• Autumn Noel Kelly

Make Movies w/ the World #9: The Cheer Factor

Hello, Autumn here. The “Most Cheer-Worthy Moment” fan poll at the Oscars (not an actual Oscar award) was deeply disappointing for many reasons, but the one most relevant to ReelwUrld & our first show Justice For Hire is the fact that *making the audience cheer is a huge accomplishment as a storyteller.*


To clarify, I’m not talking about standing ovations from industry vets at Cannes. Films that make audiences cheer, like Avengers: Endgame or Black Panther, represent activeengagement vs passive engagement. These widely watched films— unlike a lot of Oscar nominees— that are activating audiences have a huge opportunity, and responsibility, as Jan so eloquently wrote about last week, to inspire collective action (cc Jeff Gomez). They're important and a big deal, and should be honored as such.


Cheering is an element of audience participation we need to see more of. It means the crowd is engaged as a collective, and when people are engaged as a collective it means we, as a culture, can mobilize in positive ways. This is the true power fandoms, and it’s why building more dynamic systems for audience participation in cinematic storytelling is VITAL to the betterment of humankind. When folks are fully engaged and invested in not only their own personal story, but the stories of people across the world…beautiful things happen.

We’re building ReelwUrld, a social network for the audience to create their own characters and star in movies and TV shows together via an app, so everyone can tell their story easily and cinematically. There’s going to be a lot more cheering when you’re actually in the movie…

As martial arts cinema historian Ric Meyers also points out in the video above, cheering is fairly unique to the action genre. This is a huge opportunity for the action storytellers in our community and across the world.


So, which movie won the “Most Cheer-Worthy Moment” poll at the Oscars? The scene where The Flash enters the Speed Force in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Side note: Why did Justice League win? Because of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut fandom’s alarming ability to mobilize on every social platform. It’s unclear if the Academy intentionally placed the poll to activate this particular community—we may never know—but it is common knowledge for many folks in the fandom world that these fans overindex to get their way. Read more about how the interplay between fandom and creators of media can cause a dangerous downward spiral in the wonderful piece from io9.


A couple more things before we release you for a wonderful weekend, Jan was on the #BeTheChange podcast w/ Christine Dimmick. This is one of his best podcast appearances so far, if I must say so myself. Definitely check it out. Christine has kindly sent me the full video so I’ll be putting together some fun clips for our TikTok in the coming weeks.


Last but not least, Phil Hyssong, who founded and sold America’s #1 CART captioning company, has joined ReelwUrld as an investor! It’s been an honor to get to know Phil and we’re thrilled he’s joining us on this journey to help a billion people become superheroes in movies & shows by 2030. He even shot a testimonial video (below) to go along with his investment. Thanks Phil!

As always, we love and appreciate your support. Invest in us on WeFunder so we can convince the Academy of Motion Pictures to make a real Cheer-Worthy Moment category and win it.


-Autumn, cofounder