie ahead – post-production has begun. A process in itself, but no less rewarding, it means that you will soon be seeing some footage from the film.

Indeed, a teaser trailer will be made available in the days to come. Expect it, when you see it.

In the meantime, let’s talk about superhero movies. With a whole slew of superhero-themed films are coming out this summer – the promising “Man of Steel”, for one – it is interesting to note the development of these films, and note the similar developments of so-called “fan films.”

Personally, I find the term “fan film” both a boon and a bane. As a plus, it is an easily-defined term that can encompass a wide variety of non-profit productions made for solely for the love of a certain character or story. As a negative, it can be made into a dismissive term, implying that developing something based off an already proven concept lacks originality. I can understand the reasoning behind that. As a counterpoint, one could argue, that there is nothing new under the sun.

But on the other hand, there’s a reason characters like Batman and Superman have flourished for decades after their initial inception: everyone and anyone could look at these characters and develop their own stories. The archetype, the character has always been there, it only requires a new lens, a new interpretation.

And by these new interpretations – rebirths, if you will – these characters will remain, long after we’re gone.

Say what you will about films based off of intellectual property owned by someone else, films like “Batman: Dead End” – an extraordinary Batman short film directed by Sandy Collora, go ahead, Google it! – have left their mark, on the character, on how people think about him or her.

I might even go out on a limb and suggest, that while big blockbusters based off of the same material – though made for profit, certainly – may have been crafted by people who not only know their craft exceptionally well, I would not be surprised if these creative people were fans of the material themselves.

Which would make the differences between films like “Batman: Dead End” and, say, “Man of Steel” only one of practicalities, not one of artistic vision.

“It is not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

– Pekka Paalanen

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