As ILMfan celebrates 10 years, a few comments from their webmasters about its history and impact.
In 1995, when the World Wide Web was just getting started, I decided to build a website dedicated to Industrial Light + Magic. ILM didn't have a website (and they wouldn't until around 2000), and I knew there were a lot of ILM fans out there starving for information. I called the website ilmfan, and the URL was www.ilmfan.com.
At the time ILM was very secretive, still working out of San Rafael in an unmarked building and the last thing they wanted to do was draw attention to themselves by building a website. The World Wide Web was just in its infancy, and ILM's PR department was slowly learning the power of the Internet. By 1997 I was receiving emails regularly from ILM employees asking me to correct film credit data or to clue me in on upcoming events. It was usually the same old story:
"My mother was browsing through ilmfan.com and noticed that you had not included me in the credits for Innerspace. Can you correct the oversight?"
By the end of 1997 the ILM PR department was contacting me regularly to either correct data or to comment on stories that we were discussing on ilmfan.com. We had a nice working relationship. They would send me plenty of Tchotchkes, ILM T-shirts and even invites to ILM parties, with only one condition, I could never reveal ILM’s street address. I even received a few Christmas cards. For a diehard ILM Fan…life was good.
Here are a few other historical facts:
- What ilmfan.com looked like back then at http://www.zaske.com/ilmfan/
- May 1996, the first mention of ilmfan (previously housed at www.teleport.com/~ilm) on Usenet.
- 1996, IMDB opens for business.
- 1997, First usenet post by Manuel
- The First Usenet post by Manuel mentioning ilmfan.com
- 1998, LucasFilm creates a website.
- 1999, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace opens
- 2000, ILM opens a recruiting website