But what is it that puts someone under the label of a ‘true fan’? Is it the amount of time a person has been part of it? The knowledge they possess? Or when talking about book-movie adaptations, would you slap this label on anyone that read the book first… but snub your nose at those who read it after watching by saying they’re bandwagon-ing?
I’m prepared to fully admit I’ve been a bit of a snob in my past with book-movie adaptations. I was agitated for the most part when people would watch the film and become obsessed, think they’d try to outsmart me only to be wrong because films change details in most cases anyway, and then read the books later. Now I’m not as bothered by it because HEY, whatever… it gets a person to pick up the book still, right?? I just can’t argue this logic. (Also, thank you Hunger Games for getting my oldest girl to read last year *fist pump*)
But recently, I’ve been seeing a larger problem. Statements made by fans in various fandoms, and more recently even a producer of an upcoming film of a book I’ve been waiting for as a movie for over three years, and they’re not setting well with me. Example:
"Furthermore, having now shown this film to over 1000 fans, the results are in. They LOVE IT! and I promise you, if you are a true fan of the series, you will too!” --Mike Preger, Producer (Vampire Academy)
The first time I read VA was when I was around twenty-two I believe if I’m not mistaken (22-23 was a good year for books for me--VA, Hunger Games, The Book Thief, Wintergirls). It wasn’t heard of much at the time. Blood Promise wasn’t even out yet. The first three were only available on paperback. But this doesn’t matter. Couldn’t someone that’d just read and loved the series in the last month be as much of a fan as I am? I would think so, right?
The other issue to address here is that not every fan is going to like a movie adaptation. No matter how well done it may be. To make a statement that basically puts any person in a position of feeling as if they’re not contributing to the community or not a true fan if they don’t like it is not right. I personally think Mr. Preger didn’t mean anything harmful by his comment and he likely didn’t realize how it sounded perhaps, but things should’ve been worded differently for sure. At least it made me think, which led me to this discussion post.
We have to remember what’s important as fans though: the connection. Not just a connection with a book/series or authors we eventually become fans of, but the characters, their world, and other fans. There shouldn’t be any concern over who’s a true fan due to X reason. If you’re a fan, you’re a fan! How hard is that, really? And if you don’t like a movie adaptation of a book you love, it doesn’t make you any less of a fan. Nor does reading a book after seeing the movie (though us book-nerds do prefer you try to read before because the books are always better anyway, just saying). ;)
So, how about it… Be just a fan with me? Or do you use the ‘true fan’ label (if so, please let me know how you work it out?)?