While film websites are ubiquitous today, what joys and challenges emerged when Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings production embraced official and more importantly, unofficial, websites about their films during production?
Thompson, Kristen. (2008) “Click to View Trailer” Frodo franchise: The Lord of the Rings and modern Hollywood. (1st ed. pp 133-164) University of California Press.
This is the very first study related reading that I have ever read, that I have actually wanted to keep reading, that I have not been able to put down because I was just so interested and involved in what had been written. I think the main reason for this, is that “I am, a Lord of the Rings fan” and will watch the three movies at least once every six months and read the books at least once a year. In the last 15 years, I have been to the cinema a grand total of four times. Three of those were for the three LOTR movies, even though during those years I was quite unwell and often house-bound for months at a time. Being the fan I am, I made a very concerted effort to see those movies live in the cinema at the time of release. The only other movie that has been given ‘the honour’ of my presence at the cinema was “The Phantom of the Opera” (2007), and that was for a similar reason, I am a very big fan of that story and the musical and have been now for 20 years.
Given my love of LOTR, I am sure that had I had internet access at the time of release, I would have been a member of both official and fan-based LOTR websites, and would likely still be. The only reason I am not a member of either form in the years since gaining Internet access is that I have not felt the need to communicate and associate with other fans to the same extent as I would have done at film release times. I find these days that my need for involvement with fan communities is a rather minor part of my enjoyment of a movie.
However, that said, it is obviously something that many others do feel the need to be involved with, and as such, the development of the fan-based sites in conjunction with the official sites, the studio and the movie personnel as the filming progressed was important, not only to the fan community, but also to the movie industry as a whole. The industry has effectively found another method of advertising and spreading the word, and has found a very lucrative cross-media platform which allows for a very large convergence of fan culture and industry regulations to produce an effective and mutually conducive marketing and conversation tool.
- Oscar Winner Peter Jackson to Direct “The Hobbit” in Two Installments (eon.businesswire.com)