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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"People were fighting on me"
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July 03 2008

Press to get Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog screening. Variety's Cynthia Littleton reports that she got an invite to a screening at CAA next Thursday.

CAA = Creative Artists Agency who represent Joss. Or something like that.

FWIW, go one blog entry back from that to see that Strike TV is about to launch as well.
I'm jellus. Would give beaucoup bucks to see the musical on a screen with a live audience, instead of my tiny computer screen.
I'm sure there will be fan screenings in years to come. Not sure who you would contact to get permission though.
Not sure who you would contact to get permission though.

That might be a GOOD use of the audience question time at the Comic-Con panel.
Maybe screenings could be public domain and Mutant Enemy would not to be contacted as long as they aren't used for profit. Creative commons license comes to mind but I'm not sure if that's the correct or relevant terminology in this case.
Creative commons license comes to mind but I'm not sure if that's the correct or relevant terminology in this case.


If they set the right level of licensing, Creative Commons could be the ideal distribution reference for this, as it can protect Dr. Horrible, but also allow us to use it in these screenings.
Who here is looking forward to seeing this on the big screen along with Serenity next year at the CSTS Equality Now fundraiser? I know that _I_ can't wait! (I can say this because the Toronto organizers are fantastic! I'm sure they could finagle a way to make it work.)
I would love to see this at CSTS next year. I agree that creative commons licensing seems like a good idea for Dr. Horrible, except for the whole taking it off the public interweb to sell downloads and cds part. It doesn't make a lot of sense to use CC licensing but have the video up for pay or on DVD only after a limited time. Not that that wouldn't be within the filmmakers' rights to do so.
I think it'd fall into a grey area. He could release it under CC for "non-commercial" use but then why would individuals pay for it, ever (creative commons has "no take-backs" built-in - once out under it, always out under it) ?

(and by individuals I mean "normal" folk, not the sort of maniacs* that're going to pay to download it then get the DVD, possibly across multiple regions. Then buy 'Dr Horrible' t-shirts, mugs and novelty cold-fusion generators)

* i.e. us
Oooo! I hadn't thought about cold-fusion generators!! When are they due on TFAW??? Tee hee.
A Creative Commons license would be great. Here's the one they'd want http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ -- it'd allow people to copy as they see fit, provided they don't profit on it or change it in any way, and provide credit to the people who made it (which would be covered by the whole "credits" thing at the end anyway). That's a general license, you can get one specific to, say, the United States, but I'm not sure what the purpose of that is, I think it's to limit the license to just one country or something.

For any lawyers out there, here's the full text of the license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/legalcode

(Edited to fix links.)

[ edited by MattK on 2008-07-03 17:20 ]
True, MattK, but since that license allows open distribution as long as I'm not altering or charging, and the whole point is that hope to make some of the production costs back by limiting distribution, I don't think it would fly.

To clarify what I said earlier: it fits the rights involved quite well except that they plan to limit download and distribution, after a short window, to people who will pay for it. CC licensing kills that even though technically people could already be doing everything involved in the CC licensing, because it pretty much gives their blessing to the whole paying for it and copying it for a friend for free type stuff. And we know that's not the case because they've basically said "you can, but please don't."
Yeah, I see your point, I was only providing a link for people who hadn't seen a CC license before. That license is the one that best fits them, I don't think CC has any licenses for limiting distribution.
B!x, there won't be any good audience questions at Comic Con. Don't be silly.
Ah ok MattK. I loves me some Creative Commons licensing, so I understand. It's just a poor fit here given the choices already made.
Depends on your point of view. That CC license would probably work very well, other people will distribute it anyway, regardless of the license, but it also allows legitimate use (e.g. screenings). I believe Cory Doctorow's book has a CC license like that, it's freely distributed, but he's still selling loads of paper copies with a traditional publisher. Hypothetically, if it were CC licensed, the drhorrible.com website could still limit distribution, by taking it offline and asking people to pay -- that's what will happen anyway -- the only way the CC license would hinder them is if they were planning on suing other people who were distributing it for no profit.
Where's my invite? Lost in the mail, you say? Darn it to heck! No mention of CC license would be complete without Jonathan Coulton.
B!x, there won't be any good audience questions at Comic Con. Don't be silly.

That was sort of my point. Except I was trying to offer some preemptive suggestions for useful ones.
Thanks for the link Numfar PTB, very interesting -- the Hunting of the Snark reference is strange though.

I really really want to become a member of the press to be able to attend these screenings. I mean, I'm sure there's some obligation to actually write about it afterwards, but would writing about Dr. Horrible really be so bad? :)
Yeah I know it was your point, but I am so very excited about Comic Con this year and I am so very much dreading the inevitable, "When will there be a Serenity sequel?" question along with "Nathan, I love you, I love you, I love you. Can I grab your ass?"

I am pre-emptively cringing for the abject embarrassment I will feel for the whole fandom.
Creative Commons is great for content that isn't made for profit. But if Dr Horrible were released via Creative Commons, how would it make enough money to pay the 150+ people who worked on the film?
TamaraC, it could be worse, you know, in the line of...
"Joss, why do you write such strong female characters?"
RayHill: Creative Commons doesn't stop the creator selling it for profit, just stops other people.
Novelty cold-fusion generators! And I thought I was excited before!

Maybe there can be good audience questions at Comic-Con if we coach some people and...lean a little bit on others. So they don't get to the front of the line. Not cool, bad me.
I've resigned myself to the cringing in embarrassment. It never changes.
RayHill: Creative Commons doesn't stop the creator selling it for profit, just stops other people.

Presumably he/she means fewer people would pay for it if it's free (which I happen to agree with).

... the only way the CC license would hinder them is if they were planning on suing other people who were distributing it for no profit.

Well, not really MattK since it explicitly allows re-distribution so long as it's not for profit or in other words, there would be no way at all to limit distribution simply by stopping downloads from a single website. Which pretty much blows any potential iTunes (or whatever) sales out of the water cos only the most ardent fans are going to pay for something that's freely and legally available elsewhere.

(and yep, Cory Doctorow uses cc for his books but I think there's a difference between books and video in that a) lots of people still don't enjoy reading large amounts of text on screen, b) many people still value books as objects and c) the convenience factor is still on the side of paper books for most people - you can carry them and use them more places than you can a computer/e-reader/etc.)

[ edited by Saje on 2008-07-03 19:03 ]
Saje said what I would have said. It's not a rights problem, it's that their business model depends on very limited availability.
I've resigned myself to the cringing in embarrassment. It never changes.

We could commit ourselves to yelling, in union, "NEXT!" whenever a cringe-inducing question is asked.
If I end up sitting in the middle of the audience, I may do that. I will probably be with co-workers though and that won't be an option.
I'm thinking more of issuing small-but-colorful signs - about the size of auction paddles - with "NEXT" printed on them - so that the audience can silently but en masse raise them to signify that it's time to shut up and move on.

(I am a Major Cringer at embarrassing or longwinded or *eeeek* self-promoting or crazy questions, but the thought of yelling out anything makes me cringe even more... except for if someone asks Joss to dance... and then by gods my embarrassment will be exceeded by my outrage.)

I didn't get my invitation to CAA yet, but you know, it probably got lost in the email... I understand that happens a lot...
I want someone to ask Joss where we can find Dr. Horrible stuff like shirts and stickers and buttons and...

Because then he can hopefully answer..."well, right down there in the dealer room at the California Browncoats booth. Tables A7/A8. They have a bunch of stuff for sale right now."

Yes, we are actively trying to get that done. We've only got 19 days though, so no promises.

Then I want someone to ask Nathan what about your favorite charity?

Because then he can definitely answer... "Well, I started this literacy charity with my good friend and author PJ Haarsma called Kids Need to Read. In fact, you can go right down there in the dealer room and donate at the California Browncoats booth, Tables A7/A8. Not only that, but they are selling a limited edition variant cover of Serenity Better Days #1. It's only $10 and all the profits go to KNTR."

And finally, I want someone to ask Felicia Day about the Guild, and whether they have a DVD available, and can they get an autograph.

Because she can answer..."Well, wouldn't you know, right down there in the dealer room we are selling Season 1 of the Guild on DVD. You can get them at the California Browncoats booth, Tables A7/A8. And not only will I be down there autographing at least an hour every day, but you will also be able to get an autograph from the cast of the Guild at different times. Check the booth for the schedule."

And then, I think we would successfully avoid at least 3 cringe-worthy questions. Not to mention giving me a heart attack when a few thousand people rush the booth after the panel.

Blatant promotion, James be thy name.
James, I plan on bringing said co-workers by the Browncoat booth so that they can see blatant promotion at its best. :)
Sheesh, add to the pressure why don't you. :)

I would say to try and plan it for when we are very busy for maximum effect, but that's usually during the open hours of the convention. Makes trying to plan kind of pointless.
Now I feel like getting up to ask, "Who here do you think has been the most successful at using this panel for blatant promotion?"

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-07-03 20:24 ]
Someone at Comic Con needs to ask about the status of Cabin in the Woods. And about whether there might be more Dr. Horrible comics in the future, with non-subtle hinting of how very awesome that would be. And the target release date for the Book miniseries. And something interesting about Dollhouse.
Sunfire, those questions are too logical. What we will get is a rambling dissertation on why they named their pet pot bellied pig after Joss, thus proving how they are the best and biggest Joss fan EVAH. All disguised as a question.
"This is to everyone, if you owned a pet pot bellied pig, what would you call it and why ? And a follow up, if your pet pot bellied pig had an iPod, what would be on there ?".

On the back of the 'NEXT' paddles could be a mini-whiteboard to allow scoring of blatant promotions with marks out of ten, possibly split into technical and artistic segments (the paddles, BTW, are available at the California Browncoats booth, Tables A7/A8 ;-).
Oo! Joss doesn't know it but I expected him to make me a sandwich! Where is it?

Is that better? It's what I always feel like appending to the end of long statements that seem very "when when when do I get that cool stuff from you" and less "please update us on all of your most awesome projects so we know when to buy them."
Shh . . . no one's supposed to know about Arby's new Jossandwich until the con.

[ edited by Pointy on 2008-07-03 20:48 ]
Please add to the following list of questions that will be banned with I am dictator.

* "Do the dance of joy!"
* "I know this is a panel for [X], but when's Firefly coming back?"
* "So, three years ago, I was the one who gave you that little plush [Y] down on the convention floor? The green one? And then I told you that..." etc.
"Will you sign my pot-bellied pig?"
"I don't like the Arby's Jossandwich - can you move the Jossandwich to Wendy's and have them add pickles and grill the bread just like I like it? You know, not too dark and not too light, just medium-ish?"
"I have this radio show/podcast/website/blog/encyclopedia/laser show/gladiator fight I'm doing later today and on which I am totally awesome and extraordinaire. Can you and/or your pot-bellied pig appear on it?"

Oh, and all uptalk is expressly forbidden? You know?
b1x and quotergal should each do blog entries on the top 50 verboten Comic-Con questions.

Please, pretty please.
I've never been to a con, much less the Comic Con. Is it really that bad?
Well, it's bad enough that this happens: Questioners sometimes actually are warned ahead of time before Q&A begins about what not to do, and then at least half of the people who get up believe that somehow the warning wasn't addressed to them.
dreamlogic, I understand that. But it also allows other people to distribute it for free, which seriously diminished the likelihood that someone would pay the creator for it when they can get it free elsewhere. So again, how would Creative Commons help the creator profit from their work (and therefore pay the folks who helped them create it)?

Creative Commons is great when profit is not a motivator. But for properties where the creators do need to make back their investment, pay their crews, and hopefully make some profit, it's just not an optimal solution. No one has a solid handle on what the optimal solution is for that yet, but I'm supportive of people like Joss and Felicia who are experimenting with the options to see what works, so they can continue bringing us more Goodness and set a precedent for others at the same time.

As indicated by YouTube being called to account for piracy on their site, the video industry is getting dangerously close to the cluster-frak that the music industry went through, where the IP owners and fans looked at one another as enemies. It doesn't have to be that way. But it will require fans to support the legal, self-sustaining systems that are beginning to evolve, instead of clinging to the convenience of piracy.
Whedonesque: home of the grinch.

I love yis all.
Hey, my pot-bellied pig is not feeling the love here.
Watch out- he posts on the internet, as do all his litter-mates. With their tiny hoofs, or pigsfeet, or whatever you call those piggy extremities.
or whatever you call those piggy extremities

Delicacies?
Um, not me, RH. I didn't say anything smart at all on this thread, only something vaguely thuggish.
verboten Comic-Con questions
1. Can you do the dance of Joy?
2. I'm your biggest fan can I have your autograph?
3. I'm your biggest fan can I have my photo taken with you?
4. Would you do the dance of Joy?
5. I have a script here, can you tell me how to sell it in Hollywood? Would you read it?
6. I want to go into a long rambling description of how much all your shows meant to me, and will you do the dance of Joy?....
7. Why did you kill Tara?
8. Does Buffy love Angel better than Spike?
9. I would love to see you do the dance of Joy, how about it?

Most are variations of those, I'm not sure we really need to list 50 of them!
It is better to forego the Q&A and just let Joss talk about whatever is on his mind!
JMPO of course.
Hey, b!X and QuoterGal should be co-moderators, and decide the appropriateness of all questions ("Off with her/his head!") and webcam all panels back to me.

Oh, and make sure to tell Joss that I have cats named Willow and Anya. (actually, that's true...)

Oh, wait, you were kidding. Never mind.
I've never been to ComicCon before - though I've sat through many a disturbing post-presentation Q&A - but I understand that during a WorldCon 2006 Tim Minear/Jane Espenson/Loni Peristere panel that I attended with dreamlogic, a male questioner threatened to emasculate Tim because Drive would make everyone drive crazy and ruin civilization as we know it.

I say "I understand" even though I was myself in attendance, because I had already died and gone to hell about a minute after he started talking.

(Truly, Tamara, my posts work best when I'm stealing from other people - in the case a few above I stole from Saje, Sunfire, b!X, Pointy, and yourself, for starters. But if I ruled the world, every day would be the first day of Spring...)

*grinchy-love to Caroline...*
With their tiny hoofs, or pigsfeet, or whatever you call those piggy extremities.

Pig's feet, yes. But they do end in hooves (or hoofs). I suppose they'd use the hooves to type.

But back to the awesomely bad things people say. I assume you wait in line draw a number to get mic time? Is it hard to get a slot? Should I give up on any idea of people from here getting a chance to ask about another Dr. Horrible comic?

Grinchily yours,
This is the best thread yet! I hereby declare it "Thread of the Black"! :)

Wow. So, if the stupid questions are inevitable, can we secure a strike force and sabotage those who find pot-belly pigs and the dance of Joy worthy of questioning? If there's enough of us, we could line up first with the approved Whedonesque list of questions and just read some off. That'll show those piggy extremities! >)

You know, just a thought. But, seriously, if it is needed, I will be there and I'll *volunteer* to the cause. I like real questions, with meat and potatoes, none of that canned whip cream crap- no substance there.

Thanks for making me smile & cringe at the same time!

This "Thread of the Black" is almost as good as the squirrels or the monkeys harassing you about math questions as you jump off a cliff. :)
Sunfire, it is actually much worse. We are being relatively kind. The questions Morena had to answer at some cons make me shudder to this day. She did get pretty good at the whithering stare though. I'm never surprised when a celebrity doesn't come to a con. I'm shocked that any of them come at all. I'm glad that the adulation received offsets the the mortification and insults.
korkster, don't you mean "Joss, don't you think meat and potatoes are the only way to go? We can save the whipped cream for dessert."? That should fit right in.
"Joss, who is your favorite member of WHEDONesque?"

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-07-03 22:47 ]
Pssst - don't forget to ask Nathan to show off his tattoo.
"Joss, who is your favorite member of WHEDONesque?"

It's scary to think he would read the site enough to recognize people. Trends, yes. People, I really hope not.

Also TamaraC, maybe I don't want to go to a con, ever, if it's like that.
Sunfire, it's no reason to avoid going to a con. Remember (for example, in this case), THOSE people might be going, but WE'RE also going.1

1 This might or might not be a selling point for you.
Well, I already bought my tickets, so I'm going. And if I have to bust out a 2'x4' to get some points across to the Joy'ers, I will. *looks menacing*

And, hackaway, we all know the answer to that one is... me. I mean, come on, it's only logical! Sure, I didn't join WHEDONesque 'til March, but wow, over 500 comments since March isn't bad... not to mention my stalking since before then.

TOTALLY kidding, by the way. :)

If anything, I think I win the award for "killing the thread". In the ones I've seen that are off the page, I'm the last one that spoke.

*sniffs the air*

Is it me? With my 2'x4'?
Sunfire, it can be like that, and usually is at places like Comic-Con. It's a little weird at the smaller cons. You can get much better questions, but also much worse. You have the full force fans in attendance at those. I wasn't in the panels for most of last year's Creation Con, but I recall that mostly the questions were good, with a lower average of cringe.

I think those who have the good questions just need to be a little bit braver and get to the mic before those with the bad questions. Those people have no embarrassment issues, as evidenced by their questions.

Remember that guy at CC 2005 who asked about the role playing game in Holland, or whatever it was? That was awful. I might have to go watch the panel video again just so I can quote it right.
Sunfire, you don't recognize me? From that thread way back? Those were goood times.

And, from the archives, you can remember a name that openly attempts to slap Joss in the face. Luckily, you never see them again.
Again, I state, that when Comic-Con is in full strong, we should have a thread of questions to ask. I'll ask your questions, just you know... none of mine.
Trends, yes. People, I really hope not.

Sshh. I prefer to completely deny the outside world's ability to read W*esque. *fingers in ears* La la la.

... can we secure a strike force and sabotage those who find pot-belly pigs and the dance of Joy worthy of questioning?

That's what we need, like an SAS of asking questions to sorta philibuster the panel but in the good way (not a navy Seals of asking questions, i've seen the films and those guys are always getting killed, often by Ed Harris). You'd need to train hard obviously, obstacle courses of chairs with batleths strewn in the gangways, squads of crack autograph hunters that have mistaken you for the short guy from 'Whizkids', maybe a giant mechanical 'NEXT' paddler. Only the worthy would make it through.

Or we position snipers around the auditorium. Don't dismiss it out of hand is all i'm saying.

or whatever you call those piggy extremities

Delicacies?


Heh (actually LOL ;).
Ask him about E3 ^_^.
I hope a ton of press write favorable reviews to help build up some nice buzz.

And off topic a little, anyone know where can I get a pair of those Dr. Horrible NPH goggles? I need those.
Saje had me up until saying we'd have to train.
Sunfire, you should definitely go to a con. Just practice the cringing before hand. I love cons and I hate people (good thing to know about me 'cause it tends to color my posts a bit) so if I can go and enjoy them then anyone can. :)
Yeah but did you keep going? There are BATLETHS!

Thanks to everyone for more insight on the Q&A and cons in general. Ok, I may try a con sometime. In the meantime I approve of people trying to get good questions in. That's right, work on my behalf in my absence! korkster, I shall send you a fully annotated list by next Thursday.
I have only been to one con, and won't be able to go to any more in the forseeable future, but wouldn't it be nice if the handed out index cards before the Q&A for people to submit questions on, then picked the good questions? I know it has been done, and I know it is a lot of work to go through the questions but, I'm sure they could find some volunteers to help...somewhere...
Doubling back a bit, I do think we should have "NEXT!" paddles, although I'd prefer if they were something besides any object that could be called a "paddle" because that simply conjures up a whole other part of con-going of which I want no part whatsoever.

ETA that they do, sometimes, hand out index cards to write questions on, newcj. And then, sometimes, it somehow ends up not working anyway. I've seen it happen, and I'm not sure how it happens, but it's happened. Go figure.

I think that sometimes the people collecting and picking the cards aren't informed enough to know what questions really need to not be asked, or what questions already have been asked a million effing times.

They really should just have us clearing the questions beforehand.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-07-04 00:11 ]
newj I tried to ask that very question before while at work but for some reason couldn't log in.

Too bad that it was tried and didn't work. How can that not work? Do they show the questions to the people on the panel and let them decide if they want to answere the question? Or is the timing too strict to allow for that? Because, that would be a good idea, IMO, after hearing about all the cringeworthy questions. (I also don't understand why Con Moderators don't have a list of questions themselves ready to go if no one in the audience is brave enough to ask a question and leave the panelists hanging in silence... )

Cringworthy questions or no, I'm still jealous of you all that will be in the audience. ;P
When Jewel was going to do a live Q&A before our Serenity screening, the organising team discussed ways in which we could control the questions because we still remembered a couple of cringe-worthy questions before the June 2005 pre-screening.

I did post asking people to be succinct and not embarrass Jewel or themselves, in other words, don't ask her to be your date to the prom or gush about her for two minutes. I also suggested people write down their questions so they could sound coherent when asking. Even in a small crowd one can get nervous in front of a mic and your favourite actor/writer/director.

As it turned out, she had to tape a Q & A for us (our eyes only, before you ask). I must have sounded very strict as I only had one member of our group send me a question, so I had to think up all the rest myself (except for one which I think her husband Matt may have slipped in! ;D).
Done the Impossible was released under Creative Commons, and it seems to be doing okay. It's freely available to screen at public events etc. And the massive amount of DVD extras encouraged purchase of the disc, plus the soundtrack and other merchandise add to the kitty.

Damn you all for making me wanna come to ComicCon! :( If it weren't for the fact that I've just moved, I'd be on a plane. I even looked up ticket prices and contemplated getting a last minute flight. If I booked now, I'd be able to get there for Friday. Sure, I won't have slept for the whole 14 hour flight in anticipation, but that's a small price to pay, right? Darn, it's actually a huge cost. *saves pennies for next year* Stoopid Australia. ComicCon needs to be held in Melbourne next year, and you'll all have to come over this way for a change *pouts*

[ edited by JenskiJen on 2008-07-04 03:25 ]
I look forward to your list, Sunfire.

I look forward to your rifle, Saje.

What's wrong with paddles? I don't mind slapping people about. And it could play homage to a certain Angel episode. :)

I guess what I don't get with the paddles is if the audience has them, with the words "Next!" on it, and we hold them in the air, who are we supposed to be showing them to? The panel? The person on the microphone? Cuz I'm pretty sure they won't be looking at us.

Can someone draw a diagram?

*for those interested, there will be an obstacle course set up at danregal's house next week. Thanks for volunteering!*
No way, JenskiJen! I'm not missing out on Comic-Con this year! You guys have the whole of Asia and Europe to romp around in. Let San Diego keep CC. :(
Hey I don't remember volunteering!

And Jen, Comic-Con is not for 3 weeks. You sure you can't come? :)
whoa, I can't believe I'm adding a comment. (long time lurker since registration was closed)
:P

Really hope the questions aren't TOO awful. ><
I would love (if it isn't brought up)to learn who will compose the music to dollhouse and the intro.
danregal stop tempting me! Much as I would love to, I can't really justify throwing $3500 at a week long trip. And that's just the flight! I shall have to enjoy it vicariously this year (take lots of notes and video!!).
All this anticipation and excitement over something none of us has seen!

What if it sucks?

;)
Remember that guy at CC 2005 who asked about the role playing game in Holland, or whatever it was? That was awful. I might have to go watch the panel video again just so I can quote it right.


Yikes. Only thing worse than a cringe-worthy question, is a cringe-worthy question delivered by a citizen of your own small country, while abroad ;). But yes, it does boggle the mind, the questions that get asked. Usually, I go over questions I might ask in my head, and they all sound too insignificant or unimportant or like too much of a bad-attempt-at-being-funny to ask. One wonders why others sometimes don't go through similar processes ;).

I hope a ton of press write favorable reviews to help build up some nice buzz.


You know, this thread was actually the first time that I realized that I actually write reviews semi-professionally for a dutch cultural site (actually that part I had realized before) and that I could actually review Dr. Horrible on it (here's hoping it's actually good, I'd hate to have to write an unfavorable review of a Joss project :p), thus creating buzz. Heh. Too bad I won't be able to watch it beforehand, but after-the-fact reviewing should probably help as well :-).
GVH, if you want to review it beforehand, just publish a Mad Libs version with a note that you'll come back and fill in the blanks once you've seen it.
Ok, I'm starting to get a very elitist feeling here, clearly some of you want to deprive regular folks of their god given rights to ask Joss to dance the dance of joy or to tell him how much watching Buffy changed the life of their pot bellied pig :)

This discussion reminds me of the unfinished script for "Dr Horrible 22 : Convention Hell" that accidentally fell into my computer.
My memory is a bit fuzzy on the details but the script involved Dr Horrible inventing the Improved Convention Microphone(tm), a microphone with the ability to zap the speaker with high-voltage electricity at the push of a remote button.
This device was first deployed at the Whedon session at a Comic-con with Dr Horrible sitting behind the scene gleefully pressing his big red Next button every time he didn't like the question.
Imagine the carnage in the session hall, with Buffy fans scrambling to get to the microphone cause they just had to ask that last all important question, you know the one I mean, piles of bodies everywhere, ZAP, ZAP, ZAP ...

In the end Captain Hammer arrives, striking a blow for truefans everywhere, vanquishing Dr Horrible and his evil henchmen.
The Device you ask, If I remember correctly Captain Hammers said, - I was convinced by Mr Whedon himself that destroying it would be wrong, he said that this invention wasn't evil in itself, in the right hands it could be a helpful instrument for good in the world. Though I'm not sure handing it over to Mr Whedon for safekeeping was the right choice, he had a strange glint in his eye when he left and he mumbled something about how much Eliza, Summer and Morena would appreciate their next convention appearances.

And yes thank you Caroline for providing this excellent sandbox for grinches to play in.

[ edited by jpr on 2008-07-04 12:19 ]
Sign me up for a mug, a t-shirt and a novelty cold fusion generator, please!

Aren't there super-mimi novelty cold fusion generators with laser pen delivery systems, that could be used for cringe-worthy question control?
Zap!! .... Cringy questioner diaspears in a cloud of (environment-friendly) smoke.
*Next* ;-)
Maybe we should have also plaques with "Whedonesque Seal of Approval", that'd be ultimate elitist-ism.
Another two cents for those who've never been to a convention: I'm attending one this weekend (a smallish local con in Minneapolis called CONvergence which is incredibly fun and usually minimally cringe-inducing. It's completely fan-run, so lots of attendees are also volunteers, and there's an overall atmosphere of Respect The Guests of Honor and Express Gratitude Without Scaring Them So They'll Want To Come Back... :)
While people are waiting in line for the panel, wouldn't it be possible to give them index cards to write down their questions? Collect them, make a pile of the most interesting ones, give them to the panel members and let them decide which ones they want to answer.

You'd not only have interesting questions but it would cut down on the long rambles.

I've never been to a big convention so I don't know how they work. If this is a dumb idea, I apologize.
GVH, if you want to review it beforehand, just publish a Mad Libs version with a note that you'll come back and fill in the blanks once you've seen it.- theonetruebix


That's a great idea, bix! Earned chuckles. :)

jpr, I think the Guild should go on a quest for said microphone. The con hangs in the balance...

[ edited by korkster on 2008-07-04 17:32 ]
miri47 | July 04, 14:46 CET
"Respect The Guests and Express Gratitude Without Scaring Them So They'll Want To Come Back... :)"

Host could say that as an Opening statement to the audience before questions begin. Or any guest arrives.

To bad questions, guests could start saying "Okay, we are never coming back." Remember when Nathan got up to beat up that guestioner at the SLiTHER panel and Michael Rooker had to hold him back. You know stuff like that.
I actually liked the time Kevin Smith ridiculed a questioner from the podium and then said that it was stupid to piss off the guy with the microphone!
Amrita, the only problem with that is that I'm not sure the guests want the job of having to cull through the questions.
The thing to remember is that the person with the long involved ramble or stupid question does not think that it is a ramble or a stupid question. There are no stupid questions, just lots and lots of stupid people.
Amrita, the only problem with that is that I'm not sure the guests want the job of having to cull through the questions.

I didn't mean hand the guests a hundred questions to sift through. I meant, for example, hand Joss some interesting "Joss" questions, give Nathan some good "Nathan" questions, etc. Questions that they would probably enjoy discussing.
I'm the first person in the world to cringe and think people are stupid, because I'm a bad, bad person... But I think we do have to keep in mind that there are lots of fans out there who perhaps don't hang out online. Or they - and more poignantly their friends and family - think they are major fans, but have never really experienced hardcore fandom - who'd consider them light weights. They don't ever meet or talk to other fans and therefor have no clue what a good or bad question would be, or what other fans would consider cringe worthy. And they're having the time of their lives at their first con and are probably cacking themselves even working up the courage to walk to the mic to ask their question where they end up just gushing.

Oh Christ, I am getting milder in my dotage.
Caroline, you're certainly right on that count, but only to a point. There absolutely are questions that, say, we here could hear and think, "Idiot, EVERYONE knows the answer to this already" when in reality not everyone does.

Those questions annoy me, but they aren't the real problem. The real problem are the monologues and the questions that wouldn't be asked by anyone who respected the panelists as people.
I've never been to a con. But I've sat through tons of fan/musician Q&A's. They're always crap and they're always more about the fan him- or herself than about the artist. I guess I don't expect any better. Most fans can't articulate what it is that draws them to the object of their fandom. A second of the star's time and an autograph (sometimes again and again and again) is the pinnacle of their experience. Sometimes I envy them.
The only questions that bug me are abusive ones (including overly-personal stalkerish questions). And if there's a large number of people waiting to ask questions, there probably should be a previewing/screening system to get a decent range and not have repetition.

Otherwise, fans should be able to ask whatever they want - why should I have the right to censor others? And why shouldn't everyone get her or his moment in the sun? In any case, even obvious questions can bring interesting responses. Finally, and this is something that bugged me in college and again in grad school - if people have such great questions, they should bloody well ask them. Too often I've been in a room where few apparently had questions, but when those who did posed them, the others, predictably enough, bitched about the questions, without having had the balls to ask any themselves.

I'd also add to Caroline's comments the observation that fairly often the artist her/himself isn't too articulate either; Joss is clearly an exception, but why should we expect actors/directors/designers to be?
I honestly don't mind - well, not much, anyway - folks asking questions that I might deem basic or obvious or irrelevant... that's just a part of life I'm more able to accept, I guess. (Although I honestly don't understand why some people don't do a little more research in their lives in general. It's google, it's not a mystery, and if you're online you can do a little checking.)

Like b!X, what makes me cringe are the questions that reflect a lack of awareness of the personhood and artistry of the panelist... a kind of lack of respect for both them and the audience - long rambles about themselves, or seriously asking for specific artistic outcomes, or personal or invasive questions that reflect either a deep misunderstanding of what's socially appropriate or their sense of fan entitlement.

They make me cringe, but that is not to say that I think they should be censored. I cringe a lot - without actually believing that I have any right to shut them up.

Fan entitlement - I've nattered on about it before, but it's one of the things that especially bugs me about fandom - the idea that the artist owes their audience anything other than their best shot at entertaining or affecting them.

Oh, and a pot-bellied pig. Joss owes each one of us a hand-signed, limited edition pot-bellied pig with extras. And a JossandwichTM with pickles and Joss' patented herbs-and-spices seasoning.
I don't want a pot-bellied pig. Someone just put mine on eBay for charity or something.
Someone just put mine on eBay for charity or something.


Maybe if we get male and female pot-bellied pigs and genetically engineer them to include the Jossian extras, we could start a "pot-bellied-pig-farm" and sell all of them on ebay and make enough money to hire Joss for new seasons of our favorite shows in which our favorite characters are not-dead and/or where couples are finally-together-in-blessed-harmony-as-they-really-always-should-have-been and so on and so forth.

GVH, if you want to review it beforehand, just publish a Mad Libs version with a note that you'll come back and fill in the blanks once you've seen it.


E-mailing my editor as I type, bix :p
I don't mind the questions that anyone with google should have the answer for, I do mind the "you ruined my life by killing Tara and you must answer for that right now while I stand here in judgment of you" questions. I seriously want to hurt those people.
Thanks for the chuckles and the dreams of pot-belly pigs doing the dance of joy.
I, too take issue with the verbal diarrhea spouted by some fans, like 'What's on your IPOD/ I'm the bestest fan evah and here's why.../Who was the best kisser?/ I love you, I love you, can I be your babymama?'.

But I reckon we could put our heads together and find a way to include the pot-bellied pigs IN the Jossandwich- anyone for pork?
I'd also add to Caroline's comments the observation that fairly often the artist her/himself isn't too articulate either; Joss is clearly an exception, but why should we expect actors/directors/designers to be?

To your first observation, on Caroline's, SNT - I was almost entirely oblivious of the fandom until Angel was canceled. That meant I never considered actually trying to go see the people involved in the show in person. That idea was introduced to me online.

Once that level of involvement had caught on in my head, however, I did make an effort to discover what was going on with the fandom. People who are still oblivious to it and what it already knows and is interested it at this point have not much sympathy from me. If they got here since 2004 or 05, it probably wasn't by conventional media. And anyone who's seen Joss's shows and thinks thinks he might need their help being articulate is...what? I don't think idiot would cover it.
I dunno, I kinda want to know what's on Joss's ipod.

I'm actually a bit sympathetic to the ramblers because I just bet that a majority of them are screaming insider their own heads, "just shut up already! Oh god, I can't shut up, why can't I shut up" while their actual mouth is stuck on "uh, uh, uh..." Maybe they should have a Toastmasters class before all conventions. Or a How to Ask Appropriate Questions class.
Well, to repeat myself, I have a lot of patience for anyone who asks questions. I've been to a number of fan-type things and have, frankly, heard few to none brilliant questions from poised and confident questioners. For some reason, the poised, confident, and brilliant individuals never are lucky enough to be selected to ask questions. (Perhaps they're all rushing off to get seats at the next panel?)

Be that as it may, I dig new fans as much as older fans, and uninformed fans as much as those with the most occult knowledge, the secret handshakes, and the inside jokes. We all share a love of the material which, it seems to me, is the important thing.
Are you going to the Con this year, SNT, and if so, could we discuss this after? We're really not being cruel.
And again, for me it's not about new or uninformed or not-insider or unpoised and nervous fans... it's about people whose love for the material does not somehow translate into respect for its creator and their fellow fans.

Most people with even a rudimentary understanding of people can distinguish between someone whose nervousness is interfering with their ability to express themselves (and I'd have nothing but sympathy for those folks) and someone who is taking the opportunity - but more importantly, the creator and the audience's time and informational opportunities - to berate the panelist for an artistic choice or to invade their personal space or abuse their dignity.

And SNT, I'm kinda not getting why you're implying a kind of correlation between those who criticize some types of questions, and those folks who either can't be bothered to ask or are missing in action or afraid to assert or something when it comes to asking questions themselves. Do you really mean to suggest that about this room (as Maddie calls it)? Doesn't seem to me like you'd have enough to go on to make that determination yet about this crowd.
I have to admit that I never get up to ask a question, I prefer to take notes on the replies and try to do some sketches of the exciting situation. However I don't think that my unwillingness to get up to ask a question excuses those who get up to ask insulting (disguised as humorous) questions about the actor's on screen nakedness, and/or the questioner who who wants to make themselves the center of attention by talking about their own brilliant writing and/or acting and how they need to be given a break into the business.

I think I can tell the difference between those people and the shy newbie who is just thrilled to get to the microphone and ask something we all know ("will there be a sequel?"). I figure our BDHs will find a new way to respond or turn that question to something more interesting. I would never stop that new fan from the thrill of asking their question even if the answer is generally known.
I said that I don't like abusive questions. That would include, if it wasn't clear, berating or invading or abusing. On re-reading this thread, though, it seems like the majority of complaints were about "stupid" questions or rambling questioners (both of which, I think, are kinda subjective determinations). I disagreed - I happen not to mind hearing certain popular questions again, or to hear answers that I'm fortunate enough to know already. That was what I was trying to express - with, I admit, my usual lack of clarity. And with that, I think I've run the thought well and truly into the ground.
I think when people here object to "rambling" questions (and, perhaps, to "stupid" questions), we're thinking of hypothetical examples such as someone who goes on for several minutes trying to first establish a personal rapport with, say, Joss, based upon a long-winded relating of the time three years ago that they brushed past each other on the crowded convention floor and they made sure to mention to Joss about this awesome plush Spike they had made.

And then, at some point, getting to an actual question that even if it's a good one, we're all so severely annoyed with the person that we don't care.

While technically it indeed is subjective as to whether or not this sort of "question" is rambling and/or stupid, I think general consensus is that it would be, and it also not the sort of thing for which people spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars to see or hear.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-07-05 05:47 ]
That's a good hypothetical, b!x, because it illustrates that what annoys you (and likely others here) doesn't annoy me. We can agree to disagree. If there ever was a topic here, let's get back to it.
I think this thing went off topic about 4 comments in, and never looked back. Certainly has been a fun read though.
Having never attended this sort of comvention, I am going to offer, nonetheless, my probably worthless two cents. When I go to an annual meeting of the 90 or so people who have the same job I have, we have outside speakers. And when one of our number asks foolish-sounded, self-absorbed, or downright rude questions, it is not just boredom I feel. It's embarrassment. I cringe because I think the poor speaker will think that we are all like that, and that this person somehow represents me-without my consent. Ugh. It's way worse than the cringing I do when some entirely unconnected stranger embarrasses his/her self, which is just based on our both being, you know, people?.
If it makes anybody feel better about the fan experience, I was once at an event for the professional television press -- people who write about TV for newspapers and magazines -- where producers and actors from a TV show (not one of Joss') were on a panel to answer questions about their new series, a dramedy that looked okay, if a bit like many other dramedies that hvae come before and doubtless will follow. One of the reporters began his question with, "Well, your show looks kind of stupid." The lead actor, possibly not believing his ears, said, "I beg your pardon?" The reporter repeated, "Well, your show looks kind of stupid. Can you explain ..." You could actually see the entire room cringe. I've heard fans ask dumb questions, but we definitely don't take the top prize for appalling rudeness :)
"Press to get Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog screening." I hope Dr. Horrible gets some print media or TV coverage out of this. The only magazine to cover it has been SFX issue #171. A UK magazine that is also sold in the USA. Have to check Barnes and Noble and see if it there yet.

Cause we only have 10 days left and there are 172,000 plays on vimeo

Youtube has Views: 9,427

Official Myspace Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has 4513 friends.

Facebook has 5,509 fans.

The digg has 323 diggs.

The twiiter has 767 followers.

Dr. Horrible is working on t-shirts.
Youtube channel views 1552 views

[ edited by Anonymous1 on 2008-07-05 17:52 ]

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