Give this YouTube channel an Oscar.
Losing our heads over these fan films, dudes. (screengrab via Joseph Kahn)
Here on the Internet, the amateur filmmaker is quickly overtaking the professional. Sure, the films on this list were produced by more than the casual fan, but every day, the possibility that you could make a live action version of, I don't know, Gargoyles (YES, PLEASE, YES) becomes more and more real. And with movies at 15 dollars a pop, staying in and firing up the old YouTube sounds like a great alternative.
Director Joseph Kahn has put together an incredible vision of Power Rangers and he is very clear about what it is:
My take on the FAN FILM. Not a pilot, not a series, not for profit, strictly for exhibition. This is a bootleg experiment not affiliated or endorsed by Saban Entertainment or Lionsgate nor is it selling any product. I claim no rights to any of the characters (don't send me any money, not kickstarted, this film is free).
It came out later that he partially made the short as a joke about how all the new remakes of old classic cartoons get the tough, gritty make-over and everyone goes bananas. Kahn wanted to see if he could do that with something as silly as a live action robot fighting show, and the Internet did go bananas! Ha ha?
2. Batman Dead End
This fan film, by Sandy Collora, was made for a reported $30,000. For a fan film.
3. The Uncanny X-Men...by "Wes Anderson"
Actually, it was made by Patrick Willems, but his devotion to the details of the X-Men series and the quirks of his favorite auteur are on point.
4. Dragon Ball Z
The group Robot Under Dog were hoping to turn this film into a series, which is why it's called "Pilot." It's only been up since February and has almost 8 million views, so, maybe?
5. Mario Brothers: The Indie Film
This one off was made as short for SXSW by Joe Nicolosi. He uses the gritty make-over of a classic kid's thing, too, but here the joke is more obvious. And more fun!
6. Spiderman: Eclipse
Spiderman, whittled down to just parkour and hitting people in the face in red pajamas. Kind of all that Spiderman really needs, apparently.
7. Star Wars Cantina Band Auditions
This short features too many actual celebrities to qualify as a fan film, per se, but it does do one of the best things fan films do: take a known (trademarked) universe and extrapolate it. Fan films take us into all the unexplored corners of a world we love so we can enjoy them all over again. Now seriously, someone make Gargoyles.