Celebrity Shadows

Saturday, March 07, 2009

I remember there being some confusion about Ravenous Romance's celebrity line: "This category addresses every woman's fantasy of a night with a famous celebrity, rock star or athlete. The identities of the celebrities must be thinly veiled and fictionalized, but with recognizable tip-offs." I took a look at Ravenous's offerings with this in the back of my mind. Twilight's Edge is pretty much instantly recognisable, to me anyway. The first paragraph reads:

"On September 13, 1977, the sun set for good on "Twilight’s Edge," Daytime TV’s first gothic soap opera populated by creatures of the night. The serial, which centered on the strange goings-on of the cursed Hindenwood Family at their remote country estate, was plagued with anemic ratings from the start. But "TE" got an instant audience transfusion in ’72 with the addition of Byron Hindenwood, a charismatic vampire portrayed by the late, great heartthrob Rex Flanigan."

So the show Dark Shadows was the first day time gothic TV show that actually ran until 1971, the family was Collins (at Collinswood) but the series become noticeably innovative with the introduction of the vampire Barnabas (played by Jonathin Frid) one year into its run. Also as in the books fictional series, Dark Shadows has cult status is in the process of being revived with long time DS fan Johhny Depp as Barnabus. It is also a series with derivative novels (authorized?) such as Dark Shadows: Angelique's Descent (1998) and Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch (2006)


Angie 6:22 PM  

I still don't get why anyone would pay money for real-person fiction, with so much online for free (and a lot of it really excellent) but hey, whatever people are into, and whatever the publishers think they can get away with before someone's agent notices and starts cranking out C&Ds.


Fae 7:01 PM  

And Dark Shadows of all things? I must have missed the boat but I don't particularly find anything sexy about that show.

Now maybe if they threw out some thinly veiled Jensen Ackles/Jared Padalecki slash...nah, not even then, I have all sorts of free alternatives for that online. *heads to LJ*

Angie 7:25 PM  

I suspect the Dark Shadows thing is targetting an audience of a certain age. :) Although if they do the remake with Johnny Depp, that'll bring in a whole new audience for the property, and potentially for the thinly-disguised book. I'll admit I'm dubious, but I can see how someone who's incredibly optimistic about this whole idea might reason it out.


Fae 8:42 PM  

Johnny Depp makes everything hotter. XD

Anonymous,  10:22 AM  

Hi! I was so intrigued, I went out and bought and read the novel TWILIGHT'S EDGE and have to say...I think you didn't get it. It's an homage to that show, also to the kind of gothic romance from that era that gave so many people (myself included) our first taste of 'paranormal romance'. I couldn't put the thing down (and now have a massive migraine from reading it on the computer) but it was so worth it. It's a romantic mystery as well as a hot read and it reminded me that love knows no boundaries, not even that of mortality. Love your site, btw.

Emily Veinglory 11:13 AM  

I think I did get what they we doing, it isn't using the Dark Shadows world but the back set. However it just seems to be dancing on the edge off a trademark IMHO.

Anonymous,  1:50 PM  

Real person romance? Aren't there copyright and defamation issues associated with that?

Angie 2:36 PM  

Anon @ 1:50 -- Ravenous is protecting itself by changing the names and such, although the writers' guidelines say that the people should be recognizable, so that's kind of iffy.

In general, though, RPF is a grey area, much like other fanfic but for different reasons. Celebrities are public personalities to some extent, and my understanding is that you could use, say, Johnny Depp in a story if you want to so long as you make it clear that it's fiction, and you're not trying to make any statements about the actual Mr. Depp. There's never been a court case, though, so we don't know; defamation cases are usually aimed at journalists, or other people publishing what they claim is the truth.

Copyright isn't an issue; that's when you're stealing words rather than people. :)

Most RPF writers don't publish commercially, though (until now) and don't go out of their way to attract attention to their work (until now). It'll be interesting to see if this draws any official interest, and if so, whether anything comes of it. I doubt it, personally, but then I don't own any interest in Ravenous Romance so I can afford to be casual about it. [wry smile]


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