The hero conquered his fears, the heroine moved on and the lonely looking image of the rider against the setting sun filled the screen. Fin, the End. So, now what?
What happens to your favorite characters, if they survive, when you close the book or watch the credits? Is their existence so narrow that it can be adequately represented in the standard 40+ minutes of a TV episode or the 90 or so minutes of the cinema? Or is there more?
The actors, producers, writes and crew are not the only ones to invest in any such production. The audience, be it the lone reader or part of a larger group of people with a shared passion, also invest, sometimes heavily (on extreme cases, too heavily), in the events and characters that fill their minds. They too have a say in their fates, in their creation via imagination and interpretation of motives and feelings.
For some, the voyage does not end with the credit list. These passionate and dedicated people move on to fill the vast gaps the "canons" leave in their commercial wake with deadly earnest. They create their own interpretations and original content based on what's available, meager resources, hard work and love. Though not actors in profession, they try, and their enthusiasm is impressive. Though not always original, they do come up occasionally with surprising results and twists of plot.
This is the untold tale of fans playing heroes. And making it work.
Some prominent recent Star Trek fan movies, such as Hidden Frontier are here , while a Star Wars fan movie can be found here. Fans are also creating an interesting project filling in some of the gaps in the Lord of the Rings movies here.
An intriguing trailer for the fan film "The Hunt for Gollum"