Earlier, in this post, we have talked about Jenkins’ idea of how fans, in the process of slashing, might read the body of characters (especially in media fandoms). We also talked about in this post I quoted Cathy Yue Wang on how Real People in RPF can appear as Derivations of the characters they resonate with. Taking these points farther, maybe it can be said that the viewer reads the characters into these bodies that appear on the screen. Martin discusses a fanvid where this happens on a dietetic level: the plot itself turns the bodies of the actors (shots from documentaries or behind-the-scenes footages) into the reincarnated or immortal version of the characters they play.

The final sequence of the vid, in which a shot of Arthur and Merlin looking out over Camelot fades to a shot of Bradley and Colin standing and looking out over Caerleon (from The Real Arthur and Merlin) sums up the layering of “Arthur and Merlin” and “Bradley and Colin”: a shot of two actors, standing where the “real” Arthur and Merlin reunited. Again, the inter-textual (sic!) relationship between various texts and sets of texts is a site of play for fans in exploiting their meaning-making potential. The effect is also one of mythologising James and Morgan: in saturating images of the actors with images of their mythic characters and their narratives; they become the bodies of stars as they are mythologised. This vid and ones like it demonstrate again that it is not alone the industry producers who undertake the project of mythologising. Fans engage in the same thing, though they may not call it that. RP fans are preoccupied with the resonances that produce the star.


Based on this, it appears that the visual elements not only inspire fanworks (fanvids or fan art) but might even motivate the mythologisation of real people. What are your experiences?

How the visual image of the star can contribute to the actor/character resonance?
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