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May 1992


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 May 1992 17:50:40 EDT
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (31 lines)
Is there an easily accessible account of the dynamics of contemporary
fan activities?
The several messages that have passed across the screen from SCREEN-L
and a newspaper account led me to contrast contemporary activities with
my knowledge of fan activities in an earlier era.  During the Big Studio
days fan clubs and related activities were an adjunct of the studio
publicity departments.  Anyone who wrote a fan letter was invited to
join.  Similar commercial motivations underlie other fan activities,
including paying "fans" to dance in the aisle of the Paramount Theater
in New York during Frank Sinatra's early (first?) appearance there in
ca. 1940.
Who stands to gain from the current activities?
Convention promoters?  Souvenir producers and hawkers?  Etc.?  Am I to
believe that contemporary fan activities are spontaneous?
Part of my sense of contemporary fandom comes from discussions with my
nephew, a respectable operating systems programmer for the United States
Army, and his wife, an equally respectable hospital administrator --
both thirty-something -- who use vaction time to follow Grateful Dead
tours.  They said that there was a hotline out there somewhere which can
be called for the latest on the Dead, including an itinerary when they
are on tour.  Who supports this hotline?  Again, who profits?
Cal Pryluck                               <PRYLUCK@TEMPLEVM>
Dept of Radio-Television-Film             <[log in to unmask]>
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122