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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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March 25 2010

Why I Hope Dr Horrible Stays on the Internet. Self-explanatory...

One point - just because Nielsen say Firefly debuted to 4.7 million viewers, does not mean that 4.7 million people would donate $1. Or even turn up to watch free. I've got pretty good experience of seeing how the Joss Whedon fandom works online, and millions of fans of Joss do not exist. It's even more difficult when it's a new property.

I believe there are viable models for the internet. I also believe everybody - so far - has got it wrong. Including this article.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-03-25 19:05 ]
Regarding only to the contents, I can't help but buying the article's last paragraphs. Creative freedom still means something in the Internet, and most of all, I do hesitate how the story would work in a feature film. I guess it would like less fresh than as a micro series.

Anyway I agree with gossi, although sponsoring is a likeable model right now.
If I was a betting man, I'd say that the Dr Horrible movie will take the Kick-Ass approach and be self funded and produced. Thus negating any studio interference. Course it will need a distributor.
I actually like the idea of HORRIBLE crossing to the big screen, for reference. For one thing, almost every project Joss has created has ended up being translated to another medium - he's really good at that. For another big thing, I doubt Dr Horrible made the people who worked on it much money. Who'd of thunk Joss' little internet musical could make a major motion picture?

Me. I think it would send a clear signal that the Internet is an amazing platform people should explore. Plus, Felicia, big screen. Has to happen some day.
Me. I think it would send a clear signal that the Internet is an amazing platform people should explore.

But when it is this going to happen? Dr Horrible came out nearly two years ago and still nothing has taken its place. I can't name ten web series that have captivated or interested me. I doubt many Joe Soaps like me can.
Exactly, Simon. Get the idea and help develop models for things to be financially successful, and towards we will follow. I think HORRIBLE has a great marketing pitch and it would help bring some attention back to the original idea. In truth DR HORRIBLE was never a good model for an ongoing web series because of the cost to produce.
Dr. Horrible feels like a movie-like variation on the idea of a webseries, while the guild feels like a television-like variation on the idea of a webseries.
As gossi says, I think the idea of even half of those 4.7 million people donating $1 is unlikely to happen. But I could imagine it being able to help a lot towards providing a budget to something that had a similar financial commitment as the original Dr. Horrible. I'm sure pretty much everyone here would be willing to put money towards a project helmed by Joss, as well as many more. Team Whedon was exceptionally generous with the original 'Dr. Horrible' and I think they could have asked for money, either during the production stage or to allow unlimited access to it when it reached the Internet.

I do agree with the premise of the piece though. I would rather see 'Dr. Horrible' remain on the Internet. I'm sure a film would be amazing, but I feel that a 'Dr. Horrible' online franchise could demonstrate how viable the Internet is for people at any level of the entertainment industry, rather than it simply as a gateway to producing on the more traditional platforms.
Gossi- I would argue there are at least a million Joss hardcore fans, if not more. I mean, a LOT of huge Whedon fans didn't watch Dollhouse, or at least the second season and even after anyone literate in the country had read Dollhouse was cancelled, even after there was absolutly NO advertising for an officially cancelled show only an hour away from the friday death slot, even after Dollhouse became completely impossible to understand for anyone who hadn't seen basically every other episode of it Dollhouse Season two episode 5 on (after it was cancelled) consistantly got viewings in the solid 2 millions, and only dipped under 2 million only once (1.99 million) in the 9 episodes after nobody but a hardcore Dollhouse fan either knew about it or could watch it and semi-understand everything. There are Dollhouse fans who weren't Joss fans, but very very few. On the other hand, there are many Firefly fans who aren't Whedonites but love science fiction. I'm not saying the article is right, just that saying there definetly aren't millions of Joss Whedon fans (as in over 2 million) doesn't seem crazy.

[ edited by DeezyG on 2010-03-25 21:08 ]
If there were a million diehard Joss fans, the hits this site would be getting would be huge. I think there's around 10,000-20,000 diehard Joss fans out there. Most people who watch Buffy, Angel, Firefly & Dollhouse have never heard of him.
And I've said it before, but as long as Joss has creative freedom and control I don't really care where Dr. Horrible 2; The Fast and the Horrible comes out. I do love the idea of longer, higher budget productions from the web from the writers I love, but it's unfair to want to keep Dr. Horrible online and low budget just to prove a point or send a message.
I don't think you can say for sure that everyone watching Dollhouse by the end were hardcore Joss fans. Most television viewers are casual viewers, and they're what shows need to survive. I don't doubt there are millions of people who were fans of one Joss thing or another, but that doesn't mean they even know who the hell he is, or that they'll pay cashy money for something sight unseen.

I do think Dr. Horrible is or can be more mainstream than his other works. Don't underestimate NPH. I have a friend who wasn't interested in any of Joss's previous stuff, but the moment I mentioned NPH she was on board. And seems to have converted all her friends and coworkers as well. The shortness also makes it easier for people to give it a chance. Whether they'll pay to see it on the big screen...I guess we'll see.
I guess that's true Simon (and Hacksaway), you know more about Whedonesque traffic than I do (Simon). I still think it's a little low, and I know a lot of Joss diehards who don't use Whedonesque but I probably just know weird people.
Still, I think if Hulu or somebody was willing to host the videos for free (and they do, don't they? Because they make more from advertisers for every person who sees an advertismet than it costs to host the video to one person, right? I don't understand Hulu well xD) then this could probably be done with any existing Joss live action franchise. Even Dollhouse could probably get a million people to basically pre-order a season 3 for a dollar an episode, and Angel Buffy Firefly Dr. Horrible and possibly even Faith the vamp slayer or Ripper could get more than a million. I'm sure for all of those series at least a million people would pre-order a movie of any of those (except MAYBE the last two)for $5 or $10.
I do agree that there probably aren't enough purely Joss harcores to fund a new tv show or movie like that, or one of his more underground projects. Poor, poor Goners/Fray the movie/Sugar Shock live action/new thingy.

[ edited by DeezyG on 2010-03-25 21:27 ]

[ edited by DeezyG on 2010-03-25 21:29 ]
Dollverse passed the million uniques (as far I could tell) whilst it ran, over the two years. But, ya know, most of the comments who mentioned Joss said 'josh'. I remember one occasion where somebody asked me if Josh was one of the actors, and if so which one. On the list of places we got referrals from - and I found this really weird - Whedonesque was one of the lowest sites. People found it by googling 'Dollhouse'.

That's not to discredit Joss. 'course not. And in his industry, he's a name. And rightly so: he makes excellent stories, and he really cares about what he's doing.

I really think, though, there's a difference between a Joss Whedon fan than somebody who likes his work. Hits to/from Whedonesque show this. To be absolutely frank, I'm actually fine with Joss not being a multi-million dollar faith-based religion. I like the fact there's people who experienced Buffy and it spoke to them deeply, and they haven't a clue who birthed it or how that special effect was done.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-03-25 22:06 ]
I'm actually fine with Joss not being a multi-million dollar faith-based religion.

I'd say he's more of a buffy-based religion.
Anyway, there is scientific proof for the existence of Joss Whedon.
I would really like to see Dr. Horrible 2 (Carnal Indulgences?) on the web. It's a home where WHEDON fans can come together, relate and share opinions. Dr. Horrible created a special place in our hearts during the strike, so 'sending a message' is exactly what we should do! But as I am a hardcore WHEDON fan, I wouldn't boycott it just because it was on the big screen. I trust Joss to do the right decision.
I know the idea of seeing our favorite musical supervillain and his hammer-headed nemesis[...]

Correction: the hammer is his penis.

On a (slightly) more serious note, I think it is important to keep in mind what seems to have been the incubator for Doctor H's creation: A group of incredibly talented entertainers wanting to do something cool during their time off. Yeah it was distributed on the internet (and at least nominally centered around the concept of the protagonist having a blog) - but those are just incidental details. If Joss & Co. had had a more traditional method of production/distribution available to them for the first one, I'm sure they would've gone about it that way instead. It seems to me that for a Dr. Horrible sequel to do the original justice it needs to be made in that same spirit of throwing together your available resources and fashioning something great out of them. If the current set of factors includes the ability to take it to the silver screen, then - by all means - that's what they should do.

Anyway, there is scientific proof for the existence of Joss Whedon.

You sure about that? He could just be a figment of your imagination.
A movie sounds brilliant. More webstuff would be good too though. Most important thing is that all involved still enjoy doing it. The first Dr. Horrible seemed to be a lot of fun for all involved, I don't think it could have worked as well as it did any other way.
I'm with you gossi on that sentiment. I think it's better to have a smaller number of hardcore fans who need this in their lives as opposed to the millions of seasonal fans who show up to find out who the new idol is this year.

(That's not a slam on American Idol either just for the record as my mother has talked so much about it this year i started having it on in the background at times...)

Oh also a movie sounds great as well, either way I will just be grateful to see DH2!

[ edited by silent knight on 2010-03-26 01:53 ]
I haven't read all the comments, just stopped by quick and don't have much time, but I was thinking that both Nathan and Neil have increased significantly in popularity since the filming of the first Dr. Horrible. If a film were made, those two actors may provide box office draw. Nathan was not very well known (outside our Jossy fandom) when Serenity was released , now he has Castle, and you can't seem to turn on a TV these days without seeing NPH.

No matter what happens I can't wait for DH2!
I'm fine with a movie. Especially if it premiered via a coordinated set of creator/fan-organized screenings. Which might not actually be the best way to launch a movie, I just think it would be a fun one.

I can't name ten web series that have captivated or interested me.

I'm not sure I could name ten, but I could name several.
I can name exactly one web series that has captivated or interested me, Dr. Horrible.
That being said and all speculations about means of financing and potential profits, in any medium, set aside - I'm not sure that DR.H would translate well to the big screen.

Considering the success of something as unconventional as Glee, which has seemingly opened the door to a musical series, maybe TV is a better bet. Just not on FOX (to state the obvious).

Personally, I'd rather see Joss do something more dark serious than spoofy with a side of dark, but that's just me. That's how I like Joss - deep and dark and twisty-twisted (I deeply miss Dollhouse, imperfections and all).
I originally thought it would be best for DR. Horrible to stay online. But now I'm thinking I don't give a toss where it is. I just want to see it.

Any feature film starring NPH probably has some weight to it right now. General masses would see it as a NPH film, not a Joss Whedon Production, and I think that is the best way for certain films to be made. That the 'creators' aren't in the spotlight, and the product speaks for itself.
More Dr. Horrible. 'Nuff said.
Joss might only have 10,000 die-hards, but here's a notion: how about matching funding? While usually more of a charity situation, Joss could line up a sponsor who would match fan donations dollar for dollar. That still puts the onus on us, so to speak, but it would double our effectiveness.

And the real die-hards might go as high as $5, even.
So finally had time to actually read the article. And this jumped out at me:
What if instead of pitching the idea to FOX, Whedon had pitched it to the fans via the internet? Post a treatment with a synopsis of the idea and characters ... for the entire fanbase to view.
(My emphasis)

I agree with everyone who says this is a horrible(no pun) idea. Imagine fans having that much say in the early creative process. It would be an utter disaster.

A better way (I think) would be for Joss - or whoever - to announce he plans to do a project with a certain actor/s. Please donate. Give the 'fans' nothing else. Plus it wouldn't be only Joss's fans that would hopefully get on board and donate, but the actors fans as well.

But I don't believe any commercial business structure can survive, in the long run, on a donation system.
Wasn't NPH quote about DH 2 a little vague, meaning it could be also going tv (maybe a special two parts in SyFy, with the DrHSAB airing a week before the sequel)?
I don't believe the big screen could be a good direct jump, since there is the first websode and the introduction of the story, with it's past to new audiences could be difficult - however, I dont know nothing of the industry ;)

In the Brazilian Buffy Community in Orkut there are more than 6,000 members, but you can only add to the "Joss Hardcore fans club" about 50 of then.

gossi said:

I'm actually fine with Joss not being a multi-million dollar faith-based religion.

My prayer for the hard times:
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for Joss is with me - Unless He chooses to utilize the trip to kill another character.

This reminds me of people being pissed that Clerks 2 wasn't being made out of $300, a lawnmower and some toothpaste.
I'll take it whatever way it comes. Dr Horrible was awesome on so many levels and I think a sequel/prequel will be worth the wait and the change of medium (if it changes).
Does anyone else think that the movie shown in theaters might be the first Dr. Horrible followed by the sequel which is around the same length? It would almost be like a double feature, except both movies are 40-50 minutes so it's not that long. And they're both the same series... I don't know, part of me wants new material that's movie length but that makes sense to me, as it would deal with the fact that a lot of people havn't seen the original. And Dr. Horrible 2; Tyler Perry's Dr. Horrible would be released on dvd both alone and packaged with the first.

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