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February 24 2008

Faces of Serenity - a new Browncoat campaign. It's another fan effort to convince Universal to greenlight a sequel to Serenity.

It's a nice idea but I have a feeling Universal know rightly how much the fans are spending on merchandise.

So how can we convince Universal that the theaters will be packed on opening weekend?
Well I'm always up for trying anything to help get us a Big Damn Sequel so count me in!
"So how can we convince Universal that the theaters will be packed on opening weekend?"

Wait until one of the cast becomes a big enough box office name...or Joss does?
I think the best option at this point is to have a bunch of Browncoats slowly infiltrate the Universal corporate structure, then when they're in charge, greenlight a sequel. Slow but effective.
Hmm.

Well, IDK.

I mean...I've got the soundtrack, the movie, the series. And...that's it. No action figures, nothing fancy as far as DVDs. So...not much help there, I'm afraid.

And the other merch I have - T-shirt, keychain, postcards, poster & info flyer - were given to me by a friend as gifts, and he obtained them through his job, so...

The guy does like his cats, though.
Hypnosis ?

Good idea. Maybe whatever force out there keeps hypnotizing people into go-nowhere campaigns can give us a rate quote. ;)
Well I hope the Browncoats stay hopeful and excited and the "go-nowhere campaigns" never stop.
Well, Universal isn't such a pointed star to start with. Now that I think of it, non of the others.
And the other merch I have - T-shirt, keychain, postcards, poster & info flyer - were given to me by a friend as gifts, and he obtained them through his job, so...

And there'd be nothing to prevent you from lying as part of this campaign and claiming you purchased these items.
Simon wrote

It's a nice idea but I have a feeling Universal know rightly how much the fans are spending on merchandise.


I think Universal and 20th Century Fox Production Company have their own little computer buckets that are adding everything up.

As Joss said in Joss Whedon interview at Comic Con 2007
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!


I really like the idea of pics of people and the stuff they have bought because somebody might see something they don't have and go get it. Which adds to the buckets.

Saje, we don't use
Hypnosis
, we use subliminal.

Did everybody pre-order their Serenity: Better Days comics? Cause I'm thinking they did not print enough. Wait that wasn't very subliminal.

And Joss and Nathan and Summer and everybody are building their fanbases all the time. Which leads people back to Firefly/Serenity.

And I'm still buying lottery tickets.
Simon, that was my first thought. Universal knows to the penny how much fans have spent on Serenity and Fox knows to the penny how much they have spent on Firefly. It is obviously not enough. I wonder if it would even be enough combined.
Hey, it can't hurt, so count me in. I got some loot I could pose with :)

And my son can name all the cast members, and he's only three. I highly doubt Universal would be impressed by that (that of course makes them no money), but I brag about it all the time.
It's another fan effort to convince Universal to greenlight a sequel to Serenity.


Ah, it must be Tuesday.
Love bix. One of these days, we have coffee together.
Z, the cape....
it can't hurt

I guess, in the end, this is where I get stuck, and why I get cranky.

If we pre-suppose that Universal pays attention to such things (I think that's a rather dubious pre-supposition, but let's take it as a given for the sake of argument), as the pile of poorly-thought-out (see the above about being able to lie about what one purchased) campaigns increases in size, it just makes the fanbase less and less credible to the studio.

That, I guess I believe, can in fact hurt.
It can't hurt. It's a website with photos of fans and their swag, asking for a sequel. It can't hurt.
I get that you believe that. I just wish that certain parties would debate the relative merits rather than just, apparently, blindly following any campaign that comes along.

I'm open to pushback, but it would be nice if it were pushback that actually engaged the questions I and others raise. To my mind, there's two possibilities: One, the studio pays attention but sees poorly-conceived fan campaigns as irrelevant (if not, perhaps, an outright liability should they ever actually decide to make another one); or two, the studio doesn't pay attention anyway and all of these campaigns are just fans pleasuring themselves.

I'm sure there are reasoned arguments to make against these two viewpoints, but I don't consider blind faith to be a reasoned argument.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-02-24 21:29 ]
Here's the skimmy:

Universal, like any company, has a finance department. Their job is to track all sales with official stuff that Universal puts out, along with factoring in licensing merch and all that jazz.

Any big media company like Universal has meetings where they look over their existing property, and decide if they should do anything with it. This is why they (Universal Home Entertainment) are churning out American Pie direct to DVD sequels (they have another one due out shortly, American Pie 5) -- that franchise is clearly making money for them.
Anyone remember Serenity Day? Oh, the domain's lapsed. Yeah, that went well.
What gossi said and what b1x said. I think campaigns like this do way more harm than good. Fans look crazy, lose all credibility and continue to deserve no respect.
Fandom can't be run like a business, it's just no fun that way. Any fan website that tries to act like that, with strict rules - er wait, nevermind.

But seriously: When you kill the fun, you kill the spirit. I don't think it's very nice or helpful to ridicule Browncoats who are having fun expressing their love for Joss TV.
Can't they have a shindig and raise some money for charity? That's a whole lot of fun and doesn't make them look crazy.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2008-02-24 22:24 ]
There's a difference between (say) idealism and blind faith. I think you'd be hard pressed to argue that (for example) either gossi or TamaraC or I have somehow not had fun or not exhibited spirit in this fandom. We just tend to have a slightly wider, less "in the moment" view of things.
I don't know, it's the whole creative vs business brain argument to some extent. Joss clearly sits on the creative side of the fence, and in terms of business I suspect understands about as much as how company financing works as, say, me. (I have very little understanding of it). But he goes out and creates anyway, despite the fact he knows his stuff is probably going to get mistreated and/or cancelled. Because that's what he does. And it also pays his bills. And his agent would kick his ass otherwise.

Serenity Day originated from Fireflyfans.net, if anybody remembers it. I went on Fireflyfans.net the other day, and they're looking at bringing Serenity Day back again this year - except they don't even seem to remember the idea ran from that very website. Because the people who ran it moved on.

Firefly, for me, has reached a sad stage. I handed over both serenitymovie.org and cantstopthesignal to other people recently (they're not my sites any more). I spoke to Kiba and she just let Firefly-Suppport.com expire, which was the original Save Firefly campaign spurned by Kiba and Kai, Joss' wife (I also suspect she's a person and not just his wife). Serenity is not something I'll never get over, but it's something I'm letting go of. Because I have to. It's something which is, uhm, out of gas.

I don't think it's anybodies place to poop over the hopes and dreams of others - hell, Joss didn't even get involved in the shitfest that was FireflySeason2.com (anybody remember that?) for I suspect that very reason. I think part of the joy of being a part of a community is optimism - 2005 was the year of Firefly, for me.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-02-24 23:03 ]
Personally I think the idea is cute. Looking at it rationally I don't think it'll work but it's heads and shoulders above the usual "plz sign my petion to brng back Firefly lol ponies omg!". And more than likely it will foster some form of camaraderie amongst new fans which is always a good thing.

As for the faith vs reason arguments. Hello fandom here. Fan dom. Fan(atic). Dom( quixote -yes I know that's wrong - bite me) . Pure common sense doesn't come into it when we're about. We're crazy, we're passionate, we're slightly irrational and the vast majority of us live for the moment. And some of us are really hot but that's another thing entirely.

If people want to support Faces of Serenity that's fine by me. If they don't good for them. But I really don't want to see people here tearing each other apart over it.
I haven't given up on the possibility that one day, there will be a sequel. But I've gotten pretty Zen about it - I don't hang any particular emotion on hoping it will happen or being afraid that it won't. As far as the fan campaigns go - I find myself unmotivated to join some of them (did send wavecards to Uni, though!) because of a been there, done that feeling. Universal knows we want a sequel. They know merchandise sells, and heck, I keep buying it! But they also know their own numbers. This is in the hands of people - people who work for Universal, people with their own duties and interests and agendas.

I have hopes and dreams, and I will not stop being a very loyal fan to this series. But again - if a sequel happens, it happens. The fans have been widely credited for getting Serenity made. True? I don't know. But I don't think we will be the driving force behind any eventual sequel. I think the cast will, or Joss, or Tim. I think something has to change in the business dynamics.
The fans have been widely credited for getting Serenity made. True? I don't know.

No. This mythology is part of the problem, in the end. Newer converts feel they missed out on being mighty, and want their turn.

Pure common sense doesn't come into it when we're about. We're crazy, we're passionate, we're slightly irrational and the vast majority of us live for the moment.

And perhaps this accounts for my slow but steady withdrawal from fandom. The real world has enough of this, and I guess I don't feel the need to subject myself to more of it by choice. And I suppose that leads to my being judgmental about irrationality.

But, in the end, perhaps the point is that it's not my place to point out when things don't make a lick of sense, if the majority of a group simply wants to pursue senselessness.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-02-24 23:27 ]
Yep, you don't need to follow the stampeding herd but it usually makes sense not to stand in front of it either ;).

If people want to do stuff like this that's up to them but I do wonder if all it does is gradually reduce the signal/noise ratio where fan campaigns are concerned. Still, it's not like it's aggressive or disrespectful so I don't see it doing too much harm, seen miles crazier fan stuff.
I think the very theme of Firefly inspires a lot of fans' hope. Some fans identify with the lost-cause aspect of being a Browncoat. Plus, against all odds, we actually got the first movie.

I find things like this misguided, but harmless. I don't think these campaigns actually make Universal's radar, so I don't see the harm. But I also don't really see the gain.

I'm also one of the fans who is ready to move on. In the years I've called myself a Browncoat, I've watched the fandom surge in numbers when Serenity was released, and now I'm watching the fandom shrink. I'll never give up hope there might be a sequel one day, but I'm realistic enough to know there aren't enough fans right now to make it happen, no matter how passionate those fans are.
Senseless, perhaps, in its stated goal (believing that the effort will engender a sequel), and in believing that new information is being provided, I agree. But not at all senseless in other respects. Wanting to connect with others and express one's fandom is not irrational. And the gain may just be in the doing, for those who take pleasure in submitting their merch, who experience fanunity, and who find like-minded spirits. I see nothing objectionable - or senseless - in that.
I think that, initially, Universal overestimated the number and influence of our Fandom. Now the pendulum has swung the other way.

The Fandom may appear smaller and less active online, but in truth there are more Fans of Serenity and Firefly than ever before. I believe this because, let's face it, more people have seen and enjoyed both the Series and the Film in the past two years. If anything, Universal is probably Underestimating the size of Serenity's Fandom, because they have no way of gauging how many have seen it on Cinemax and HBO. Sales of the DVD have been great, causing the release of the CE. If Universal knew the total numbers, things might be different.
I've watched the fandom surge in numbers when Serenity was released, and now I'm watching the fandom shrink.

Actually, the fandom is increasing exponentially in size all the time. I myself was an accidental Firefly convert just this past summer, and since then I have converted eight more persons to Firefly/Serenity, and a number of them have gone on to convert more fans - and so on and so forth. Firefly is one of those things that was so poorly advertised that no-one really knew about it when it happened, but later via word of mouth and the internet, becomes notoriously popular.
I don't know... I wouldn't call people who've seen and enjoyed Firefly and Serenity "fans" or part of the fandom. Many are, but just enjoying something does not make one a fan. I think of a fan as someone who goes a bit beyond just enjoying something. Visit any Serenity website or board, and the difference between the activity from two years ago and today is pretty vast. From what I can see the fandom is shrinking.
I can provide stats - it's halving in activity year on year.

Universal obviously tracked all that stuff when the movie was in production, but now? Not at all.
To me, fandom is about connecting with other people. And while I don't generally get involved in campaigns like this one, I support their effort (well, as long as folks don't go too overboard, which doesn't seem to be the case here). I'm sorry that some people feel the need to distance themselves from the fandom now, but I would hope that it has more to do with growing out of the society rather than blaming fan campaigns, or associated activities. Because even if a movie or series isn't magically greenlit through some organized effort, people have made a connection with like-minded others. Which, I'm sorry, I can't really see as a bad thing.

[ edited by deepgirl187 on 2008-02-25 01:17 ]
My city still has shindigs every month and in Jan, we had over 40 people. Some of them new. They bring the same excitement to the 'verse that we had 3-4 years ago. I'm pleased that we can offer them a venue where they can discuss their passion.
That is how I see campaigns like this. If Universal isn't paying any attention, then no harm. If they are, they see new fans who want a sequel.
So Nathan posts a pic of Serenity Better Day comic #1 art on his (42971 friends) myspace and some people think it is fan art. Grrrh! Arrgh! Maybe some fans will post pictures of themselves at http://facesofserenity.com/ with the comics and other fans will realize there are Serenity comics.
I don't know... I wouldn't call people who've seen and enjoyed Firefly and Serenity "fans" or part of the fandom. Many are, but just enjoying something does not make one a fan. I think of a fan as someone who goes a bit beyond just enjoying something. Visit any Serenity website or board, and the difference between the activity from two years ago and today is pretty vast. From what I can see the fandom is shrinking.

Okay, well by your definition of a fan, a definition involving extensive squeeing and discussion of said fandom via the internet, than three out of the eight people I converted did indeed became hardcore fans. :) And the majority of the Firefly-related communities I belong to are crazy active, but then again, I mostly only belong to LiveJournal-based things and then when it comes to the FF/S fandom two other non-LJ message boards, so we may not be in the same places.
ShadowQuest said:
And the other merch I have - T-shirt, keychain, postcards, poster & info flyer - were given to me by a friend as gifts, and he obtained them through his job, so...


and theonetruebix answered:
And there'd be nothing to prevent you from lying as part of this campaign and claiming you purchased these items.


I don't see it as a lie, exactly. Somebody bought those gifts, didn't they? Therefore someone spent money on them on your behalf, and money spent is still money, and it all adds up... if it does qualify as a lie, it's the tiniest of white ones. Our fandom = money for Universal, one way or another, if only they're smart enough to see it.

Is this campaign worth it? I don't know. We all know our chances for another movie are slim at best. Studios want big guaranteed hits from big guaranteed names, and while so many of our BDAs (Big Damn Actors/Actresses) have gone on to success, none of them are big enough YET to generate dollar signs in producers' eyes (no matter how much I may believe otherwise, don't get me wrong here.)

IMHO, this on its own isn't likely to win our BDS. But... it's fun, and easy, and inexpensive, and if people want to try, why not? If I can remember where I put all my books and DVD copies and comics --even the gifts-- I'll get my fella to snap a pic and put it up myself. (Though I think I'll leave out my Blue Sun Shirt tees, since their lack-of-license might annoy Universal a mite.)

Is campaigning and/or fandom worth it? That's up to the individual. Eventually every campaign, every fandom... just runs "out of gas", so to speak. The numbers decline to small core communities scattered here and there, and while it can still be fun, it doesn't achieve much. I've experienced it with the Angel campaign, and the Lone Gunmen... hell, my local Star Trek club, which used to be very active in charity work, has seen membership dwindle to the lowest levels I've ever seen. Fundraisers are incredibly difficult now, and it's gorram discouraging.

Is Firefly/Serenity beyond hope? As much as I hate to admit it, probably... at least on video. I think our best hope is on the printed page, maybe in novels or comics like Buffy and Angel. But then, lots of people didn't think there'd be a BDM at all... so who knows?

Then again... I'm probably not the one to ask. These days I tend to be a lurker when I do get a chance to visit my fandom sites. I just don't have the time, or frankly the inclination, to participate the way I used to back in the X-Files/Lone Gunmen days. I just don't feel I've got much to bring to the table right now, not when there are so many others with better gifts of wordishness and talkitude than I'll ever own. But I'm not telling other people not to participate, either. If people enjoy it, more power to them. And heaven knows, there are so many people with amazing talents among our Browncoats... it does me good to see their efforts. It keeps the show alive in my heart. And I appreciate it--in fact, I'd like to say thank you to everyone out there keeping the flame burning.

Huh. So many words for such simple sentiments. :blushes: Sorry about that. Next time I'll try to avoid Posting-While-Insomniac.



[ edited by Darkest Wicca on 2008-02-25 07:02 ]
I will be upfront about this and say I am not a fan of ‘Serenity’. As such, my opinion might not be of interest, or maybe I can view the situation from a slightly different angle – I don’t know.

Away from online sites like this one – in fact, only this one, by and large – I personally do not know anyone who is a fan of either ‘Firefly’ or ‘Serenity’. Sticking with the film, and talking from my own perspective living in London, I don’t think the relatively low box office return was caused by bad marketing or a general lack of awareness of the film. There were plenty of positive reviews in various media. There were posters, etc, all over the place. I saw television adverts and cinema trailers.

I will say that had it not been a Joss Whedon film I would not have gone to see it at the cinema, based on these ads and trailers. I’ve always thought the film found its audience, but it just wasn’t as big as had been hoped for. One person shouting very loud and long online might make more of an instant impact than ten people saying nothing – but it’s those ten people who make the difference in the end.

The efforts of the fandom at the time were very enthusiastic – perhaps a little too much on occasions. I wasn’t exactly overjoyed to be heckled by a group of other viewers in the cinema for not laughing at the right bits, or to be told online that I didn’t “get it”. That probably has dampened my interest in the film somewhat. I don’t know if the fanbase now is bigger, smaller, or whatever, but if I had to guess, I would say it isn’t getting appreciably bigger.

I know this comparison isn’t entirely appropriate, but ‘Doctor Who’ has always retained a small but very vocal and committed hard-line fanbase, which is not slow in coming forward with praise – or to voice criticism of what it perceives to be the myriad of faults present in the revived show. However, although this fanbase is important and has a role to play, it is a very small percentage of the audience now watching the show. Where ‘Serenity’ fell down, I think, is that it did not attract this all-important additional “silent” audience.

As to the various campaigns to encourage a sequel, I must admit my first instinct is to cringe. However, it is not any of my business. Good luck to them. I don’t think these campaigns are going to result in a sequel. I doubt there ever will be a sequel, to be honest – although, if it does happen, great. Perhaps the problem is that to get a lot of fans involved in the campaigns it is necessary to almost cram them down people’s throats. This can perhaps become a little tiring for those who are still dedicated fans but have taken a step back, so to speak.

I am no expert, but I doubt Universal are paying much attention and I am sure they think the fandom is “crazy”. I suspect that doesn’t bother them one way or the other. They probably just think there aren’t enough crazy fans out there to make the sequel worth their while.

Changing the subject, I’ll take this opportunity to add my voice to those praising ‘Juno’, although I don’t think it bears any marked resemblance to the Joss style.

I don't know... I wouldn't call people who've seen and enjoyed Firefly and Serenity "fans" or part of the fandom. Many are, but just enjoying something does not make one a fan. I think of a fan as someone who goes a bit beyond just enjoying something. Visit any Serenity website or board, and the difference between the activity from two years ago and today is pretty vast. From what I can see the fandom is shrinking.

Dizzy | February 25, 01:08 CET


I think I'm going to disagree that making distinctions about the "intensity" of one's fan interest is important in this case. Even those who've only seen and enjoyed Firefly and Serenity but are not otherwise involved in the fandom will still most likely get themselves to a theater when the sequel comes out.

As to whether this particular campaign has any chance of making that happen any sooner, I am doubtful. Eternally hopeful, but doubtful. I don't see any harm in it, and some people will have fun with it. The newer fans who haven't had the opportunity to be part of a group 'Verse lovefest should have their chance.
... who've only seen and enjoyed Firefly and Serenity but are not otherwise involved in the fandom will still most likely get themselves to a theater when the sequel comes out.

I think that's probably true in as much as any potential sequel would be on their radar but unlike most of the people on here, it's not going to be their automatic first choice, it's just going to be a choice so it'd depend on the particular weekend 'Serenity 2: Small but Surprisingly Badass Ninja Girl Go Fight. Again !" opened. In that sense the fannish intensity matters for box-office but not for the longer tailed DVDs I reckon.

Actually, the fandom is increasing exponentially in size all the time.

Cool, so by some point in the future everyone on Earth will be a Serenifly fan.

(actually, anecdotal evidence aside, we don't know that ;)
Fan(atic). Dom( quixote -yes I know that's wrong - bite me) .


Awesomeness, thy name is Simon.
I think it didn't make enough money for them, so they shelved it and they probably haven't even thought about it since. They realized it wasn't as profitable as a whole bunch of other possible ventures and they've since moved far on.

I don't really see the harm in these petitions and all, but like a few people have expressed, I'm now at a comfortable stage where a sequel-less future doesn't get my knickers in any sort of a twist. Be cool if we did indeed get anything new from Joss, but there's a new baby on the horizen that IS getting made, so I'm content with that for now :-D
Were a sequel greenlit, I doubt Joss would have time for it, what with the comics and Dollhouse coming up. I'll always have a hope in my heart we'll get another movie someday, but if that does happen, I doubt it will be the result of one of these campaigns. More Joss and the crew becoming better known to the general public and their ability to draw a crowd increases.
If any sort of sequel gets made, I imagine at this point that it would be Direct to DVD. One of the problems seems to be how slowly the Sereniverse makes a profit. Universal and most other Film Producers seem to be all about the fast profit, and the track record of Firefly and Serenity is that they build their fandoms slowly, and therefore make lots of Money... but slowly.

This is one reason why I've felt SereniFly is best suited to Television. The stories and back-stories take time to develope, because of their complexities and the number of Characters involved. So the best mediums are actually Novels, Comics, Mini-Series and Series Television. Joss has said he wants to continue the Story with the Actors. I for one wish he would explore other venues than Feature Films. He might find TPTB more attentive if he did. JMHO.
Actually, the fandom is increasing exponentially in size all the time.

This kind of thing follows a disease model, actually. That's why it's called viral marketing. Think of fan enthusiasm as literally infectious. So no, numbers wouldn't be exponentially increasing at this point since it would follow more of a logistic (S-shaped) curve, and Serenity's not exactly new on the scene. Growth looks exponential at first, but then it slows down because you run out of susceptible people who haven't been exposed. Things seem to be in a slow-down now by all accounts, but the important thing to keep in mind is that as long as the content is available for new people to see it, the tail is an asymptote-- slow growth, but never ending.

Stats nerds who know some fandom numbers could maybe use a basic SIR model and plug in some numbers to get an estimate of the Serenifly pattern. I'm not sure how R would work though. You'd probably need something a little different, on second thought. SIR is the basic model-- others build on it.

/ statsnerdity

I won't be photographing myself. Partially because I'd be shocked if Universal even noticed, but also because I'm not fond of the idea of demonstrating to a corporation what a devout consumer I am. Or am not, I guess-- I think I have 3 products total. But that's me. Have fun, people who are into this. I think the methods have some issues, such as b!X mentioned, but if you're in it to connect with people and have fun, that shouldn't stop you.
I don’t think the relatively low box office return was caused by bad marketing or a general lack of awareness of the film.



...

I will say that had it not been a Joss Whedon film I would not have gone to see it at the cinema, based on these ads and trailers.

That's arguably failed marketing, right there and then. Your average really, really, really bloody awful video game movie tends to open to bigger numbers than Serenity got, which means that people got bought in via the advertisements. Then they found out it was rubbish. Then it dropped off the radar almost immediately, because it was dire.

I'm not saying, by the way, the UIP people (goodbye, UIP! *sobs*) were to blame. They didn't make the trailers or the artwork. I personally saw first hand what they did publicity wise in the UK, and they really did a bang up job with what they had.

And speaking of which, I don't think this ever got published for various reasons, but UIP's publicity manager wrote this in 2005 to you guys:


On behalf of Joss, Nathan, Summer and oh yes Universal Pictures and UIP UK, I'd like to say a resounding thank you to the Browncoats who came and showed their support at our Leicester Square premiere on Wednesday.

It was a truly memorable event, made all the more special by the bodies standing six deep in places (you gotta love those Jayne hats) who turned out in force to give our heroes the welcome they deserved.

Having attended many events during my time in the film industry, I can honestly say with hand on heart that this was one of the most amazing, best behaved and frankly best looking crowds we've had in a long, long time. I know some of you were camping out to secure your barrier places very early in the day, and this did not go unnoticed (Westminster Council security have you all on CCTV!)

And now the long-awaited and eagerly -anticipated UK opening day for SERENITY has arrived.

Have we done enough to spread the signal? I'd like to think so, with major breaks this week in a number of high-profile newspapers and on TV: GMTV, MTV and Film 2005 - how much do we LOVE Jonathan Ross! The reviews are outstanding, as they should be. And with truly inspired stunts from the Browncoats - like the young lady who plastered her car in mini-posters and drove around Gatwick airport over an entire weekend - marvellous stuff.

It's been an absolute pleasure to deal with many of you on a personal level and to get your views and feedback on how to effectively market what is and will always be YOUR film. I can promise we have listened and hopefully we have done you all proud along the way. Special thanks have to go to webmaster extraordinaire Kevin Beaumont, for services above and beyond (and possibly below) the call of duty. The man deserves a medal or a toffee crisp (personal joke alert. Kev and I have exchanged many an email on the merits of comfort food over the last few months).

I am feeling rather emotional today at the potential lack of regular contact from my Browncoat friends, so please, please, please feel free to stay in touch. After all, we may need each other for the sequels!

With love, gratitude and wishing you all lots of bright shiny things in the future.

Debbie Turner
Publicity Manager

UIP UK

That's arguably failed marketing, right there and then.


In my case, I don't think so. The various advertising materials suggested to me a particular type of film and when I watched it I got exactly what I was expecting. I am not saying it is not a good film - it just wasn't to my taste.

The reason I went to see it was because it was the work of Joss Whedon and, to a lesser extent, because so many people had said it was a great film. Had it been the work of someone else I probably would have passed it by.
It made me laugh how much the Sweeney Todd trailers hid it was a musical, actually. Maybe they should have cut out the space ship in the Serenity trailers?
I have to say all this talk of Serenity makes me want to watch the movie again.
It made me laugh how much the Sweeney Todd trailers hid it was a musical, actually.

Advertising really did make me go see that one - the trailers were purely epic. The actual film, not so much. I knew it was a musical - I'd never seen it and didn't know the intricacies of the plot, however. Had the advertisements indicated it was a musical in which people were slaughtered with corny gore effects to be made in pies, I wouldn't have gone.

Serenity did indeed need better advertising. I never, ever saw any ad for it and I was the theatre-going type who enjoys science fiction. I would have gone to see it if I had seen an ad, but alas, I did not. I suppose it all worked out for the best since I discovered the whole kit and kabootle later on, and I'm glad I got to see the series first that way, but still... it would've added to the box office numbers. I wonder how many other people didn't see it just because they had no idea it existed.
Although I remain hopeful that we will see some sort of live-action continuation of the Fireflyverse in the future, I just don't think it will be the same characters we already know and love.

Joss is already a respected writer and director, but the problem is that doesn't matter if it isn't reflected in profit margins. I'd imagine Serenity has probably made a profit by now, but generally if the first film in a possible franchise doesn't perform amazingly then the outlook for a sequel is not good. I think it has been a slow burning success, not the kind of surprise blockbuster that would ensure a sequel is made. I can understand why a studio might prefer to take on something completely new, or cheap to make, and hope for a better success than with a sequel to a film that was a sequel to a TV show, and with a concept that they found hard to attract a big audience with.

I think even in those terms if they did want to do something with the Fireflyverse then they'd rather start a new story than hope new viewers will be smart enough to follow it. Apart from that, the chances of all of the remaining castmembers being able to do it at the same time will only decrease as time passes.

I'd love to see Firefly again, but part of my has started to realise that if it were going to happen, it probably would have happened by now. As much as I will miss the 'verse and all of its potential, I'd rather than Joss and the cast went on to new projects and kept working rather than desperately trying in vain to get a sequel off the ground.
That's arguably failed marketing, right there and then. Your average really, really, really bloody awful video game movie tends to open to bigger numbers than Serenity got, which means that people got bought in via the advertisements.

Or that those films had better name recognition going in which isn't a reflection on the advertising of either Serenity or the various video game movies. Having an identifiable brand will always help you get a movie noticed which is one of the many reasons franchises are so beloved of Hollywood. Personally I saw lots of advertising for "Serenity" and because I hadn't really cared for "Firefly" I wasn't particularly interested. As it happens a year or so later I did see "Serenity" on DVD and didn't regret my decision not to bother with it earlier.
I don't remember how I ended up watching the Serenity trailer online, but I know I had no clue what it was. All I remember seeing was 1) "from the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer" 2) girl hiding on the ceiling (on the ceiling) and 3) girl also kicking serious ass. I also picked up that it was in space, and supposedly very exciting, but all trailers tell you it'll be exciting.

I forget how much of this I've posted before. So I went to see the movie, and I brought two friends who were even more clueless but who were game for anything I was that enthused about. We walked out of the theatre unsure of it and discussed our confusion. We liked the dinosaurs, and the music, and the lived-in-ness of the ship (I was very fond of that table and the slight clutter), and the funny pilot who died in the end. But the rest of the time the lurch between drama and serious and funny and sad made us all feel out of step with what was going on.

I love that movie now, but now I know the backstory.
We were lucky we got Serenity.

As much as we all love Joss and the cast the truth is none of them are big blockbuster stars. And that's what gets you a sequel. Not a handful (and I really do believe at this point its a handful, relatively speaking) of fans who just want it really badly.
Heh, love the post about the "disease of fandom", nice one Sunfire ;). I'm not sure that the growth in fans is never-ending though because acquiring new fans isn't the same as growth in fan numbers (just ask Laurel and Hardy ;).

Maybe "Recovery" comes about when fans become so disillusioned that they renounce their fandom (people did this after Tara died for instance and i'm sure at least some must've done it after Wash) ? The enduring memory of the pain experienced is a sort of antibody of the mind ;).

Must admit I was also slightly taken in by the 'Sweeney Todd' trailer (figured it was a musical but not that it was quite as much of one). I didn't hate it but if I don't see it again I won't feel the loss (we don't know Benjamin or his family well enough to feel Sweeney's tragedy so I didn't feel much sympathy for him and most of the songs fell a bit flat for me, I sort of expected the lyrics to be wittier).
I don't think there's any harm done to a possible sequel by any fan efforts, however, I also think that any efforts wouldn't convince Universal Execs to greenlight anything either. It's all about the money, from what I can see.

I'm a fan of Joss's work more than a fan of Serenity/Firefly, but I'd support him if he wanted to push this forward. However, I honestly don't think Joss is wanting to go down the Serenity sequel route. I think he exhausted himself to get to the original movie, and given the results, whilst he has stories to tell, he's not up for another one.

A friend of mine, totally unexpectedly, bumped into Joss in London whilst he was still writing the Wonder Woman script and mentioned her Browncoatness, I think his response was along the lines of "I've put that to bed".

Disapointing for major Browncoaters, but if there's no creative push from Joss's side then there's little for an Executive of Universal to play with. Okay, he's writing the comics, but they are not a continuation.

I will always be a fan of Serenity - if Universal get to a point where they contact Joss again, then I'd be out there again brining my friends with me. But, I don't think that there's anything we can do to influence this, other than keep buying the DVDs.
I don't think it's Joss's potential interest that is holding it back, bubblecat. He always says something to the effect that if Universal calls he'll say yes. The studio is pretty likely to think a Blu-ray special edition of Serenity is worthwhile. I doubt that there is anything short of some kind of significant beyond-Serenity event that would make them really look at a sequel, however. The significant event would be something like new management that had different ideas about direct-to-video material, or that Blu-ray disc selling incredibly well, like an order of magnitude better than the previous Serenity discs have sold. On Amazon anyway, Serenity has never had the kind of legs the Firefly DVDs have.

And the way I look at Serenity now after a few years have passed is like a really great tribute to Firefly, a super-classy homage. But not really a continuation. If I was granted one entertainment wish I would re-activate Firefly with all the original writers and story editors and Greg Edmonson and Lisa Lassek et al as well as Joss and Tim and the BDHs. Using magic I guess I could get a three season guarantee, too...

As fun as another movie would be I would much rather have the series back. And I wonder if Serenity didn't actually make the return of the series even less likely, with the deal between Fox and Universal. I read a couple of times that Universal promised not to make a TV series for six years. If that's true we might be a year or two away from that expiring, but I don't think there's much impetus for anything 'Versal from Universal at this point.

The Faces of Serenity campaign is cute, and I've bought a fair amount of Serenity stuff. But it does seem like a lot of work to merely remind Universal that there is a dedicated cadre of people that would buy Serenity lamp fuses or Serenity tissue folders if someone made them. (I would go for the lamp fuses, but the tissue holders are a bit much.)
RBB,

Serenity tissue holders! I'd buy that.

Serenity lamp fuses? Lamps have fuses?

Anybody that needs to be assured that Joss and the actors would jump at doing a Serenity sequel, all they have to do is listen to the Serenity Collector's Edition cast commentary. And don't worry about them working out a time to do it all together. If Speilburg/Lucas/Ford can work things out to do IJ4, anybody can work out a shedule to make a movie.

As FollowMal says, we hold 'til Mal gets back.
If someone Joss-ian was to send out a message saying "I have a script, I have the peeps, let's rally the troops!" I would absolutely be there with bells on.
But calling out for a new 'resurrection' fan campaign without any word from above, knowing Joss has other confirmed projects to continue on with, seems a little bit "Hi! Behold my dead horse and my whip!"
It seems that some people's passion for this scarily veers into Steven King plot line territory. (And DO NOT tie Joss up and torture him to bring Wash back and claim it was my idea!)
I get it, I really do. You loved Firefly and Serenity. Me too. But the sad thing is, not everyone in this world is as smart as us. They'd rather watch the next Rocky-Rambo-Die Hard fest that they can instantly forget, than see engaging characters, smart plots and witty dialog.
Their loss. Our incredible gain.
Loved 'Rocky Balboa' and am seeing 'John Rambo' this week. What, I can't have layers ? ;)

([film] Rambo's pretty 1D but Rocky is practically the definition of engaging IMO. It's a mistake to allow the cartoonish 3rd and 4th films - and just plain shite 5th one - to overshadow the multi-Oscar winning drama 'Rocky' I reckon missb. People, in their millions, haven't instantly forgotten Rocky for over 30 years, let's hope the 'Firefly' characters fare so well)
Saje
NOOOOOOOOOOOO- don't fall into the evil clutches of the cult of Rambo!
I do concede I may have been tough on 'Rocky', but I'm a girly girl and I don't like to see men beating each other up. (Unless it's over me, of course.)

Still, this is coming from someone who went to see both 'Gigli' AND 'Glitter' at the movies, so what the heck do I know?! :-)
'Gigli' and 'Glitter' ? I guess some things you have to find out the hard way ;-).

Thing is, Stallone seems like a pretty smart guy and I still wonder if he isn't actually saying something with the apparent ultra ultra violence of 'John Rambo'. Like when your Dad catches you smoking as a kid and then makes you sit and smoke until you're green around the gills. Maybe he's trying to give us so much violence we're sickened by it ? Or at least ask ourselves why we're not ?

Course, i'll probably watch it and find out it's a flag-waving, conservative rah-rah fest ;).

(similar to 'Rocky' though, 'First Blood' - and especially the book - actually has something worthwhile going on allegorically. It's only from 'Rambo' on that it becomes cartoonish and a celebration of violence)
What, I can't have layers ? ;)

I think Rambo is anti-layer by definition.
That's true, he knows 17 different ways to kill a layer with his bare hands.
I didn't take the time to read all of the posts but for studios today to greenklight a project, they have to believe it will make money - and quickly. They're all about the first weekend box office take. Unfortunately, that's how it is. No number of fan campaigns is going to change that mentality.

If a sequel or a new series were to be made, to give it a chance, it would need to be aired on a network other than the major four/five. (not that I really consider the CW or FOX to be major networks . . . )

Showtime, HBO, Sci-Fi. Those networks don't need HUGE ratings like the major networks to keep their programming on the air. Firefly DID have a LARGE following when it first aired. Plenty large enough to have lasted on sci-fi or showtime. But because it aired on a major network, the studio needed more than what it got.

Those other three networks have tentpole shows (as an example; sci fi brought their new shows in and around Stargate) and air new ones around those in hopes of pulling in the audience.

It could work with a Firefly/Serenity series.

But someone in the position to make those waves would need to make that pitch. And, no doubt, there are legal issues that must be dealt with as well.

The more time that goes by, the less likely there will be more FILMED Firefly/Serenity. If the studio can make money by keeping the verse alive in print, that's what they'll do. It costs them less.

Wow, that was far longer than I intended it to be!
Why participate in this campaign when you could be spending that time playing Kingdom of Loathing or Urban Dead instead? I mean, working, we should all be working, very hard... and stuff.
I'm working. Then I'm walking to the comic store for Runaways #29. A photo of me and Whedon comics would be more crowded than a Firefly merch photo, now that I think about it.
I think it's possible there will be a sequel of some sort -- especially if Summer, Nathan's and Joss's career continue on their present trajectory, though I don't think it'll be fan campaigns that make the difference. Of course, it's also possible that there won't be and there's inertia to be considered.

I would be afraid to say either "yes" or "no," ultimately I think it's entirely unpredictable because it comes down to some bright/foolhardy suit having a "Yes We Can" moment with it, or some other imponderable. It's true that studios are incredibly rapacious these days and have no patience, but we have a world of media that is changing daily.

I tell you this much, if I ran HBO, Showtime, or perhaps some lesser known premium cable channel and I really wanted to attract new customers, I'd be looking at the numbers for some kind of new mini-series. And I were I Sci-Fi and woundering what I'd do after BSG ends, I'd be thinking about it, even if I wasn't a fan....I think.

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