"The bar for fan-made trailers is now higher than ever." -- EvanJDeBiase at SlashFilm.com
The Internet has been buzzing with excitement over a new fan-made trailer of Green Lantern by Jaron Pitts. He uses footage of actor Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan, clips from a bunch of movies, and it really looks amazing. Fan-generated content has been around since the dawn of fandom, from handwritten, photocopied fanzine publications to creative fan-fiction. Now, with relatively easy to use and affordable video editing software, the general public has the tools to make some visually stunning films and teasers.
People have been using these tools (and their vivid imaginations) to make some very entertaining content. They've taken favorite stories, movies, television series, and made their own wish-list visions of what might be. Since the content isn't being used for profit but usually as a project of love for a beloved character or franchise (and for bragging rights to showcase the fan's skills, usually in hopes of getting the attention of the Hollywood community for possible professional projects), copyright infringement isn't usually an issue in most cases. When done well, the fan-made videos are extremely entertaining and often make otherwise lame or dated subject matter seem cool, making the viewer actually curious to see a real version on the big screen.
Some of the more popular fake trailers that have been made include ThunderCats by WormyT with Brad Pitt as Lion-o and Vin Diesel as Panthro; and Runaways, based on the terrific comic book.
Some fan-made videos blend two different franchises into one with tantalizing results, such as The Dark Side of the Knight, combining Star Wars and Batman; and World's Finest, which brings Batman and Superman together to battle the Joker and Lex Luthor.
Others just re-edit existing content with new soundtracks and new cuts, like music deejays showing off their latest mixes, like the TV version of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
The most imaginative are the video trailers for books that still haven't been adapted for live-action film, such as The Host, based on the book by Twilight's Stephenie Meyer; or A Song of Ice and Fire, based on the epic fantasy series by George R. R. Martin.
Some people go all out and make actual productions that are truly amazing, like Batman: Dead End in which the Dark Knight faces the Aliens and Predators; and Grayson, where sidekick Robin gets his own solo, live-action adventure.
Search the Web and you'll find dozens of fun movies, trailers, comic strips, art, and fiction made by seemingly average people with extraordinary talent and creativity. Hopefully, some of them will move on to legitimate productions and get the chance to bring to life what until now has only been a passionate hobby.