Susan~Sporran Posted November 8, 2009 Report Share Posted November 8, 2009 DISCLAIMER - These are just my personal thoughts and musings based on observations, they are not judgments. I hope that it might inspire some inspired discussion. For clarification in the title of this thread I mean for the word "Phantom" to be used with both a upper case and lower case "p" I've been pondering this subject for awhile now, and this morning felt it was time to put my thoughts out there. I do not now or ever presume to tell Gerry what he should do with his career. I'm still a fan, I am still all about supporting his career and his decisions. I am just voicing some observations and my interpretation of them. Obviously interpretations are subjective, therefore just from my own perspective. I became a fan of Gerry on December 31, 2004 when I first saw him as Phantom. In the months that followed the passion I observed in other fans (most of whom had also come into the fold of fandom with Phantom) was quite a phenomenon. For Gerry's first appearance on Craig Ferguson our numbers scared the bejeebees out of the audience people so that they allowed only 15 fans into the taping, creating a huge PR mess. A few weeks later when he appeared on Jay Leno we were camped out at the studio beginning as early a 9pm the night before. Fans flew all over the world for film openings, film festivals, the very first convention in Glasgow. Our passion for anything to do with Gerry could not be contained. Sometimes it overflowed and we were seen as a little too fanatic, but it was merely our passion for supporting Gerry that fueled that enthusiasm. We put our passion into support campaigns for Dear Frankie, Game of Their Lives and Beowulf & Grendl but our impact never really showed in the box office, though I am sure each of those got most of their ticket sales (and DVD sales) from Gerry fans. I saw this continuing to a pretty big degree through the juggernaut that was "300". Many new fansites (including this one) were formed in the years of 2005 and 2006. Fast forward to 2008 and 2009. Since "300" Gerry has been very busy. He has made many movies in just about as many genres. Some were moderately successful (PSILY, Nim's Island, TUT, LAC) while others were hugely disappointing (BOAW, RNR, Gamer). At the same time I found myself wondering "where is the passion" that we fans had back in 2005? Gerry's talk show appearances no longer bring out a hundred fans. The last two I was able to attend probably didn't have more than a dozen of us there. We thought we were a force to be reckoned with, yet at the box office we've proven we are not. If we were there would have been big numbers for all of his movies, but the only huge success was "300" and that WASN'T from our ticket sales (though I did see it 18 times). For all Gerry's movie openings up through "300" we would have big fan get togethers to be there in force on opening night. I was also able to see Nim's Island opening day with a large group because it occurred during the DC Fan Convention last year. But other than that I've found it difficult to pull together even a small group to see any of the recent releases together. I saw TUT and LAC on their opening weekend with only my husband. I saw Gamer with a small group of local fans. I saw TUT a total of 6 times, Gamer 2, LAC 3 so far. Some of my friends and fellow fans still haven't seen LAC, or just saw it very recently. These same fans probably saw "300" at least 3 or 4 times by the end of opening weekend and can't even count how many times they saw Phantom! In addition to that, several of the fansites have closed their doors. GALS is thankfully still active (perhaps the most active forum for Gerry), but possibly moreso for the relationships we've been able to develop with one another, and the fact that we do have new fans coming in who are just experiencing the Gerry Juice for the first time. I have not seen a wave of new fans coming in like we saw with Phantom. Each new film does bring in some newbies, and that's what we hope for and welcome, but not like when the new membership numbers jumped by thousands after Phantom. I believe Gerry as a person and an actor still has what it takes to inspire that level of passion that he did back in 2005, but I'm wondering what kind of role will bring a new wave of it, to re-ignite the passion in some of those who fell away from fandom, and to ignite it in a whole new batch of fans the way Phantom did. My personal opinion (and it's simply that) is that Gerry at some time in the near future needs to find a vehicle that inspires that level of passion IN HIMSELF that Phantom did, a character that gets inside his soul. I know he has enjoyed doing all these different roles in different genres and it gets him seen by many new audiences which opens more opportunities for him in the future. But he hasn't had that overpoweringly passionate romantic lead (preferably one with a tortured soul) like he had in Phantom since then. I really hope another role like that is ahead for him, I would love to see that phantom Phantom passion plundering its way through fandom again. 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