My Research Profiled in ‘KU Collegian’

Happy to report that the 2015 issue of the KU Collegian, the annual alumni magazine for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas, profiled my essay “Fan Edits and the Legacy of The Phantom Edit in its “College Research in Review” section. My work was listed among 14 fascinating research projects led by KU faculty and graduate students.

Excerpt from the KU Collegian:

FAN EDITORS ARE ARTISTS, NOT DISGRUNTLED VIEWERS When discussing the merits of film fan edits, the conversation needs to move beyond Jar Jar Binks, says Joshua Wille, a doctoral student in film and media studies. The creature was symbolic of the flaws critics saw in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” so much that a fan editor re-edited the movie, removing many of Jar Jar Binks’ antics. The result, known as ‘The Phantom Edit,’ brought the concept of fan editing into the mainstream. In his essay, one of the first in-depth looks at fan editing, Wille argues ‘The Phantom Edit’ has been wrongly characterized as a reactionary work by a disgruntled fan. For Wille, fan edits are part of a creative process reshaping how audiences view films and are intended to complement, not replace, the original work. While some fan edits aim to improve the film, others are intended to cast the film in a new genre. Examples include turning ‘Jaws’ into a grindhouse movie, transforming ‘Scream’ to resemble the Italian horror genre, and creating a mashup of Darren Aronofsky’s films ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Black Swan.’1

  1.  “Fan Editors Are Artists, Not Disgruntled Viewers.” KU Collegian, Spring 2015: 11.