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May 17 2006

'Not Fade Away' - the latest fan campaign for the Spike DVD movie. If you're interested in showing support to get a Buffyverse straight-to-DVD movie released, well there's details at Support Spike.com.

IF A FAT LADY IS TRYING TO SING. WE POSTCARD

I would suggest that even those less interested in a Spike movie (but otherwise Buffyversely-inclined) postcard Fox anyway about June 20th (so that postcards arrive June 23rd) in support of other further stories (Buffy Animated, Faith, Ripper..). I know Amy Acker's comments seem like a huge blow to the chances of any further stories but I don't think we should give up just yet, last we heard from Whedon, he had pitched the Spike movie Fox were yet to get back to him.

The postcard campaign whilst unlikely to rock the world surely cannot damage the chances of further Buffyverse endeavors. If successful it will at least remind Fox that there is a large fanbase of loyal followers who are willing to spend hard-earned cash on this franchise, and maybe just maybe might create a spark of interest amongst those suit-types over whether the movie would be profitable (which I really think it would).

Some people seem to have long-accepted that the on-screen Buffyverse has ended. I love the Angel finale, "Not Fade Awaay", and appreciate the thematic cliffhanger ending, but I think the Buffyverse deserves some closure. If Whedon thinks that there are stories that ought yet to be told, I say we trust him, and support him by taking the tiny effort of buying/printing a postcard and sending it to the address on the website around Whedon's birthday.

This campaign is only going to be effective if the majority of people who care and who have heard the campaign actually do send their postcard, so I would encourage everyone at Whedonesque to tell Fox:

*That we appreciate them for producing Buffy/Angel
*But really want too see more from it, and are willing to spend money to do so.

STUFF FOR KEENIES TO DO

For any who want to do more than send their postcard:

*Spread the word about the campaign in the weeks leading up to June 20th. Let every Buffyverse fan you come across know about the campaign. Bring it up in forums, other places on the net. The more postcards that arrive with Fox, the more Fox will understand what they are throwing away if they decide not to go ahead with any further Buffyverse plans. The vast majority of people who would spend money on a Spike movie do not check Whedonesque regularly.

*Send emails to media people such as:

Ask Ausiello, Ask Matt, Ask Kristin

[ edited by Dalton on 2006-05-17 13:02 ]
Btw there are currently discussions going on at Supportspike.com about not targetting Dana Walden (of Fox television), but instead targetting Mike Dunn. This is an extract from recent discussions. So the address to send postcards to could well change.

Mike Dunn is the president and Peter Staddon is the vice president and the senior vice president of marketing of the Home Entertainment department. Both would seem like better targets and would understand and have the finances to support a direct to DVD movie. They have already done this for Family Guy and are about to do this for Futurama. They are the ones that are the Powers that Be and they are the most likely to here our plea for a Spike to DVD movie. They are also the ones in charge of the online download content on the web and the itunes purchases. I would say focusing on them would be the better alternative to Dana Walden.


Does anyone know how we could obtain accurate addresses for Mike Dunn?? He seems like a better target than Dana Walden.
WTH, I have little hope, but I can spend two bucks on postcards.
I am ready, willing and able to do my part too. I do agree that the head of the DVD division is a better target though, or perhaps even if we send some to Dana as well...it couldn't hurt.

Still to make the most effect I think we ALL need to come together for this. If we can get them to consider the first movie for Spike/Illyria...and it does well...they may be more than willing to continue on with others.

As long as there is half a chance I am willing to take it...
Nothing ventured....nothing gained........
It may be the last cast of the die by the fandom, but at least we can hold our heads up high and say we tried. I am utterly convinced that that a series of Buffyverse DVDs is financially viable and that an investment in them would be recouped with interest and then some.

And besides, "I want to see how it ends".
Also, international fans should post before June 20th, for obvious reasons.
I've pretty much given up on the speculation of the television movies of our beloved Buffyverse characters. Time and tide. However, never any harm to tug on a studio's ear with an interest in a particular artist writer. I say flood their mailroom with requests.
They should also consider that these movies would probably also draw new or renewed interest into the Buffyverse as whole, thereby increasing the sales of their other products as well...
How can we obtain these addresses for the DVD division?
I think the person who suggested this has a valid point. That division or head of it may at least become a very important player in this whole deal...although it would still be up to FOX studios to make the film...right??


[ edited by kathylovesspike on 2006-05-17 14:11 ]

[ edited by kathylovesspike on 2006-05-17 14:12 ]
Perhaps an address might be on a web site for one of the 'Save Family Guy', and/or 'Save Futurama' sites. We could ask one of the media peeps (e.g. Ask Ausiello, Ask Matt, Ask Kristin). They might be able to obtain such information.
Just heard from Theresa Fortier at Support Spike...she verified that Dana Walden IS the correct contact!!!!

Just wanted to pass that along.
I agree that even if nothing comes of this effort in terms of a DVD movie, the people in charge need to know how we feel about the artists involved in this project.
Well if your contacting Dana Walden then why not Gary Newman - they are both presidents of FOX Television Division, equal preseidents. The key word is TELEVISION - they produce the tv shows that FOX sells to the networks to put on the air.

If you want a direct to DVD movie, why would you talk to the Television division instead of the Home Entertainment Division. FOXHE is seeing the greatest profits from the verse related shows right now. Mike Dunn and Peter Staddon both understand the whole need to frachise they were the ones that put up the money for the straight to DVD of Family Guy and Futurama, because they saw the demand and the potential for profit from the venture.

Dana and Gary are involved in keeping the current series FOX has on the networks up and running and then cutting the deals with the different divisions after a show is a viable prospect. They do not resurect series unless someone else has already determined the potential. Family Guy was orignally slated for the straight to DVD market until the FOX Network realized that there was a demand then it went back into production as a series but with a DVD movie release as well.

I just don't want to focus are efforts on what is the middle man and forget to remind the group with the money that we have money to spend.

Mike Dunn has in the past mentioned Buffy (2003 - THR Roundtable) so he is aware of the shows potential profitablity, Peter Staddon is the senior vp of marketing to me that means he would understand the meaning behind the postcards better than anyone else and the potential for a DVD franchise that could lead to long term profits.

Also rescently with the decline of Motion Picture-to-DVD sales and the slowing but still increasing TV-to-DVD sales, in light of the fact that the studios catalog of shows is starting to dwindle of viable product to put out on DVD. A more cost effective solution would be straight to DVD releases of a popular frachise that would appeal to their bottom line. In the end that is what it comes down to, whoever has the most to gain will be the ones who would be the ones who would listen to the demand and answer it.

Ok maybe that was a bit more than the 2 cents I started to offer.

ETA : Got confused it's Gary Newman and Dana Walden not Peter Cherrin he is the FOX Studios President. For more info on the FOX TV presidents read this article at CNN.

Also wish to add that Mike Dunn, as of April 2005, was promoted to Woldwide President of FOXHE. So this puts him in the unquie posistion of being able to see the sales from the overseas markets of DVD's as well. Which I think would increase his particular metrics as a potential target of a postcard campaign on a worldwide level instead of just a domestic one.

Dunn, currently domestic president, becomes president, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Worldwide. Keith Feldman, EVP of international sales and marketing, will report directly to Dunn, as will all operations of the international home entertainment division, its Los Angeles-based team and its offices in 14 territories around the globe.

For more on Dunn's promotion read this article from Hive4Media. Perhaps for the international side of the postcard bombardment plan Keith Feldman would be a person to target as the domestic side focuses on Peter Staddon.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-05-17 16:36 ]
Excellent point, RavenU. Think we may need to rethink this process in the current view.
Can you take that to Support Spike RavenU? We all need to be on the same page when we do this thing. I intend to remind people before the date and I need all correct addresses to focus on.
Perhaps it would be worthwhile to target both Dana/Gary as well as Mike then.
Maybe the thing we need to find out is who Joss actually approached, although that may be difficult to do, but Theresa did indicate that FOX Studios are the prime target.
I did spikeylover - I'm the one that posted what paxomen quoted above from the yahoo group.

Anyone who has been around here knows I have been pushing the straight to DVD market before Angel was axed. FOX TV productions may make the movie but since they will not see the greater profit from doing it they will not be as likely to put the money up to foot the cost of a production. However, FOXHE will see the greater profit from a direct to DVD release. SO it only makes logical sences to go where the money is going to have the greatest impact if you want it to get done.
RavenU...I see your point, and I am willing to send some cards off to whoever...but I think the original plan was to drop as many cards on Dana as possible...and that said...if she gets a whole boatload of cards perhaps she will promptly send them over to Mike's desk anyway.

If the production of anything from the verse has to go through FOX studios first, then I would think that was where Joss went...right?

It's hard to say...but whatever everyone wants to do is fine with me...I can address cards to anyone and everyone who might give a damn.....
Okay, not the best news to return to Whedonesque for. I've been a little busy for online activities in recent weeks but I was sort of hoping that there would be a little good news regarding the Spike project. Guess not.

I have to agree with Simon. It would seem to me that the Buffyverse has a great deal of potential for making a profit, especially with new direct to DVD tales from some of the favourites. Spike, Willow and Faith movies would be eaten up by the fanbase. I've got reason to buy at least three copies of each one myself if they ever appear. Why it is that nobody is willing to run with this idea is absolutely beyond me.

So, here we are again, two years after the end of Angel, preparing yet another assault of the written word on the Fox PtB. I'll do my part and send my postcards of course, same as I did to try and save Angel. Let's just hope that this battle isn't just one worth fighting but also one that can be won. I'm hoping that Joss will post something, when he is less busy getting award and stuff, and let us now exactly where things stand and whether any of our efforts are likely to help.

The lengths you need to go to these days just to get a little decent television to watch!
kathylovesspike - the studio system is a very complicated and complex system and just because you talk to one division about something, doesn't mean another division will ever hear about it.

I think it comes down to one question, answer it and I think you will know who the intended targets should be.

Who will profit (financially) the most from a Straight to DVD verse based release?

FOX TV production division or FOX Home Entertainment division.

All I am saying is take a look at the biggest picture availible before focusing in on a detailed presentation. Who would be the most willing party to listen to and take note of the postcards?
RavenU, I've been following this discussion here and at Support Spike - do you have addresses for Mike Dunn and Peter Staddon? How much would it dilute the message if we targeted all four of them, for that June date? I do want to get the most bang for our efforts, this last time.
Mike Dunn
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
2121 Avenue Of The Stars, 25th Flr
Los Angeles California 90067
Alright, so we start sending out postcards and the like right away then?
The idea is that we are trying to maximise the number of postcards arriving on June 23rd. Having said that if people want to write to various bodies like various people at Fox, SciFi, Warner Bros, UPN, HBO.. then write away before the big address (find addresses used in the old supportspike.com campaign here). But keep in mind that we also need to make the big statement that there is a large and loyal market awaiting a new on-screen Buffyverse project by having huge numbers of postcards arriving at the same time preferably to the same address.

The problem with sending to more than one address is that it will dilute the postcard traffic. I'm thinking RavenU is making a convincing argument that it makes more sense that we target Mike Dunn of Fox Home Entertainment rather than Dana Walden of Fox TV production. What are others thinking?

RavenU, where did you find the address, are we sure it is still accurate? If so maybe we should get the address on supportspike.com changed if others agree.
I found it on the TCFHE webpage, under terms of use and it is on the back of most FOX DVD releases.
From SUPPORT SPIKE, and Teep does seem to be in the know about these things..

The reason for Dana is because Fox Studio overall owns the Buffy and Angel franchises and Dana has the ultimate say about what avenues can be used for the future of the franchise. I'm also keeping things as just Dana and not Dana & Gary because I want to keep the focus narrow rather than splitting our cards to two different people.

If people want to send additional cards to the home entertainment division, that's fine but Dana should be the primary contact for this campaign.
Straight from NewsCorp (i.e. the company that owns all of Fox):

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment :
A recognized industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming on VHS and DVD as well as video acquisitions and original productions for the U.S. and Canada. Each year the Company introduces hundreds of new and newly repackaged products, which it services to more than 70,000 retail outlets - from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce - throughout North America. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a Fox Entertainment Group company.


This sounds like marketing, sales and distribution - not production.

Also from NewsCorp:

Fox Filmed Entertainment is primarily engaged in the financing, development, production, distribution and marketing of motion pictures, and television and home entertainment programming throughout the world. In the motion picture arena, FFE is composed of four film divisions: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox Animation Studios. FFE also includes Fox Studios Baja, which was used to film Titanic, Fox Interactive and special effects company VIFX. FFE recently opened Fox Studios Australia.


If you think we should contact someone instead of President of the the television production, then perhaps it makes more sense to contact the head of Fox Filmed Entertainment. The Co-Chairment are James N. Gianopulos and Thomas E. Rothman.
I just read my email: here's the full quote from teep (the supportspike.com webmaster)


The reason for Dana is because Fox Studio overall owns the Buffy and
Angel franchises and Dana has the ultimate say about what avenues can
be used for the future of the franchise. I'm also keeping things as
just Dana and not Dana & Gary because I want to keep the focus narrow
rather than splitting our cards to two different people.

If people want to send additional cards to the home entertainment
division, that's fine but Dana should be the primary contact for this
campaign.

On another topic, as far as media attention, I have contacts at a few
places from previous campaigns and will contact several of them
separately. If anyone else would like to do so, that information is
still available under campaign #8.

The production companies are the middlemen, by hitting the marketing and sales (ie where the money is counted) you make more of an impact, if they have interest in making money on a franchise they have the resources to support the endevor and the backing to put it into production. FOX studio does own the rights, that is not the issue at this point - it's the given - I think they would be more willing to make deals with whoever can bring the bucks to fund it to the table. Right now the best chance in the funding area is in the FHE division. FOX Studios is not going to invest funds into a one or two shot deal on something, since they do not do direct marketing. If they made the movie for DVD they would have to strike a deal with FHE to distribute it and in the end FHE would still have to be involved and would still receive the bulk of the profit as well. I am just suggesting, that why not look at the over all picture to see who profits from this venture the most and I believe that comes down to the people who will get the biggest percentage of the sales. FOX understands money and profit, period, if you want something done you have to appeal to that asspect of it. Ask yourself, what is FOX Studios going to get out of making a verse based film. It's a one time shot for them, compared to all the TV shows they are now producing that have many streams of revenue coming in to cover the cost of those productions. Just step back and look at the big picture, overall, who has the most gain and who has the least. It's all about the business in the end.

If it was my descission I would focus all my energy on getting the attention of Mike Dunn, if you want to pin point a person who can have the biggest say in getting the ball rolling or a dialouge started.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-05-17 19:59 ]
Ok then, send postcards to ALL of them. Heck, maybe we should raise some money and send them all a bouquet of flowers with a note about wanting more of the Buffyverse starting with Spike. The phone numbers are online - someone could call and get the correct delivery address and email that to Teep (or me and I can forward the info to her). That way, we may have a better shot of them getting the message than by just sending postcards. I'll gladly donate a few bucks.
I'll donate too...whatever ....flowers and candy baskets seem to get the attention of a lot of folks....
Hell...this is one last ditch effort...it can't hurt.
Flowers idea sounds like a great idea. Are we thinking paypal here? I'd also gladly donate a few dollars.
Sounds like a great idea. I'm in.
If anybody wants to see the business pespective on DVD sales, take a look at this article, with the title "Spending dips, but future bright". It includes the quote from Mike Dunn - the exec who likely has final(ish) say over the Spike thing - he predicts a “bare knuckle alley brawl on catalog this year.” That imagery amuses me...
"The lengths you need to go to these days just to get a little decent television to watch!" - yep.

Just tell me what to do, and I'm there!
If anyone is interested in sending a postcard and they want to print one up I added a design to the library at flickr. Just doing my part to help the cause and hopefully grab someone's attention.
Yesssssss!!! This is great!

Thanks, paxomen for suggesting we check out the SupportSpike site in the first place a few days ago. And thanks, Simon, for putting this link out there (up here?). We've already gotten some good ideas and information going on here. This site has some highly individual thinkers, yet almost all of them, regardless of what approach they think is best, all agree that we want some more of the 'verse. Preferrably *lots* more.

So. I like everything I've read so far. What we might want to do, just to be sure we get the biggest numbers on the day, is toss this around some more and then come to a consensus as to the PRIME target to receive the postcards on Joss' birthday. Perhaps in the meantime, those who wish to could also just send postcards to some of the other people mentioned here. This might help and I doubt it could hurt. I think all this should be coordinated with the SupportSpike people so we achieve the maximum impact.

Also in the meantime, Simon, is it possible to periodically re-post the SupportSpike site to assure that those who may not have visited The Black in a few days will see it?

Another thought. Postcards are the best idea for mail--but they leave little room to say anything. So I think we should form some idea of what we want to say (or at least have some discussion about it), financial points we want to make, emotional appeals, whatever, then we can each say it in our own words, but all be making some key points to appeal to whatever PTB we send them to. Paxomen, you're in touch with SupportSpike. Am I covering things they've already done? Guess I'd better go check for myself, too.

Okay. Have a been too much of a cheerleader/fangurl here? If so, sorry. Or not, 'cause I really want this to happen. . . .

I also like the idea of flowers, candy, anything and everything that has a chance to get through to whomever makes these decisions. Because I, like Simon and Spike before him, "want to see how it ends."
Uhhh...not to be too stupid...but where is the design that was added to the library? Maybe I am missing it.....
Thanks so much!!!
Caroline or Simon, is there any chance of putting a permanent link to this thread on the front page? It would be best to keep this campaign fresh in the minds of as much of the fanbase as possible, particularly up to June 23rd, and Whedonesque attracts pretty much all of us Whedon fans, sooner or later. Where better than here to promote the cause?
I have one last point to make for my case, for why Mike Dunn should be as an important target of focus as Dawn and Gary. Which may point out why I think it's just as important to focus on potential bank rollers of a project not just the rights holder.

Back in 1996 there was a series called 'The Pretender' it lasted 4 seasons until 2000 on NBC. It was then cancelled but the cable station TNT had picked up the syndication rights to the show and began airing 5 times a week at the 7pm hour and sometimes up to 4 times a day. The Pretender was such a hit (and the fans were asking for more Pretender) that in 2001 TNT was looking to create their own shows and movies. What better than doing a TV movie of it's most popular but cancelled series 'The Pretender', so with funding in hand TNT struct a deal with FOX and got 'The Prender 2001' made, the success of that movie led to another made for TV movie that aired in 2002 'The Pretender: Island of the Haunted' which was pretty much a wrap up of the series.

Why is 'The Pretender' important to this effort cause it shows that when you have the funding to back up what you want, it can get done. Back in 2000, TV shows on DVD was pretty much unheard of so all you had was TV movies. This however shows they have done it once before and if that's the case, I'm sure they would be willing to do it again if some one else, say like FOXHE would pony up some of the money.

FOXHE has the money to invest, they have had the largest growth of any FOX sub in the past 3 years at an avg of 30% each year but they are running out of items in the vast catalouge of FOX that are viable commodities. They are looking for some ways to increase growth and keep the profits in double digits. As I have said before they brought back Family Guy (it was suppose to be be on DVD originally) and they are now in the process of bringing back Futurama (they are commited to 4 straight to DVD movie releases). Do you think it was FOX TV that went to FOX HE and said said, "Hey this is making you money let us do more." No FOX HE went to them and ask for more, with money in hand and deal struct they got made or are getting made.

We have the cart but the issue seems to be, we can't seem to budge it. So maybe it's time to find a horse (Clydesdale), to get the cart moving in the right direction.

So how much effort are we asking for to send 1 more postcard to Mike Dunn. This is esspecially important for the international fans, FOX Production is a dosmestic product, the money they make from international distribution is not as much as they get from domestic products. However, FOXHE will make the most off the end product than the production side will and now with his promotion last year Mike Dunn runs both the domestic and international side of FOXHE, which include DVD as well as internet downloads like iTunes.

If we can get FOXHE to see the profit to be had from this venture not only domestically but internationally we may just have a slight shot of nudging them off the fence and onto our side of the ground.

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