This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Hey, does your face come off? 'Cause, AWESOME!"
11971 members | you are not logged in | 17 January 2021


June 28 2008

Joss posts about Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Find out the release dates for the three part musical and more importantly what you can do to help promote it.

Whoring it even as we speak...
Just Dugg it. Go Digg it yourself and move that sucker up the charts!
As Angel once said, Let's go to work
I don't know whether Joss will read this, but will people who don't live in the US also be able to legally download Dr. Horrible then? These services usually only work for people who live in the US.

Though this is more of a rhetorical question, since I like to have DVDs in my cupboard and will be waiting for the DVD anyway and order it at They will have it at, right? Right?
I don't know whether Joss will read this, but will people who don't live in the US also be able to legally download Dr. Horrible then? These services usually only work for people who live in the US.

The problem is usually the studios (the copyright holders) wanting to control distribution among all their subsidiaries, partners, co-licensees etc. Since the whole point here is that Joss and co own the product themselves I assume they can do whatever they want with it. Unless they have sold the rights to the UK or elsewhere to some Mega Corporation then they won't have any reason to restrict online distribution.
I must admit I'm a bit disappointed here.

Dr. Horrible is going to be online free for five days. It'll catch the attention of the hardcore Whedon/NPH fans, and so odds are it will make money, but that's a seriously short window for it to grow a fan-base of it's own.

This is the internet. The potential audience size is vast. It feels like that potential could end up being wasted here. I guess I was hoping for a more Hulu-like model.
Doesn't Hulu feature shows that have already made money for the studios via other revenue streams ? I suspect that if Dr Horrible were to be available online in perpetuity it might build a fandom but not of people that were desperate to own the DVD (which is the only way it would then be able to make money).

This way there's a 5 day window for the buzz builders and "evangelists" to watch it and start to spread the word and thereafter it'll (presumably) be available for a nominal fee (e.g. $1.99 per segment ?) on iTunes or from similar, chargeable sites. It also makes sense (to me) to try releasing it in a way no-one has before, since part of the point is presumably to find out how to make this t'intarwebs thing work for creators in a profitable fashion.
Whoring it even as we speak...

Good stuff. Maybe we should have a competition for the most original way to promote it.
Hey campers! Already more questions to answer! This is excito!


Sadly, I hate foreigners. And Americans. And animals. And flora, and some fauna. Also the magma that is the very core of this our mother earth. I'm full o' hate!

Nah. We're working on it. Of course we want as many people as humanly possible to download the piece, because that means we make more... art...


Definitely. Hoping to get it out right after th' Big Stream as well.


Hells yeah! Give us a few days. Then give us a few more. But they're comin'!


Dear God, I hope so. I would make my Malcom Reynolds Doll and my Captain Hammer doll kiss -- thus exploding reality! (Oh, like you weren't all thinking the same thing.)


This is too much to even dream of. Dare not to dream it!

(So cool...)

Okay, that ends our Q&A for now. Thanks for stopping by! And remember, you're only as young as the number of years between now and the time you were born. Smooches, -j.
We've been working hard to promote it as much as possible, and will continue. I am so crazy thrilled about this project I can't even express how excited I am.
Evangelists can be annoying enough when they're trying to save your immortal soul. An evangelist who wants me to pay $1.99 isn't really an improvement. Although I guess I would pay $1.99 if it guaranteed he'd go away.

Anyhow, I'm not necessarily convinced that you would end up with more people desperate to own the DVD with this model. If you don't make people to pay for your product, the percentage of your audience that pays for your product will of course be smaller. On the other hand, you could have an exponentially bigger audience, which may make up for it. You kind of have to weigh those two factors against each other.

Perhaps one good example is the "In Rainbows" CD. I downloaded it, and didn't pay for it because I personally hated it, and deleted it after listening to half the tracks. But I wouldn't have listened to it at all if I had had to pay for it, and from what I hear they didn't do that badly.

I understand the thinking behind them proceeding as they have, and I wish them the best of luck. I'm just not sure it was the best way to go.

Edit: Crap, looks like a few people (including Joss) posted before me. I was responding to Saje's post.

[ edited by Dym on 2008-06-28 18:56 ]


Nah. We're working on it. Of course we want as many people as humanly possible to download the piece, because that means we make more... art...

I really hope we foreigners can buy the download... It would be torture to wait for the dvd and then import it.

Thanks for the news Joss!

Woo Hoo! Joss, I'm sure you can count on the Dr. Horrible costumes (now where can I get a lab coat and goggles?). And I hope and pray that the DVDs will be out by the end of November, since I want to buy them as Christmas gifts for everyone I have ever known! Thank you, thank you!
Best of luck with this, Dr Horrible for President.

Dym has a point, the fans will pay for the DVD, action figures and Tee shirts with Joss family pics, the rest of the world slower on the uptake will probably see this through alternative distribution methods, especially us coldhearted vikings.

Q: Advertising, commercials, presented by ..., tried at all or philosophically objectionable ?
Oh, I love Joss.*drool*
I am not excited... I can so wait... I am not checking the calendar every few hours as if it would magically change... and I don’t care that Dr. H will totally steal the spotlight from my cousin on her wedding night (which is five days before said unveiling of bloggy musical).

Two Joss posts in one day?? Be still, mine heart!

And I'm glad that it will be available to y'alls foreigners, especially since I hate being the decadent American filled with guilt because of American ways. I'm not sure that came out right. Well, suffice it to say that I'm glad that all will be able to enjoy said Horrible goodness.

And yay, soundtrack! Once I have it in my clumsy little hands, onto the iPod it will go--to be played in shuffle with the likes of the Clash and Manic Street Preachers. That's some good company. :)

I won't be so much of a Dr. Horrible whore as a companion--I will be choosy as to whom I evangelize. Namely, super cool people with at least $1.99 to spare.
Joss, just in case the word hasn't reached you yet, the California Browncoats are ready and waiting to do whatever is needed to promote Dr. Horrible at Comic-Con. We've already got all the logistics in place for t-shirts, stickers, buttons, promotions, handouts, and on and on.

It's our mission to promote you (or any cast/crew member of Firefly/Serenity) and we like to fulfill our mission. :)
Anyhow, I'm not necessarily convinced that you would end up with more people desperate to own the DVD with this model.

Yeah, that's my point Dym i.e. however you release it, if it's available for free then only full-on fans will pay for the DVD so you need another way to monetise it. If it's available free then as a pay-for-download then casual fans may pay for it off the back of the "evangelising" (the quotes are there for a reason) simply because it's more convenient (and has the whole instant gratification bonus).

And surely the point is partly that it's an experiment which often means not doing it the way others are doing it ? Course, it may crash and burn and then unfortunately the mushrooms won't get to go to the ball and someone, somewhere will be out of pocket (sincerely hope not though).

And remember, you're only as young as the number of years between now and the time you were born.

OK, *checks over shoulder*, that's just downright uncanny. How the hell did Joss know exactly how young I am ?
Dear God, I hope so. I would make my Malcom Reynolds Doll and my Captain Hammer doll kiss -- thus exploding reality! (Oh, like you weren't all thinking the same thing.)

I wasn't but now I sure am!
I agree with many others. While the limited timeframe of availability is a good idea, I think that timeframe should be expanded a bit. One week is not really much time for outsiders to catch on. I'd say expand it to a month, and then you'll give time for word of mouth (the mouths of those that aren't already totally devoted to spreading the words, mouths that will be discovering the joy of Dr. Horrible because they heard about it from other mouths) to spread across the internet. (Wow, that went in a whole weird area there).

Otherwise, it's like a certain tv network that puts something on for a week, then abruptly takes it away. Before the audience discovers it.

I think you'll find more people willing to take the plunge while it's viewable for free, then grow rabid and foaming at the mouth to throw money at you to own this amazing creative product on their very own DVDs.
Oh, gods, there's two threads? And two Joss-Doc-posts?

You're tearing me apart!!!

*goes to lie down.*
Yay more good news and action figures :D
You're tearing me apart!!!

QuoterGal is James Dean?

Dear God, I hope so. I would make my Malcom Reynolds Doll and my Captain Hammer doll kiss -- thus exploding reality! (Oh, like you weren't all thinking the same thing.)

Hee! Joss is a shipper! :D
What about those of us who are not interested in paying for a download because we just want the DVD and are feeling especially poor right now? Are we going to screw up the model? If people don't buy the download, will the DVD not happen? If Simon creates a front page post linking to this latest Joss post, will Joss post on that thread too? Can Simon then make it all go around in a Joss post circle of confusion? ...or would that be zeitgeist's job?
My thoughts on the whole "free" timeframe thing:

a) A show airs on TV usually only once per episode - so not really much different.

b) The teaser (and possibly others) will still be available online after the free airing is over I would assume - and how many of us saw that and just thought, "Wow, I wanna see what that's about!"
I knew it, I knew Quotergal was James Dean!
I can't wait to see this - and to buy the DVD(s) and soundtrack and T-shirts. T-shirts in time for Comic-Con, please! (As if I'm not having enough trouble already trying to decide which of my 14 Whedon-related T-shirts I should bring!!)
I think the point of this period before the release date is for the promotional push to make sure the masses know about and are waiting for the stream on release date. The teaser will have been viewed 100,000 times in 4 days, so the 5 day window isn't too bad. It'd be unfortunate for those who, like someone said in the other thread, go on vacation for a week and miss the whole thing. But that's what downloads/dvds are for. I think if they maybe keep the first part, or even part of the first part, up on the site, people may watch and go "OMG WHERE IS THE REST? HERE TAKE MY MONEY AND GIVE ME THE REST!!!" Guess we'll find out.

Oh, yes...and I want those t-shirts! At comic-con or before would be awesome.
Major props if the paid download is DRM-free, none of this protected windows media rubbish (it won't play on my computer if it is!).
embers, any university/college bookstore should be able to supply you with costumy materials :)
I think the major issue is how awesome legend-wait-for-it-ary would it be to get Neil Patrick Harris to post at Whedonesque. Everything else is really small beans.

Well apart from everybody in Hollywood waiting to see if Joss' model will work. I love this feeling of pioneerism about it. That might not be an actual word but hey anything goes. We're on the brink of something new and as long as there's fan wank I'll be happy.
I was gonna make some some Doctor Horrible 11th Hour/Grateful Dead/guerilla marketing/"I am a fan of a particular mad scientist musical television show and/or movie/webisode. Legal and copyright regulations prevent me from telling you which one(s)"-style cafepress T-shirts and let some Gonersfolks know, but now I don't have to, and frankly I'm relieved. Those complications were going to have complications, and these'll be much better 1) from the original artwork and 2) from the original creators! How rad is that?!!

I'm hoping the download comes in something useful for Mac/iPod users - while avi files look pretty damn good, they are a pain for Le Mac and have to be converted for iPods, and I'd much prefer an M4v or suchlike - but I imagine there'll be some choices... and maybe Joss and Friends have finally perfected the iHole.

And there's a doctorhorrible youtube user which has nervouscircus as their friend, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that's some kind of official-y thingy. There's no videos up yet, so I can't figure out how the hell to subscribe, but you can send a request for friendship and post comments...

(I wish I was James Dean - or rather, I actually don't, 'cause he's dead and he was a guy, and I like being alive and female - but I wouldn't mind being a hot cultural icon with three great movies and a Porsche named "Little Bastard." Um, just not that particular "Little Bastard." )
I will be very disappointed if QuoterGal doesn't show up at Comic Con in a leather jacket with her hair slicked back.
QuoterGal: that's what I was on about with DRM. DRM stops people from freely copying/comverting files so in theory reduces piracy, but in practice just makes it difficult for people who want to watch stuff on their iPod's or whatever. Talking about it is pretty pemature at this stage anyway. I only mention to create awareness, because most people (especially liberal people for some reason) who're aware of it are very much against.

Also, to any Mac users out there not already in the know: if Dr. Horrible does turn out to be released as an unprotected avi or some similar file then you can use the free Perian plug-in for QuickTime, or Flip4Mac plug-in (forget the address...) if it's a windows media file.

[ edited by MattK on 2008-06-28 23:29 ]
Dugg it. Blogged about it. Joined the MySpace page and Twitter. Not sure what to do now... Craig's list it? ;)

For sale: entertainment revolution.
Has anyone thought of adding a paypal link or a google store to the Doctor Horrible site, asking for donations to offset the cost of this production. Before the streaming begins. Just a thought.
I would make my Malcom Reynolds Doll and my Captain Hammer doll kiss -- thus exploding reality! (Oh, like you weren't all thinking the same thing.)

My slashy heart just went pitter-patter. *swoons*
Captain J. Reynolds. Pioneering the interblogitary interweb in his sing-a-long cyber-space ship. Rebelling against the Alliance/Forest Kings who dictate the wheres, when, whys and hows. Get the signal out. Will be here to hold, hold 'til you get back. Stop the pax/creative restrictions, zombifying good folk throughout the land. Let us be called the White lab coats. Ready to board with my strawberry or apple ipod in hand.

[ edited by Jossaholic on 2008-06-29 01:52 ]
What a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday week! (July 13th)

A friend of mine is setting up a pop culture store in the city. I'm so getting him to promote Dr. Horrible.
Definately as a mac user as of this coming monday adding to those voicing concerns over .avi files. Please please let this be as compatable for every one as possible. Or better yet offer a bulk download containing versions that will work fussless with both mac and pc...Doctor Horrible ready to go on as many computers as possible...
I still don't understand the issue Mac people have with .avi files. I have a Mac. I watch .avis all the time. Did I install something at some point to let me do that?

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-06-29 01:19 ]
We're on the brink of something new and as long as there's fan wank I'll be happy.

You can always rely on at least some fans wanking at least some of the time Simon. It's like a rule.

And AVI is basically just an envelope (it stands for Audio Video Interleave and is really only a standard for making video and audio work together good ;) within which can be a multitude of different things. Saying your machine/software/tupperware doesn't play AVIs is a bit like saying your DVD player doesn't play "discs". Lots of things are discs, including frisbees ;).
I still don't understand the issue Mac people have with .avi files. I have a Mac. I watch .avis all the time. Did I install something at some point to let me do that?

Yeah, probably, because by default Macs can't play avi files because they often require compatibility with a proprietary Microsoft-owned format (a windows media codec). It's not a problem anyway, there's plenty of software to install that'll play them, but it is just another hurdle potential viewers have to go through.

When it comes down to it, you can't just can't please everyone. For example, if you want some really shiny DVD-quality video you'll probably want to use H.264/AVC but that'll mean people with older computers won't be able to watch it without stuttering.

Judging from the web-presence of Dr Horrible so far I'm not too worried anyway, it all looks very professionally done, so I imagine they'll just offer up a few different formats and that's that, problem sorted. All speculation at this point of course, it's probably not worth thinking about too much until it's actually time to buy.

ETA: What Saje said, I'll just add that the two most common video codecs avis contain are wmv3 (closed format, bad) or xvid (open format, good). The problem with Macs is that they don't support either by default, which is just silly because it's trivial to get them to work, it's just not something the end-user should have to think about. Anyway, sorry about the technical details, they're just here if anyone's interested..

[ edited by MattK on 2008-06-29 01:41 ]
can't wait!
I want one of those Captain Hammer groupies' shirts!
... it's just not something the end-user should have to think about.

Certainly not on a Mac which is meant to be for the folk that don't want to bother with that stuff. That's good intel on the default formats MattK, i'd no idea what a Mac can and can't play out of the box.

(for Mac users, it's simple but not necessarily easy BTW - if you haven't already then download and install Quicktime then the DivX codec and then go here)
I've had Quicktime, WMP, RealAudioPlayer, and iTunes for forever for playback, Saje - but as far as I could tell - which may not have been been terribly far, granted - I've had to use VLC media player for Mac OS X for any file having .avi as its suffix... and it seemed to be to get pretty glitchy now and then, but that may have been the quality of the files, I, um... may have found. And that didn't appear to help me get the files into something I could watch on the iPod.

So thanks for the links and the recommends - for those of us that know little or nothing about the audio and video files on their computers, knowledgeable help is very welcome.

(Macs were also meant for the folks that do graphics for a living and for the longest time couldn't get the programs they need to use - and files they needed to share and prepare - in anything but Mac-flavor.

I hafta use both Macs and occasionally PCs at work, but we're only Mac at home, and while portable...)
Saje: As I linked to before, Perian is all you need, because that contains loads of codec support (xvid, divx, mkv containers, etc., but no wmv, for that you need Flip4Mac) and subtitle support too (srt). This avoids the need to download the individual codecs, and lets you open up everything in QuickTime so you don't need to bother with VLC if you don't want to.

As for the comment, "which is meant to be for the folk that don't want to bother with that stuff", it's quite the opposite for me, I'm on it because I need full Unix support, but want a stable system too (don't need to think about drivers and the like).


And, to get off this topic and back to the general excitedness at hand, I think I'll echo BrownCoat_Tabz's squee with one of my own.

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. :)
Oh fun! Instead of the usual Whedonesque arguments (like Spike vs Angel) we can argue about Mac vs PC! I've been a long time PC user who recently switched to the iMac because the 'stuff' I didn't want to bother with was Vista, and of course a multitude of viruses.
So far I haven't had any trouble watching anything online, and I would certainly freak out if I had any problems on the Dr. Horrible site during that precious one week screening, or problems with the downloads.... So thank you to everyone who has supplied links which I may or may not need later on.
; >

If I recall, a Mac-vs-PC argument would be at the very bottom of Caroline's "Most Wanted" list of WHEDONesque discussions... but what I do myself like to see - in computers as well as politics - is info on the ways they are alike or can cross-over - that's been really useful to me when it's come up in passing...

(Though if I had to pick, I would prefer it to a shipping brouhaha... ; >)
I don't see any arguments here, so I think we can breathe easy.

I too have just switched to a Mac for the first time, and have picked up fixes along the way fairly easily to be able to play .avi and .wmv and .whathaveyou files. And if I can do it, believe me, anyone can. I have absolutely zero intuition when it comes to tech thingies.
Good stuff. Maybe we should have a competition for the most original way to promote it.

Hmmm. The money's tight so hiring a blimp won't work, nor skywriting, nor the banner attached to a plane. I wish I was someone important in the grand scheme of things so that when I blog, people would pay attention. I kid. Maybe something with mimes. I'll have to give it a think.
Jossy, will you have any updates for us at ComicCon on either "Goners" or "Cabin in the Woods?"
I saw Get Smart the ticket window they asked if I wanted to donate and write something on a star that they put on their walls.

So I put Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, , Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day on it. It took a long time to write. Maybe the ticket people read it cause it took a long time to write...I used the side of the ticket window so nobody was held up in line and then handed the star back to the ticket person.

I had a Serenity t-shirt on as usual. Gonna get me a Captain Hammer groupie t-shirt or some such shirt.
I used to have problems watching anything in Quicktime and would watch everything in VLC. When I took my Mac into the shop for something else entirely, I mentioned my frustration. They said I just needed to load all the updates from the Apple site and I'd be fine. I'm guessing that they did it for me because when I got my computer back I could play pretty much everything in Quicktime without a problem. Go figure.
VLC is awesome and cross platform and open source. Even with everything loaded that's freely available for it, Quick Time won't play some files without demanding you get some pay-only plug-ins. Or at least, that's been my experience. As far as viruses go, keep an eye out. With rising popularity of an OS the viruses rise like a tide. There have been more OS X vulnerabilities reported recently than Vista vulnerabilities. In any case, avoiding foolish behavior and having a decent freeware or pay anti-virus solution will keep you in the clear no matter your OS. ETA - Oh, thanks for the tip on Perian, MattK - righteous! For those using VLC, make sure to check for updates - if its unstable chances are you have an older version.
I just got back from the CSTS screening in Phoenix this evening. Our fellow browncoats there played the trailers for both Dr. Horrible's and Dollhouse prior to the movie! Quite a surprise and a great way to spread the word to several hundred Joss Whedon fans.

[ edited by JossIzBoss on 2008-06-29 08:36 ]
PC, PC, PC ! ... Did I miss it ? Damn. How to start another ... *lightbulb* Perl sucks, Python uber alles ! ;-)

(OK, semi-seriously, if not for the openness of the PC architecture, we wouldn't be where we are today regarding the amazing advances that've happened in the last 20 years - anyone else remember when a 40 meg hard-drive was big and 640k was all the memory we'd ever need ? Course, it's also true to say that if not for the openness of the PC architecture the damn things would work better but, y'know, rough with the smooth and all that ;)

Yep, VLC is free and Free and also Just Works and these days that's generally what i'm after. I don't have a Mac BTW MattK but thanks for the tip (missed it on first glance) in case I ever decide to jump ship ;).
Hahaha, now if only we could find someone who loves Ruby! (Full disclosure: I sold off my lovely bride's Mac some time back.) Oh, right, topic. I am dying to see this (not literally, obviously, but hey wait a minute...), Joss! I'm dying and the only thing that will cure this imaginary wretched disease is Dr. Horrible! Please help me, think of the kittens (or whatever else could convince you to share it with me pronto!).
I adore my mac.

I have some program called Flip to something that plays AVI files so I can watch them. Not a big deal.

And can I say SQUEEEEE again?


That is so cool...I mean shiny! Do you know how they did that?
Anonymous1 - Not sure, but it looked like maybe someone had burned them to dvd. The quality wasn't the greatest on that huge screen, but good enough to get people interested and to get the word out.
When is the Doctor Horrible promotional condom hitting stores? ;-)
When is the Doctor Horrible promotional condom hitting stores? ;-)

I could make a joke about it coming soon, but that might be off-color. :)

What I think would be awesome is if college students in lab sciences started bursting into Dr. Horrible songs when doing chem labs due to the lab coat and goggley goodness.
Wow, I think I just fainted a little... so Excited (yes, with a capital "E") !!!
Let's do it folks! The Joss has given us a task, a mission: to spread the word! Squeeeeee!
*crawls into thread.*

I did it. I did. I finally started that blog I've been threatening to start on what I laughingly refer to as my website and inaugurated it with a Doc Horrible info post. It only took me a good part of the day to figure out, so if I'd been doing it for pay, I think I would have actually lost money... It will eventually be called a Blerg, but that will be when I can figure out, oh, so many things I do not understand, such as getting my custom header into the WordPress theme (it was so easy with blogspot) and a myriad of other confusions and frustrations in my everso steep learning curve.

But Joss asked us to, and so I... did... it. (I can so hear my Mom in my head saying, "Hmmmmph! - if Joss asked you to jump off a bridge, would you do that, too?" And the answer to that is "I don't think so, but we'll find out when he does, won't we?")

Anyhoo, I dood it.

*drops off to sleep standing up.*
Dear Saje
First computer I used was a Digital PDP 8. No disk at all, 6K memory. We toggled the bootstrap in on the front panel, and it loaded Basic from paper tape(!!). We did our programming on fill-in-the-dots-with-pencil cards.
Ah, the "good" old days.
6K, 6K ? We'd have killed for 6K in my day, why when I got my start computers had minus amounts of memory and would actually forget whatever you entered 6 hours before you typed it ! We had to weave our own tape from stinging nettles and program in ancient Sumerian because BASIC hadn't been invented yet !


Yep, fair enough, you win the "dark ages" top prize redfern ;).

(first machine I used was a Commodore Pet and first I owned was a ZX81, both pre hard-disks for the masses and both great fun. Getting programs off - magnetic ;) - tape into the ZX was a bit of a dark art but still much easier than paper and/or effectively having to enter the BIOS by hand. Can't say I envy you ... OK, maybe a little bit ;)
Anyone keeping up with media coverage? Maybe we should use this thread to post news posting about the release, I've bumped into a few this morning, you know just for sakes of sharing...
Wow. I actually fell asleep reading comments! TOO MANY! AAAAAAHGH! (and it's not at night, it's 4 in the afternoon! at work!)

*rubs sleep out of eye*

Okay, so before I fell asleep, I remember embers wishing for a lab coat & goggles. Yes, your standard college bookstore should have those, but if you wanted to go fun, they do have black lab coats, with biohazard & radioactive symbols. Even tie-dye. I just can't find them at the moment, sorry.

QG, I wouldn't consider Joss being the "jump & how high" kind of guy. He's more of a nudger to get you to do something that you were planning on doing anyway. Right? Right. :)

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home