In the world of films coming out daily, the biggest passion of my own is to chat with people about the films I see. However, over the last few years, I have started to notice the community feels very distant. Not many people are in a position to have the previous chats and I want to look deeper into why it feels so distant now.
As always this is more of a list of reasons, rather than a ranking of them.
What Happened to the Film Fan Community?
1 – IMDB forums closed
One of the very first locations I ever got to chat with people about films was the IMDB forums. There was a big mix of people here, a few who wanted to praise and movie, others that complained about them. However, it created an open forum to discuss certain points about the movie that you couldn’t discuss elsewhere.
2 – Blogging Popularity Drops
The next step I did was making a blog, which has evolved over the years. When I first started on this journey, I found myself getting comments daily. It saw me return the comments on their blogs and over the years I got to meet many other writers. I believe during this time I met a lot of people that did move away from the world, we had different opinions but could discuss the reasons why. Over the past few years, I have found the new members don’t chat as much or have moved on to other things.
3 – The Rise of Letterboxd
As the world of blogging has dropped off, the rise of Letterboxd happened. It gives the user a chance to put their reviews out there. However long they want them to be, these can be seen by anyone interested in the film, no matter how big your own following it. Letterboxd does have many amazing features, but this one tends to pull people away from the previous communities.
4 – Toxic Fandom
Toxic Fandom is easily the biggest problem with why people leave the community. The personal attacks on actors, directors or even people that don’t enjoy the movie is horrendous. These groups can turn things personal, instead accepting people aren’t going to like the same movies as them. Or discussing the differences without causing arguments.
5 – Social Media Owners
Over the recent few months, we have seen Twitter go through weekly transformations. This has led to people leaving that Twitter environment. Other social media have launched, Threads, and BlueSky to mention a couple. However, not everyone has moved across, others have been happier to stay. Unless we people have made more personal connections, people have gone their separate ways.
6 – Social Media Reactions
The rise of social media reactions or hot takes has made discussing films more difficult. There is a determination to have the greatest movie of all time or the worst movie of all time. By doing this we already lose the ability to discuss how we feel about the movie. This seems to take away plot points people want to discuss, and we can’t openly discuss these points on social media. There is also an enviroment created where influencers tend to get more reaction that critics.
7 – Nowhere to Discuss Movies Anymore
As most of this list is suggesting we seem to struggle to find anywhere to discuss without spoiling movies with others anywhere else. Me included, we put our reviews, opinions and feelings out there and never get put ourselves into a discussion option. Our reviews take people away from the social media environment people feel comfortable in
8 – Dream Solution
One of my dream solutions for the world of film discussion is the following. I would like to see a more open busy discussion page, where film fans could sign up for free to dive into these bigger discussions. Elsewhere, I would like a live stream channel that could have different guests and different times to discuss the movies. It would have people from different experiences, and different opinions having an open discussion about movies, with full spoilers that the chat could join in. There would also be a podcasting network that would offer specialist subjects that offer the same for people from different levels of experience to take part in.
9 – Be Kind
In this new world where we are happy to rip into each other over the smallest thing for no reason. It is time that we start accepting people will have different opinions than you. However, it is learning why and understanding them that makes things interesting. It shows us how people can see movies in different ways and learning that helps them enjoy meeting fellow film fans.
What do you think has caused the problem in the film fan community?