Last year I was at a graduate conference on cinephilia, where during the discussion on the last day of presentations, the question of what distinguishes a cinephile from a fan came up. Several theories were brought up, such as concerns over barriers to access, overprotection of canonical texts, and varying levels of taste value. One such attempt posited cinephiles as lovers of cinema, and therefore many of the great cinematic works - though not necessarily all, while a fan was defined by their adherence to one particular work (and, I would add, the world to which that work belongs). Jim Collins' talk this morning reminded me of these discussions, and I think his introduction of the transmediaphile and his (hesitant) use of the term fan may have helped clarify some of the confusion between the cinephile and the fan. I do, however, disagree with Collins in using fan to make the connection between the cinephile and the transmediaphile one of media knowledge and taste, precisely because I think the ties between these two types of philias go beyond these markers.
That is to say, I'd like to think of the cinephile and the transmediaphile as having an attachment not only to the work(s) and world(s), but also to the medium that enables them --medium here understood not only as the physical artifact but also the mediated experience resulting from it. Whether it is Godard and cineclubs or Tarantino and videotapes, the cinephile's relationship to the idea of cinema is ineluctably tied to their mediated experience (think, for instance, of all those self-professed cinephiles that are medium purists). Transmediaphiles are also distinguished by their connection to the medium through which they consume their preferred works, but in this case, the affinity is for the ease of movement across mediums. Both cinephiles and transmediaphiles, then, are defined by their knowledge of the media artifact, a certain level of taste, and their conscious exploration/appreciation of their mediated experience.
Using this basis of the -phile as attached to both the work and the mediated experience, then what distinguishes the cinephile from the fan is not only that the former need not be attached to particular texts, but that the latter's attachment to a particular text necessitates that they not be attached to (or conscious of) a particular medium. I would argue that transmediaphiles need not be fans at all -they could be voracious consumers of all sorts of works equally, but I would like to suggest that many fans are probably transmediaphiles - there is an appreciation of what the ease between media brings to the enjoyment of the work and world as a whole.