Introduction: This article was originally written as a part of the Tom Felton interview, Behind the Mask of Malfoy, but failed to make it into the magazine. I was very disappointed that it wasn’t able to be published, but alas, that’s life. Now that I have my own blog, where I can display my own works, there should be no reason I can’t include this one here. (Do not copy/use without permission.)
VIRTUAL LIFE: Tom Felton on the Internet
by Amanda Aayusya
If you could have 1 last drink at your final meal what would you have? Pint of beer, champagne, milkshake, water? Curiosity tickling my mind
Fans of Tom Felton are absolutely spoiled – the 21-year-old actor has provided many ways for them to keep virtually in touch with himself. Other than having his own official website, Felton is very actively Tweeting at twitter.com/TomFelton, where he often posts the most random, funniest things and has more than 48,000 followers, and updates his YouTube account whenever he has a new song and video to share at youtube.com/user/feltbeats.
He is also well supported by his most comprehensive website on the Internet http://www.feltbeats.com. Feltbeats.com – whose name was taken from the pseudonym Felton uses to release his musical works – is owned by Misha. She has a crew of eight site administrators to run this interactive website. In the beginning, she only planned to talk about Felton’s music, but along with Felton’s increasing Internet popularity, Misha made additions that now allow all Feltonites to catch the latest news on Felton, video and song previews and even exclusive original interviews with Felton.
Thanks to the wonderful relationship Misha shares with Felton, it’s guaranteed that Feltbeats.com has plenty of interesting stories to share about this young man who ‘sacrificed’ his natural hair color to give way to Draco Malfoy’s blondness on screen.
FiRST’s contributor Amanda talked to Misha about the inner workings of the website in this interview.
Amanda: How did Feltbeats.com come about?
Misha: The site started almost exactly a year ago (as of May 20). Essentially, I was a bit of a Harry Potter fan – enough that I bought the last two books at midnight when they came out, but not enough that I had any costumes or anything. I came to it late, however – I didn’t start reading the books until the sixth one was about to come out!
One day while browsing around the internet I saw a link that said, “Draco singing!” and so of course I checked it out. I watched the YouTube video (“Time isn’t Healing“) with my hands covering my face in shock and maybe a little embarrassment. I expected him to be bad, I’ll be honest. But, after a few minutes, I peaked through my fingers and watched, more appreciative. Then I watched it several times.
Then, I ripped the song from the YouTube site and played it over and over on my mp3 player. I was hooked! Absolutely addicted and completely thrilled with the music!
Soon after, I tried to find out more about Tom Felton and Feltbeats, and I was shocked to find out that the domain name was available. (Interestingly, I found out from Tom later that he had tried to register the domain for himself, but it was taken by a guy named Felt who blogged about rapping. About a month after Tom tried to register it, it expired, and I got it a few weeks later!)
So, I started a little Feltbeats appreciation site, just to post news about Tom’s music. In fact, in the beginning, I had a strict policy that there would be no mention of Harry Potter at all. This was a music site, I said, there are enough Potter sites already! (That policy changed later, after fans demanded we cover Draco Malfoy things and Tom’s other acting ventures as well!)
After a week or so though, I felt I couldn’t do it all by myself. So…
So, who are the people behind Feltbeats.com and how long have you all been fans of Tom Felton?
I really felt that I needed more news and interaction on the site.
So I went around on all the various Tom Felton sites, and found the best, most well-spoken, more hard-core Tom Felton fans out there. These were the true Feltonites who posted everything first, who knew everything about Tom, who had been fans of Tom since he was a kid (unlike myself, who had only been a fan for a year or so and hadn’t even seen The Borrowers or Anna and the King – still haven’t, ack!).
I invited them to become admins, and all of them accepted! I think adding them as admins was one of my best ideas yet, because that meant our site instantly had the latest news, and the forum lit up with interactivity as admins themselves started chatting about Tom.
Later we added two more admins who were really knowledgeable and active (there are now eight of them), and this is the administration team we have at feltbeats.com today.
What can Feltbeats.com offer the fans?
Firstly, Feltbeats.com is a great place to hang out and chat about Tom Felton, his music and Harry Potter. The atmosphere is really light and casual, and in general we’re a witty, easy-going gang. I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but it seems Tom Felton fans have similar personalities and we all click together – no matter how old someone is, no matter where someone lives in the world – we all get along great!
We also cover Tom news to an obsessive, ridiculous degree. We will post just about any news item, just about any photo (except personal photos – we won’t post those unless we have Tom’s permission).
Now that we are in contact with Tom personally, he or his management team give us lots of news about his activities – which has really made us an authoritative source for news about him. Additionally, we’ve been able to ask for his input on various subjects (such as the recent rumor that he had been cast as Riley in the third installment of the Twilight series, “Eclipse“), which of course gives us a lot to post about.
In the long run, what is your main goal with this website and how will Feltbeats.com work in terms of supporting Tom Felton?
When the site first began, the goal was really to have a positive, pro-Tom site where people could get lots of Feltbeats music news.
Nowadays, we’re much more focused on helping spread the news about Tom – in terms of both his music and his acting. We’ve even started the “Feltbeats Army” – which is essentially a marketing street team of hundreds of fans around the world who go on little missions to promote Tom and his projects.
I would love it if more directors and producers in the industry came to understand what a huge star Tom Felton is – he has a HUGE fanbase that is dedicate, loyal and WORLD WIDE. Just by casting Tom in their movie, they gain a ton of exposure for their project and instantly have thousands and thousands of people around the world interested in it. Plus Tom is a great guy and a great actor – so it’s a win-win!
Feltbeats.com seems to have a good relationship with Tom Felton. What is the key to this wonderful relationship you share and what advise would you give fans when it comes to interacting with Tom?
We do have a good relationship, and I think it is mostly because Tom trusts us to act in his best interests. When the site was first founded, I always told the admins (and anyone else on our forums) that we want a positive, professional site so that if one day Tom Felton himself stumbled upon it, he wouldn’t be disgusted by what he saw.
Apparently, it worked – he did visit the site and he liked it enough to respond to an e-mail I wrote him… the rest is history.
As for advice for other fans, I do have some!
Firstly, the best way to interact with Tom is to follow him on Twitter (http://twitter.com/tomfelton). That IS really him, and he does read his replies and often responds to them!
When sending him tweets on Twitter, be classy. Don’t send 500 tweets a day asking for a reply from him or something like that. Just respond casually about things he might be interested in, or things he’s talking about. And definitely be funny! Tom has an amazing sense of humor and he really appreciates witty remarks and clever jokes! Tom has told me that his favorite part of Twitter is seeing all the crazy responses he gets when asking a question.
Lastly, be patient. Though he does read all of his replies, be aware that he gets THOUSANDS of replies every day, and can’t respond to them all! So just keep tweeting, and keep being funny, and he’ll appreciate it!
Thanks, Misha, for being a dedicated Felton supporter and for this interview.
Felton isn’t the only who’s a Twitter regular. Other Potter stars are also Tweeting!
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) – http://twitter.com/Mattdavelewis
A girl asking for my autograph today told me that she did already have it. Her mother got it for her before she was born. Am I that old? 😦
2:01 AM Jun 13th from web
Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) – http://twitter.com/OliverPhelps
Sidney is my mx5 roadster. (car) I know it’s a little silly naming my car but never mind.
James Phelps (Fred Weasley) – http://twitter.com/James_Phelps
The parachute was invented 120 years before the airplane. It was originally intended to save people who had to jump from burning buildings
2:34 AM May 29th from web