Pop Culture

Why Won’t Universal Let ‘Oppenheimer’ Fancams Stay?

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer

For one brief moment, we were alive. When the SAG-AFTRA strike ended, the Oppenheimer girlies really were thriving. The fancams erupted within moments and edits took over on social media of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) set to Taylor Swift songs or “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish just for the fun of it all.

The art of the fancam has evolved through time, Fans began making video edits of their favorite characters or ships on YouTube, and now younger generations are moving to “fancams” on apps like Twitter and TikTok. When the strike ended and people could talk freely about Oppenheimer, fancams began to flood the app but were taken down for copyright infringement by Universal Pictures almost instantly. So our brief moment of happiness living in the fancam era of Christopher Nolan’s epic was dashed by the reality that most of the time, studios can and will use copyright to take fancams from us.

On the one hand, it is technically well within their right as a studio to stop fancams. It is also why screen-capping has become more difficult. On the other hand, fancams are fun. Engaging with media in this way makes it more universal and helps fans engage with their fandom’s community. Taking that option away really does limit our ability to talk about movies in an entertaining way.

Instead, we’re stuck with only talking about movies like Oppenheimer in think pieces or multi-thread posts on social media. This is fine, I suppose, but that’s not the only way to engage with a movie. Sometimes, you just want to watch a fancam of Oppy putting his hat on repeatedly for the vibes.

Let the Oppy fancams live!

In comparison to how swiftly the Oppenheimer fancams have been taken down, Barbie fancams have been thriving on social media because fans can interact with the media and with each other.

Marvel fans are notorious for making edits of their favorite couples. I have been seeing plenty of Lokius on my timeline (even if I ship the throuple on Loki).

The point is that, out of all of the studios, only one seems to see an issue with fancams and takes action against them. Frankly, it’s a harmless way for people to engage with film and TV. You’re just making something that others can talk about and share with friends.

What hurts is that the Oppenheimer fancams were great and something I shared with others who love the movie. But every time my friends went to open them, they’d already be gone. So, what’s the deal? Why not just let fans engage with your media in a way that makes them happy? Especially when it keeps people talking about the movie in question?

I’ll miss you forever, Oppenheimer fancam set to “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)

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