Fans challenge the informational, brand control of media producers by discovering and circulating unofficial news, gossip, rumours and photos of on-set filming. [Matt] Hills discusses the phenomenon of fan “set reporting”, whereby audiences tweet, blog and upload their photos and videos of location filming. In discussing franchises such as Twilight, Doctor Who and Sherlock, which have all had to contend with this new digital mode of fan productivity, he argues that far from dematerialising the importance of location, this new fan practice combines immediacy with hypermediation, granting authenticity and status to “being there” and to documenting activities of media production. Socially networked fandom thus both reinforces the symbolic centrality of filming sites (e.g. Cardiff for Doctor Who) and brings fans into conflict with producers in novel, pre-textual ways. Hills contends that, far from being a mysterious, shut-away process, location filming has become an increasingly transparent, fan-mediated event, with “citizen-fans” placing the elite activities of popular media production into the subcultural public spheres of fan knowledge, debate and speculation, somewhat akin to the activities of citizen-journalists.

Geraghty, L. (2015) ‘Introduction: Fans and Paratexts’. Popular Media Cultures: Fans, Audiences and Paratexts. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Fan production of counterknowledge through set reporting
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