Artist Spotlight Stories — Panic! At The Disco
Idea by Kristoffer Borgli
Idea: The story of the band, as told by the world’s most dedicated fan.
Only weeks before my own feature film DRIB opened in theaters back in my native country of Norway I had an idea to promote it by creating a mockumentary clip that had three Los Angeles girls talk about the film in an extremely fanatic way. They detail how they first saw the film at SXSW and can’t live without seeing it again, thus they are flying to Norway for the premiere, and by the end of the clip they eternalize the name of the film by carving it into their arms with a knife. The basic premise was to take the type of extreme fandom associated with 80’s and 90’s heavy metal (the key reference was an old VHS clip depicting a Slayer fan carving the band logo into his arm) and repurpose it for our film. Having three young girls confess their extreme love for the film created an uncanny and funny mismatch between what they were talking about (a small comedy feature film) and how they talked about it (“it had all the answers to my life”). The least expected outcome from this was that the Norwegian film institute (who funded the feature film) expressed pride about how a Norwegian film had produced such international fandom—they didn’t even question if it was real or not.
That idea is expanded and made into a bigger story, a mockumentary short film about the world's biggest Panic! At The Disco-fan. A cinematic portrait of a fan so dedicated that he first tattooed the band name when the first album came out, then spent 4000 dollars to laser off the exclamation mark after “Panic” when the band removed it for their second album, then re-tattooed it for the third album when they started using it again.
Similar to my short “Whateverest”, this film is presented as a documentary portrait edited together after having spent some days with him, in his suburban hometown. He lives somewhere on the west coast of the US. Like with so many others, the hit song “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” instantly made him a fan back in 2005. He has the self-proclaimed title as the world's biggest P!ATD-fan, and now well into his thirties his love is still growing.
We follow him in his day-to-day life: he rides for über (and annoys about every customer with either playing P!ATD or constantly talking about them) he does vocal lessons with an old lady (which doesn’t work out at all since she only knows classical and he wants to do “screamo”) and he goes from store to store to make sure the P!ATD CD’s are stacked up and visible.
The film takes a turn when he tries to convince the documentary team that he has been invited to the lead singers summer house for a weekend hang out. The team follow him there, even trespassing into the guys house, to a cringe-y and strange finale.