Apparently, 100k fans CAN be wrong

It was proven this week that even in the digital age there is a barrier between fans and creators. Three weeks or so ago Nathan Fillion made an offhand comment about buying the rights to Firefly if he had the money, and suddenly the fandom lit up. He’d put a pricetag on more Big Damn Heroes. How much money have Browncoats donated to charity? Couldn’t the rights be wrested from Fox for that amount?

I can’t say if the people behind HelpNathanBuyFirefly.com took him dead serious or not, but the fact remains that his comment set wheels turning in the minds of many fans. Fox is not making new content. No other production company is licensing the property. But if an interested company could get hold of those rights, a company that cared less about profit than about making themselves and other fans happy…

Yes, several involved parties said it was a bad idea, but why exactly? I grant that there’s a trust gap when giving money to strangers, but there are methods of closing that gap. Help Nathan Buy Firefly’s plan involved Kickstarter, a service by which people pledge money, but don’t send it until what they were promised can be delivered. It’s been pointed out that the rights to Firefly are not for sale. But if an organization walked in with the right bid, would Fox really say no? Those involved in Firefly publicly made it clear they have no involvement in the HNBF project, but if a fan-owned production company was able to get to a place where they could offer jobs, who would turn down the chance to come back?

Ultimately, there is one person who must be involved to get other people on board: Joss Whedon himself. I don’t blame the others for not wanting a part of a Whedonless Firefly. And while I can understand wanting to publicly distance himself from an untried, unaffiliated business venture, why wouldn’t he wait to see if it could get legs? I can’t speak to his motives on that. Hopefully the fact that the group got this far will give him something to consider in his own endeavors.

The ultimate injustice is how the news was handed down. There was no official statement from Joss Whedon. There was no official statement at all. A hundred thousand fans were told to kindly back off by Whedon’s sister-in-law in less than 140 characters. Thousands of dreams were crushed with one tweet. It hardly seems appropriate.

This is the part where some of the more die-hard Browncoats might quote from the episode “The Message.” I’m not that hardcore. But the message from the Whedonverse is clear: “you cannot do the impossible. You are not mighty.”

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About temporalparadox

First, I had a blog. Then, I had another blog. If it's about a movie and updating regularly, you're probably reading the second one.
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10 Responses to Apparently, 100k fans CAN be wrong

  1. Aaron Mattern says:

    Well written, my feelings exactly.

  2. Bleakverse says:

    This is just heartbreaking, well browncoats kinda did the impossible already, with the movie. or has everyone forgotten that.

  3. bigenglish says:

    Hear, hear.

    True, their business model was naive and unrealistic, but that’s not the issue most of us are taking: the love, in point of fact, that so many fans have for the franchise led to a massive outpouring of voices in support of the story, and to have that kind of swelling grassroots movement quashed with no word from Joss, but through a pithy tweet from someone (as much as we love her now) who has no professional connection to the franchise…well, it’s cheap. Yes, Mo wrote for Dr. Horrible and Dollhouse. Yes, she’s Whedon-adjacent. But the fact is, her instant slam of the movement feels like a strange bouncer turning us away from our best friend’s party.

    This would have been so much cleaner if Joss had taken to Whedonesque to gently calm the fandom into stepping away from the movement, rather than having his non-Browncoat sister-in-law slam the door in their faces.

  4. mondariz says:

    ¨Thanks for your support. The movement was in the hands of 15-20 capable people and had the support of nearly 115K people on Facebook (many of them casual fans and not the usual convention crowd – it was quite literally the biggest Firefly fan-movement ever), the Big Damn Plan had real potential – it was ruined by the ‘old brigade’ of Firefly fans.

    A simple tweet have now made Firefly fans realize that we will get no more: it is over!

    One thing remains certain: fun funding and online distribution will be a business model in the future. Unfortunately the Whedon clan was not ready for it – strangely since his track record at networks would suggest that fan funding was his best option (also giving him completely artistic freedom).

  5. Dan Sheehan says:

    Another production company, a non-profit one, did make new content. Granted it wasn’t the original Firefly crew, but they knew they couldn’t get them so they didn’t try to pretend to be them.

    You should check them out @ http://www.browncoatsmovie.com or http://www.facebook.com/browncoatsmove (not a type-o.

  6. This movement was essentially a really powerful firehose, where if any of the powers in this saga had bothered, they could have pointed that firehose and really made a splash, even if resurrecting Firefly wasn’t actually possible. I understand that they were wary of working with some random group, but the truth of the matter is that random group is where the fans were at that moment.

    And instead of directing the powerful firehose to do something special, they ignored it and let it flail around, cartoon-style, until it battered up its fans in the process. Joss Whedon really dropped the ball on this, and made his fans feel very unloved in the process.

  7. Simon says:

    Behind the scenes, HNBF were sending out very mixed signals. For a while, they wanted to close the campaign down. Now something then made them change their minds and they went for the disastrous “Big Damn Plan”.

    The reaction to that was extremely negative and did cause much division even on the HNBF Facebook. I suspect Mo’s tweet was used a figleaf to bow out gracefully as they were never going to get enough fan support for their plan,

  8. NYPinTA says:

    I’m getting real tired of people twisting things. The “Big Damn Plan” as laid out on HelpBuyNathanFirefly.com would never have worked. In that plan they were stating their intent to COLLECT MONEY after Nathan said DON’T SEND MONEY weeks ago. That was what everyone was against. Not the Facebook gathering of fans. Not of a large collection of people being brought together to show support for a show. It was the taking of money from those fans. Period.
    But hell

    • temporalparadox says:

      Timeline:

      Nathan Fillion comments that if he came into an absurd sum of money, he’d buy the rights to Firefly.

      Fans start the HNBF movement to buy it for him.

      Fillion says he doesn’t actually want it, don’t send money.

      HNBF says, “Fine, okay. We won’t send the money to Nathan, we’ll do it ourselves.”

      NYPinTA, do you say that Universal took money from fans when they went to see Serenity? Better example: is acquiring venture capital from investors “taking their money?” HNBF was using Kickstarter. No money was to change hands until the team could say, “we’ve got the rights, and we’re making our show! With Kickstarter, you cannot engage in the charlatanry you imply.

  9. NYPinTA says:

    Final sentence cut off.

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