A type of Fan Work
that, like the Fan Fic
, consists of an original story utilizing the characters and/or setting from an established franchise. Unlike the Fan Vid
, the Fan Film isn't just a re-editing and redubbing of existing footage, but rather an entirely new
work consisting of footage that has been shot or animated by the producer(s) of the film themselves. Fan Films vary wildly in quality, from poorly-made Flash cartoons to sophisticated, big-budget epics replete with expert fight choreography and convincing special effects. (Most Fan Films tend to fall somewhere in between.) Thanks to increased computer processing power and the ready accessibility of advanced editing, graphics, and music-making programs, it is becoming increasingly easy for ordinary people to produce Fan Films, some of which are every bit as good in quality as the professional productions on which they're based. (Of course, just like with any other form of Fan Work
, Sturgeon's Law
is in full effect here...)
It should be noted, like with FanVids
and other works derived from established characters and stories, that issues of Copyright
will crop up from time to time. Since Fan Films tend to be fairly long and extensive in nature, it's a lot harder to handwave these issues away under Fair Use, although many companies will turn a blind eye to Fan Films if they see them as free promotion. There are
exceptions to this rule, of course. The fan film Damnatus
, made by German fans of the Warhammer 40000
franchise, cost more than 10,000 euros and took months to film, but Games Workshop, the owners of Warhammer 40000
, have refused to allow the film to be shown (despite lengthy negotiations with the film's creators) due to the morays of German copyright law. However, it was subsequently leaked onto the Internet.
Fan Films can be commonly found on video-sharing sites such as YouTube (here)
and Daily Motion
. Original fan cartoons produced with Adobe Flash
can be found at Newgrounds (here)
See also Fan Sequel
, which is the video game version of this phenomenon, (although many Fan Films are
based on video game franchises.) This trope is not to be confused with Machinima
, which are original movies made using images and movements from existing video games.
Notable Examples of Live-Action Fan Films:
- The Star Wars franchise boasts a whole host of Fan Films, many of which are just one-on-one lightsaber duels, lasting only a few minutes, with no extraneous plot whatsoever. However, some Fan Films, do have epic stories attached to them. Fanfilms.com is a good place to find and learn about them.
- The best of these has to be Kevin Rubio's Troops. A dual parody of Star Wars and Cops, it boasts professional quality costumes and special effects. It's also hilarious and puts a couple of major incidents from the first film in a whole new light.
- A sequel series exists called I.M.P.S., following an imperial carrier group through its various assignments. Features voiceovers by Optimus Prime!
- The Chad Vader shorts could fit here as well.
- The Pink Five series also has a reasonably large following. It does a decent job of putting a hilarious spin on the story without abusing the canon too much.
- The main character is a kinda-sorta canon immigrant now. She has a cameo in Zahn's novel Allegiance. Okay it's a Fandom Nod, but we can still dream dammit!
- There's also the Ryan Vs Dorkman films, which, though they are the above-mentioned "lightsaber duels with no relation to plot" films, have very well-done choreography.
- Hardware Wars. It came out only seven months after the original release of A New Hope and was the first Star Wars fan film to make it big.
- Star Wars Uncut takes this to new heights, by asking people around the internet to redo snippets of the original, 15 seconds each, no matter the budget. The end result manages to be its own beast, while paying tribute to the original film.
- Star Wars Revelations, one of the most ambitious — and most acclaimed — fan films out there.
- Star Wars Downunder puts a uniquely Australian twist on the Star Wars universe. The evil Darth Drongo has seized all the beer on the planet, and it's up to Jedi Knight Merve Bushwacker and his rebel allies to get it back!
- As mentioned above, Warhammer 40K has Damnatus, which follows the agents of the Imperial inquisition as they try to stop a daemon returning to the planet Sancta Heroica.
- The Star Trek franchise also has its share of Fan Films:
- The The Legend of Zelda video game franchise has many Fan Films, ranging from the silly to the serious. However, the copyright bogeyman led to The Hero of Time getting a Cease And Desist from Nintendo and is no longer distributed online by its creators. It can still be found with a quick Google search, though.
- The Comic Book Bin hosts a great many Fan Films. It provides reviews of and news about them as well.
- A Leap To Di For is an awesome Quantum Leap fanfilm about Sam attempting to save Princess Diana, amongst other things.
- The Hunger Games have a lot of fanfilms what about the generic setting making it a little easier to do, yet one of the good ones can be seen here 
- Trailers for Metal Gear Solid Philanthropy have been generally well-met, and a finished product due out in June is has generated minor buzz.
- Shamelady, a French-made James Bond fan film, truly deserves the full marks. Coming in at a whopping 50+ minutes, and even having a public screening in France!
- I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC by ItsJustSomeRandomGuy is a popular fan-made series featuring action figures of famous Marvel and DC Comics characters. Originally, it started as a spoof of the "I'm a Mac... And I'm a PC" ads, with Superman and Spider-Man comparing their respective film series. Eventually, it evolved to include other characters, such as Batman, the Hulk, Iron Man, etc., and the "After Hours" series, originally mean to depict what the characters do when they're not making snarky remarks about each others' movies, developed its own involved plotline. Regardless, it's still pretty funny.
- Star Wreck has gone from being a space battle animated using early home computer technology, to a spoof of epic proportions with effects that easily rival most big-budget Hollywood productions. The latest film, In The Pirkinning is also the most successful Finnish movie ever made.
- Fullmetal Fantasy is a short Fullmetal Alchemist Fan Film written and directed by Vic Mignogna, the American voice actor for Edward Elric, starring most of the US vocal cast playing their charactersnote with FMA fans playing all the extras. In it, an FMA fan (played by Mignogna) dreams that he's becoming Edward and the FMA characters are showing up all over the real world. It's a Crowning Moment of Awesome (and Funny) for everyone involved, but rights issues mean it'll never see widespread release. On the other hand, Vic has gotten official permission to screen it at conventions as long as it doesn't get videotaped and uploaded.
- Vic followed this up with The Fullmetal and Flame Show, made because Travis Willingham (Roy Mustang) wasn't available for the first film. The whole thing is a giant parody of Itchy and Scratchy, where Mustang and Ed (played by their respective merchandise) get into various ridiculous situations, with Edward getting revenge on Mustang in increasingly Crosses the Line Twice manners (tricking him into a blender, using him as bait for a shark, telling him that a microwave was a soundstage to record a song album and setting him on fire). Vic teased about the film for years before finally airing it at Otakon 2010.
- "Patient J" is a very popular Batman fan film about the Joker. The film focuses on a psychiatrist interviewing the Joker and gives the Joker's perspective on major events in the Batman comic book timeline and on his relationship with Batman personally. The film was written and directed by Aaron Schoenke specifically for his friend, Paul Molnar, to play the Joker.
- "Browncoats: Redemption" is a Firefly fan film taking place after the events of Serenity. The film was created on a much higher budget than most fan films and the film was used to get money for a charity. The film has gotten high amounts of praise, most notably from Joss Whedon himself
- Doctor Who has had a number of fan films made, especially during the intervening years between the cancellation in 1989 and the 2005 revival. Most notable among them is the four part serial Time Rift, directed by Jon Blum (and featuring him as the 7th Doctor), who went on to become an Ascended Fanboy and write several Eighth Doctor novels with his wife Kate Orman.
- There Will Be Brawl is an extremely well made live-action fan film of the Super Smash Bros. series, split into episodes. Boasting amazing writing and costume design that ranges from above-average to mind blowing. Incidentally, it also turns the setting into a cynical urban wasteland with most of the cast members cast as drug addicts, whores or worse, but that's neither here nor there.
- There exists a fan-made film version of the first Dune novel by Frank Herbert, made by a few fans living in Spain with a cast of the entire village. Visually, it's a cross between the atmosphere of the '84 Lynch version and the Arabic influences of the 2000 Sci-Fi miniseries. It's also more faithful than either of them. Unfortunately, the HLP (Herbert Limited Partnership; the company that deals with the franchise since Frank's death) completely shut down the project and threatened to sue them, even though it took them over five years to make and over $10,000 of their own money and, they intended to release for free.
- Godzilla vs the Kaiju Killer takes elements from many of the 70s movies and makes them more credible, such as the Black Hole Aliens, Hedorah and Gabara now as a creepy Emotion Eater. Plus a damn great sci-fi story about morality in a Sick Sad World.
- Batman Dead End is a eight-minute long fan video that puts Batman against The Joker and later...the Alien and the Predator.
- It's also one of the very few (if only) to get official toys made for it—namely, of some of the disctinctive Predators, such as Big Red.
- In 1992, a group called "Alpha Dog Productions" created The Green Goblin's Last Stand, a fifty-minute Spider-Man fan film adapting "The Night Gwen Stacy Died", on a budget of less than $400. They also somehow managed to get a classically trained actor to play Norman Osborn. The results are... well, amazing. At the moment, it's easiest to find it online — the video on SPIKE seems to have the creators' go-ahead.
- Operation Chastity is a Halo fan film currently in pre-production. The plot will centre of a platoon of UNSC Marines operating in Argentina, fighting the survivors of a crashed Covenant ship. The film's director has spent tens of thousands of dollars of his own money on the project, which has already produced a script, a dozen prop weapons and a fully working Warthog jeep. Oh yeah, and Al Matthews, the man who played Sgt Apone, is on the caste.
- Lord of the Rings has spawned many of these, some a lot better than others. Born of Hope is a 70 minute prequel tied into the appendices of Tolkien's book, telling the story of Aragorn's parents, filmed in a similar style to the Peter Jackson films. Another good film is Hunt for Gollum, which is set during the story of the book. Both these films look highly professional, while being made on low budgets, and have been highly acclaimed by critics.
- Mega Man had a fan film by Eddie Lebron released on Screwattack.com.
- Even Fallout has spawned a fan film, this one being Nuka Break, starring a Vault 10 Dweller with a Nuka Cola addiction, a recently freed slave, and a hedonistic ghoul.
- The Ghostbusters franchise of films and TV shows has inspired at least two notable fan films, "The Real Ghostbusters" downloadable here and "Return of the Ghostbusters" having a trailer here.
- The Louisiana Ghostbusters had a fan film contest which had a few enrties, many of which were location based, such as Ghostbusters SLC, U.K. Ghostbusters, and Italy Ghostbusters, though there were plenty of others as well. They can all be seen here.
- Street Fighter has webseries Street Fighter: the Later Years, Street Fighter Legacy, Street Fighter High (and its sequel musical), Street Fighter: Beginning's End, and Balrog: Behind the Glory.
- There are two fan films of Portal, a sequel and a prequel:
- There's now a Portal fan film entitled Outside Aperture which is set after the original ending of the first game and completely ignores Portal 2. There's very little dialogue, the only character is Chell (who has some issues due to her time as a test subject), and apart from flashbacks it's set entirely inside an extremely bare apartment, yet somehow it works.
- Portal: No Escape shows Chell as a prisoner who tries to break out of Aperture Science, which turns out to be her first test. It's a darker take on the series compared to both the above fan film and Portal itself.
- Find Makarov, based on the Modern Warfare series. Notable in that a chance reference to it at the end of Modern Warfare 3 has spawned near-endless debate on whether it's canon to the actual series.
- A film version (found here) of the famous fan fiction My Immortal.
- Timberwolf West is a professional production company that has made some high quality Friday the 13th Fan Films, such as The Storm and The Obsession.
- ''Tron Destiny is a four-minute short film (doubling as a fake trailer for the upcoming third TRON movie) that asks what would happen if a Real Life hacker got into ENCOM's files and built their own deresolution laser. It turns out to be precisely what the MCP ordered.
- Batman Puppet Master, a fan film set in Batman's The Dark Knight Saga universe meant to bridge the gap between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Possibly intended as part of a series due to the Sequel Hook at the end. Features Nolanverse re-imaginings of classic villains The Riddler and The Ventriloquist. Can be seen here.
- Red Sand  A Mass Effect Prequel fan film starring Mark Meer (the voice actor of commander shepard) as Grissom.
- Live Action Toy Story, a full-length live-action Shot for Shot Remake of Toy Story.
- Freddy Vs Ghostbusters pits Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street against the Ghostbusters. A man called Neill who lives on Elm Street is haunted by Freddy, so he calls in the Ghostbusters for help. Among other things, Freddy repeats the "I'm your boyfriend now, Nancy!" phone gag on a balding middle-aged man by mistake, the Ghostbusters call Jared from Subway for advice by Breaking the Fourth Wall, and Freddy kills Jared. Three seperate endings were shot. In the standard ending the Ghostbusters defeat Freddy and trap him in their container, but in the first alternate one Freddy kills all three of them and does a Victory Dance, and in the second alternate ending Freddy and the Ghostbusters go outside and do a dance and song number in the street.
- Speaking of the Springwood Slasher, don't forget the feature-length Freddy's Return: A Nightmare Reborn. Set before Freddy's Dead, it focuses on Freddy's last would-be victim before he got baked extra-crispy. For having no budget, it's extremely well-done and occasionally pretty creepy.
- Shippers might want to check out some of the so-called "porn parodies" which are clearly just an excuse to make a Lemon Fan Fic on film without getting sued as they don't contain any laughs. Examples include The Sex Files: A Dark XXX Parody which has a rather basic plot, but you do get a well-filmed scene of a Mulder and Scully lookalike getting it on.
- Flight from Shadow is a 22-minute adaptation of one chapter of The Eye of the World by a group of fans eager to finally see Robert Jordan's world and characters up on the screen. Except for its length, it could pass for a Hollywood movie, with fans having poured countless hours into building professional-looking sets, props and costumes.
- #TRUTHINJOURNALISM is a fan made found footage mockumentary in the style of Man Bites Dog that takes place in the Marvel Universe involving Eddie Brock making a documentary about the underbelly of New York. It ends with the film crew telling him that they don't have the budget to finish the film. Venom is not pleased.
Notable Examples of Flash Cartoon Fan Films:
- The "Awesome" series of video game shorts by Egoraptor, some of which have been featured on MTV's G-Hole an online video game show.
- Legendary Frog is another prolific producer of flash films, including the Lord of the Rings parody One Ring to Rule Them All and its sequel.
- Broken Saints is an Animesque flash series that isn't really based on any existing franchise, but it borrows heavily from works like Neon Genesis Evangelion (in its use of religious symbolism). It's also a mash-up of Eastern philosophy and Western pop culture, and has small animated homages to Fight Club, the Matrix and The Wizard of Oz featuring the characters from the series playing the roles of characters in the homaged films.
- Elena Hull's Tokyo Crystal Mew, a (so far) 3 episode (4 if you count the episode 1 remake) Tokyo Mew Mew fan series, is well known for being a shining example of what not to do when making your own fan film. (Don't say that too loud though, or you will be bombarded with cries of "letz c u make ur own anime!!1" from the author's friends.)
- Final Fighting Fantasy, a Massive Multiplayer Crossover following the exploits of the heroes of Final Fantasys I through VII after the ends of their games, as they start to turn on each other. Probably best remembered for being A) of an Anyone Can Die persuasion, and B) effectively discontinued right before the Grand Finale.
- In three words: Bart The General. This utter Mind Screw made by a man simply known as Famicon is parts What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?.
- Guest From The Future 2, sequel to Soviet Sci Fi classic Guest from the Future set a few years after the film, in which a teenaged Alisa recruits Kolya to save the future from Harry Potter, who has stupefied humanity. See here.
- Many animations of the video game series Touhou are made in a program called create.swf, aka Walfas. But if there is any that should count as a movie, it's the series/movie Diamond In The Rough. The story follows a boy (a parody of the typical Self-Insert Fic Marty Stu) who is gapped to the magical land of Gensokyo by the border demon Yukari upon the promise of power and freedom, and in three months will be killed by the celestial Tenshi. The story takes place between these two events. The film is four hours long, split into two two-hour reels (with the first reel available on YouTube as a series). The full film can be seen on the creator's Ustream, complete with an intermission and Audience Participation.
Notable Examples of Computer Generated Fan Films:
- Silent Hill: No Escape is a CG series based on Konami's horror franchise. (It's often mistakenly called Silent Hill 5, although it has nothing to do with the original creators, or any of the canon Silent Hill games released after it.)
- Haloid and the Dead Fantasy series, two CG Ultimate Showdowns of Ultimate Destiny by Monty Oum.
- William Country, one of the few films to be nuked off the face of the internet (except for one part, and said nuking is becuase the maker, Hijotee, only put the vids on youtube, a site that would not allow even regular fan film, due to it's strict copyright rules). It's a Total Drama Island film... yet it's not. It's main pairing is "Cody" and this O.C. named Joshua, who looks a lot like Cody (see the film, link on the page). It is also notable for having a user that takes crack.
- ''TRANSFORMERS Generation One'', made by professional animator Randall Ng (who had worked on games like Justice League Heroes) with voices performed by Dr. Smoov. Based upon the original cartoon series it won first place at the 2009 BOTCON Film Festival.
- Various BIONICLE ones are/were in the works, such as Quest of the Toa covering the first year of storyline, and a separate massive project to create a whole series of fanfilms to cover the entire storyline called Bionicle: The Next Generation. Sadly, both undertakings sank into Development Hell — B:QOTT already had to be canceled and restarted several times throughout the years, and has since hit another silent period. At least its Spin-Off "series", Lewa Q&A, managed to get a couple of episodes finished. The case of BNG is more complicated. At first, it appeared the whole project was done for, but a group of dedicated fans decided to reboot the thing as a less ambitious version of the original, making a short animated series instead of movies, switching to 2D CGI animation, and changing the title to Bionicle: Retold. The 3D team moved to a different site, but have similar goals as well.
- Batman New Times is a student based project by Dave School which features some impressive voice talent, including Adam West and Mark Hamill.
- ''Pokémon Apokelypse is a fan film trailer of a never to be released live action Pokémon film. It takes place in a dark future where Pokémon training is illegal and driven underground.
- Zelda: The Dark Sage, a fan film series that attempts to adapt certain elements of The Legend of Zelda into CG, in a similar fashion to Monty Oum's films. The end result looks like ReBoot, to put it lightly.
Other Notable Fan Films
- Neil Cicierega's Potter Puppet Pals series of fan films features hand-puppet versions of the principal characters of the Harry Potter franchise. Originally a Flash cartoon (and now a live-action series), the series has given birth to many Internet memes, and it stands as one of the series' most intentionally funny fan works.
- Paul "Otaking" Johnson is in the process of animating his own Doctor Who anime.