amateurculture

New technologies have made it possible for fans to interact even more with their favorite television shows and movies by compiling collections of their own and editing them to their own taste preferences. One of the most popular outlets of amateur culture is vidding, or fan-made music videos. These are some of the simplest skills to teach oneself, and arguably the most fun and entertaining. Vidding allows the author to combine TV and movie video clips with pieces of music and convey a certain idea about the original piece. Star Trek Meets Monty Python serves as an example of this; playing off of the seriousness of the Star Trek series and its similarities with the humorous narrative of Monty Python.

Jenkins discusses these ideas in chapter four of his book “Convergence Culture” by describing the ways that fans of Star Wars would remake video clips of this using home computers and DVD-rippers. This was the perfect example of full participation of a media audience by returning control to the everyday people rather than the mass media who produced the original film. However, these "amateur artists" received legal threats from the makers of Star Wars, who felt that their work had been wrongfully copied and republished at the creative author's benefits. This begins the debate of intellectual property, who it belongs to, and how it should be used.

starwars

The discussion of amateur work begs the question; what makes something worth anything? What creates value? Cultural capital is the way we gauge the worth of something created, and this capital may be measured by one's education, understanding of norms or beliefs within a culture, their language, and their experience in working with the subject matter. Amateur culture ranges in value from mediocrity to genius based on these factors plus the amount of time and talent put into the work. Not every remix or "vid" will be successful, but some have achieved fame beyond their original works.

Another example of “Amateur” work or culture is in the movie “Julie & Julia” where a fan of Julia Childs’ cookbook attempts to recreate her recipes and document the experience online in a blog form. This was the first major motion picture ever produced with a plot centered around a blog, and it tells a very important story about the influence that internet tools give to everyday individuals.

julieandjulia

Countless of other books and movies have been made now based off of blogs that began as random thoughts or blurbs by ordinary people and gained enough attention to project them into fame and the public eye. Other examples of blogs-turned-book include “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell,” “Sh*t My Dad Says,” and “Stuff White People Like.”

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