Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Fanmade content keeps ‘Ghostbusters’ alive

It has never been a better time to be a hardcore movie, TV or book fan with conventions like Comic-Con and Dragon*Con increasing in popularity each year and the Internet giving fans a way to share their own art, stories and other creations based on their favorite series. The Alabama Ghostbusters, a fan-community based around the popular 1984 film “Ghostbusters,” are no exception. Through their original nonprofit web series, charity work and participation in community events, the group is keeping the “Ghostbusters” story alive long after the credits have stopped rolling.

University of Alabama professor and Alabama Ghostbuster Adam Schwartz wanted to do some sort of fan film based on “Ghostbusters” and the opportunity arose to do so in the fall of 2012. Schwartz’s advanced television production class, which produces a TV pilot, faced difficulties with their own production Schwartz gave them his script for the “Alabama Ghostbusters” web series to produce instead.

“[The students] all jumped on board, and they were eager and excited to work on it,” Schwartz said.

After the semester ended, Schwartz and some of the students continued work on the pilot and released it online at in February 2013. The initial three, nine-minute episodes of the series have been well-received by the “Ghostbusters” community, currently having received over 12,000 views between them. Schwartz anticipates making nine episodes for the first season and plans to starts filming the fourth episode this fall.

Fan creations like the Alabama Ghostbusters web series are no new phenomena in the world of fan communities. All one has to do is search tags on websites like for virtually any TV show, movie, book series or actor to find a host of fan-created art, fiction, analysis and other creations inspired by their favorite content. For some fans, creating series-inspired content helps them not only to build communities around their interests, but also to keep their favorite stories relevant and to introduce new fans to the series.

“It’s a unique sense of community that revolves around something that you love and appreciate,” Schwartz said. “You share the same interest, and so there’s that sense of connection you have with people.”

Alabama Ghostbusters chief and series star Brock Parker said creating new “Ghostbusters” content is a way to keep the series alive and satisfy fans’ desire for new content even though studios are not producing new films.

“We don’t want people to forget about [‘Ghostbusters’], so we make the web series. We all build the props and do events to remind people of how ‘Ghostbusters’ was such a great movie,” he said.

Schwartz said the rise in participation in fan communities like Alabama Ghostbusters is that “geekdom” is becoming more mainstream.

“It’s more acceptable for people to express their fandoms than maybe it was 10 or 20 years ago,” Schwartz said. “Now it’s kind of like geek is chic.”

Though the Alabama Ghostbusters web series is inspired by the “Ghostbusters” film, the series has its own story and mood that makes it stand apart from the movie. In the series, the Alabama Ghostbusters, a struggling supernatural extermination service, are commissioned by a local mother to find her daughter following her mysterious disappearance.

“What I wanted to do with [the series] is a supernatural detective story,” Schwartz said. “The [Alabama] Ghostbusters are detectives. They’re finding clues, trying to uncover the mystery of what happened to this girl, Jennifer.”

Despite the series difference from the original “Ghostbusters” movies, Parker said there are still plenty of elements fans of the original films will enjoy.

In addition to keeping the “Ghostbusters” story alive, charity work is also an important role for the Alabama Ghostbusters. The group members think of themselves as “geeks for good” and often use their props and costumes to help them raise money for charity and to participate in community events. Following the 2011 tornados, Alabama Ghostbusters had some fan-made props signed by original “Ghostbusters” cast members and auctioned them off to raise about $3000 for tornado relief.

“Instead of just [dressing up] for Halloween, we wanted a reason to do it throughout the year,” Parker said. “So we became ‘geeks for good’ and started doing a lot more charitable efforts and started to draw attention to the charities that reached out to us and wanted help.”

If there is something strange in your neighborhood or to find out more about Alabama Ghostbusters, visit or the Alabama Ghostbusters Facebook page. For more information about the web series, contact Adam Schwartz at [email protected].

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