The Ghostfacers have pulled off a truly phantasmagoric feat. They’ve stepped out of your television and entered the real world. Need proof? They’re blogging and they have home videos. Totally spooky, huh?
In a new viral video, the Winchester Brother’s rival ghost hunters teach you the basics of GMA. That’s Ghost Martial Arts. Duh. With all of the buffoonery of the comic foil in a Fred Savage comedy Supernatural’s Geek Squad smack and whack each other in a low rent playground. In true kindergarten roughhousing fashion Ed gets to be the GMA master while Harry has to play the ghost, and that’s worse than playing the cowboy to somebody else’s Indian or The Joker to somebody else’s Batman, or Dwight to someone else’s Michael Scott. The Office? Isn’t that what kids play now? No?
In February the Ghostfacers started a blog on WordPress – a simple creation tool for people who aren’t techies to put together blogs. It’s very plain, standardized and written completely in character. There’s humor all through it, with Spruce’s favorite television series being LOST, The Twilight Zone and Twin Peaks, or Maggie’s hero being “Richard Feynman, for making quantum electrodynamics so accessible!” And yet, at the same time it’s surprisingly plausible.
The blog, unfortunately, has not been updated since its creation, so all that remains is the initial website – lame but still fun for Supernatural fans to browse five minutes.
The viral video and blog are hardly new. The Ghostfacers are regular Internet geeks, with a page on the CW site with other amusing videos, Ghostfacers.com and Hellhoundslair, with user testimonials about contact with the great beyond. They’re all part of the way cult entertainment franchises do business now, an odd form of marketing whose purpose is not always clearly aligned with the goals of traditional scratch and sniff magazine perfume glossies and 30 second television spots. Rather than ads for the content they more often than not feel like content themselves, primarily appealing, as in this case, to audiences who are already hardcore fans of a franchise rather than the uninitiated.
Will such sites stir the Ghostfacers or Supernatural up any new customers? Probably not. Anyone who would need convincing to watch Supernatural probably wouldn’t know or care who the Ghostfacers were. But the new materials might keep enthusiasm alive from Thursday to Thursday – as though that were an issue.
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-Henry Jenkins, BuddyTV Staff Writers
(Image courtesy of The CW)