There’s no denying BTS is taking over the global music industry. As the first K-pop group to successfully break the language barrier in Western media, BTS continues to break records worldwide. With every journey BTS embarks on, the seven men have a loyal set of people by their side standing by them through thick and thin – the ARMY. ARMY, which stands for Adorable Representative M.C for Youth, is the moniker BTS call their fanbase.
ARMY is composed of different demographic of fans – Asian, black, Latin, Arab, Native American, white, and various other ethnic categories. We ARMYs can be considered as one of the biggest fanbases in the world, with BTS having almost 17M followers on Twitter and becoming the first K-pop group to fill a 42,000-capacity venue. As this family continues to grow, a group of ARMYs became inspired to show the real world “the real ARMY”.
In this article, meet the ARMY Documentary Team! They aim to educate people about ARMYs through documentaries. We got to interview the lovely Chaviva who formed the team.
- How was the team formed?
We formed after I got the idea to make a film. We are a team of four. AK and I live near each other, but D and N (our other two teammates) are in university in different parts of the US. So our work is mainly done remotely and has been for a while.
- When was ARMY Documentary established?
I got the idea to make a documentary after I joined the fandom in about January of this year. We were streaming Mic Drop for 200M views in about February time? It was my first time ever witnessing something like ARMY. Here was a group of adults from all over the world, experiencing a collective euphoria at watching numbers go up on a screen that did absolutely nothing to improve their daily lives… and yet such joy came out of it. Coming from a non-Kpop stand-point, it was absolutely remarkable to me. I realized that I had gotten sucked into this mindset when I refreshed the page and saw that we had done it (we reached 200M and broken another record!) and I literally jumped from my bed and yelled, “YES!” When I saw all of the confetti emojis in the Youtube comments when the view count was finally over 200M, I understood that I was watching and being a part of something special that I didn’t quite understand yet.
- What inspired you to create documentaries about ARMYs?
See above for backstory. Basically, after the MicDrop Streaming Party, I felt like BTS had taken over a large portion of my life… and when I realized that I wasn’t even mad… that’s when I knew that there was a story worth telling here. That this collective experience I was sharing with (at that time) 15 Million other people was unique and grossly misunderstood.
- Upon making the documentary, what are your goals?
To release three featurettes (last one coming out on the 20th!), and one feature length film. Also attempting to trend a few hashtags WW.
- How do you plan of the topics that will be featured in the documentaries?
The documentary follows the lives of 12 ARMY during the month of comeback April 18 – May 18, 2018. We didn’t plan for anything. We just let the events unfold and are now in the process of picking the ones that affected our subjects the most.
- How do you guys handle conflicts between your team?
To be frank, none have really come up.
- How did ARMYs react to your featurettes?
Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive! Can’t wait to release the third and final one on Nov. 20th.
- Are there non-ARMYs who gave feedback?
My parents are still my first sounding boards and they are not ARMY… we got yelled at by some antis when we first started… our first Youtube channel got locked out because we were mass reported as “triggering” because we dared to address the fanwars. Since then we have been releasing with significantly less fanfare.
- What are the future topics that we should look out for?
The #btsidolpoem is our pride and joy. Ah Kywool, pen name AK (my best friend and second admin on our Twitter account), wrote the poem “Idol” in one hour on May 7th, 2018… months before the “Answer” track list came out (we joke around that she predicted “Idol”). It is partly based on her experiences and partly based on those of our close ARMY friends. It is immensely personal… she says that she cried while writing it, and that if you cry while reading it, it’s because you’re feeling her tears. She says that the point of the poem is summed up in the first line: “An acute, yet aggressive agony accompanies being in love with someone who will never know you exist.” AK loves Namjoon with her whole heart, but she worries that even if she got to meet him, she wouldn’t be remembered, let alone to reciprocate the kind of love and inspiration he has given her… and it eats at her that it matters so much. AK hopes that other ARMY will read the poem and feel that they are not alone in their feelings. She also wants people to know that just because they might not feel romantic love for their idols, they are not automatically better than or more mature than those who do. Everyone has a different experience and you cannot belittle someone for being brave enough to reveal their heart to you.
- What do you guys want to tell ARMYs?
This film is for you. We love you all. Thank you for welcoming us into your family. Thank you for letting us cement your place in history. BORAHAE!
Interview by: Euni 🌞