Films over the decades have highlighted the horror of humanity, whether they were fictional or autobiographical. Sometimes though, fans can intersect with the avenues of fantasy and tragedy while celebrating the movies that they love.
This year at San Diego Comic Con in July of 2012, Twilight fans were already feeling melancholy; this would be the last year they would get to attend a panel for their beloved film series with the epilogue in sight (video of fans lined up for days and meeting cast members here). However, when a fellow TwiFan named Gisella was struck by a car and died when she was crossing the street in the crowded Gaslamp and Convention Center area, the atmosphere was much heavier.
Fans at home who had heard of the incident helped to trend #RIPTwilightFanG on Twitter in her honor. The main attention was placed on the cast, who had taken to Twitter or stated in various interviews their sadness of the TwiHard dying, but significance was placed on Summit Entertainment, who stated in coordination with Lionsgate that a tribute would be paid to her during that Thursday’s planned panel. Not only was the fan posthumously given a lovely statement with the whole panel room applauding (around the 43 second mark of the video), but Lionsgate and Summit also donated to help out Gisella’s family with funeral costs.
Not even a few weeks later, tragedy struck again in the film fan community. During a Midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado, a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage killing a dozen people and injuring more than 50 victims in an Aurora CO movie theater. After the event, an outpouring of support has come from the creators of the latest Batman installment.
Warner Brothers, the studio that made this film, has stated they will donate a “substantial” amount, but the healing doesn’t stop there. Aside from a heartfelt statement from Director Christopher Nolan, as well as other stars making separate statements, the film’s Batman star Christian Bale came to Colorado to visit with multiple shooting victims, as well as visiting a memorial. Also, the Batman trilogy composer Hans Zimmer has made an original composition for the victims and donations for purchasing the song will go to those who were impacted directly by the massacre.
In the words of Batman, as portrayed by Bale in The Dark Knight Rises: “A hero can be anyone.”