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December 15 2004

Yay or Nay for Serenity test screening? A non-spoiler thread for reports on tonight's screening. (First reports are now in!).

So no spoilers at all in this thread but stuff like how how finished the film is, how long it is, sound quality, how good the acting is etc are fine.

And in the unlikely event that you're not sure if something is a spoiler, post it in the above spoiler thread.

And above all tell us if you liked it, did the rest of the audience like it and whether you think it will work at the box office.

I have somewhat of a personal crisis... I don't know which thread to read.

On one hand, Serenity! on the other, spoilers. I was spoiled about Wesley's death, and I didn't like the feeling.

Better stick to this one.
Same for me. Going to try to resist the spoilery one. But if Joss decides to do a post-screening response to Whedonesquers, and does it on the spoiler thread, my will may truly be compromised.

Enjoy the movie, you lucky few!!!!
I also will try to be strong and stick to this thread. The spoilers are always tempting, but I really (I tell myself, anyway) don't want to know about the plot. Like palehorse said, though, if Joss chooses to post again and he does it on that thread, then my resolve will likely desolve. Oh, to be in LA.
Agreed! I'm sure I can resist a non-Joss post. But if the Father of Whedonism does post, it will include only a silly fake spoiler, won't it? You know, "everyone but Jayne dies in the first five minutes, then Badger becomes the captain" or something.

Sorry to post another non-informative (but still nonspoilery) message.
I saw four posts already and thought it was from people who'd seen the movie! Oh well, now here's five!! I don't think Joss would post in the "spoiler" section considering he hates spoilers. I'm sure if he does, it will be by accident!!
The test screening was supposed to start at 7 P.M., unless my math is wrong its 7:25 in L.A. So we'll hopefully see some reports by Midnight eastern time.
I can't believe that i am so excited to just see what other people have to say. I am checking back here like every 5 mins, which is pointless because it started at 7 and it is now 730 so it won't be done for a while.
I wish i could just go to sleep and wake up on Sept 29!!!
As curious as I am, I hate spoilers. HATE THEM. I was spoiled on Wes' death also, Caleb. I was fuming for days.

*sigh* So, anyway - I'm glad we have this thread to hear more general things about the movie. I'm excited to hear what everyone has to say!
I know its still probably showing, but when you guys who went get here could you maybe say how other people who may not have been Firefly fans responded to it? Like did they seem bored, or confused or excited or hell, even clapped for it when it faded to black?
I think they may have to stay over a bit to respond to the questionaires they hand out at test screenings. So how long do you think it will take to write "It's Bloody Brilliant!!" after the shock of seeing the movie so soon has worn off.
My frantic thumb twiddling as I stay up past my bedtime waiting for the posts to come in is killing me. At least it's making my thumbs numb. (That's something Andrew might say in the face of danger, isn't it? "I have numb thumbs!")

I second eddy's request. I want to know how the movie strikes the uninitiated. We need those people. Damn them. I hate their power.
Me too! Closing in on Midnight here on the east coast! I know it will be a late night for me if they start posting before 1 a.m. I'll be all giddy with excitement! I'm so nervous at how the non initiated will react to the movie! I'm glad that some of those going are experienced at these screening events so they'll know what to expect, and hopefully judge the crowds reaction. And Phlebotinin, it's not my thumbs that are numb from all this sitting and waiting ;^)
What if no one who goes to this site saw it?
It's 11:45 p.m. my time (EST), so I imagine lots of Browncoat butts are plunked in seats at this very second, with squirming a-plenty as some who post here are anticipating tearing home the second they can to bring us the good word...

Or, maybe I'm just insane and forgetting that these people are all in L.A. and are probably going to be hanging out laughing and talking about what they've just seen for a while after it's all over. I'm trying to be patient but GOD, it isn't easy. Especially when the spoiler thread is only a couple ... of clicks ... away....

[fortitude] Evil, seductive siren! Avaunt thee, foul potential squelcher of my future film-going pleasure![/fortitude]
Actually Gage, A few people posted on another thread on this site saying they had passes for it.
Ok good i was like, "ahh what if i don't find out!"
Quick question from someone who knows nothing about the movie industry: Are these test screenings only to see how Regular Joes like the movies - or do critics show up to these test screenings, too?
Test screenings are unfinished films, they're basicly just for audiences which the director/producers use to gauge their reaction to certain things.

Chances are the movie would be missing lots of SFX shots and wouldn't be a completed edit, so any critic who reviews it would be doing the film a great injustice.
Thanks very much, Rabid!
I SAW IT!!! It's likely a lot of people are stil at the theatre. A few were selected to stay after in a Q&A but NOT with Joss or anyone affiliated with the project. This is routine at test screenings, but usually the filmmakers are at the back of the theatre listening in. There were many studio execs there (I even heard some talking in the bathroom), but no sign of Joss, though I refuse to believe he wasn't there. I filled out my card and left, so I don't have much to report on exxciting guest appearances.

First, I need to say, DO NOT READ THE SPOILER THREAD if you're at all hesitant about finding out what happens. There were a number of shocks that had the entire theatre roaring with applause, trembling with cheers, and jolting in suspense throughout the ENTIRE FILM.

Serenity will let no Joss fan down, no science fiction fan down, and no movie fan down. Period.

Most of the special effects shots weren't finished, but enough was there for the audience to fill in with their thriving imaginations. What WAS completed was so thrilling, so exuberant, so breathtaking that other films in the genre pale by comparison. Serenity stands on its own in being as much about the characters and the story as the fights and 'splosions. Trust me, Serenity has some of the most pristine, most jaw-dropping battles ever filmed.

My biggest relief was that Serenity is indicative of what Joss can do if he's left to his own devices. If no brainless exec or hack director can lay a finger on the project. This is pure Joss, and all of his skeptics will have a mouthful of foot after they see this masterpiece of the genre.

Christmas came early for this boy.
Not only that, but they do their best to try and screen out anyone who is in "the business" or is terribly knowledgeable in any sort of professional capacity...and in this case, I'm guessing they're also screening (admitted) fans of the original property. Not that they make it hard to pretend you're a know-nothing....
Thank you very much TheZeppo, I woke up early just to see what people thought if it.
I am so excited, WHY NINE MORE MONTHS?!?!?!?
I am desperately hoping that they bump the date up, anything sooner will do.
How long was the materpiece?
Thanks TheZeppo - Christmas came early for me just by your glowing description of the audiences enthusiastic responses!! I'm glad I didn't go to bed because I've been so anxious with worry that the unthinkable would happen and the audience wouldn't like it!!

It will be worth it not to read the spoilers because I can only imagine how excited I will be having to wait to see this movie when it comes out but I'm sure the long wait will be worth it!!
Serenity will let no Joss fan down, no science fiction fan down, and no movie fan down. Period.

Hot damn! Only 289 days til premiere day -- let the countdown begin!
It was amazing, astonishing, shocking, brilliant...
This movie is incredible and even though I saw it an hour
ago, I will still be the first person in line September 30.

The crowd seemed to love every minute of it. Cheering throughout the whole two hours.

Outstanding work, Joss. Thank you for this.
TheZeppo and Kdavid323, could you tell if the audience was familiar with Firefly or if this was a new experience for them? Just wondering if you caught any of the comments people were making as they were leaving or standing around chatting.
It seemed to me to be an overwhelmingly familar audience. I wouldn't be surprised if every audience member was a Whedon-verse fan.

It might distort the results of the screening, but it sure made watching the movie a lot of fun!
what blwessels said... that's my concern too... if all those execs are checking out reactions, i would love to know if the general public who may have gone in saying "wonder what this is going to be about" came out happy with the movie too...

it sounds like they did, if as a couple of posters have said, that there was a lot of clapping and cheering...
Just from overhearing people's conversations (I was alone, so I wasn't involved in any), most of them were Firefly fans, then again the couple next to me found out at the last minute that Joss Whedon was involved.

I agree with kdavid323, I'll be there first in line opening night with however many of my friends I can convert to the Whedonverse. I'd actually like to see it at least once more in test screenings later in its development.

Conceptually, I don't think they'll change anything. It's paced uncommonly well, and even though it was a little over two hours, it flew by and leaves you wanting so much more.
Hmm, that's really interesting Kdavid, it makes me wonder if there are more Firefly fans out there than they expected. From what I understand these tickets were given out randomly to people at a mall? Well, I wouldn't be surprised that the show has grown more of a following since it's cancellation with how successful the DVD sales were and all the newbies being recruited by us oldies!

Thanks Zeppo - I was posting as you posted so I didn't see your reply to my question.

edited to thank Zeppo!

[ edited by blwessels on 2004-12-15 08:54 ]
I think you guys know what you have to do. You need to answer the question I'm sure we've all been on pens and needles about. Was Joss serious about killing Mal off in the first act of the movie?

Kidding. Glad to hear the crowd liked the movie, that means Universal won't chop up Joss' film and make him re-shoot a new ending(probably a shiny happy everyone lives happily ever after and there are no more conflicts or problems in the world-endings that Hollywood loves so much....Which as judging from the final episode of Angel, Joss doesn't.)

Ok, a real question. This has been bugging me for nearly a year now. Does the movie have the "grr arrgh" mutant enemy productions logo at the beginning?
Thanks TheZeppo and kdavid323!

Was there a sufficient amount of Joss humor in the movie? If this were TV I wouldn't ask since I know the answer, but the movie format is different from TV so I don't know what to expect humor wise.

Joss's ability to blend quality humor and quality drama is my favorite aspect of his work. A lot of people either blend them badly, or don't even try to and keep them separate (ie the "funny" episode).
Wow. I am so happy that the audience loved the movie. I am so proud of Joss and the cast and crew. I just knew it would be everything TheZeppo described, and everything I need from Joss. I so can't wait, and I'm so going to the SF WonderCon if I have to kill myself to do it.

Off topic, but is anyone going to WonderCon that I can meet with? I might be going alone, and I'd rather join up with a Whedonesquer so I'm not all by myself. You can email me if you want to make plans to hang out at the con. Thanks.
vampirefan, there was a question on the comment card about how familiar we are with Joss's work and if we are fans. So they'll have a clear idea. It's the first time I've ever seen questions like that on test screening cards.

And the clapping and cheering wasn't sporadic, it was frequent. Every time a character appeared on screen, the audience went bezerk. Man, and the way all the characters are (re)introduced ... absolutely astonishing.
?I wouldn't be surprised if every audience member was a Whedon-verse fan.

But how can this be? If the passes were handed out at random at malls and other places, it'd be impossible to catch an audience of Whedon-verse fans who are familiar with Firefly.
electricspacegirl, I may be going. I'm in southern california, so it'll be a trip, but it might be worth it, especially since now I'm such a hardcore fan of this work. email me: jesse@banginbanana.com

eddy: I WAS ANTICIPATING THE SAME THING, but here's the thing... the credits weren't finished. There was a temp "Directed by..." credit at the end, and the beginning only had the Universal logo. We'll probably have to wait until it opens to hear the "grr... arggh" in THX.

and Caleb: Just you wait. =)
dottikin - even handed out randomly, maybe there are that many Joss fans out there! That world domination thing could be a goer, yet!
I'm having such mixed feelings about you all getting to see it and the rest of us not. Of course there is the whole jealousy aspect of it but I am feeling overwhelmingly grateful and relieved at your super positive reviews! I know I'd love it no matter what but with the way you said the audience reacted I'm feeling more confident there will definitely be sequels! There have been so many disappointments to deal with with Angel and Firefly being cancelled that I didn't want to get my hopes up. Now they are soaring!
I'm sitting here reading this with a huge grin on my face. After being cheated out of the pleasure of watching the further adventures of our Serenity crew on the small screen, the news of this feature film has given me something to look forward to. I can't wait! Thanks to all who are reporting their experiences from the test screening tonight. And I really like being given the opportunity to avoid spoilers.
My guess is that a lot of it was self-selection. The passes may have been handed out randomly, but I would think that many folks who've never heard of Serenity might have either declined them or tossed them in the trash. Plus, those Firefly fans are a tenacious, creative bunch, so i'm not surprised a fair number of them managed to get ino the screening, despite the desire for a "random" sample.

Great to hear all the stellar reports! (not that i ever doubted...). Now the question is just what my powers of self-restraint are. Can I wait all that time without glimpsing at the numerous spoilers that I know will be out there? Arghh..... the temptation.... :-)
Ah thanks for the comments guys. I have to say, knowing that special effects weren't finished consoles me a bit. I want to see a movie aaall finished when I see it. We live in LA but had no idea where to go or even begin looking.

If there were a lot of Joss fans in the audience though, I wonder how they knew? I hope there was a good chunk of non-Jossians there too, because that would bode well for our Big Damn Movie.

Ah man if this movie manages to take off, be the 'sleeper' hit of the year or something, how smug are we going to be? "Yeah we knew that was cool waay before the rest of you jumped on the bandwagon...";-)

Argn...9 frikkin' months....Not fair. They should have a early separate screening for fans. Preferably in LA, haha.

BTW I doubt we'll see the Grr Argh, as much as I'd love that. Isn't Mutant Enemy as a company a goner? Or do I completely misunderstand how the biz works?
Seriously, guys, you'll be so relieved you didn't peak at the spoilers come Sept 30th. Being that shocked and surprised during a film is all too rare. Even reading the mild spoilers will water down the effect.

Would you rather be rattled and gasping at things you never saw coming? Or would you rather just sit there and wait for it?

Your decision.
thanks for that snippet of info thezeppo! i have never been to a test screening so don't know anything about them. interesting that universal is asking that particular question. i am glad that there was such enthusiasm! grrr.. i can't wait!

as for so many fans... could be that the whole six-degrees-of separation thing is at work... random people have that many whedon fans as friends... i know that if one of my friends had commented that they had received tickets to the serenity screening i would have begged for a pass!
vampirefan - I am not sure begging would have been my limit. Some strong language, adult content and violence may have ensued.
Hee hee, I just pictured millions of Joss Whedon fans adding the "Grr Arggh" at the end of the movies ourselves, how funny would that be, especially if we did it in The Musical style!

TheZeppo, you are making me more determined to even change the channel when they start showing promos for the movie because they tend to give to much plot away and I'd love to be totally oblivious as to what is going to come and sit there mouth hanging open and eyes glazed over!

I'm with you Ed that I'd want to see the complete finished project. But that said, if someone had handed me a ticket to this I don't think I would've been able to resist going to see it now!
I'm with Eddy, was the "grrr, arrgh" monster on it? And if so, at the beginning and/or end? Thats one piece of trivia I think all us no-spoilers would like to know.
I hope we don't have tp wait to much longer down here in Aus, even though I can't even imagine waiting until September... anyway, congrats Joss and the whole team! Cant wait!
TheZeppo, do you remember anything the execs said in the bathroom?
"TheZeppo, do you remember anything the execs said in the bathroom?"

"Um, could you pass me some toilet paper?'"

Okay, just kidding, I really need to go to bed 'cause it's 2:30 where I am! Good night all! There'll be visions of Firefly dancing through my head!
Someone on LJ who went saw Joss there.

So far, seems like it's a 5-star flick for anyone who is even a teensy bit of a Joss fan.

Can I borrow you guys' brains for a few hours so I can see the movie too?
Ooh, this is so exciting! How can I sleep? *bouncy bounce*

TheZeppo and all, thanks so much for your reports. I'm going to have to fight the siren allure of evil spoilers, but the promise of shock and surprise is just too much to sacrifice for a few cheap and paltry thrills now.

It's extremely rare for any movie I've seen to prompt a genuine visceral reaction, so if Joss's intent is to punch me in the gut with this thing, then damn it, that's the way it's gotta be.

I'm also wondering what the execs were talking about in the bathroom; something about the place usually tends to foster a certain level of honesty. Were they discussing the movie itself, or the audience's response?
Just got back... since today was my birthday, I was taken out to dinner at a nearby restaurant, which proved to be rather difficult since most of the places had closed at 10:00 PM. I'll be up for awhile so maybe while I compose what the experience was like I'll answer general and spoiler questions on the respective threads.
I want a full plot summary on that other thread, cos I'm a spoiler whore and I don't care who knows it.
Wanted to mention that I recognized Hercules The Strong from Ain't It Cool News, so I wouldn't be surprised if he posted something on that website or forwarded reviews to Harry Knowles himself.
What a wonderful birthday present, Oddjob! (Happy birthday, by the way. Sagittarians are cool.) Hope you enjoyed yourself immensely. :)

Now, topic!
  • Was the plot pretty unpredictable?
  • Were there any slow parts?
  • How many times did you laugh out loud?
  • Did you laugh at parts that nobody else laughed at (that sometimes happens to me...)?
  • How many "ohmigod" moments were there?
  • Did you get a sense that anything might be changed between now and September, based on the audience's reaction?

Happy Birthday Oddjob. And Wiseblood's right, Sagitarians are cool, aren't we! :)
Wiseblood, about your fourth point, I know that feeling all to well... I was watching Blade III, and when Blade said: "Whistler's daughter" I cracked up, but I was the only one. I don't know if it was supposed to be funny, but I sure thought it was.
I just realized the best words I can use to describe Serenity are "shock and awe."
Wiseblood (and I'm trying to answer these questions as objectively as possible while still letting what happened sink in):

"Was the plot pretty unpredictable?" Yes, and there were a few twists, turns, and "jolty" moments that produced laughter as well as gasps.

"Were there any slow parts?" Not that I could think of, off-hand. I was pretty riveted from start to finish.

"How many times did you laugh out loud?" Several!

"Did you laugh at parts that nobody else laughed at?" Not that I can remember. I pretty much laughed in unison with the audience, albeit maybe harder or not so much depending on the circumstances (although I laughed pretty hard at Jayne's lines). Sometimes the audience laughter drowned out some of dialogue though.

"How many 'ohmigod' moments were there?" Several!

"Did you get a sense that anything might be changed between now and September, based on the audience's reaction?" Yes, and I *really* hope the film doesn't change because there was at least one shocking moment in there and I can totally see some fans wanting to have it changed.
Answering some of the other questions that've come up:

- Eddy: "...could you maybe say how other people who may not have been Firefly fans responded to it?" It's really difficult to answer that because judging by the look of the crowd, the overwhelming majority looked like Joss Whedon fans. I actually joked with my friends that Universal should just throw out the results of this first screening because the audience is not going to be objective about this film at all. And if the execs didn't realize that when the film first started (there was applause with the Universal logo and someone shouted, "Finally!"), then they certainly realized it during the first few minutes when each character was introduced. They must've realized that the fans already had emotional investments with certain characters and reacted often times in almost annoyingly loud ways when something truly shocking happened.

"Glad to hear the crowd liked the movie, that means Universal won't chop up Joss' film and make him re-shoot a new ending..." Actually I wonder if the fans' reaction to at least one major spoilery moment will make Universal change it? I really hope not!

- RavenU: "I think they may have to stay over a bit to respond to the questionaires they hand out at test screenings." They certainly did. The questionnaires were double-sided and two questions asked if you were familiar with Joss Whedon and if you were a fan of his.

- Obsessed: "Are these test screenings only to see how Regular Joes like the movies - or do critics show up to these test screenings, too?" They're only meant for the general public. And yet, the majority of the people in the audience tonight were Joss fans who'd heard about this screening through word-of-mouth.

- Blwessels: "From what I understand these tickets were given out randomly to people at a mall?" Yes, and I found out that they were also given out in front of a comic book store, which amuses me because I'd think that the customers of such an establishment would be more inclined to be Joss fans?

- Caleb: "Was there a sufficient amount of Joss humor in the movie? If this were TV I wouldn't ask since I know the answer, but the movie format is different from TV so I don't know what to expect humor wise." Yes, it's there and it's there in spades. Shiny!
Thanks everyone for all your reports. Couldn't stay up waiting -- but headed straight for Whedonesque upon rising. I'm so excited to hear that the movie is riveting. It's going to take so much resolve to avoid the spoilers, but it sounds as though the film will be so much more rewarding if one is unspoiled. I want to have the same kind of reactions each of you had. And I want to be in an audience that goes "Grr Arggh" at the end. May have to lead that one, if it doesn't occur spontaneously. Oh, how cruel to make us wait until the end of September.
I have to agree with you... as much of a spoiler whore I am, I'm *really* glad that I didn't know much about it beforehand.

And I know it's going to kill you guys to remain completely spoiler-free for nine months, but trust me, it's going to be worth the effort.
Ooh, the waiting is now becoming almost too much to bear. Must avoid all spoilers. Damn the linearity of time! I need to see Serenity now. Thanks for all the non-spoiler, extremely encourraging, words, everyone who was lucky enough to go last night - sorry jealously seeping out, trying to hold it back :)
Interesting to hear that Joss was there. I'm sure he would be very happy to see the reaction it did but I cannot imagine, knowing how he hates spoilers, that he was happy to have had a test screening in the first place rather than have the movie released to an unsuspecting, and unspoiled, world. I guess the studio insisted.
Thanks so much, Oddjob, kdavid323, TheZeppo! I'm all a-tingle and aglow with excitement. And even more firmly resolved to remain spoiler free.

The movie sounds incredible from the pov of a Firefly fan so I know I'm going to feel like I've died and gone to heaven when I see it. But didn't one of you go with someone who had never seen Firefly? What was his/her opinion of the film?

I see that Herc has put up something on his site about the movie. It's spoilery so I don't want to visit but does anyone know anyone who's checked it and knows what Herc says? Maybe he knows some non-Firefly fans who have an opinion.

Is it really true that we have to wait nine more months? Really? (Sob)
It's my goal to remain as spoil-free as possible. I was spoiled for most of Angel season 5, it was like an addiction for me to go read all the spoilers possible. I don't want to do the same thing for this movie. I want to be surprised when I see Serenity.

It is nice to hear all the positive screening reviews - thanks everyone for posting them.
Herc posted his and two other reviews, one of those reviews was from a non-fan who completely adored the film, while the other was a fan to begin with and loved it as well.

So basicly good stuff, but quite spoilery.
phleb: Herc posts two fans' opinions (in addition to his own) on Serenity, one of them from someone who had never seen Firefly. It was also very very positive, and sounded like it had made a convert. It (that particular fan's post) seemed like it was about to start getting spoilery at one point, so i skipped ahead, but it was nice to see his initial enthusiasm.
Most of the AICN page is pretty non-spoilery, though. I read about 3/4 of it, and I don't feel like I know any plot details. I doubt it ever got really spoilery - i just got nervous, so i decided to stop reading.

edit: sorry, didn't see rabid had already answered you. And, from the sound of his post, guess it's good I stopped reading!

[ edited by acp on 2004-12-15 16:11 ]
Thanks, rabid and acp. Great to hear that a non-fan adored the film.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2004-12-15 16:10 ]
I can't risk reading the AICN reviews, I opened the page read a couple of words then bolted out of fear. Resistance is not futile. I WILL be strong.
It is good to hear that a non-fan also loved the film. Hopefully this will lead to a lack a studio interference and us getting the film that Joss wants to give us (even if he is being made to wait oh so very long)
There is no real statements about specific plot points, but they do talk a bit about certain parts of the plot (the ending and opening), character avtions and other things some people would find relatively spoilerish.

Basicly it wouldn't spoil the entire plot, but you would know more than I would consider spoiler-free.
Thanks for the heads up rabid, I think I'll stay away incase reading little tidbits forces open the floodgates (I used to be a spoilerwhore back in the days of s4 of Buffy, but managed to ween myself off during s5 and haven't cracked since)
Paul_Rocks - weaning off spoilers is a great way of putting it - it was like I was addicted to spoilers and like any addiction it is hard to stop.

I can see staying spoiler-free is going to be difficult. And now with the release date pushed back to September, the odds seem against us but I'm gonna try my best.
Wow lots of posts already. Since I am not a word GENIUS like Joss...I will steal one of his to give my opinion and all I can say is SHINEY!!!!

and for anyone interested JOSS was there.......I was asked to stay for the extra panel of discussion, and when I turned to leave I looked up at the tipy-top of the theater and who was standing up there the man himself, JOSS!! That made my night even better. So my sister and I walked out and she had a ciggy, and who came out.........JOSS........so I got a chance to tell him I loved the movie.......and he thank me, but I told him NO THANK YOU!!! I did not sleep last night, and now I have 8 1/2 hours of work in front of me...........but do I care about being sleepy..........NOT SO MUCH!!!
Gosh, sounds as though we're going to have to have a Whedonesque former-spoiler-addicts support group! Oh, the withdrawal pains!
Thanks for posting the reports (and without spoilers). Now I know what they mean by being in agony and ecstasy at the same time.

Reading, I am overcome by one of the seven deadly sins (guess which one). Damm Einstein, time is not relative. 9 months are forever and ever.
Wow, Silly met Joss! Squee! And reading that, I just had my own "I-met-Joss" fantasy. WonderCon, here I come, if I have to kill everyone in the world to do it! Except, not so much with the killing.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2004-12-15 18:47 ]
I'm terrified of being spoiled (though it looks like folks are being very, very good. Thanks guys!) so I just skimmed through this thread--plus, I have a major stats final tomorrow night and reading all seventy-seven posts would seriously melt my brain.

I'm very glad to read that there seems to be such a positive response. I'm just curious if someone would be kind enough to tell me if there were any negative reactions and if so, were they from Whedon fans or people not already familiar? I don't need specifics, I'm just dying to know and I won't have a chance to read thoroughly until tomorrow night.
Middle-aged woman learns a new word today. Is it true that in space, no one can hear you squee?

Hurry, September!!! And thank (insert diety/ies) of your choice) for WhedonESQUE!! You all rock!
Oooooh, this is so exciting. At the moment I am finding it easy to resist reading spoilers for Serenity as I haven't even seen Firefly yet. (We bought our first DVD player last week and we're now waiting for BtVS S1-5 and 7 to arrive.) Now I think I'm going to try and delay watching Firefly until the summer. I have real reason to fear that after I see Firefly, I will be incapable of resisting the urge to read spoilers for Serenity.
Folks who've attended the screening, I have a question.

The thing I hated about the X-Files movies is that it felt like one big TV episode.

To me, a movie needs to be bigger on every level, specifically more needs to be at stake and we need to see new elements that weren't present on the show.

So the question is, does Serenity succeed in this?
I meant deity ( the Virgo in me is deeply ashamed )... but can't edit for some reason.
SillyD - could you tell us what was said at the panel of discussion you went to? Were there any non-"Firefly" fans at the discussion? What was their take?

[ edited by obsessed on 2004-12-15 20:44 ]
The movie is definitely bigger. More outdoor sets and very elaborate ones at that. The ship didn't seem too much bigger, though. I thought it might since everyone kept talking about how much bigger they made it for the movie. Didn't seem much more spacious to me. But that does not mean it's not impressive. The whole thing felt real. Like that is how life in space would really be in 500 years. Not the squeaky clean Star Trek version we know. Also, many of the effects were unfinished or simply not there. There would be a card that said "VFX: Serenity flies into the atmosphere" or whatever. Kinda funny. And no...that is not a spoiler.

Obsessed.....SillyD is offline now, but she's a good friend of mine so I'll tell you what she wrote in the other thread. There were approx 26 people in the panel, she figured that 20 of them were Firefly fans. Also she said she couldn't really talk about what was in the panel. The commnents made are spoilers in the extreme. Sorry!

[ edited by kdavid323 on 2004-12-15 20:54 ]

[ edited by kdavid323 on 2004-12-15 20:54 ]
That's okay, kdavid323 - and thanks very much for letting me know.

[ edited by obsessed on 2004-12-15 21:06 ]

[ edited by obsessed on 2004-12-15 21:07 ]
Somehow I was able to get to sleep last night, but I think I started dreaming of Firefly as soon as I hit the pillow. Yet more questions for anyone who went (answer vaguely, please -- 'yes' or 'no' will do just fine, unless you can carefully elaborate):
  • Have the costumes been altered much because of the larger budget? (I'm wondering especially about Inara, since she was the most elaborately dressed and coiffed person on board.)
  • About what percentage of the movie is in space versus on some planet or other off-ship locale, approximately? Fifty-fifty, or are we getting more of one than the other?
  • Is everyone written the same as they were in the series, or are certain things exaggerated? Or downplayed?
  • Is there more cussin'? And more importantly...
  • Are there subtitles for the Chinese cussin'? Or do you think there will be when the film finishes post-production?
  • Is there one moment that makes you really proud to be a Whedonist, where you say to yourself "Damn, *this* is going to show everyone we're not crazy for loving this guy's stuff so much". Or is that a silly question?

Thanks kdavid, that's encouraging!
Wiseblood...some answers....

Have the costumes been altered much because of the larger budget? (I'm wondering especially about Inara, since she was the most elaborately dressed and coiffed person on board.)
-NO

About what percentage of the movie is in space versus on some planet or other off-ship locale, approximately? Fifty-fifty, or are we getting more of one than the other?
-Hard to say...there is a lot of outdoor activity

Is everyone written the same as they were in the series, or are certain things exaggerated? Or downplayed?
-Everyone seems pretty much the same (in a good way!)

Is there more cussin'? And more importantly...
-Not much cussin' except in Chinese.

Are there subtitles for the Chinese cussin'? Or do you think there will be when the film finishes post-production?
-No subtitles this time but there could be. It was not discussed at all.

Is there one moment that makes you really proud to be a Whedonist, where you say to yourself "Damn, *this* is going to show everyone we're not crazy for loving this guy's stuff so much". Or is that a silly question?
-Yes...when the title "Serenity" came up....*big sigh*...
Wiseblood- Morena Baccarin has commented about her character's wardrobe in a video interview that can be found here:
http://www.iesb.net/movies2/movie120704.php

and the Whedonesque link for it is here:
http://whedonesque.com/?comments=5533
Immortal: "To me, a movie needs to be bigger on every level, specifically more needs to be at stake and we need to see new elements that weren't present on the show. So the question is, does Serenity succeed in this?" Absolutely. The Serenity set in particular looked the same as it was on television (but then again it's been a few months since I've seen them, so the nitpickers may have spotted things that a more casual fan like myself missed), but Wash's toys were at his console, and someone noted that the central dining hall area looked different.

Wiseblood:

"Have the costumes been altered much because of the larger budget? (I'm wondering especially about Inara, since she was the most elaborately dressed and coiffed person on board.)" Again, maybe one of the nitpickers who were there last night can chime in, but the costumes seemed to be of the same type that they were on television.

"About what percentage of the movie is in space versus on some planet or other off-ship locale, approximately? Fifty-fifty, or are we getting more of one than the other?" Wow, great question. I'd say 50-50? I wish I could better answer that!

"Is everyone written the same as they were in the series, or are certain things exaggerated? Or downplayed?" Pretty much the same, but certain characters didn't get a chance to shine as much as others, who were more the focus within the film.

"Is there more cussin'? And more importantly..." I'd say about the same amount of cussin', but not so much of the English kind than of the Chinese kind.

"Are there subtitles for the Chinese cussin'? Or do you think there will be when the film finishes post-production?" There were no subtitles, and that's another question. I'd guess here and say no, although maybe Universal would like to throw in subtitles? That's just guessing though.

"Is there one moment that makes you really proud to be a Whedonist, where you say to yourself 'Damn, *this* is going to show everyone we're not crazy for loving this guy's stuff so much'. Or is that a silly question?" It is not a silly question. I have several friends, who also work in the entertainment biz, and they've goofed on my fanboy love of Joss Whedon. And they always point to his screenplay for Alien Resurrection as the kind of "dreck" he produces. But yes, there were certain moments in Serenity, and not just one, that made me proud to be a fan. Hell, the entire film was made me proud to be a Joss fan! I have a feeling that I will be vindicated next September.
Sweet. It's really good hearing that Serenity was met with such a glowing appraisal :)

To a degree, I view test-screenings as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they generate spoilers at a very early date, and raise the spectre of studio-requested film alterations. And dependent on your perspective, those can be bad things. But on the other hand, test-screenings can be a good way to generate positive buzz for a worthwhile movie.

And from the sound of it, this early screening of Serenity has already left a really positive impression. Hopefully that momentum continues to build, allowing the film to steamroll into theatres in September 2005.

Thanks for the detailed reports from those attended :)
Thank you Oddjob, kdavid323, and SillyD for your wonderful and, most important, discreet replies to everyone's questions. At the moment I actually feel a perfectly harmonious balance of knowing that the film will be good and right in the key ways and yet not knowing any spoilers at all. We'll see if this can be sustained for 9 months . . .

Thanks once again.
Thank you SoddingNancyTribe...it's hard to strike the right balance. I can't wait until September when I can dish the details with all of you!
Thank you, kdavid323 and Oddjob! I feel so informed, in an unspoiled kinda way. Ideal!

But yes, there were certain moments in Serenity, and not just one, that made me proud to be a fan. Hell, the entire film was made me proud to be a Joss fan!

Yay!

[tangent] You know, despite my best intentions towards maintaining my purity, I'm thinking FF fan fic is going to become increasingly useful for occupying my mind during the next 9 months when it invariably starts wandering/wondering toward thoughts of Serenity spoilers. Anyone out there got suggestions for where the best stories live? I'm thinking more the plotful, action/adventure variety, not so much with the slash (though I reckon some is okay if there's a good story around it). [/tangent]
Sorry I didn't make it clear last night, but I've never seen "Firefly." I own it and plan to watch it as soon as possible, but I watched "Serenity" only having seen the first ten minutes or so of the first episode. I wasn't entirely in the dark, but enough so that I could watch the film with no precursors.

And I was blown away. I'm more familiar with Buffy and Angel, so I know the Joss way, and everything we love about his work is all on display in Serenity.

Man I'm so upset I didn't stay to catch the man himself. I'd like to hear more about the focus group afterwards, if anyone's interested.
Ah, very interesting and gratifying to hear that you loved Serenity despite never seeing Firefly. I love hearing that.
If anyone's interested, I wrote a little about Serenity in my journal. I only included minor spoilers, such as a description of the opening.

The marketing group did not seem to intentionally recruit fans for the screening, but the flyers clearly stated Serenity, Joss Whedon's new movie! I don't know if they realized how devoted the fans are. We drove up from San Diego, and there was a rumor that someone flew out from Dallas just for the screening.

If they really want to keep the audience from being clogged with fans, they can keep the name of the movie and other details secret when recruiting an audience.

I hope Joss, at least, enjoyed having such a receptive audience for the first public screening. :)
This is far from the last screening they'll have. We all know how fan-oriented Joss is, and he most likely had the intention of packing the theatre full of fans. I'm sure they'll have screenings where they don't advertise his name as prominently, and get a more uninformed, average audience.

But then again, who knows? Maybe Joss won't use these test screenings to chop his movie up into audience-pleasing fluff. He has to know how good it is.

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