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Defeat Your Demons with Dungeons & Dragons - FANDOM UNCOVERED

Defeat Your Demons with Dungeons & Dragons - FANDOM UNCOVERED

The Dungeons and Dragons episode of Fandom Uncovered, published in 2019.

Fandom Uncovered is a documentary web series that explores fandom, fan festivals, geek identity and the impact of fan culture. Fandom Uncovered was created in 2019 and is published on the Fandom Entertainment YouTube channel. Episodes are 20-30 minutes long and are presented and executive produced by Roth Cornet. Fandom Uncovered is published intermittently, about once a month. Fandom Uncovered is Fandom Entertainment's highest-viewed series. For example, the first episode about the Twilight fandom achieved 1 million views in its first 5 days of release via multiple platforms (YouTube, Facebook and Fandom.com).[1]

Format Edit

Fandom Uncovered is a "docu-short series exploring the deepest facets of fan culture. Shining a spotlight on diverse fan communities, the series illuminates how the shared passion for a TV show, movie or game can bring people together, shape popular culture and transform lives."[1] Presenter/executive producer Roth Cornet explains:

"Fans are at the heart of pop culture, and Fandom Uncovered tells the fascinating stories of how dedicated fans have impacted – and been impacted by – incredibly compelling works of art in movies, TV and gaming. Members of the Fandom community don't simply love their favorite TV series, movies, or video games. They want to share that love with other fans. They're yearning for community and camaraderie and for a space, whether it's online or in person where they can geek out and truly love what they love. There are a million fascinating stories that reveal the complex nature of what it means to be a fan today. We think people will love getting an inside look at these fan movements and sharing in the magic that makes them tick. At Fandom, that is our mission -- to serve fans and celebrate the things they love." (R. Cornet, July 17, 2019, Fandom Announces a New Docu-short Series Celebrating Fan Culture, PR Newswire)

Production Edit

Fandom Uncovered emerged as a series almost by accident. In 2018, Roth Cornet traveled to the town of Forks, Washington to make a short bit for The Screen Junkies Show about the annual Forever Twilight in Forks Festival. However, after speaking to the fans and townspeople, she quickly realized there was to much material to fit in a short bit. As a result, the production team chose to expand the video in length and develop the concept into an ongoing series.

Episode 1: How Twilight Saved a Town Edit

We Made a Twilight Documentary?! - FANDOM UNCOVERED

We Made a Twilight Documentary?! - FANDOM UNCOVERED

Explores the impact of the annual "Forever Twilight in Forks" festival on fans and the logging town of Forks, Washington. The festival provided the town of Forks with a new source of income and even prevented the town from going into recession! The episode also explores gatekeeping in fandom, and shows how being a fan of Twilight has benefited people experiencing hardship, illness and mental health issues.

Published: June 18, 2019.
Length: 25:57

Reception Edit

Hannah Collins of CBR.com said the video highlighted Twilight's "healing power." Collins praised the series for emphasizing the positive aspects of fandom, writing, "In our current zeitgeist of online petitions, 'fixed it' edits and abusive trolling, fan culture is becoming more and more synonymous with negativity. While a lot of those aspects of fandom can be attributed to a vocal minority, it's easy to let that noise drown out everything else -- everything else being the parts of fan culture we all love: community, camaraderie and spending a lot of money on useless stuff to fill our garages with. In recent years, few fan bases have had it as rough as Twilight, but a new docuseries from Fandom aims to shift public perception about put-upon fan bases for the better."

In his write-up on the documentary, Mike Reyes of CinemaBlend highlighted the documentary special for showing "how important the Twilight franchise is to [fans], and why their trips to Forks have become an important recurring source of economic support to the sleepy town." Reyes suggested the special "has arrived at the right time to potentially spark a renaissance for the once towering fandom." In her write-up on the episode, Alani Vargas of the AV Club noted "Forks also hires cosplayers to portray the characters for the festival, during which they wander the grounds, Disneyland-style, fully committed to their roles. Yeah, it’s weird, but, thanks to these stans, the town of Forks gained a major new revenue flow to help compensate for its flagging logging industry."

Production credits Edit

Executive Producer and Host: Roth Cornet
Supervising Producer: Max Dionne
Editor: Randy Whitlock

Special thanks to: Lissy Andrews, Bekah Sine Decker, Nikki Pierce, Jessica Hagen, Shandra Mutchie, Viktoria Liepold, Ryan Albertson.
Photos/video courtesy of Pam Rice, Karlee Dash, Bella Rose Britt, Volodymyr Ivash, Trever Czarnecki.

Episode 2: Defeat Your Demons With Dungeons & Dragons Edit

Defeat Your Demons with Dungeons & Dragons - FANDOM UNCOVERED

Defeat Your Demons with Dungeons & Dragons - FANDOM UNCOVERED

Explores the impact of the table top role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons on fans. The episode describes the history of D&D, including the Satanic Panic of the 1980's and 1990's, the influence of D&D on Hollywood screenwriters, and Critical Role's $11M fundraiser in 2019. The episode also explores gatekeeping in fandom and shows how being a D&D player has benefited people with autism, plus those who have experienced hardship, trauma, and mental health issues.

Published: August 6, 2019
Length: 27:31

Reception Edit

In their review of the episode, Brennon of Beasts of War wrote "The interview is a great look at why people play the game, where they've come from, how they view the game and also the way it has helped them. There are some stories here that might be upsetting to some so just be warned before delving in. This is a great look at a vibrant, magical set of rules which let us all experience a level of escapism which allows us to put the worries of the real world aside. It would be fascinating to hear if there are ways that D&D and other roleplaying games have effected you. For me, it helped build my confidence and get away from a teenage life where I was constantly bullied and made fun of. It also inspired me to be creative and tell stories with my friends."

In their review of the video Sideshow wrote that the episode of Fandom Uncovered "delves into the complexities, communities, and overall celebration of the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons." While J. E. Zamvrano if Bell of Lost Souls noted that the video contained a lot of heart and positivity, writing "what starts off as another look at the resurgence of D&D transforms into a heartwarming story–see how D&D can help you defeat your demons. Fandom Uncovered is the name for a series of mini-documentaries that takes an in-depth look at various fandoms–so far Twilight and D&D–and highlighting the very real good that these communities can bring out." Similarly, Hannah Collins of CBR.com wrote "As well as the game's therapeutic and co-operative qualities, one of the things the short sheds light on is how pervasive it has become in our wider culture. ... Rather than summoning (real) demons through dice rolls, it appears that kids of the '70s and '80s were actually using the game as a healthy escape, which many of Cornet's interviewees credit it for, and, in the case of its increasingly vocal celebrity players, firing up imaginations to give future generations their own escapist adventures."

Production credits Edit

Executive Producer and Host: Roth Cornet
Director/Producer: Brett Weiner
Supervising Producer: Max Dionne
Associate Producer: Peter Sanchez
Director of Photography: Basil Mironer
Camera: Nate Cornett, Dylan Chapgier
Sound: Victoria Carrillo
Editor: Randy Whitlock
Production Coordinator: Ryan O'Toole
AE: Emin Bassavand

Special Thanks: Joe Starr, Adam Bradford, Todd Kenreck, Greg Tito , Liz Schuh, Kat Jones, Critical Role (Liam O'Brian, Marisha Ray, Matt Mercer, Travis Willingham), Satine Phoenix, Jerry Holkins, Matthew Lillard, Joe Manganiello, Jason Azevedo, Xander Jeanneret, Deborah Ann Woll, Hope LaVelle, Jen Kretchmer, Jason Charles Miller, Lauren Urban, TJ Storm, B. Dave Walters, Brian Posehn Luke Gygax, Bill Rehor, Tanya DePass, Dragon Friends (Alex Lee, David Harmon), DnD Highrollers (Mark Hulmes, Rhiannon Gower), Ali and Sam, Jay Africa, Cale Clark, Captain Robear, LaTia Bryant, Matt McElroy and Lisa Chen, Kate Welch, Jeremy Crawford.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Fandom Announces a New Docu-short Series Celebrating Fan Culture

See also Edit

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