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KU student uses love for movies to research and create fan edits of films

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Joshua WilleAs a child, Joshua Wille was always fascinated with movies and how they allowed him a peek into the lives of the characters onscreen. He would watch them over and over again, envisioning himself as an astronaut, a firefighter and even a spy.

He soon realized that a career in movies was the creative doorway he needed to pursue. Now, as a doctoral student in film and media studies at KU, Wille has honed a passion for movies into his academic study of fan edits.

Around 2008, he discovered the fan-editing community online, which began to take off at that time. “The Phantom Edit,” a fan edit of “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” brought fan-editing out of the shadows and garnered wide publicity for the craft.

Wille’s essay, “Fan Edits and the Legacy of ‘The Phantom Edit’,” was included in Transformative Works and Culture, a peer-reviewed journal that includes a variety of topics, including fan fiction, comic books, television and video games.

Before coming to Kansas, Wille competed his undergraduate studies at New York University and his master's at Northern Illinois University. His studies at Kansas focus on fan-editing and media revisionism, and he's taking note of the relationship between the fan-editing community and the mainstream media.

“We, as a society, are starting to move toward a more transformative understanding of media, film and television," Wille said. "We are becoming accustomed to the fact that there are remixes and modified versions all around us. With more and more fan editors willing to tackle different movies, it’s breaking out of the mold."  Read more.

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