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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"It doesn't matter, it will still be there. Waiting."
11971 members | you are not logged in | 17 January 2021


February 24 2011

Nathan Fillion tweets about Firefly movement. Captain Tightpants wants you to save your money.

And with that, Marshall McLuhan stepped out from behind the pillar ...
Do fans really need this disclaimer? I guess they do. For heaven's sake, it's just a TV show. Send your money to Haiti or something.
I wonder why it took so long for him to say this. Hope the whole thing blows over now.
If my memory serves, cast/crew have in the past tried not to weigh in on things unless it seemed particularly necessary. It's really better for them if the fans figure out things on their own in many cases. At the very least, think of it from his perspective, where if he (and his representation) thought he should say anything at all, how to make it a "let them down easy" thing so it doesn't just blow up in his face.

I don't envy him.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-02-25 07:19 ]
He handled it very well, managing to appear simultaneously grateful and appreciative but also clear that it was a bad idea.
Unpopular opinion: I'm disappointed in the fandom that a movement like this was able to gain so much ground (dubious ground? Attention, at least). Nathan has always been able to speak his mind in interviews, and I for one have always appreciated his candor. People blowing up his every comment this way are going to make him have to watch what he says more, which is really unfortunate for him both as a person and as a public figure. I truly hope that not too many misguided people have given money to this "charity" and that it is indeed refunded, as promised, to the donors.

The #hnbf organisers didn't take any money. I may have criticised for their approach but I will give them credit for not asking for cash straight away. So no one owes anyone any money.
I haven't had much to say about this effort 'cos I don't think there is much that hasn't already been said, by folks who've said it better than I can. But I just worked out this business plan that I'd like to share:

1. Steal underpants
2. ?
3. More Firefly

Problem solved. You're welcome.
Although people are free to send their money to me if they wish. Just sayin'. But that will just result in me getting an iPad, not more Firefly.
QuoterGal, you're a genius! Bix, how soon can you get the site up and running?

[Please gods, don't let anyone take this idea seriously!]
*tips hat to Nathan*.
I bet it's still available though, that's not one I see many domain speculators taking a punt on.

Nicely handled from El Fillione, as you'd expect.
I'm reminded of that West Wing scene where Ritchie says "it's over" even though the election is still weeks away. As we wait for Nathan's remarks to sink in, we still have a lot of new enthusiastic fans to deal with. I'd like to think we can embrace them and direct them towards CSTS events, local Browncoat groups, coming up with their own fan fic and fan films and so on. It's not the time for gloating, some of the very keen fans will devastated by what Nathan said. And to them, it will be their very own Battle of Serenity Valley. I can still remember what it was like to be part of a passionate fan campaign that ultimately amounted to nothing in the end.
Well, in fairness to the HNBF campaign, they've already linked to KNTR and CSTS. I think that campaign will probably run for a while as peeps don't pay attention to actors or joss saying anything they don't want to hear. Which is fine, peeps can raise some money and re-enjoy the show. At a guess in a years time the domain won't work, see also previous campaigns,,

Simon was talking about this on Twitter last night, one thing this campaign is showing is how fandom is changing. My take - with social media, anybody can launch something, whereas in previous years there was a barrier to entry. You could argue good or bad points to that.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-25 11:57 ]
I've been reading whedonesque for years, never felt the need to post. But I have to say, in more polite words than those used in a previous thread, that the reaction to this campaign disturbs me a little. Yes, it was unrealistic, but harsh words have been said, and now Simon's warning against "gloating" seems appropriate.

It seems to me that any publicity is good, and that those fans didn't do anything wrong; they didn't ask for money, they didn't pretend they were representing Nathan or Joss. They were not enemies, and nobody won.

I welcome that initiative because it made a lot of people talk about bringing Firefly back. In a few months, if "The Avengers" is successful, Joss may have a lot more leverage than today; that's not to say something will happen, but that kind of publicity cannot be bad.
People sometimes go too far in the other direction whenever one of these schemes arises, that's not always particularly pleasant to witness either. From the other thread though the calm, reasoned (if perhaps slightly jaded) responses were far and away in the majority as far as I can tell (as is usually the case here, as your years of lurking will hopefully attest Ragondux - welcome BTW ;).

Re: gloating though, who here is ? I understand Simon, as a moderator, feeling the need to head any unpleasantness off at the pass but let's not, by talking about it as if it's real, give solidity to something I haven't seen much, if any, evidence of.
I don't see anybody gloating about this. It's always sad there wasn't more Firefly.
It's a heading things off comment. If you regularly read other sites, FB pages, LJs, and Twitter you will have had many a chance to have seen some less kind remarks and behavior in response to this.
Quote Simon:
we still have a lot of new enthusiastic fans to deal with. I'd like to think we can embrace them and direct them towards CSTS events, local Browncoat groups, coming up with their own fan fic and fan films and so on.

Bringing all this new wave of enthusiasm to existing projects that have been years in the creating is definitely something we want to focus heavily on.

We've reached out to the Browncoats: Redemption staff to talk with them about ways we can use all the attention to help their goals. We'll make sure to reach out to CSTS as well.

As far as directing people to local Browncoat groups, is there a 'Find my nearest' central resource we link people to?
HNBF, I don't think there is. That's another on the long list of things Browncoat culture could do. There's regional Browncoat email groups across the United States, but the directory got lost when Universal closed the Browncoat site. I used to admin that site, so I have a backup of everything - I'll have a dig.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-25 16:42 ]
If you regularly read other sites, FB pages, LJs, and Twitter you will have had many a chance to have seen some less kind remarks and behavior in response to this.

What, and leave the safety of the enclosure ? ;)

Fair enough and as I say, totally understandable. Reckon it's just worth us all taking care not to preemptively blame anyone here for what happens elsewhere.
Okay, it looks like the old Browncoat mailing list directory has been lost. However I did just find this bittersweet post from Joss (screenshot as the archive isn't available on the internet).

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-25 17:03 ]
Cheers for that gossi, added Jossosity is ever welcome.

(and I don't think that's irrational, lint can be bloody vicious)
Since we're getting very high amounts of traffic to HNBF from all the media attention, would it be community acceptable to try to host a Browncoat Group connector while we have the focus of so many eyes?
It would do no harm to point newcomers in the direction of fellow fans in their area. Or even give tips on how to start up their own Browncoat group.
Browncoats could have Facebook Groups (Pages? I'm not sure which) in their area. At a guess some do.
There used to be a website that listed Browncoat groups nationwide (or possibly worldwide), but it went offline a long time ago. Something like that would be very helpful, especially if it was updated every year at the least. It could even possibly have links/info to each groups involvement in CSTS/other fundraisers.
Nathan is such a classy guy.

A central website answering the question "What can I do?" which points to CSTS, KNTR, the comics & RPG & Still Flying, Browncoat Ball, and local Browncoats groups and charities (knitting Jayne hats, etc) sounds like a great idea. The old Firefly: IA site served as a resource in this way before I let it die, and it's clear that there's still an audience for that kind of thing. I'm gonna sit on this and let it percolate in my head for a day or two and see if I can't come up with something.
As far as directing people to local Browncoat groups, is there a 'Find my nearest' central resource we link people to?

In my experience the local groups are using all kinds of web and social media platforms. If you're willing, you could create a list of active groups on your blog by asking your followers on Facebook and elsewhere to chime in with their local group information. It'd take some work to sort and organize the information to post in a useful way, plus some web formatting. I expect you could find some very web savvy fans to help you with the coding part. Better organization of fans would be a nice outcome of all this in my opinion. You could become of the hub of Browncoat news and information with the kind of audience you've built up so quickly.
There's a Browncoat Wiki, however it's not terribly easy to navigate. Edit: just found a US Browncoat directory on it.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-25 18:25 ]
Interesting. I wonder how up to date/accurate that is. Be great if it were basically current. Those listings tended to drift into wrongness in the past.
Yeah, most of the entries aren't filled out. I've checked a few of the current ones, but the Browncoats website domains are dead for those. Sadface.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-25 18:31 ]
So the first step in healing and moving forward is acceptance. Is there a strategic reason HNBF hasn't, y'know, actually posted an entry about Nathan's tweet, either on its website or Facebook page?
Give peeps time, b!X. They might as well figure out a direction first.

Another observation - there isn't even an archive of Joss and Nathan's posts from online any more. Also Universal have deleted the whole of, so all that is gone too. I ponder if fans of new would like to see that stuff.
Guys, would there be an interest in a better browncoats social website ? I could do that, and wouldn't mind suggestions.
Oh, there's already social websites (,, and Yahoo mailing lists, Facebook groups etc. I think a lot of fans probably don't know about them (or care).

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-25 18:52 ]
Gossi is correct - we wanted to check to see what we should be directing folks to as part of the process of re-directing this momentum so that we minimize the 'fizzle out'. As you all have said, it's easy to generate a big flash of energy, but if it goes nowhere, it does more harm than good.
I think there's an argument that directing the entire thing - the website and the Facebook group - towards Can't Stop The Serenity. Giving them a Facebook group with almost 100,000 mostly new people would help raise a huge amount of money, and put a whole bunch of people into theatres with Serenity again in June.

Yes, there is a fan-editable list of the various local browncoat groups. Most of the other sections haven't been updated in a long while, but the local groups list is still pretty useful.

At some point, I'm planning on rebuilding the site into Drupal 7 and extending the functionality to be a resource hub for multiple fandoms. But work's keeping me pretty busy, so that will probably be a summer project.
RayHill, didn't know about that. Great list.
That's actually the site I've been trying to remember the name of. Good thing I didn't have to, because I was a total fail.
That is a great list. We just linked folks up to the FB CSTS group, so I'll put it up as a link late tonight (we try not to oversaturate).

I hope your server is stronger than ours is. ;)
I can merge Facebook groups, should people want to go down that direction.
In anticipation of the new traffic, I went through and removed the listings where the URLs are no longer resolving. If anyone knows where these groups have moved to (or knows of any local groups that aren't on the list yet), feel free to shoot me a message or sign in and add them yourself.

Group Name - No-longer-working URL
Alamo City Browncoats -
Indiana (Hoosier) Browncoats -
Arizona Browncoats - -
Can't Stop The Serenity - Australia & New Zealand -
Chicagoland Browncoats -
Columbia Browncoats - [no url]
Dallas Browncoats -
Eugene Browncoats -
Fort Worth Browncoats -
High Desert Browncoats -
Michigan Browncoats -
Norwegian Browncoat Forum -
Norwegian Browncoats Site -
Rochester Browncoats -
Russian Browncoats -
Sacramento Browncoats -
Seattle Shindig! -
Seattle Shindigs & Jobs - [RIP geocities]
Southern Nevada Browncoats -
Tampa Bay Browncoats -
Western New York Browncoats (MySpace) -
See, that's another thing I really like about Whedon-y fans - and one of the things that keeps me coming back for more.

This here.

What we do when we get an idea, or when we move on to the next thing. This round-up of Serenifly-related groups is a very good and much-needed endeavor - and this Browncoat's thanks to all involved, including HelpNathanBuyFF and friends...

BTW, in case anyone wonders, I would never gloat - and I don't like to harshen anyone's buzz anymore than is necessary to speak my truth, as they say... and mebbe amuse myself just a leetle.

I'm not a fan of pissin' on anyone's parade... nor of lint, neither. (And after a certain recent horrible pet horror story, not of spiders, for the moment.)


*checks shirt for spiders - and lint...*
No grudges here, most of the critics had valid points about a great many things. And yes, the Fried Chicken blog made me laugh.
HNBF, can you share you reasons for remaining anonymous? I still can't wrap my head around how that could possibly help the credibility of your campaign.
HelpNathanBuyFF love the way you guys are handling the wind down. Very classy.

RayHill, re: I was head-moderator of the forum there; I think it's simply off-line (probably for good). It died a slow death after Serenity, when people slowly but surely migrated back into English language fandom after the initial rush and excitement of our pre-screening of the movie and red carpet premiere in Amsterdam. Too bad too, we even had a Nathan VIP post from back in the day, which has now died a digital death. Plus, we used to be the official Dutch movie site, credited by the distributor over here, which I always felt was special. I enjoyed the heck out of the experience, but I didn't even know it had officially died till I saw your post there, which says enough about our activity level for the last year or two. Sorry to see it has gone. ! Awesome, I had forgotten that site. That's where I posted all the time during the run up to Serenity. I think that's also where I discovered, which has led to my love of screenwriting. I owe a lot to the Browncoats.

I ran a competition on there, gave away 5 copies of Serenity on DVD around christmas. Made a handful of Browncoats very happy.

Good times.
Thanks for the update, GVH. Sad indeed. Everything for its season, I suppose. But it's too bad we don't have a central archive to back up all the once-great forums.
RayHill we don't need to chase them now. They are the heroes that Canton deserves, but not the heroes that it needs right now. So we hunted them, because they could take it. They are not our heroes. They are silent guardians, our watchful protectors, The Browncoats!


[ edited by Jaymii on 2011-02-25 23:17 ]
Jaymii, I'm confused. Who are you hunting, or not chasing? You lost me...
While we're on the subject of Browncoat sites, next year (yes, I'm pre-planning) I'll be putting up a comprehensive event listings website for Firefly's 10th anniversary, since I assume people will be doing things. (Yes, I've registered a domain.)
I was doing Gordon's speech at the end of The Dark Knight but it got very muddled in the fandom translation, sorry about that.
Hah. I was just thinking about that the other day, b!X. Firefly was picked up by FOX on 19 December 2001.
In Canada people can check out Canadian Browncoats. There should be links to local groups there.
Thanks for that Joss post, gossi. I was very new to fandom that fall of 2005 and freaked me out so much that I fled to goners once you started it up. ;) Missed a lot of stuff from pure ignorance. :(

And welcome to all the new lurkers! I expect we'll get a pretty big influx of members on the next holiday. :) New blood keeps the fandom going, if not growing, and those of us who are johnny-come-lately's would do well to remember what it's like to be the new guy in town.
Firefly was picked up by FOX on 19 December 2001

And I got a fansite up on Christmas Day. I probably wouldn't do that for a new show these days. The optimism of youth is a thing I've passed on to others...

There are quite a few Browncoats groups on as well.
Yes, there is a fan-editable list of the various local browncoat groups. Most of the other sections haven't been updated in a long while, but the local groups list is still pretty useful.

Yes! That's the site I remember. Except that the link for PDX Browncoats is outdated and instead of the yahoo group which is rarely used anymore, it should linked to the official PDX Browncoats website.
There's a hell of a lot of links for Browncoat Groups down the left hand side of this page.

(thanks for the tweet, firefly_signal).
- PDX link updated.
- LJ link bookmarked to sift through when it's not midnight.
- Self chastised for not getting the batman reference.

Still hoping HNBF will answer the anonymity question.
If it won't happen, it won't happen, but we wouldn't be Browncoats if we didn't try. We're standing up to be counted.

So, here's what I suggest. I think we've done something like this before, but now we have some pretty serious numbers being thrown around. I suggest we have an international buy Firefly and Serenity for your local library day. That way, anyone who wanted to contribute would be promoting the cause and making a charitable donation at the same time. We'd be doing good deeds and performing orchestrated, countable actions. We could set it up so that everyone would buy from the same online store (amazon, best buy, whatever). You could buy just one, or more than one, or whatever. I got this idea from Nathan's tweet responding to a girl asking, what can we do to help? He said something like I always like to buy my hosts a gift. Get them a DVD box set. So, maybe that's what we should do? Let them eat DVD box sets.

Worst case scenario, there's never anymore Firefly. Best case scenario, anyone who wants to try Firefly would be able to check it out at a library. And if the libraries don't want them, we'll find somebody that does. We could donate them to all kinds of charities, including charities that send movies to soldiers overseas. There's all kinds of potential. And now there are almost 90,000 of us. If everybody bought just one DVD box set or copy of serenity, and some people bought more than one, we'd have a huge jump in sales. A noticeable jump. One that may put Firefly on a best seller list somewhere. That's tangible evidence that people want it.

I hope HNBF doesn't close down their Facebook page, we may need that to communicate with this huge group of people in the future. Even if it's just to tell them where else they can go.

Thanks, Help Nathan Fillion Buy Firefly. I for one believe that you've got the fire going again, and at the end of the day, that's what matters.
xMadxScientistx We did exactly that back in 2003 - both for libraries and soldiers. I think it'd be great to do it again.
DVD buying via Amazon was also done on mass, peeps managed to push it to number 1 one day. I think that was in 2006.
We came up with some plans and ideas after getting feedback from Mike Dougherty of B:R and Brian Harvard from Bring Back the Serenity FB Group. Once we run them through a couple more sanity checks, you all will be the first to hear about it, since we'd like your help.

We know that we've just struck the right chord at the right moment, but you're the folks that have sustained the community over a decade.
I've been a member of Equality Now for almost three years and also support Kids Need to Read when I have extra cash. I just want to throw out here an organization called . If you register with their website and purchase products online while logged in to their site, at over 800 stores (including Powell's Books in Portland, Amazon, and many other types of stores) those stores kick in a percentage to the charity of your choice when you sign up. I posted this over at but this is a perfect opportunity for me to suggest it here, in this topic.

I'm glad to see the positivity, and if there is a campaign of donating that arises out of these conversations, I hope whoever organizes it will consider iGive to buy DVDs or other items (if an even wider net is thrown) to raise even more money.
Brian Harvard from Bring Back the Serenity FB Group

I can't even find that group.

ETA: never mind, I think it's just named something else.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-02-26 19:14 ]
Brian Harvard from Bring Back the Serenity FB Group

I can't even find that group.

ETA: never mind, I think it's just named something else.

Yeah, posting before tea - not so good. It's Bring Back Firefly.
I wonder why the post about successfull author Patrick Rothfuss wanted to donate some of his money to buy the Firefly rights was deleted from this site.

I also wonder if Fillion is just pretending to like Firefly because that is cheap when there is no chance of any new episode, but if there suddenly were that would be an embarrassment now that he has finally found a successful show not in immediate danger of being canceled.
Hunted, the link to the Patrick Rothfuss letter is in the CNN coverage thread from 23rd Feb.
Browncoats: Redemption has Jossís personal approval and clearance from Fox as the unofficial sequel to Serenity, as well as the support of actors from the crew. For Fox, itís a trial project.
Meanwhile, read the comments there. The fact that HNBF has remained anonymous is now blowing up in their face, as commenters are crying foul and accusing HNBF of actually being the makers of Redemption and that this has all just been an elaborate scam to increase sales of that fan film.

Yes, that's right. The unthinking, unquestioning supporters of HNBF are now suddenly devout skeptics.

The fustercluck continues.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-02-27 07:13 ]
Oh dear. That is all getting ugly fast. Who could have seen that coming?

ooops! I ruined my flounce but, this was too much to resist.

[ edited by IrrationaliTV on 2011-02-27 07:31 ]

This is all so bloody sad... but kinda predictable when you whip up all these supporters hither and yon, without a real plan, transparency, or much of anything for your supporters to do.

Picture this gigantic hall, where a huge green phantasmagorical head is talking, while behind the green curtain...

Only you've asked *thousands* of hopeful fans to join you there, and then have them sit & basically ask them to twiddle their thumbs, and call their friends to join them.

And then Glinda (Nate ; > ) sends a message to say that's nice, but notsomuch, but the big old phantasmagorical head says, "Don't leave... and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain... I still have nothing for you to do, but buy this DVD."

He might be a very good man, but he's a very bad wizard...

My analogy is breaking down, but of course the natives are getting restless, and so they get cranky and turn on each other - and the self-styled wizard.
I feel like there's a song in that QG. Ah, the fickle finger of fandom. Just goes to show, people are still strange. Some wisdom is timeless.

ooops! I ruined my flounce but, this was too much to resist.

But it was official !
I have been reading all the threads since HNBF sprang up, as well as their website and FB page, but I have been staying out of it.

However, I just want to say that my heart breaks for all the Firefly fans, both new and old, who have come out in droves to support this movement.

I know that EVERY SINGLE person who frequents Whedonesque would love to see Joss bring Firefly back in some format, whether it be on the web, or a movie, or a new season. Some have left comments saying we should stop being so negative and to stay positive because Browncoats are mighty...

YES. We are mighty. Our fandom has done amazing things in the last ten years. CSTS has raised thousands of dollars for charities near and dear to Joss and the rest of the cast. We have bought the merchandise, the DVDs, the comics...

But we are not being negative. We are being realistic. We have all seen the many fan movements, both real and the scams, over the years. We truly want what is best for Firefly. We want to support whatever Joss has in mind, even if what he wants is to put it behind him and move on (I am not saying that is the case).

I love the enthusiasm Browncoats have. I love our fandom so much. Perhaps I am biased, but I believe we have the best fandom there is.

I don't claim to know what HNBF's intentions are. They could be wonderful people who love Firefly as much as us, who just got in over their heads.

I also can see from the POV of all the people who are feeling angry and betrayed and posting as such over on their website.

I do think HNBF needs to do some damage control, though. They still refuse to say who they are, they have not posted a definitive plan for this movement, and I am scared that by saying Browncoats: Redemption is sanctioned by Joss and Fox that they may be starting to mislead people.

I was hoping after Nathan's tweet this situation was going to die down, but there are so many fans that are feeling very betrayed and hurt right now, and the HNBF people are not communicating with them and trying to resolve this problem.

I just worry this effort may hurt the fandom. My heart goes out to each person who is feeling hurt and betrayed right now. We have all been there.

I also just want to say that I love my fellow Whedonesquers. You are like a second family to me, and I applaud your efforts to get the facts out there and to educate the new fans to be cautious without trying to dampen their spirits. I especially want to thank B!X for being diligent and posting the facts on HNBF's website to minimize the fallout.

I noticed in the comments on the HNBF website that the person who did the fan film says they have to report every quarter to Fox on how much they make for the charities...does anyone know if this is true? They make it out to sound like every cent goes to charity, but their own website says, "A portion of the proceeds will go in equal amounts to these five charities..." A portion? Does that mean they get to keep some of the money? It seems like B:R/HNBF is implying all the money goes to charity and they don't get any of it, so it's not a scam. Does anyone know anything about this?
Very sweet and & heartfelt post, Deanna_Lynne.

And Saje: ; >

I always think I should start a blog called "My Analogy is Breaking Down" because they always do.

In fact, I've been known for my Bad Analogies - though granted, the form has its built-in limitations.

But seriously, this whole thing is a shame... I'm of the opinion that HNBF might now want to consider introducing themselves and bow gracefully out of the rights-buying business, and focus their not-inconsiderable energies to some other do-able fan endeavor - one that doesn't involve recruitment and funds, at least for a hefty chunk of time.

Since Nathan doesn't want the rights bought for him, and the rights are *not* in fact going to be fan-bought, the campaign's name and thrust just seem... well, anti-climatic. And there is, I think, no one good focus for all that well-meaning-but-misguided collective fan energy that can be "slipped in" at this point.

I do believe the well-known fat lady hath sung... in that ship that's already sailed, and so on...
Y'mean, it's curtains for their campaign ? (tomorrow's post on my own blog, "My Analogies Are Stretched Until They Scream" ;).

Yeah, I agree with you and Deanna_Lynne QG, damage control and bowing out gracefully/finding other avenues make more sense now, just a pity that rather than being usefully directed (or even just fizzling out) the energy appears to be warping into something potentially ugly. It's the flip-side of that fast-response you (rightfully) praise above - when folk swing fast one way they can swing fast the other too.
I don't claim to know what HNBF's intentions are. They could be wonderful people who love Firefly as much as us, who just got in over their heads.

Little bit of that, yup. Who could guess a random WP site for a long-shot notion based off a off-hand joke would generate 100,000 people watching every word? And then disregarding half of them? Naive, but not malicious.

I do think HNBF needs to do some damage control, though. They still refuse to say who they are, they have not posted a definitive plan for this movement

That's the goal today, putting the new plan online. Folks aren't going to like it (if even 10% of them actually read it and understand) - the original idea was buy the rights if Nathan Fillion was serious. Obviously, he's not, nor would Fox be interested. ANY new plan, even if it were to hand out hugs and puppies and free booze, is going to tick off ten to ninety nine thousand people.

I am scared that by saying Browncoats: Redemption is sanctioned by Joss and Fox that they may be starting to mislead people.

That's what Michael Dougherty said to us. Since he's not anonymous (*cough*) and obviously part of something that has taken years of effort, we gave him more trust than any folks would give us. If you'd like more about the validity of their project, they have the capability of answering to that better than we have. We were convinced.

On anonymous, y'all deserve at least an answer as to "why?"

For starters, the primary starter behind all this promised his wife he'd never do anything that would have reporters at the door. We came scary close, with all the media attention - we had interviews via email with CNN. If names were public, who's to say that local reporters wouldn't have stopped by?

The second reason is professional - we live in an age where people lookup the history of others online as a matter of course, especially in business. Having our names associated with this well-meaning fan movement could have some harm long-term professionally, might not. The theory was "stay anonymous, and if it gets serious, not just the Facebook equivalent of an online petition, we'll unmask".

The third reason was the long-shot factor. Even if Nathan Fillion was not joking, how much of a long shot is Fox selling the rights or even licensing them? As demonstrated, even hinting that the purchase might not be possible produces some degree of rage. We like that, if this does blow up very very badly, it's not going to follow us for years. We haven't taken any money from anyone, but we'd live in the Annals with Ace Underhill.

So, for right this second, we continue to point folks to existing groups that have years of effort in the Firefly 'verse that have asked us to. Hopefully, that good work will balance out against people having lost hope for the long-shot we started with.

Thank you for clearing up some of our questions. :)
I agree that at this point the best thing for you to do is minimize fallout, explain your intentions to the fans on your site, and bow out as gracefully as possible.

The potential for this to get even uglier is very high - but less so if you really explain the situation to the group over on your site. I can see them getting louder and more suspicious if you don't communicate with them.

I know several of them are feeling like there wasn't enough communication, the pledging system was never put up, etc. NOW is definitely not the time to remain silent.

I don't envy your job right now and good luck to you. I hope this all ends as well as can be expected. I also hope something positive can come out of all this. So many of these fans have so much enthusiasm...I hope it can be redirected to do what Browncoats do best - to share Firefly with the world and to support good causes like Equality Now...or even just to share that spirit of giving to any charity.

Be sure to let people over there know about the annual CSTS events. It's a great way to keep Firefly alive forever and to give to charity.
Not joss spokeperson, but I just want to be absolutely clear on this: "Browncoat: Redemption" is not endorsed by him, or viewed as the unofficial sequel to Serenity. They reached our to JW's management, but that was before they shot a single frame - to say Joss endorses that DVD is problematic.

If you want to run a fan campaign, it's all about press. Since press is what Fox read. If you don't want reporters turning up or fans Googling your names, bow out.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-27 16:59 ]
Agreed. It's tough, as tens of thousands read things differently no matter how carefully we phrase them. If we're waiting for even the response of one person, we might have to wait 8-16 hours. (Even people with the ear of Joss tend not to get replies for a week or two, which is longer than HNBF has been around.) Suddenly, we've been quiet for over a day and the freakout begins.

Even now, our above comments have triggered a wave of emails asking us not to give up. Tiger riding at it's finest. Can't blame the folks being amused by our predicament.
Not joss spokeperson, but I just want to be absolutely clear on this: "Browncoat: Redemption" is not endorsed by him, or viewed as the unofficial sequel to Serenity. They reached our to JW's management, but that was before they shot a single frame - to say Joss endorses that DVD is problematic.

Well, hopefully Mike can come speak to that. Understandably, he's asked me to let their team manage any questions about it, rather than rely on us to speak for them (hence his replying to any questions on our blog about their project, not us). He did give us a list of links to share on it which we will be doing in a few hours. You can also email him directly, miked { at }
If you want to run a fan campaign, it's all about press. Since press is what Fox read. If you don't want reporters turning up or fans Googling your names, bow out.

It is sort of the price of admission.

Re: Redemption, my understanding on the Joss thing was that he blessed the project but has said nothing since that early blessing. Redemption's own site says that specifically. I'm a little concerned HNBF makes it seem as if Fox is somehow actively monitoring Redemption like it's some sort of trial balloon, when I think it's more a case of they require regular financial proof that it's not being used for profit.

It was my opinion from the start that HNBF's anonymous "hey kids let's put on a show" approach put them in over their heads. I now fear that this continuing approach to things risks damaging any other fan efforts they mention, just by the implied association.

Course correction and helping to steer fans toward productive outlets is good. This first example of how HNBF attempts to do so is just something of another mess.
I've emailed Mike before, nice guy. From what I gather elsewhere their DVD undersold a little -- their target was to reach the first week of Serenity's DVD sales numbers, and they haven't got close to that. All I'm saying here is that Joss doesn't own the characters or the universe, so if there's talk that Joss is saying go forward and purchase this DVD, it becomes problematic for everybody. He's never commented on it.
Well, he did bless the project. Whether or not anyone specifically writes that as "Joss says go buy the DVD", well, I haven't really seen anyone take it that far, although the HNBF post, as confusingly/somewhat poorly written as it is, might muddle the line.
Where did he bless it, b!X?
They posted the email from his assistant in 2008, which Joss then signed a printout of in 2010.
Oooh. That I didn't realise. Is that online somewhere?

(It reads weird in that last bit, but presumably that became irrelevant once Universal signed off on letting them do it.)
Just found that email, ha. Did Universal sign off on it, then?

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-27 17:41 ]
From their FAQ:
A: We were extremely diligent about reaching out to the studios in 2008. We explained our project goals and outlines and the understand that was reached was that provided we maintain our non-profit goals, and do not make an attempt to have financial gains from the film, that we have are allowed to proceed. We do not have any public reactions or comments from the studios on the project/film since the release of the film.

That's progressive of Fox and Universal.

It's a nice little project, but I still think pointing fans at it to buy as a way of bringing back Firefly is problematic.
Part of what frustrates me are all the misconceptions running around atm.

Joss gave an early blessing - which is not the same thing as an endorsement.

HNBF - you need to understand why the people over on your site are feeling frustrated and betrayed right now. It's not just that you were silent for a day...your site has been up for OVER A WEEK and you said you would have a pledging system up within a few days. They all have commented several times over there asking why it isn't up yet. They keep pointing out that you need to be doing things quicker while attention is still on your movement.

You did go a few days last week with no comments. Yesterday you left a very sarcastic comment on your FB page about all the people feeling like the DVD idea was a scam. That pissed off a bunch of people, too.

You don't need to wait until you have a plan to post on your site. These people will feel much better just knowing something about what is going on behind the scenes.


If you have no more plans to do anything in regards to buying the rights or taking pledges, JUST SAY THAT.
Deanna, they are working on some other plans, I've seen them. Ultimately I think they need to be careful though, because most people just want Firefly back, with the cast. That's why they joined it, because that is how it was sold in the press.

One thing with the wider Firefly fan base is, in the context of making more, you'll hear "we do the impossible!" and "can't stop the signal" said a lot. In the context of the show, both aren't true. In the context of the fandom, both are true. The signal isn't the show. That's dead. The signal is the love of the show.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-27 18:04 ]
Joss gave an early blessing - which is not the same thing as an endorsement.

FWIW the Redemption site specifically states that Joss has made no comment on the film since that blessing. (The blessing letter is being trotted out now as part of the reaction on the HNBF post questioning the fan film's legitimacy.)
Gossi - I agree completely. I am not really sure what you're trying to tell me with the above post, though. I think I made it clear a few posts ago ( in my long and somewhat rambling post) how much I love the fandom, how I don't think it's realistic that Firefly will ever come back no matter how much we want it to, and how my heart goes out to all the fans who are beginning to feel betrayed and heartbroken.

I am not saying HNBF needs to post some huge in detail plan or anything. I am just saying it would be a good idea for them to say something. The continued silence on their part is making the natives restless. The comments are getting nasty over there. People are throwing accusations every which way - at HNBF, at B: R, at each other. Whatever plan they may have is going to be moot pretty soon. I don't like to see the in-fighting, the anger...but I understand the frustration. Any momentum for ANY PLAN is falling apart.

People want to know if they are doing a pledge system. I don't see why HNBF can't say whether they plan on it or not.

Gossi - I also agree with you that they need to be careful how they approach the fans with whatever plan they may be trying to implement. This whole situation is already blowing up in their faces. But would it really harm the movement to just reiterate they are working on a plan? Half the suspicion the people are feeling has to do with the lack of communication. I think HNBF realizes by now that they approached this movement perhaps from the wrong angle. Would it be so bad to admit that and ask their supporters for ideas on a new way to go about this? Someone admitting they made a mistake seems like a refreshingly honest approach.

B!X - I am glad the B: R website specifically states that Joss has said no comment on the project since his early blessing; however, the post the HNBF people put up regarding buying the DVDs is misleading at worst, and worded horribly at best. Whether that was an honest mistake on their part or if they posted that because they were just believing what the folks over there told them doesn't matter. Quite a few people became suspicious and angry over it. I understand the folks at B: R asked to take questions regarding the idea instead of the HNBF people. That's all well and good, except that from the comments over there, that has just made people more upset and suspicious. I am not privy to how FOX or Universal thinks. I don't have a degree in business or PR, so I might be completely off base here,and if so, I apologize. However, I would think it would be in the best interests of HNBF if they were to address the situation and cleared up the misunderstanding with their supporters.

I probably made no sense whatsoever in this, my second long and rambling post, so i apologize for that. :) Feel free to tell me how naive and off base I am regarding every single one of my statements/ideas. I can take it. ;) I guess I just feel like the world would be easier for everyone if people just tried to be honest about everything. See? Very naive. :)
The assertion by the Redemption people that anyone at 20th or Universal is paying any attention at all (besides legal) to their "sales" is outright ridiculous. So far beneath anyone's notice, the claim is outrageous and laughable.
The confusion on the HNBF site re: B:R is the fault of the HNBF people. (I'll disclaim that as my opinion, despite thinking it's evident fact.) And while, as I've already said, I find it deeply ironic that HNBF supporters now suddenly have discovered skepticism and caution where they displayed absolutely none of these things at the start, I also don't blame for them it.

Their fires were stoked by an unrealistic campaign by anonymous people, who have now (as far as supporters can tell) turned around to do something else, but they haven't explained what that something else is, and in the meantime anonymously told everyone to go buy DVDs from some other group.

I'd be skeptical, too. But, again, it all rests with the HNBF organizers. They set up wrong to begin with, did it anonymously, and now it's exploding in their faces because they are poorly managing the supposed re-conception after poorly managing the original unrealistic idea.

I don't actually mean or intend to keep ranting. I was quite ready, after Nathan's tweet, to have us all move into some sort of kumbaya phase and try to do something constructive with the momentum. But we went from HNBF's piss-poor original idea to Nathan shooting it down to HNBF completely mis-managing the aftermath of that.
Yeah, I was just returning to say that (but dressed up a little). After seeing the comments on the Help Nathan Buy Firefly link that indicate Fox care about the 'Browncoats: Redemption' DVD sales, I've emailed some peeps basically saying '...erm'.

I've been reading the overall website, and the About page still has people today - right now - commenting saying they pledge money and asking Nathan for his Paypal details.

In the words of Liz Lemon: shut it down.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-27 19:39 ]
IrrationaliTV, I agree that they're overstating the case (compounded by HNBF overstating it even further), when it's simply that B:R files regular financial reports with them, to demonstrate the project continues to not be commercial. As you say, the "legal" part. (Although, at the same time, I assume license holders spend some sort of time being aware of how popular or unpopular any given use of their licenses are. But that's a far cry from the way HNBF spins it, which is as some sort of trial balloon oN FOX's part, which is complete lunacy.)
I feel bad for all the supporters of the HNBF movement. From the comments, it appears many of them are newer fans to Firefly. So unfortunately, they weren't around to witness the many failed attempts (whether real or scams) that most of us here on Whedonesque saw. Many of them are under the false assumption that it was the fans who got Serenity made. I don't blame them. As I said, they are new. After being part of the fandom for awhile, they will most likely learn it wasn't a fan campaign after all. Now they are being led to believe that B: R was approved, sanctioned, blessed, endorsed...whatever the HNBF people are saying now, by Joss and Fox. And many of them are commenting that they will do anything to bring Firefly back and so they did indeed go over and buy the DVD from their site.

In an earlier post here, the HNBF people stated that they just posted what the B: R people told them. I don't necessarily know if this is true, but Mike from B: R did post several times in the comments, and I certainly didn't see him say that it was a misunderstanding and it WAS NOT, in fact, sanctioned by all parties involved. So yes, it may seem like lunacy and laughable to us, but the newer fans will take it as fact. It really saddens me what this whole thing is doing to us.

I, too, believe it would be nice if everyone could move past this unfortunate event. Unfortunately, this situation really is doing much more harm than good for the fandom as a whole. I don't really know what I, or any of us, can do to help repair the damage already done, and I know it's not really our problem to fix, but at the same time, it kind of is because it affects every one of us, the fans.

In the end, no matter how innocent HNBF's intentions were for this movement, the blow up is threatening to send ripples through the fandom for some time. I would hate to see irreparable damage done to the noble efforts of Browncoats worldwide.

I implore the HNBF people to PLEASE try to minimize the damage and to fix what they can before it's too late. Please just swallow your pride, admit you made a mistake, and apologize for any grief, pain, or unintended misleading you have caused the fandom.

I would really like to wake up tomorrow and find that we are all able to move on to something new and less dramatic to talk about. I really hate drama.
b!x, my educated guess is that once a quarter the lowest level analyst in the legal department (not even the licensing department) makes a notation in a spreadsheet that $x was donated by the Redemption folks. That's it. No one sees it. It doesn't show in any report and if you asked anyone at the studio about it, they have never heard of it and don't know what it is. Hell, some of the people I dealt with on a daily basis didn't even know what Firefly was.

Redemption is a notation in a legal spreadsheet that no one ever sees. It is only there so that records can be found if 20th ever feels the need to sue. No one is taking notice.
With this, I think you're just stringing people along and giving them false hope.

Let it die.
Simon - I am assuming the link is to show the HNBF people finally put up a pledge system? If so, I am saddened all over again. I thought they were gonna let this die a quick death. Instead, when i click the link it says the site is temporarily unavailable due to over capacity. Which, unfortunately, would indicate fans are flocking in droves to pledge their hard earned money to a movement that will never accomplish their goal.

I agree, that's just getting the fans hopes up for nothing. It's just cruel. it really is.
With this, I think you're just stringing people along and giving them false hope.

Let it die.

Especially since the HNBF admin has already realized it's false hope. So why are they creating a pledge system when they know 20th won't sell the rights? This is insane.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-27 21:21 ]
You know, before I was just sad and a little annoyed. Now, I am actually bordering on pissed off. They deliberately led us to believe they were making other plans and had realized this whole thing was a bad idea from the word go. I thought they were going to issue some kind of statement to their followers that the situation got out of control and although the enthusiasm was there, the practicality was not. I thought they were going to direct their supporters to give or pledge their money to other charities and to show their love and support for Firefly by joining other fan sites or boards.

This new stunt makes me think HNBF just couldn't handle the idea of apologizing for misleading people and explaining that things just got out of control, such as I and several other people here suggested they do.

I was hoping this was gonna die down sooner rather than later and the damage would be minimal. Unfortunately, it seems I was wrong on both accounts. :(
Are they trying to prove to the craxies that there is no way enough money could be pledged? Or are they trying to prove it to themselves? Or maybe they think that Gary and Dana are paying attention to this on Oscar Sunday. I know I come off as know it all stompyfoot but, seriously, this is going to end badly.
The other thing is, this sort of campaign runs the very real (arguably inevitable) risk of backfiring and showing precisely that there isn't the support after all.
I agree, b!X. That also had occurred to me. What worse way is there to show that however mighty and vocal we are...we are a small but very rabid fan base?

Not only has this the very real and unsettling chance of ending/failing badly, but also the chance to harm the enthusiasm of the fandom. Not so much those of us who already know the facts and accept them as they are, but the vast majority of HNBF's supporters are either on the newer side of the fandom or have just recently discovered the online side of things. It's amazing just how many of them have left comments stating they were unaware there had been previous efforts to revive the franchise.
This is not a shiny new fix-it plan (not that I really expected one) - this is a continuation of the first plan that was unworkable then and which remains unworkable.

Call me An Elitist Douche, but I think it's beyond time to pull the plug on this doomed effort - doomed for so many reasons - and let it die with dignity. And then we can all say with relief "... and scene."

Or in the words of almost everyone I know in the Fandom of Brown: "No, no, no, no, no, no, :headdesk: :headdesk: no."

I would like to see us retain some credibility for the other work - CSTS, KNTR, etc. - we do.
That sounds pretty acceptable to me - killing it. It's too much of a mess and no one offered to help on how to redirect it but the BC:R crew, and even bringing them up made y'all just start attacking them too. I feel bad that we ever thought "Hey, just maybe folks who have tried to get FF restarted for all these years would dig new enthusiasm and maybe have constructive feedback.".

Going to see what a couple days total looks like, just because there are 100,000 people who want to know.

Simon, apologies to you and yours for swiping at the site in general. This has been almost exclusively a home to discussions of how HNBF is going to ruin everything for everyone forever, so it has been tough to try to find positive ways to move forward.
HelpNathanBuyFF, please let the people on FB and your site know that this is now just a theoretical exercise. Some of us feel very sorry for all the people being led on. I wish you had consulted some industry insiders before jumping on this but, that's hindsight now.
let the people on FB and your site know that this is now just a theoretical exercise

Well there's this up on the page:
Big Damn Disclaimer

This is not legally binding. You can't SEND us this money. Nathan hasn't said he'd do anything with this. Joss hasn't said he'd do anything with this. Fox hasn't said they'd do anything with this. Universal has not said they'd do anything with this.

We're just finding out, how much is Firefly worth to 100,000 fans - if we could bring it all back with just our wallets.

So hopefully that'd cover it.
This has been almost exclusively a home to discussions of how HNBF is going to ruin everything for everyone forever...

Nice inaccurate victimization spin, that.
HNBF, I've read the document you came up with yesterday and tried to help, and I know other people have too. The document says "Unfortunately, Fox is not going to sell the rights, whether we get Joss or Nathan on board or not". You've also posted words to that effect in this topic. Then you've launched a pledge system for buying the franchise after posting that. That action was always going to backfire.

I'm not being negative on this for fun. This is the 5th big fan attempt at reviving the franchise or buying the rights. They've all ended badly. At the minute the site and all branding is still called "Help Nathan Buy Firefly". You haven't mentioned to people what Nathan himself said. And you're getting pledges for buying the rights.
Delusional excitement makes the fine print moot. You have to lead with it and end with it.
HelpNathanBuyFF - I've been in the eye of a fan storm before and I have some inkling of what you are going through. I think it would be better if we talked in private to salvage something from this as everyone and their mother is looking in and I'd rather not have people take sides. Click on my user name to see my email adress, I would be very pleased if you took me up on my offer to chat though bear in mind I live in the UK so there's a time difference.

I'll disable commenting on this thread for a while so things can settle down.

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