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January 20 2008

Operation Full Burn - a Browncoat fan campaign. Another fan effort to get Universal interested in a Serenity sequel.

Hmmm. not sure how well this will work, seeing as you simply sign up to the universal boards, not a firefly specific board, and i doubt they'll be checking to see how many different people have posted there. but yay for showing the BDS on the HD channel, even if i dont get it here. although maybe one of our HD channels will pick it up AFTER i get my new digitial set top box. Serenity si one of the 10 Blu Ray disks on offer for hire out our local dvd store, so maybe there's a chance?
Well according to this post at

The Admin there reports weekly to some Universal VP's and he brings our Browncoat desires and stories directly to those folks during his planning meetings with them.

This is the main reason I'm so very adamant about Browncoats joining the site, posting, and such. The folks there can actually SEE us and have been responsive, on a smaller scale, to what we want. It is my notion that they will respond on a LARGER scale if there are more users there. As of 5 mins or so ago there are ONLY 1,736 registered users on the Universal boards and of those 1,736 users approx 1,500 are Browncoats (I'm user #176 and have been keeping count sorta from there). that's not enough for the Universal folks to say... "You know the fan base for this show/movie is big enough that I think it warrants us to invest in a sequel."

I mean let's be honest the chances of getting a Serenity sequel are very slim indeed if not non existent. But the fans feel like that they have to do something.
Universal used to own their own Serenity Movie website, in control of the movie division directly, with 70,000 members - but they ditched it 'cause they didn't want to pay for it (put bluntly). The staff at UniversalHD (formerly BravoHD) report in to NBC Universal Cable, who are owned by NBC Universal, who own Universal - so effectively it's the same reporting path to the people who ditched it in 2005.
I really doubt they'll be responsive to requests that actually cost them money and have the risk of losing millions of dollars attached to them BUT, as I say on the forum itself, it can't hurt either and doesn't take long.

What the hell, you've gotta be in it to win it, right ?
The basic idea is, we need to be in a central location where Uni can say, "Hey, look at that huge Fan Base. They're attached to one of our Movie Properties, and the Fan Base keeps growing. Hmmm...".

If you're gonna be in a central location, what better place than right under their noses? :)
It's not a bad argument but I seem to remember the same argument being used for the Official Serenity Movie site back in the day.
I honestly believe that it's different this time around, Simon. UniHD has gone to the time and expense of converting Firefly to HD and improving the sound. They have featured Firefly as a Series Twice already, and are now going for a Third go-around. When you look at the Activity on the UniHD Boards, over 80% of the Activity is on Our Board. UniHD has noticed this, and the Admin is working with the Fans to find ways to improve the Board and attract even More Fans.

A lot of Mutual Support going on, if you ask me. :)
Simon - I think you're wrong, I think chances of another movie are closer than they've ever been before - and I know that people at Universal ARE "talking" about their options - that doesn't mean it's going to happen, but the fact that they're even talking about it? ... that's worth hoping for!! And no, I'm not referring to Alan Tudyk's comments - but another source entirely (someone in the industry I spoke to personally). Now really is the time to pull out all the stops and show Universal our collective support - prove we are and will continue to spend money on licenced products - and show them our numbers... the time for thinking it'll never happen is over...
I'll never give up hope!
I'll never give up hope!

Well said, Succatash!
someone in the industry

Just "someone in the industry", or someone in an actual within-Universal position to know first-hand what they're talking about?
In the interests of balance, i've decided to always give up hope.

Balance is important cos I wouldn't want the cosmos to tear itself apart or anything - that, in the immortal words of The Tick, is where I keep my stuff.
Nice to know that you're not unbalanced, Saje.
-Not totally, anyway! ;)
Or i've learned to pass at least ;-).
Simon...thanks for taking the time to post this info. OK folks I'm looking for some clarity on many things and I'm thinking this would be a likely place to get some. I'm somewhat new to the Whedon 'Verse and although I was aware of who Joss was a long time ago I didn't become a fan, now a hardcore Browncoat, till seeing the creative brilliance that is Serenity on the big screen. I also wasn't aware of Firefly till after Serenity. With that said I'd like to pose several questions, with a bit of speculation on my part after, to those folks here that in point of fact are far more "in the know" than I.

As far as Universal having reasons to making a sequel, mini- series or new show on Uni-HD I ask this...

-What compelled them to take the initial 40 mil risk with Serenity in the first place? Has the fan base grown smaller? Whats with all the new licensed products? Are we just getting soaked for cashy money? Would we not buy/watch anything new from the 'Verse? (I'm asking these in an attempt to make a base for my crazy thoughts.)

Some things Joss said, as recently as Aug. 07', in this interview fuel my continued support...
It's a success to the studio or else we wouldn't be doing a special edition DVD. They actually admitted as much on paper, which you know studios are loathe to do, and that was actually from the theatrical. Theatrical was a disappointment, as everyone knows, but it did go into the black. Then the DVD came and they took me aside and said "We can't keep these things on the shelf.

And this...
Well it's probably not being discussed in boardrooms right now, but the fact of the matter is if it makes enough money sooner or later they say "hey, this is money!" Also there are paradigms that are much cheaper, it doesn't have to be enormous. But on the other hand I'm happy to say all of my actors are working very hard. It's not the same situation where we all threw in for pennies because we had to finish telling that story. Now that situation might be harder to bring about.

Looks like positive cash flow to me. Sure..."Now that situation might be harder to bring about", but I think it could be done.

-As far as Uni-HD is concerned why would they pay, again if I'm not mistaken, to air a Fox Film Corp show? To waste money? To gain nothing?

Are they are weighing their options. We Browncoats currently dominate the Uni-HD forum. They didn't have to put Firefly on their 08' schedule...but they did. I also like the fact that they are going to air all the episodes in the correct order in a weekly format, and wouldn't it just be shiny if the played Serenity right after Objects in Space.

As far as how and where you spend your time pushing for more of the 'Verse I'd have to say's better to regret something you did than something you didn't do! Uni-HD seems to paying attention. Really just wanting to know if this has any real weight or significance

[ edited by Philo on 2008-01-20 21:59 ]

[ edited by Philo on 2008-01-20 22:00 ]

[ edited by Philo on 2008-01-20 23:34 ]

[ edited by Philo on 2008-01-22 05:44 ]
Of course, such a call as this also just happens to get more eyeballs looking at the advertisements on the Uni-HD forums. ;)
Is this the official quarterly "the 'verse will come back if we all just want it enough" thread? Can I stop dreading it now and have another 3 months of quiet acceptance and contemplation?
Sorry, but I just don't understand the attitude of "give up" or "here we go again" - sure, there have been campaigns before - but that's good thing, and the point is, we're BUILDING on those past campaigns - previous campaigns haven't been a waste, they're all contributing to any future decisions that are made - quit with the negative crap and lets just work together - or aren't people fans anymore? don't people want this anymore? We are NOT beating a dead horse - this one is definately alive and kicking and we'll have it on it's feet in time.....just gotta keep going and don't bloody give up!

[ edited by Beth'll on 2008-01-20 22:33 ]
or aren't people fans anymore?

For the record, it's this kind of divisive remark that only makes me distance myself all the more.
Beth'll, I wasn't speaking for "people". I was speaking for myself. If you have an issue with my unique perspective and point of view then please send me an email to discuss.
Tamara - I've heard others make the same kinds of remarks (in various locations at various times) which is why I made it a general comment - I'm just saying, I don't get it.

Bix - I'm sorry you can't cope with a fan expressing their frustration at others' apathy
It's ok that you don't get it. And it is ok that I think you are tilting at windmills. It is also, not apathy.
Great. Cause fan wankery is exactly what I want to see here while I try and watch Aliens Vs Predator.

If people are going to make scathing comments at each other, they can do it elsewhere.
Hey, we're not apathetic we're ... ah, I can't be bothered.

Is that the first one Simon ? I quite enjoyed it but the second one's not meant to be much cop.
Beth'll, it isn't apathy. It's skepticism that's come from long experience. (Skepticism, I might add, that I and many others have been correct to have in the past, almost without exception.) That skepticism doesn't make someone not a fan -- this isn't about "real fans" and "not real fans" (which is a needlessly unproductive and dismissive way of putting it). It's about two perspectives from two different camps of "real fans". While I haven't contributed much to this fandom in the past year, I'd stack my fan cred up against almost anyone's, so my skepticism can't be used to label me not a real fan, sorry.

But back to the productive matter of trying to amass useful information: I reiterate my question about the nature of the "in the industry" person you referred to earlier. That's too general a description to help us gauge their statement in any useful way.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-01-20 23:03 ]
Is that the first one Simon ?

Yes. I bought it on DVD. More fool me. Now I'm watching in on Channel 4. God knows why. Zero tension in the film. When I think how well Serenity is made and then look at Aliens Vs Predator, I despair of mainstream movie making.
Yeah but what about that bit just then ? Seeing an alien swung about by the tail was worth the ticket price by itself I reckon ;).
Tamara - You can only stop dreading this post if you go sign up at Uni-HD!...said in a sarcastic yet loving way.

So how about it folks...anyone have time to tear into me and my questions above. I'd really like your input.
Bix - you're putting words in my mouth I never said - I didn't accuse any specific person of not being a "real" fan (I didn't use the word "real" at all which I believe makes what I said sound very different) in fact to quote, I said "aren't people fans anymore? don't people want this anymore?" they're questions that I'm asking and looking for answers to - I'm asking if people really HAVE "fallen away" from the fandom and really aren't that interested in more of the 'verse - it's not an accusation, it's a question.

As to my source, I can't discuss details of a private conversation, i'm sure you can appreciate that - all I'm prepared to say is that it was someone in the industry (and not someone working in the mail room) that has direct contact with Universal.
Serenity sequel: no, thank you. Given Joss's strengths in character development and "real" dialog, film is the wrong medium.

Season 2 of Firefly: I'd eBay my gonads.
With that said I'd like to pose several questions, with a bit of speculation on my part after, to those folks here that in point of fact are far more "in the know" than I.

As far as Universal having reasons to making a sequel I ask this...

What compelled them to take the initial 40 mil risk with Serenity in the first place? Has the fan base grown smaller? Whats with all the new licensed products? Are we just getting soaked for cashy money? Would we not buy/watch anything new from the 'Verse? (I'm asking these in an attempt to make a base for my crazy thoughts.)

I'll play.

What compelled them to take the initial 40 mil risk with Serenity in the first place?

Universal wanted to work with Joss. Serenity seemed like a viable franchise. What must be noted is at the time is that the small but growing fanbase still wanted another season of the show. No one was really clamouring for Firefly the Movie (well apart from Joss).

Has the fan base grown smaller?

People move on. People come in. But I see a convergence with the Buffy and Angel fandoms, in that its really the die hards who still post with new fans coming in every so often.

Whats with all the new licensed products?

We're a dedicated hardcore bunch of fans who'll buy anything. As cash cows go we're a given.

Are we just getting soaked for cashy money?

When you look at this official T-Shirt you do wonder how low the Serenity merchanising franchise will go.

Would we not buy/watch anything new from the 'Verse?

Course we would. But would those outside the fandom watch it? There's the question. Conventional fan wisdom thought that the first box office weekend for Serenity would be quite the success. That didn't happen. The public didn't flock to see the movie. That's got to put off movie execs in terms of greenlighting a sequel.
I have a question about the whole watching the show online idea. Isn't that kind of anti- strike? Or will the writerly types get paid for this stuff?
I'm somebody who believes in fact over idea, hence why I don't believe in any form of god, and think when we die, we're gone. Because there's nothing to prove otherwise, and anybody who believes otherwise is just going on blind faith in the unknown.

I have no problem with blind faith in god(s) and Serenifly. To me, it doesn't work, however. FOX abandoned Firefly because it lost them a load of money shortly after launch. Who's fault that was, of course, is questionable. Universal abandoned Serenity and it's fandom (literally abandoned, handing it to me) as it failed to make them a load of money. Who's fault that was, of course, is questionable.

I wouldn't say that makes me any less of a fan. I've been here from the beginning and I'll probably still be lurking when everybody else has buggered off. I'll be old and cynical as ever. It's a show ultimately about a man who looses his faith in seeing what he sees as right and just being taken away from him anyway, and... you know... It's kinda ironic now, don't ya think?

I don't feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for Joss and friends over it still. I really, truly do. I had a feeling the show would have been about Mal fixing himself, which is a story we never really saw, and I think we all need to see it. Serenity provided some of that, the jigsaw of healing, but it was so quick fire due to the nature of motion pictures that it couldn't patch up Mal, it couldn't patch up me and I'm sure as it hell it didn't patch up Joss.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-01-21 00:17 ]
theonetrueb!x said: "Of course, such a call as this also just happens to get more eyeballs looking at the advertisements on the Uni-HD forums. ;)"

Beth'll, We know each other well enough for you to know that I would sell my firstborn child for a new Serenity flick. (OK, maybe not sell, but I would loan him out for an afternoon while I skipped out to the theater.) But I've got to say that I think b!x's theory is more what's driving this campaign by Uni. The only thing they really gain from bringing Serenifly fans onto a message board controlled by them is that they get the ad revenues. The number of registered users on the other main Serenifly boards is publicly available. And if they want some place to chat with fans about film ideas, all they have to do is register on one of those other boards and say "Hi, I'm Dave from Universal and I want to find out what fans would want to see in a new film."

I want to see a new film as much as the next fan, but I resent feeling like I'm getting wanked.
I am somewhat new to this forum, though having run conventions and, as a profession, run large entertainment festivals, am not a stranger to fandom or even the lifestyle. That being said, I have always heard that the Serenity film came into being, at least in part because of the efforts of a dedicated group of fans called "Browncoats". Is this just a myth or did it prove that sometimes these campaigns and petitions and fan4writers etc do work.
Double post... Sorry!!!

[ edited by azhippieinoz on 2008-01-21 01:38 ]
azhippieinoz, that story is about 95% myth and marketing spin with about 5% fact.
Good to know. Thanks.
Ain't nothin' gonna happen a-tall 'till the writers get their due.

While I appreciate the enthusiasm and most dearly want that result, maybe energies are better expended elsewhere, right now. Like in support of the WGA - vocally, keyboardly, and cashily?
re: universal just wanting to raise revenue - this campaign wasn't initiated by them so that's not the motivation - and I dont' think anyone's saying we should visit there every day, just sign up & say g'day
Willowy - I showed my support at the ME strke day - and it only takes five minutes to support this new campaign, it needn't take any time away from your other support efforts :)
This definitely is worth a shot, along with buying plenty of copies of Serenity CE and that Wave Card campaign. I'll keep on hopin'!
Is this just a myth or did it prove that sometimes these campaigns and petitions and fan4writers etc do work.

AFAIK, Mary Parent at Universal was interested in a script from Joss anyway and formally announced they'd be making 'Serenity' just 3 months after the DVD set came out i.e. before people realised how long its tail would be.

I doubt the loyal fans or DVD sales hurt in any way but they also didn't particularly help, that's a fandom myth that sprung up at least partly because of comments made by Joss his own self (e.g. in his 'Introduction to Serenity' which was played before the advanced screenings and is now on the DVD). We are still mighty though ;).
Also cause it played well with the press. Universal spun them a nice PR tale to make it look like the fans did the impossible.
Yep, everyone likes a tale of the plucky underdogs beating the odds, maybe especially the plucky underdogs themselves. It gave the marketing a nice narrative shape.
Simon Thanks for your time and patience. You shed some much needed light on things. Take Care

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