I love batman. I got hooked watching Tim Burton’s Batman films. I love Burton’s and Nolan’s Batman films. I love the batman comics, and (the original) Batman the animated series that I grew up watching. So naturally I enjoy Batman related fan films. Yet, many batman fan films and fan films in general are missing two crucial elements: believability and originality.
Now it doesn’t matter how realistic a film is, the most unrealistic film could be very believable (look at star wars). What I mean by believability is simply how relatable the film is to the audience, in other words if the audience “buys it”. What makes Star Wars believable, is the characters, and there are people in real life who are like Han solo, who are very rebellious and witty. The same goes for batman, the audience can relate to Bruce Wayne, the other characters, and the story as well. You could also call believability “Truth” because now matter how ridiculous the story, as long as the story and characters have truth to them the audience will buy it. The TV show the Office is the same way, it’s hilarious, but there is truth to it because there are actually people like that in real life.
Originality is VITAL, if a film is to be successful. Who would want to watch the same batman plot over and over? With the same costumes, music, and acting? I wouldn’t! Look and Burton and Nolan’s Batman films they are very original, and that’s what made them successful. I mean a cape that can become rigid and turn into a glider? That was never done before, same with the grapple gun or spear-gun from Batman, which at the time had never been thought of. Batman’s costume was always very creatively designed and constructed. The costume had a purpose and wasn’t just for looks, the same goes for Batman’s suit in the comics. The suit in the comics had body armor built into the tights, which gave batman his highly muscular look. Both Nolan and Burton came up with creative ways to convey that with the Bat-Suit.
Unfortunately those two vital elements are missing in many fan films. Instead of making films that are character driven and story driven, they instead become effects, or action driven. The film Batman Dead End is a classic example. The cinematography and choreography are fantastic, but there is lack of a story, minimal originality, poor acting, and of course it’s not believable.
Dead End is a perfect example that a lot of money can’t make up for poor storytelling and will not make a successful film. If anyone thinks batman fighting the joker and randomly fighting Predators is original, I must say that I BEG TO DIFFER! A toddler could have come up with the same plot! We have seen Batman fight the Joker 1 million times! There is nothing new here. “Oh we will add Aliens and Predators, that’s original!” No it’s not. That would be like remaking the Raiders of the Lost Arc and instead of Indiana Jones fighting Nazis he fights Wookies.
The acting is awful too, I mean if you had a lot of money wouldn’t you chose people who can actually act? The guy who played batman was a weight trainer for god’s sake.
Batman’s costume is sooo boring, it’s no way original at all, and what’s with the flaring nostrils on the mask (cowl); that’s like adding nipples on the batsuit!
Sorry I tend to ramble…The point here is that the audience can’t relate to the characters and story because it’s so unbelievable and there is no truth to the characters. Batman in this film is just some dude who wears tights, a funny mask & cape, and beats up criminals on the street. The audience isn’t going to buy it, because it just isn’t believable and Batman isn’t relatable either. I mean a guy running around in tights fighting people is very hard to sell. Batman is a complex character too, he is more than a guy who beats people up, he is a detective, emotionally damaged person, a ninja, a billionaire, and a loner.
Plus when you make a batman film or any superhero film, the filmmaker has to make the reason for wearing the costume believable. In Nolan and Burton’s batman films, the whole point of the costume was to elicit fear and terror. In Dead End the reason for the bat-suit is never really explained nor is it in Burton or Nolan’s batman films, but in their films it is implied that it is to scare bad guys. The difference is that in Dead End the costume is not scary at all, more laughable. With Nolan and Burton the audience could see how the bat-suit could scare the out of some one, but the audience doesn’t get that with Dead End. Ultimately the film looks pretty, but nothing more.
Now I am not saying my films are perfect or my ways are better, I am just saying if you want your film to be successful and enjoyable make it original and believable. If your film has truth to it the audience will relate to it and buy into or believe in your story and characters. I love fan films, it’s just I have seen so many that aren’t good, because they toss the story out of the window and don’t make the characters relatable. If the audience watches your batman fan film and says: “I believed that he is Bruce Wayne” instead of “that kid is a good actor, needs work; he is ok as Bruce Wayne.” Then you have succeeded! Because that’s what you want to do (or should want to do) is to make the audience believe that the actors ARE the characters, not actors playing characters. If you watch Batman or Batman Begins you will see that the audience believes that Keaton and Bale are Batman, same with all the other supporting actors too. That is the major step to making a film believable. If your movie is original people will love it because it’s something fresh, new, and unique. Those people who go to the theatres to see the same boring-dull-predictable-unoriginal films, won’t like it, but they suck anyway.