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A type of Fan Work that, like the Fanfic, consists of an original story utilizing the characters and/or setting from an established franchise. Unlike the Fan Vid, the Fan Film isn't just a re-editing and redubbing of existing footage, but rather an entirely new work consisting of footage that has been shot or animated by the producer(s) of the film themselves. Fan Films vary wildly in quality, from poorly-made Flash cartoons to sophisticated, big-budget epics replete with expert fight choreography and convincing special effects. (Most Fan Films tend to fall somewhere in between.) Thanks to increased computer processing power and the ready accessibility of advanced editing, graphics, and music-making programs, it is becoming increasingly easy for ordinary people to produce Fan Films, some of which are every bit as good in quality as the professional productions on which they're based. (Of course, just like with any other form of Fan Work, Sturgeon's Law is in full effect here...)

It should be noted, like with FanVids and other works derived from established characters and stories, that issues of copyright will crop up from time to time. Since Fan Films tend to be fairly long and extensive in nature, it's a lot harder to handwave these issues away under Fair Use, although many companies will turn a blind eye to Fan Films if they see them as free promotion. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. The fan film Damnatus, made by German fans of the Warhammer 40000 franchise, cost more than 10,000 euros and took months to film, but Games Workshop, the owners of Warhammer 40000, have refused to allow the film to be shown (despite lengthy negotiations with the film's creators) due to the morays of German copyright law. However, it was subsequently leaked onto the internet and can be downloaded here.

Fan Films can be commonly found on video-sharing sites such as Youtube and Daily Motion. Original fan cartoons produced with Adobe Flash can be found at Newgrounds.

See also Fan Sequel, which is the video game version of this phenomenon, (although many Fan Films are based on video game franchises.) This trope is not to be confused with Machinima, which are original movies made using images and movements from existing video games.

Examples of Fan Film include:

  • The Star Wars franchise boasts a whole host of Fan Films, many of which are just one-on-one lightsaber duels, lasting only a few minutes, with no extraneous plot whatsoever. However, some Fan Films, do have epic stories attached to them. is a good place to find and learn about them.
    • The best of these has to be Kevin Rubio's Troops. A dual parody of Star Wars and Cops, it boasts professional quality costumes and special effects. It's also hilarious and puts a couple of major incidents from the first film in a whole new light.
      • A sequel series exists called I.M.P.S., following an imperial carrier group through its various assignments. Features voiceovers by Optimus Prime!
    • The Chad Vader shorts could fit here as well.
    • The Pink Five series also has a reasonably large following. It does a decent job of putting a hilarious spin on the story without abusing the canon too much.
      • The main character is a kinda-sorta canon immigrant now. She has a cameo in Zahn's novel Allegiance. Okay it's a Fandom Nod, but we can still dream dammit!
    • There's also the Ryan Vs Dorkman films, which, though they are the above-mentioned "lightsaber duels with no relation to plot" films, have very well-done choreography.
    • Hardware Wars. It came out only seven months after the original release of New Hope and was the first Star Wars fan film to make it big.
    • Star Wars Uncut takes this to new heights, by asking people around the internet to redo snippets of the original, 15 seconds each, no matter the budget. The end result manages to be its own beast, while paying tribute to the original film.
  • As mentioned above, Warhammer 40K has Damnatus, which follows the agents of the Imperial inquisition as they try to stop a daemon returning to the planet Sancta Heroica.
  • The Star Trek franchise also has its share of Fan Films:
  • The The Legend of Zelda video game franchise has many Fan Films, ranging from the silly to the serious. However, the copyright bogeyman led to The Hero of Time getting a C&D from Nintendo and is no longer distributed online by its creators.
  • The Comic Book Bin hosts a great many Fan Films. It provides reviews of and news about them as well.
  • A Leap To Di For is an awesome Quantum Leap fanfilm about Sam attempting to save Princess Diana, amongst other things.
  • Trailers for Metal Gear Solid Philanthropy have been generally well-met, and a finished product due out in June is has generated minor buzz.
  • Shamelady, a French-made James Bond fan film, truly deserves the full marks. Coming in at a whopping 50+ minutes, and even having a public screening in France!
  • I'm A Marvel...And I'm a DC by ItsJustSomeRandomGuy is a popular fan-made series featuring action figures of famous Marvel and DC Comics characters. Originally, it started as a spoof of the "I'm A Mac, I'm a PC" ads, with Superman and Spider-Man comparing their respective film series. Eventually, it evolved to include other characters, such as Batman, the Hulk, Iron Man, etc., and the "After Hours" series, originally mean to depict what the characters do when they're not making snarky remarks about each others' movies, developed its own involved plotline. Regardless, it's still pretty damn funny.
  • Star Wreck has gone from being a space battle animated using early home computer technology, to a spoof of epic proportions with effects that easily rival most big-budget Hollywood productions. The latest film, In The Pirkinning is also the most successful Finnish movie ever made.
  • Fullmetal Fantasy is a short Fullmetal Alchemist Fan Film written and directed by Vic Mignogna, the American voice actor for Edward Elric, starring most of the US vocal cast playing their characters[1] with FMA fans playing all the extras. In it, an FMA fan (played by Mignogna) dreams that he's becoming Edward and the FMA characters are showing up all over the real world. It's a Crowning Moment of Awesome (and Funny) for everyone involved, but rights issues mean it'll never see widespread release. On the other hand, Vic has gotten official permission to screen it at conventions as long as it doesn't get videotaped and uploaded.
    • Vic followed this up with The Fullmetal and Flame Show, made because Travis Willingham (Roy Mustang) wasn't available for the first film. The whole thing is a giant parody of Itchy and Scratchy, where Mustang and Ed (played by their respective merchandise) get into various ridiculous situations, with Edward getting revenge on Mustang in increasingly Crosses the Line Twice manners (tricking him into a blender, using him as bait for a shark, telling him that a microwave was a soundstage to record a song album and setting him on fire). Vic teased about the film for years before finally airing it at Otakon 2010.
  • "Patient J" is a very popular Batman fan film about the Joker. The film focuses on a psychiatrist interviewing the Joker and gives the Joker's perspective on major events in the Batman comic book timeline and on his relationship with Batman personally. The film was written and directed by Aaron Schoenke specifically for his friend, Paul Molnar, to play the Joker.
  • "Browncoats: Redemption" is a Firefly fan film taking place after the events of Serenity. The film was created on a much higher budget than most fan films and the film was used to get money for a charity. The film has gotten high amounts of praise, most notably from Joss Whedon himself
  • Doctor Who has had a number of fan films made, especially during the intervening years between the cancellation in 1989 and the 2005 revival. Most notable among them is the four part serial Time Rift, directed by Jon Blum (and featuring him as the 7th Doctor), who went on to become an Ascended Fanboy and write several Eighth Doctor novels with his wife Kate Orman.
  • There Will Be Brawl is an extremely well made live-action fan film of the Super Smash Bros series, split into episodes. Boasting amazing writing and costume design that ranges from above-average to mind blowing. Incidentally, it also turns the setting into a cynical urban wasteland with most of the cast members cast as drug addicts, whores or worse, but that's neither here nor there.
  • There exists a fan-made film version of the first Dune novel by Frank Herbert, made by a few fans living in Spain with a cast of the entire village. Visually, it's a cross between the atmosphere of the '84 Lynch version and the Arabic influences of the 2000 Sci-Fi miniseries. It's also more faithful than either of them. Unfortunately, the HLP (Herbert Limited Partnership; the company that deals with the franchise since Frank's death) completely shut down the project and threatened to sue them, even though it took them over five years to make and over $10,000 of their own money and, they intended to release for free.
  • Godzilla vs the Kaiju Killer takes elements from many of the 70s movies and makes them more credible, such as the Black Hole Aliens, Hedorah and Gabara now as a creepy Emotion Eater. Plus a damn great sci-fi story about morality in a Sick Sad World.
  • Batman Dead End is a eight-minute long fan video that puts Batman against The Joker and later...the Alien and the Predator.
  • In 1992, a group called "Alpha Dog Productions" created The Green Goblin's Last Stand, a fifty-minute Spider-Man fan film adapting "The Night Gwen Stacy Died", on a budget of less than $400. They also somehow managed to get a classically trained actor to play Norman Osborn. The results are... well, amazing. At the moment, it's easiest to find it online — the video on SPIKE seems to have the creators' go-ahead.
  • Operation Chastity is a Halo fan film currently in pre-production. The plot will centre of a platoon of UNSC Marines operating in Argentina, fighting the survivors of a crashed Covenant ship. The film's director has spent tens of thousands of dollars of his own money on the project, which has already produced a script, a dozen prop weapons and a fully working Warthog jeep. Oh yeah, and Al Matthews, the man who played Sgt Apone, is on the caste.
  • Lord of the Rings has spawned many of these, some a lot better than others. Born of Hope is a 70 minute prequel tied into the appendices of Tolkien's book, telling the story of Aragorn's parents, filmed in a similar style to the Peter Jackson films. Another good film is Hunt for Gollum, which is set during the story of the book. Both these films look highly professional, while being made on low budgets, and have been highly acclaimed by critics.
  • Mega Man had a fan film by Eddie Lebron released on
  • Even Fallout has spawned a fan film, this one being Nuka Break, starring a Vault 10 Dweller with a Nuka Cola addiction, a recently freed slave, and a hedonistic ghoul.
  • The Ghostbusters franchise of films and TV shows has inspired at least two notable fan films, "The Real Ghostbusters" downloadable here and "Return of the Ghostbusters" having a trailer here.
    • The Louisiana Ghostbusters had a fan film contest which had a few enrties, many of which were location based, such as Ghostbusters SLC, U.K. Ghostbusters, and Italy Ghostbusters, though there were plenty of others as well. They can all be seen here.
  • Street Fighter has webseries Street Fighter: the Later Years, Street Fighter Legacy, Street Fighter High (and its sequel musical), Street Fighter: Beginning's End, and Balrog: Behind the Glory.
  • There are two fan films of Portal, a sequel and a prequel:
    • There's now a Portal fan film entitled Outside Aperture which is set after the original ending of the first game and completely ignores Portal 2. There's very little dialogue, the only character is Chell (who has some issues due to her time as a test subject), and apart from flashbacks it's set entirely inside an extremely bare apartment, yet somehow it works.
    • Portal: No Escape shows Chell as a prisoner who tries to break out of Aperture Science, which turns out to be her first test. It's a darker take on the series compared to both the above fan film and Portal itself.
  • Find Makarov, based on the Modern Warfare series.
  • A film version (found here) of the famous fan fiction My Immortal.
  • Timberwolf West is a professional production company that has made some high quality Friday the 13 th Fan Films, such as The Storm and The Obsession.

Notable Examples of Flash Cartoon Fan Films:

Notable Examples of Computer Generated Fan Films:

  • Silent Hill: No Escape is a CG series based on Konami's horror franchise. (It's often mistakenly called Silent Hill 5, although it has nothing to do with the original creators, or any of the canon Silent Hill games released after it.)
  • Haloid and the Dead Fantasy series, two CG Ultimate Showdowns of Ultimate Destiny by Monty Oum.
  • William Country, one of the few films to be nuked off the face of the internet (except for one part, and said nuking is becuase the maker, Hijotee, only put the vids on youtube, a site that would not allow even regular fan film, due to it's strict copyright rules). It's a Total Drama Island film... yet it's not. It's main pairing is "Cody" and this O.C. named Joshua, who looks a lot like Cody (see the film, link on the page). It is also notable for having a user that takes crack.
  • TRANSFORMERS Generation One, made by professional animator Randall Ng (who had worked on games like Justice League Heroes) with voices performed by Dr. Smoov. Based upon the original cartoon series it won first place at the 2009 BOTCON Film Festival.
  • Various Bionicle ones are/were in the works, such as Quest of the Toa covering the first year of storyline, and a separate massive BZ Power project to create a whole series of fanfilms to cover the entire storyline called Bionicle: The Next Generation. Sadly, both undertakings sank into Development HellB:QOTT already had to be canceled and restarted several times throughout the years, and has since hit another silent period. At least its Spin-Off "series", Lewa Q&A, managed to get a couple of episodes finished. The case of BNG is more complicated. At first, it appeared the whole project was done for, but a group of dedicated fans are still working on a less ambitious version to this day. Instead of an actual movie, though, they seemed to have settled for smaller but more easily manageable mini-films.
  • Batman New Times is a student based project by Dave School which features some impressive voice talent, including Adam West and Mark Hamill.
  • Pokémon Apokelypse is a fan film trailer of a never to be released live action Pokémon film. It takes place in a dark future where Pokémon training is illegal and driven underground.
  • Zelda: The Dark Sage, a fan film series that attempts to adapt certain elements of The Legend of Zelda into CG, in a similar fashion to Monty Oum's films. The end result looks like Re Boot, to put it lightly.

Other Notable Fan Films

  • Neil Cicierega's Potter Puppet Pals series of fan films features hand-puppet versions of the principal characters of the Harry Potter franchise. Originally a Flash cartoon (and now a live-action series), the series has given birth to many Internet memes, and it stands as one of the series' most intentionally funny fan works.
  • Paul "Otaking" Johnson is in the process of animating his own Doctor Who anime.
  1. The exceptions are Armstrong and Alphonse, because it would literally be impossible for Chris Sabat and Aaron Dismuke to play them; instead they dubbed their voices over an actor playing Armstrong and a life-sized Al statue on loan from Bandai.