September 9, 2007
An Interview with the Organizers of Fandom Rocks (2 of 4)

This is the second part of an interview with Dana Stodgel, Brande Ruiz, and Rebecca Mawhinney, the three creators of Fandom Rocks, a fan-led organization from the Supernatural fan community dedicated to raising money for charities.

Sam: Why Supernatural? What is it about this show and this fandom in particular that encourages this type of initiative?

Dana: I think Supernatural falls into that category of show where it has an extremely loyal fan following, but it is on a lesser-known network with an imminent threat of cancellation. Fans want to keep their show, but they also want other people to learn about it and enjoy it as much as they do. Starting campaigns for charity accomplishes the goal of making more potential viewers aware of Supernatural, and it has the added benefit of making a difference in the world. It shows the "offline" world that online communities are formed by caring, intelligent individuals, much like themselves.

Brande: A huge part of it is the fandom itself. Many of the fans I've met come from similar fandom backgrounds (Firefly, Buffy, etc.) and they've experienced the same disappointment and frustration when our "good" shows, the shows we enjoy, are dropped or under-promoted, under-watched, under-represented, in favor of shows that follow genres that already receive a great deal of attention.

Part of it is the themes of the show: the "little guy" striving in the background to help people, one or two at a time. Making sacrifices for the greater good. Finding strength in family, and that family is about more than blood. I think we've all taken that to heart on some level.

Rebecca: Exactly. The show itself embodies many themes that have encouraged fans to give back. When you look past the obvious supernatural and horror movie themes, there are themes of family, friendship, and compassion. It is really summed up in our 'tagline' (which is also an edited line from the show): "Helping people, Changing things: The Fandom Business".

Sam: What has been the response or relationship with the CW Network in relation to the activities of Fandom Rocks?

Dana: We sent an email to Warner Bros. through the Warner Bros. Web site. We sent an email to the CW network in Lawrence, Kansas, and to my local CW network. We have not received responses. We hope they are aware and pleased with what the fans are doing.

Brande: We have made the network aware of our activities. While we haven't received a response thus far, we definitely have hope for the future. We certainly hope they're pleased with the efforts.

Rebecca: We have let the networks and people involved know about the initiative. Where we haven't heard back, we cannot be sure of the response, but, as Brande said, we hoped they're pleased.

Sam: What about the producers of Supernatural?

Dana: We sent letters in July to Eric Kripke, Kim Manners, Jensen Ackles, and Jared Padalecki with information on Fandom Rocks and the status of our first campaign. We know they have received them, but we have not received responses.

Brande: Yes, the letters were pretty huge for us. The letters to Eric (Kripke), Jensen (Ackles) and Jared (Padalecki) also contained notes from fan contributors to the campaign from a number of countries, which I hope enforced the idea of our campaign as a global effort.

Rebecca: As with the networks, we simply hope they're happy with the efforts of the fans and the campaign on a whole.