I’m always unsure of what exactly is the right thing to do. Am I writing the right thing? Do people care about what I’m saying? And in this case, am I focusing on the right topic for my research project? While I love the films which come from A24, I think the fan-base surrounding A24 is what’s most interesting to me.
Problematise Your Media Niche
While the A24 films are generally well-loved and appreciated by those who watch, they’ve somehow managed to develop a dedicated fan-base unlike anything we’ve seen before. People love the work of directors like Spielberg, Nolan, Tarantino, Fincher, and Scorsese. Fans adore actors and actresses like Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet. While sure, media and entertainment conglomerate Disney has an undeniable following, we’ve never seen such love and admiration for a distribution company like we’re seeing with A24. How many times have you seen people excited for the latest Miramax film?
This brings forth a few questions. How does A24 have such a huge cult following? What makes audiences love their films so much? What sets A24 apart from other distribution companies? While I’ve briefly answered these questions in the first post, I think it’s important to delve deeper by observing and interacting with other fans, putting myself in the middle of their fan-bases.
Not only would this information be useful for up and coming film-makers as well as A24 themselves, but I feel like it would be useful for anyone in the media industry. More specifically, this research would help students learn how companies use their mediums to build audiences.
As mentioned in the second blog post, I’ll be primarily focusing on autoethnographic research, however it’s inevitable that observation will be necessary in my research too. As someone who is active in the A24 fan community (showing my personal fan art and reviews, asking for recommendations, and participating in other conversations), I believe that this mix of autoethnographic research and observation is ideal for this situation.
I’ll be spending time on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to participate in the fan community. From there, I’ll continue to post fan art, questions, and recommendations as I have been previously. Not only will this aid my research by being more active, but it will hopefully encourage more conversations.
To record my findings, I’ll be screenshotting any interesting conversations as well as keeping a written log. To clarify, I define ‘interesting conversations’ as anything which may relate to my research—reviews, criticisms about films, conversations about A24 as a whole, etc. In the written log, I’ll be adding notes to those screenshots and reflecting upon my experiences with other fans. By doing so, I’ll hopefully be able to understand why A24 has such a dedicated and unique fan-base.
I plan on spending two hours focusing on research each and every week, collecting screenshots from the social media sites and logging them with my own notes. In week 10, I plan on sitting down and reviewing my notes to try and better understand the fan-base behind A24. From week 11, I’ll be undertaking any additional research which needs to be done before forming an essay with my findings. Towards the end of week 11, I plan on beginning to develop a video essay displaying my findings (my DA). I hope to have this completed by the end of week 12 so any final edits can be completed by the DA deadline.