Last December I covered the hit Norwegian TV series around the time it gained its cult following- season 3. However, since I had not fully immersed myself into the SKAM experience I neglected one of the most important aspects of the show- the endless creativity and dedication of its passionate fandom. Its fandom is made up of passionate, opinionated, kind and artistic people from all over the world who played a huge part in SKAM’s international success. And boosted Norway’s tourism. Like a lot!
Where facts, figures and distributers can mercilessly axe quality productions (Hannibal, Sense8), fans can move mountains to support their favorite show (Veronica Mars, Sense8). SKAM fans worldwide united on more than one occasion to show their support. The cast took home 3 the prestigious Gullruten awards, while beloved couple Isak and Even debuted on top of the US highly competitive TOP Couple contest. The SKAM wrap-upfinale party was celebrated with a live stream on YT, in a similar vein as the final Harry Potter movie premiere.
SKAM fans include an awesome bunch of people who translated, distributed and marketed SKAM for audiences worldwide, catapulting the Scandinavian series to international stardom. It was thanks to them that I first took notice of it and after I conducted a research I found out I wasn’t the only one. Brilliant marketing? Just wait until you hear about all the edits, pictures and fanart from its fandom scattered all over the world!
Fanart- fanvids, posts, drawings and other art is an aspect studios and producers still feel conflicted about. In SKAM’s case, however, Julie Andem, the creator behind the TV series embraced and even included some of the fanart in the last season of SKAM. This goes on to show how surprisingly relevant this low-budget show feels– in terms of its impact on TV, pop culture and audiences worldwide.
When I asked SKAM fans how they found out about the small Norwegian production, the majority of them pointed out ‘fanart’. Fy faen, I remember I started watching SKAM for the same reason. Then, as I joined some groups online, I found out about the numerous hand-drawn and digital images, some of which (as a Danish fan pointed out) were even featured in a public exhibition in Gentofte (Denmark) under SKAM’s official slogan ‘Alt er love’.
SKAM & fanvids
SKAM’s producers are secretive when it comes to releasing footage and they carry on the tradition of big-budget production, which release artistic promos. They work well if you have already been sold on the show’s premise but if you have yet to sell your soul to the devil, fan vids are the way to go.
Hannah’s one of the best people and vidders you have probably never met, if you have, I feel noble envy towards you. Her and briony’s SKAM-related videos introduced me to the show. She makes some of the best ensemble videos which capture the allure of the show down to a T (an alt) and makes amazing intimate Noora x William videos:
Briony’s the other person whose vids won me completely and her work is very near and dear to the SKAM society. She is absolutely phenomenal both at crafting Sana-centric character study videos and capturing the dynamics of fan favourite couple Isak x Even.
Finally, one of my favourite new vidders I met through SKAM is loopy lupin who is just mixing in everything- from the parallels of his favourite characters Isak and Sana to the humour and drama. Take it all in- see it for yourself here in this moving bittersweet tribute to the series finale.
The SKAM vidding community is a vibrant one so if you find yourself watching any of their videos and liking them please take a moment to let them know. Every comment or thumbs up makes a huge difference to them as their brilliant work on lesser known TV shows or movies oftentimes gets much less recognition than that of popular CW shows.
SKAM vidders, translators and artist set the foundations for SKAM’s big success worldwide. In the next part, you will read a bunch of interviews from:
- Elli_skam, the artist behind the person and the person behind the artist whose work was featured in SKAM season 4
- Billy Maier, the beloved SKAM guru from the USA whose reaction videos reinvigorated the SKAM fandom
- Mette Olson, also known as waastelaand, a wonderful vidder and MA student who proved SKAM will leave its legacy in the academia too
Disclaimer: All rights belong to their respective companies and owners. All media is used for educational purposes only. This language isn’t even my native language.
To Hannah, Briony, the SKAM international FB group, Isak x Even and… really, every single of you.