The Beginning Edit
The first notable Flash Crew was the Clock Crew, who were a group of users who were interested in the humour of the spam author StrawberryClock in 2001. They started producing submissions together, contributing to each others' work with a theme developing around the avatar of StrawberryClock. In 2003, a splinter group broke away from them called the Lock Legion, then an avalanche of other crews started appearing with a certain pattern of names in a parody of the Clock Crew, then in a parody of each other. Thus the Glock Group begat groups which were not another 'ocks' but various guns- the Pistol Patrol, the Uzi Union, the Socom Squad and the Luger League. These groups were often bitter rivals, voting each others' submissions down and attacking the website forums of their rivals. There have been alliances, with both true and false peace treaties.
The Peak of NG Crews Edit
The peak of this multiplicity of groups appears to have been around 2006-2007, when a list of small groups appeared and vanished, such as the Rock Rebellion, leaving just the original two groups, the Clocks and the Locks, with various groups making comebacks from time to time or a token one or two flash in a year.
Defining and organising a Flash Crew Edit
Crews create their own style and identity. Most of them follow the broad pattern created by the Clock Crew. They have their own logos; intros; websites with forums to discuss their animation and other things; aims and rules. Many, though not all, have an official Group Userpage, such as the Owl Organisation.
Since most Crews only exist in cyberspace it is not always clear how many people are in a Crew, nor who is an official member. For example, many more people produce movies around the Clock theme than even identify themselves as 'Clocks', let alone being official Clock Crew members. Many people also belong to more than one crew- even the supposedly bitter rival crews.
Furthermore, it is not always clear which movies are intended to be official Crew movies. Many crews use an identifying mark at the beginning of their movie titles, but this is not very consistant and the Clock Crew officially states that it does not reccomend this to its members.
The whole idea of what is and is not 'official' in a crew depends on agreement within the crew, which is difficult when people never meet; don't trust each other; deliberately cause problems etc. Leadership struggles often take place and people become more or less active and interested in a given crew over time.
Recognition by Newgrounds Edit
All crews hope to reach out and be noticed. For this reason, various more 'spam'- orientated crews aim for Turd of the Week in the hope of gaining publicity through the Front Page. The larger crews have enough members to Review their way to Underdog or even Review Crew Pick. The Clock Crew set out to celebrate the anniversary of their seminal movie B getting through judgment. They submitted a significant number of movies on that day. This event became big enough for Newgrounds to mark it as a Newgrounds holiday. As they became more established, Newgrounds also made a Collection for them. Other crews often aspire to this kind of recognition. Some, such as the Socom Squad haven't made it yet, others, like the Lock Legion have their Day and their Collection.
Who are the Crews? Edit
There is a list of many of the Flash Crews who have got at least one movie through Judgment Here: Flash Crew list
The most notable creation of the short-lived Corleone Crime Family was THIS collaboration between many crews, showing the intro's of a number of crews around at the time. Another collection of intros is HERE.