School of Communications, Dublin City University.
Supervisor: Dr. Debbie Ging.
In part fulfilment of the requirement for the award of M.A. in Film and Television Studies, 2010.
This dissertation examines the effects of the breakdown of the conventions and functions within traditional narrative that separate the audience from the text and the producers. I am particularly interested in the effects as they pertain to the fandom. Interaction through social networking websites and fan conventions has helped to create a sense of intimacy and collaboration between fans and producers. I will examine the possible repercussions of this, including ethical issues of privacy and power.
I primarily approach this through a case study of the television series Supernatural and its online fandom. The story of Supernatural broadly centres on two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester who fight ghosts, werewolves, vampires and various other paranormal creatures together. In this dissertation I examine the close relationship that fans of the series have with the producers. I also look particularly at the representations of the fans and the producers within the Supernatural text and how this correlates with the close fan/producer relationship that exists outside of the text. This is achieved via a combination of a textual analysis of a number of Supernatural episodes and a document analysis of existing interviews, videos, DVD extras and fan comments. Through this research I have found a disparity in fan representations relating to gender. I have also identified a number of positive and negative potential effects of a close fan/producer relationship.