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March 07 2011

Help Nathan Buy Firefly's new fan funding plans causes concern, backlash. Reaction to the "Big Damn Plan" has been mixed to say the least. UPDATE: Jane Espenson tweets about what's been going on here and here.

Because the Firefly fandom is experiencing its first full blown internal crisis in years, the real danger is that this could all lead to permanent division and fracturing.

This is indeed disturbing, and the whole thing is beginning to look like a scam. First they swear they're not asking for money untill Joss or Nathan approve, and now they want money. I think I'll remove my poll from, as I don't want to be wrongly associated with a money gathering scam.

[ edited by Ragondux on 2011-03-07 11:14 ]
Creatively, these hypothetical fans are going to be more damning than FOX ever was. Just make a social network and give it to charities! C'mon!
I love the enthusiasm that everyone is showing for continuing the Firefly verse, but I’m very concerned about this announcement.

Firstly, it has already been stated that Fox (that’s 20th Century Fox, who own the rights, not Fox the network who aired the show) have no intention of selling the rights to Firefly. None whatsoever. They are actively licensing merchandising rights (QMx, Ripple Junction etc)and rights to create comics (Dark Horse), so Firefly is an ongoing concern for them. To repeat, they have no intention of selling.

Secondly, this current plan proposes the production of Firefly stories potentially without the involvement of Joss (depending on whether you're reading the website or Facebook, you get two very different stories on this - site says nothing without Joss, Facebook are talking about something entirely different). This is a no-brainer in my opinion – there is no Firefly without Joss.

Thirdly, the funding of this model is unrealistic. A single episode of Firefly cost over $1 million (according to some accounts) to produce… back in 2001. This would have easily doubled by now. Serenity (the movie) cost $40million – and that’s before marketing, distribution etc. Fan funding via small amounts is not a viable way to do any big budget endeavour – you’d need some serious backers, and a heck of a lot of professionals who know how to craft a story, create quality costumes/sets/props, professional casting agents, skilled people for lighting, sound, art direction, editing, continuity, filming etc… and then you need the cast, union representation, insurance, catering, post production, legal, etc. Without serious backing (and I’m talking a few people who can put in millions) there is no way a few “businessmen” with little to no television production experience leading small investors can succeed. That’s the reality. Painful to hear, but there it is.

Fourthly, the idea of introducing a “social network of fans around the world with a singular mission” and which functions as “a social hangout where we can gather to share ideas about how to spread the word or where we can organize to do things together” completely disregards the fact that this already exists… and has existed for almost 10 years. Every year, thousands of fans meet socially as part of local Browncoat Groups (some of which are now non-profits, others are purely social), tens of thousands more participate in online forums/social networks to share their passions and creativity, and thousands more again turn out every year for annual charity screenings of Serenity as part of “Can’t Stop the Serenity” (

Lastly, I find it very irresponsible for anyone to be asking people for money for this. They’re basically forming a company that will end up being putting together a Firefly fan film, which will likely get sued for license/trademark infringement. Experienced fans who have gone through the wringer of fandom campaigning more than once have tried to offer advice and guidance to the organisers of HNBF. As far as I can tell, this advice has not only been ignored, it has been rejected. And these aren’t just everyday folks who’ve been around this fandom for a while – these are people who have worked closely with Fox Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Mutant Enemy and many of the other entites involved in Firefly’s long life. They know the situation, they know how action can be taken, they know who to talk to… and more importantly, they know when to back off before those same entities decide that Browncoats are fanatics (in the bad way) and decide to shut things down forever.

So, to anyone thinking about putting up your hard earned cash to this enterprise, please consider your decision very carefully. Consider whether you are making a viable investment, or simply giving your money away. Consider whether your money can be better spent elsewhere in the name of Firefly – such as continuing 20th Century Fox’s interest in Firefly by buying official merchandise, supporting Dark Horse in producing Firefly comics penned by Joss & Co, supporting Titan Books in producing companions that include original Firefly stories by Firefly’s writing staff, and supporting the good works of campaigns like Can’t Stop the Serenity, Kids Need to Read, Browncoats: Redemption and so forth.

For myself, I will not be buying stock in this company. Not only because I believe it is going nowhere, not only because Whedon fans have been burned (badly and for big dollars) by similar start ups and endeavours in the past, but because I believe that this is not the way to go about continuing the stories of the Firefly verse. I want more Firefly, yes, but I want it penned by Joss and I want it when Joss is ready to tell it. Which is not now.

Note: This comment (now slightly modified) has been posted to the HNBF site, but is awaiting moderation... and has been for some time.
My comment is also awaiting moderation on HNBF, but, to be fair, they're publishing very negative comments. I don't think they're actively censoring.
It appears that if you hadn't posted before today, you're on moderation. But you would think that if they're going to post something so big, they'd have bodies ready to tackle the moderation queue.
I have several comments over there. Maybe I will rehash them here, maybe not. For now I'll just link this response I generated from someone else's homage-y tweets.
Jen's statement is very cogent and comprehensive, and would that mine had been anything as detailed a refutation. Here it is rehashed, anyway:

"OK, since you asked: nope, I'm not behind this. Even if I thought the fans could acquire the rights to Firefly and/or Serenity - and I don't - some kind of Firefly-by-committee is my idea of bad.

I can't image this herd of cats (and I love cats and I love my fandom) agreeing on a direction for the show, nor can I imagine the actors coming back for this, nor am I interested in another post-Firefly fan production. Any way you look at this, and any incarnation that I've heard suggested, I'm not for this. If *Joss* wanted to acquire the rights and wanted to fundraise to do it - but he wouldn't - I might get behind it, but not this way.

I *so* appreciate that when this thing snow-balled so quickly, the original HNBF had an (intoxicating) tiger by the tail, and I also appreciate that most people involved and fans of this effort *love* Firefly and are *completely* well-intentioned, but we all know what the road to Hell is paved with, and just: no".

(And I love b!X's art of Marian Call's clever re-quoting.)
While @mariancall re-quoting is funny, it does sound like encouraging the division Simon speaks about in the summary. Whose franchise exactly? Does it belong to some category of fans?

ETA: good point. Joss speaking, obviously.

[ edited by Ragondux on 2011-03-07 11:35 ]
My impression is that one should imagine Joss speaking.
It's Joss' franchise. We just live in it.
FYI, they've registered, in the name Domain Privacy Group, Inc. No address.
I'm only worried about fractures in one sense: I do honestly fear at this point that HNBF will force the cast and crew simply to never really speak of their own love of Firefly ever again, at least not as freely and earnestly as they always have. Because now every comment will be countered by, "So are you supporting the fans' attempt to buy the rights?"

I don't especially believe in the "you're only a real fan if..." thing, but that position is being sorely challenged by this group of fans who firmly believe it is okay to put Joss, the cast, and the crew in this position. I do believe it is selfish, self-centered, and childish. I'm working as hard as I can not to charge that these aren't "real fans", but it's difficult to not at least see them as unthinking and at least mildly uncaring ones.
My first instinct was to simply ignore it and hope it went away, but since this new development I am increasingly concerned about people being scammed again.

The whole thing sounds like something that Badger would be behind.

In one word : TRAP!
So, a minority faction of fans want to go against the apparent wishes of the people who made this show great? It makes me wonder if they even GOT to the heart of the message of 'Firefly' at all.

United we got her flying, even if only for the briefest of moments. And I really couldn't bear to let anyone rip her apart and fight over the bits left behind.

I understand their motives, but hope they go out and use their love of this franchise for GOOD works...not pipe dreams.
As much as i respect the people who put this together and I'm happy that it's bringing much needed awareness to Firefly I have 2 big problems about the whole concept.

1) Nathan himself has said not to give our money to anything involving firefly, if HE is saying it's a bad idea then I'm going to go with that.

2) It's been almost 10 years since Firefly ended... sad as it is to say I think it's time we accepted that we're not going to get any more. The cast are doing other things, Joss is helming big movies and if the show aired today it couldn't get the ratings needed to keep on air for too long.

Firefly was lightning caught in a bottle and as much as I wish it could be re-caught, I don't like the chances. I would much rather have the 13 episodes and movie that we got out of this amazing group of people, then have them come back and be hurt all over again when the network screws up and cancels it or the money runs dry and no more episodes are able to be made. Firefly will always live on in our hearts, it's just unlikely that it's going to return to our screens with new episodes
Just to contextualise this, the Facebook group for this has 132,000 people at last check (and growing), and they've pledged over $1m (and growing). There's still not a single real name attached to the people involved. I don't think it's a scam. I do think it's a well intentioned, badly organised internet campaign.

I know the fandom thinks this is a small thing which is silly and will go away, but: this is the biggest Firefly fandom movement ever, by a very long shot. Seriously. Go read the Facebook group. People are totally invested in this, and I fear that's going to be a literal investment soon.

My response is Nathan Fillion's response: "PLEASE DON'T SEND ANY MONEY." Quote marks for a reason.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-07 12:17 ]
Jenskijen about says it. Well intentioned bad idea which is starting to look like, at best, a bad idea coming from a place of profound denial (I don't think it's a scam though and anyway, we're all still free to buy into it or not, as with any other potential scam, folk are responsible for their own money and if they decide to send it to anonymous people on the internet that's up to them).

It'll end in tears, that's fer sure.
Buh. Wah. Okay, well.

I don't think I ever want to be part of this whether or not it is the biggest movement ever. Whatever happens, I don't think it will, in the end, be good or ultimately something that will maintain the once-polished relationship between the cast and crew of Firefly and the fans. (I have always loved that the fandom was described as mature, calm, and intelligent. Most fandoms are never described this way.)

I was hoping ignoring would make this go away and that hasn't worked, so I am commenting this:

I think there is but one way that I will ever get behind this, and that is when Joss is behind it. So if we reach that point, I will reconsider this view.
Yikes! Does this ever have 'bad idea' written all over it. Why the friggers would I give my hard earned cash to a bunch of fans who think they can force Firefly back on the air if they just get enough money to wave at Fox and Joss?

The ship has sailed people, let it go!
This is just one of the reasons why things like HNBF (or "Unstoppable Signals" as they're rebranding it) worry me - A Dark Chapter In Fandom Finally Closes? (Thanks @gossi for the heads up on the Save Enterprise campaign debacle)
And that example nicely shows why the continued HNBF anonymity needs to stop. It's not that anyone thinks HNBF is Tim Brazeal (or Ace Underhill), but the existence of people like Brazeal is one reason why transparency is a must.

It is long past time for the HNBF string-pullers to come out from behind the curtain. Stop hiding behind Danish spokespeople who don't know American entertainment business practices, and stop asking critics to talk to them privately via email or Twitter DMs.

Put your names (or at least ones that can be directly and easily traced to your real ones) on the thing and start talking to us. Out here in the open.
Browncoats: Redemption comment on this:

(1) Due to our relationship w/the charities, Joss' blessing on our project, (2) the limited support the BDH's gave & our handshake agreement w/studios on our project, we can not support [Help Nathan Buy Firefly]'s plan.
Looking at that article about Brazeal - isn't that EXACTLY the same model as they are using? In fact, do a find and replace 'Enterprise' with 'Firefly' and it's identical.
More reaction..

Alberta Browncoats:

Browncoat wanting to help? Pls don't give [Help Nathan Buy Firefly]$$. Instead Donate to @kidsneedtoread); attend a [Can't Stop The Serenity] event; buy @browncoatsmovie.

Melbourne Browncoats - Jenski

Discussion has started on an official statement against [Help Nathan Buy Firefly] from @MelbBrowncoats.

Please do not support the Help Nathan Buy Firefly/Unstopable Signals campaign. 20thC Fox has no plans to sell Firefly. Do not give them $$.

For what it's worth, [Can't Stop The Serenity] is still in the process of determining an official response to this.

Adam Levermore

I love #firefly. I miss #firefly. I am a #browncoat. And I oppose #hnbf.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-07 13:18 ]

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-07 13:19 ]

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-07 18:34 ]
I never understood why they didn't bother fan-advertising the Science Channel re-runs. If that picked up Jersey Shore numbers, I'm sure someone would give it another look.
Jaymil, that is exactly what they should have been doing. Firefly is back on the air and with all those new fans it could have earned respectable numbers (given the channel it's on) but instead we have ...this. *sigh*

I've left two comments. Had my browncoatyness questioned. And stopped myself from posting a third comment that was going to be snarky (out of frustration).

I put lexigeek's comment on my Facebook page.

Other than supporting those that get scammed once this blows up, I'm not sure what else I can do. And I really feel like I should do something. You see someone heading towards a cliff you try and stop them, right?
What a mess.
This is crazy. I wonder if the owners of this site are from Nigeria?
This just seems so ridiculous. I know it's like blasphemy at this site for me to say that I still haven't seen more than an episode or two of Firefly (supposed to work out a marathon viewing with a friend, which hasn't been happening yet), so I can't say I understand their original intention.

Fans should not come into ownership of any franchise. It's as simple as that.

And I don't mean to be a stick in the mud, but for the most part, I think that most "bring it back" campaigns are useless. I supported the "Why I Watch" movement for Dollhouse but that was before it was canceled. When a show has been off the air for as long as Firefly has been, I really don't see the point of these resurrection attempts, even if it WAS the greatest thing on television, etc. Yes, we got Serenity, and now we have comic books (for like, every single one of Whedon's creations).

I mean, I love Whedon shows as much as the next guy here, but when I see a scheme like this brewing, I honestly have to think, "Come on; you really have nothing better to do besides pour money into a project that just isn't gonna happen, and is a terrible idea anyway?" It's one thing to be a dedicated fan, to come here and to discuss, to watch old episodes for the fun of it, to wear T-shirts. It's another trying to shoehorn yourself into the world of television just to bring back your precious cult favorite.
I have to say, I'm geninuely stunned by how this one is playing out. A weekish ago it looked like this one was going to wind down, be redirected to positive things etc. Then they did the opposite of what was said. Then the Help Nathan Buy Firefly person posted on this site saying they were shutting down. Then they produced and distributed a plan which mentioned not asking for money and included this sentence at the beginning: "Unfortunately, Fox is not going to sell the rights, whether we get Joss or Nathan on board or not." (the owner of Help Nathan Buy Firefly wrote that sentence). Now they're talking about forming a business via fan money to buy the rights.

It doesn't even track. Sense has gone out the window here. I don't think this is a scam - I do think people need to think about what they're doing here.

Here's one thing I want to be clear about. I'm not speaking out about this because I think more Firefly is a bad thing. I love the show, and love the movie (sidebar: maybe more - the movie is a thing of beauty). I want more. But this isn't the way. This is turning into a real mess for everybody -- which, by the way, includes the organisers. Talk of collecting 7 figure sums are a lot of money to sit on.

To quote joss to Tim, and he said this publicly years ago, "At what point does CPR become necrophilia?". My answer: this point.

In the context of the show, the Browncoats lost the war. Mal didn't go and shoot up an Alliance cruiser. He went and found a crew, which became a his found family and community. That crew, that atmosphere, that ship is why people love the show.
Whedonesquers, I love you.

This feels a lot like the time I watched my sister date an absolutely horrendous young man who by the middle of their relationship, had her convinced that she was generally unlovable. I want to stop it, but I feel like making noise against it will just provide fuel for it.

Some of us Browncoats are no longer satisfied with promoting DVD sales and sending gloves to FOX.

This made me very angry. Seriously? Sending gloves? We didn't do that. (Did we?) We were, I thought, very successful in keeping that from happening.

gossi I don't think it's a scam but I do think there are people here who saw an opportunity for themselves as much as for their fandom.
There's a fine line between a poorly conceived and irresponsible plan and a scam. Everything in their language suggests to me that they don't really know what they're doing in terms of Firefly or fan efforts but they know just enough to specify the "remaining funds" will be returned to investors, and to use reassuring but vague legalese. It it isn't a scam yet it has all the necessary ingredients.
My own speculation is, it'll become a pseudo-scam just by virtue of incompetence (i.e. they won't intend to con people but when the dust settles folk will be out of pocket to no discernible gain just because of mismanagement). They're apparently struggling to moderate a forum of a few thousand members in a timely fashion (assuming they're not deliberately screening out negative comments) so how they hope to manage hundreds of thousands/millions of dollars from tens of thousands of contributers across the globe is anyone's guess.

I wonder if the owners of this site are from Nigeria?

Hopefully they are cos those guys make money hand over fist, i've seen the emails !

You see someone heading towards a cliff you try and stop them, right?

True and certainly well-intentioned but at the same time, it's also true that you learn caution by falling a few times. For the most part they're adults in other words, if they want to "invest" in pie in the sky that's their decision (and in fairness, some of them seem to see it as a genuine investment i.e. more like a bet - if their horse comes in they get more 'Firefly', otherwise they lose their money or at best gain nothing). A few runs around the emotional roller-coaster that can be this fandom isn't the end of the world (many here came out more or less unscathed the other end for instance ;). Added to that, so far no-one is actually asking anyone to send money anywhere.

And I must admit some of our comments on there are a bit less temperate than is ideal IMO. It's nigh certain that nothing will come of the campaign and we're right to point out the dangers to people but that's ALL we can (or should) do, we can't live folks' lives for them and taking it too personally or becoming overly paternalistic is just going to create the schism in the fandom that everyone's rightly worried about.

It's a bad idea, many wiser heads than mine have tried to tell them so. What else can we do ?

ETC: 'love' to 'globe'. WTF ? Sometimes it's like me and my subconscious are total strangers.

[ edited by Saje on 2011-03-07 14:45 ]
b!X and JenskiJen basically said it all for me.

I honestly never would have thought this would go so far. Not to diminish his feelings about the show, but I took Nathan's statement as something off-the-cuff. And this entire thing has gotten wildly out of hand. :-(
I was concerned when to pledge, I could only go through FB, and in doing so, I would have to hand them access to my info. Ummm.... Pass. They don't need a list of my friends, interests etc for me to pledge.

I worry this could be like that convention Nathan had to ride in and save the day for.
I do think this has the strong potential to go very wrong for fellow fans. I know the identity of two of the organisers now and could speculate as to the agendas at play here, but right now the important thing (I think) is to make sure this doesn't turn into more of a mess.

Saje, I think with the amount of money being talked about and sheer size of that Facebook group, it's only right to make sure people are fully aware, for example, Nathan said not to do this. The HNBFF website claims Nathan said not to buy him the rights. He didn't say that. He said not to send money. Read that Facebook group; some people clearly don't understand what's playing out here.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-07 14:50 ]
This is what Mondaris said on

"If we manage to secure the rights we will approach Whedon before the deal is finalized. If Whedon turns down the project we will not close the deal with FOX and the company will dissolve.

If we manage to get Whedon on and the production begins, then the money is going to fund a production. "

How will the money fund a production if they have spent all the money to buy the rights? Cause its going to cost more than 1 million dollars to buy the rights.
In the context of the show, the Browncoats lost the war. Mal didn't go and shoot up an Alliance cruiser. He went and found a crew, which became a his found family and community. That crew, that atmosphere, that ship is why people love the show.

Yes. This. He did what he could, on a scale he could handle, and he did it genuinely.
I thought about how much I'd be willing to kick in for this, and then I sent that amount to Doctors Without Borders instead. Thanks, HNBF!
"At what point does CPR become necrophilia?"

This sums up the entirety of my post in a nice little succinct phrase; thanks, Goss 'n Joss.

Something else that bugs me about this: if it's true that it took one million dollars to produce an episode back in 2001, and if that amount has probably doubled since then...if these people want to produce a 13-episode season with the same budget and quality value as Firefly, just imagine the money. >_<;

Granted, they probably want to produce less for more, and not whole seasons but rather mini-series (what's the plural for that?) and fan-films (except official fan films, which is...weird)...but my point still stands. All of this money could be going towards something worthwhile and far more important than bringing back a TV show, or at the very least applied to a charity organization associated with Browncoats.

And I'm of the opinion that when you obtain rights, you cease to become a fan. You're a shareholder at that point. You stop looking at things from a fan's perspective; or, worse, you apply the fan paradigm to the business model, which just doesn't work.
I hate how this makes us look. As a fandom - this entire thing makes us look crazy and desperate. Any legitimacy we have gained with the Can't Stop the Serenity charity screenings may be lost because folks can't let go and are letting Nathan Fillion's off-hand joke become something he never meant for it to be.
"Sorry, Businessman Fifteen - yes, from Nigeria - stole all the money! We're all just as shocked, but he's the guilty one! We don't actually know his name..."

Maybe a bit much to ask, but wouldn't it be nice if Fox's crack legal team just once stepped up to protect their property from someone who actually is exploiting it for money?
Saje, I think with the amount of money being talked about and sheer size of that Facebook group, it's only right to make sure people are fully aware, for example, Nathan said not to do this.

I absolutely agree gossi (and the way what Nathan said is being spun in some quarters is depressing and annoying). But when we do and folk seem not to care, there's no point in creating animosity by belabouring it is my point. We're ALL going to lose in that case, that's an aftertaste that'll long outlast the sting of losing 50 quid for people that seem to feel they can afford it.

How will the money fund a production if they have spent all the money to buy the rights? Cause its going to cost more than 1 million dollars to buy the rights.

Yeah, among the numerous holes in the "plan" that's one i've been wondering about myself. They buy the rights and then have to raise money all over again. Either they or we are seriously misjudging the amounts required I think (and i'm willing to invest -$100 on it being them ;).
I love Firefly. I love the Browncoats and the amazing stuff they've done. The Firefly fandom is truely one of a kind. But stuff like this, to have all this lunacy come from one off-hand comment from Nathan... shit, it's embarrassing.
I think what all of this has shown me is that there are lots of people who want Firefly content. The easiest way to show that is to support this thing - even though it is probably the wrong thing to do.

There are people that want more canon Firefly stories, and not just from the graphic novel stuff. We want more.
As the nominal "Cap'n" of the Southern Indiana Browncoats, I do Not support this project,
and I urge all Indiana Fans to abstain from contributing to this ill-conceived plan.
"If we manage to secure the rights we will approach Whedon before the deal is finalized. If Whedon turns down the project we will not close the deal with FOX and the company will dissolve.

If we manage to get Whedon on and the production begins, then the money is going to fund a production. "

"I smell a lotta 'if' coming off this plan"
Simple questions: What happens to the Money if they Fail? Will they return every dime donated? How?
I agree with Saje. I think criticism of the plan and leaders is fine, as is warning their supporters, up to a point. Many of them seem new to fandom and are excited to have found a community of like-minded people, which is something I can sympathize with. There's a point though where they've been warned and decide to carry on anyway. I think that point gets a little closer the more judgmental the tone of the criticism and the more it's saying stuff like "you're embarrasing us."
TDBrown, they say they return what money is left (after hiring somebody and expenses). How, I don't know.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-07 15:55 ]
They say everyone that gives money becomes a shareholder. It shouldn't bee too difficult to track shareholders down in case they want to refund everyone.

However, they also said they wouldn't ask for money. They said lots of things.
What a horrible mess.

I think the biggest disappointment in all of this is the complete squandering of the amazing opportunity the organizers have. This could have been the birth of something great, with them leading and defining a new post-social networking Firefly fan base. Just imagine 100,000 'new' fans (I assume most of these fans aren't really people from the older, traditional fan boards and associations) injecting their, currently misguided, passion into genuine, realistic goals like CSTS. Or even forging their own fandom legend by launching their own charities and initiatives.

But what we get is... this.
As someone pointed out, if they had mobilised their supporters for a "tune into Firefly on the Science Channel" campaign then it could have caused an interesting ratings spike which execs may have noticed.

But instead there was a pledge system and mostly silence.
If the money is pooled by thousands (or hundreds of thousands of fans) and this project does not come to fruition, they wouldn't possibly be able to return all of the unused funds. How would they be able to cut refund checks to all those people? Just the cost of hiring a "payroll" style firm to print them would be enormous.

Lets make it easy by assuming these "investing" fans are ALL inside the United States (which a huge percentage would not be) at $.44/mail-item, it would be a fortune in postage. (100,000 would cost $44,000 in postage.)
I have to be honest: I have never even heard of the science channel before and am not even sure if I get it on my cable package.

*rushes to*

Can't find anything there.

Google? Yes! I do get the channel. Unfortunately its only shown late at night and I work 3rd shift. Guess I'll just settle for my DVDs.
Is Ronald D. Moore behind their plan?
I've been uber busy lately and have not followed the HNBF news, other than with a passing interest and the belief it was just nutty and would blow over--until this thread. First, I cannot imagine that, in this economy, people have money just to throw after an obviously crack-pot scheme, even if it is/was well intentioned. But, second, I'm with all of those above who have said that this is going to make the entire fandom look bad and overshadow all the good that has come from our love of Joss, his shows, and his causes.

Jeez, let's look forward to the new things that emerge from Joss's brain and his collaboration with the creativity of others in the business and treasure all the memories of what we've had--and the DVDs that are like living scrapbooks for those memories.
Maybe the positive answer is to re-invigorate the existing fan networks so that those new fans have something to pour their energy into. We stopped having Firefly meetups in the North West after the attendance dropped to under 6 people but if there was a new influx of fans wanting to get together and geek about Firefly and Serenity then maybe it would be worth starting up again.

I remember at the first Browncoat Christmas Party in London there were almost 30 people over the course of the night, there were definitely that amount at the last CSTS I went to.

Do people still go to regular Firefly meetups? If the people currently being conned into this nonsense were actually part of a regular group maybe they wouldn't have been because they would have heard about previous endeavours.
Please tell me this mess isn't still being covered by the "bigger" media outlets (and I just managed to miss the articles/spots). Hopefully they've moved their attention onto other things with more mass appeal? (I think I heard somewhere that Charlie Sheen's been up to something or other.) Maybe it will all get dismissed as "some minor net thing?" *crosses fingers* I guess what makes me most sick, is the potential backlash of misunderstandings against CSTS. Now there's something that could use a million dollars.
I love Firefly with all my heart, I've met some of the shiniest people you could ever hope to meet through Firefly, but there are some pretty deranged people out there. Right now, they are misrepresenting what Nathan Fillion said about sending money. And that says to me the Big Damn Plan is a Big Damn Scam.
Exactly doubleshiny. This could have been such a positive shot in the arm for the existing fandom; shaking things up with fresh enthusiasm and new ideas. It's something every fandom needs from time to time. But this is shaping up to be like something from the Buffy fandom, only uglier.
I'm trying to picture an organisation wanting to create formal structures, missions and points for the Buffy fandom. They'd be laughed out of town.
Well I wholeheartedly agree with Saje. First, we've stated our concerns and made it known that Nathan is not behind this idea. If after that, these grown people choose to kick their money in, there is nothing more we can do. If we start taking a tack of you are wrong and we are right (and hence better fans) we will contribute to fracturing the fandom apart. It remains to be seen if this is a scam or just a good intentioned pipe dream. It also remains to be seen that when they realize that this is a bad idea, if they won't re-orient in a more positive way. If we make enemies of the people that are passionate about this then we will burn any future bridges that may be able to be built with this new group of fans.

Finally, Kaan, I don't remember anything this ugly coming from the Buffy fandom and even if it did in the past, suggesting that the Firefly fandom is somehow better than the Buffy fandom is just the kind of dialogue that we don't need here. I would venture a guess that most people on this site, would consider themselves equally a part of both fandoms.
God, what a mess. On the one hand it's great to see so many people new people jazzed about doing something, shame it's something so vague and shady. IF you want to honor Nathan somehow when he has said NOT to send these people any money, then donate to his favorite charities, especially KNTR. I'm sure he'd be thrilled. Instead this is going to become a huge fandom exploding mess based on a few nostaglic "if only I won the lottery" comments.

How will the money fund a production if they have spent all the money to buy the rights? Cause its going to cost more than 1 million dollars to buy the rights.

Exactly. I'm sure that if it were in any way feasible to buy the rights (from a FOX that was willing) and produce episodes/webisodes independantly, Joss would have done it with his own money and other investors, without opening the can of worms that is 1000's of fans claiming producers credits or wanting their money back if they didn't like the storyline.

I'm reminded a little bit of the "Sanctuary" webisodes issues. Sci-fi genre industry veterans/Stargate alumni took an indepedantly funded project and tried to make it work by fans/viewers paying for it on the web. It failed in that model and was reworked for "Syfy" as a traditional TV show. As far as I know they still finance a lot of it independently but not from people paying to see it. It just shows the pitfalls of experienced people with a ton of professional contacts, credit with banks and finaners and business plans can end up admitting they were a bit naive, let alone a fan campaign with no real plan or lawyers with legal contracts or entertainment contacts.

Joss himself said he looked into a self funded model after Dr. Horrible and concluded it wouldn't really work didn't he?
The grief that comes with death is always difficult.
Each new fan that finds Firefly and wants more, as longer term fans have wanted more, will have to learn to deal with it.

Sharing with them the history of the Browncoat fandom and the experiences of the Star Trek one with compassion will hopefully dissuade them from this course. Barring that, we calmly reaffirm our support of existing positive fan efforts while declining to support HNBF.
I just find it odd that when TPTB suggested people buy the DVD that benefited charity people started demanding to know who they were but now that they are putting a plan in motion to ask for money to go direct to them no one seems to care that they are still anonymous. I just don't get it.

Yes, there isn't much more that we can do other than try to warn them and let them do what they will. Still sucks.

If anyone else is going to chim in over there, I do suggest that any message is kept polite, to the point, and reinforces that it is the plan that is in question, not the fans themselves.

Also, on an unrelated note: I hate winter.
I am simply following Alberta Browncoats' lead: if Nathan says don't send money, my money is better given elsewhere.
I miss when being a Browncoat meant you were a part of an enthusiastic, tightly-knit group of fans that enjoyed the same quality entertainment, and were the most open and friendly people I've ever met. We'd post together on forums, get together at Shindigs, and were always interested in bringing more people into the fold.

But it appears now that things have grown out of control, and a few fringe elements are doing their best to derail the entire fandom, and all the goodwill we've built over the years of supporting charities and just generally being a likeable group of non-crazy fans. That makes me really sad, because I've always been proud to be a Browncoat.
As much as i respect the people who put this together...

This is probably the most damning thing and has been reiterated over and over. Even the person known as Mondariz over there is using a pseudonym. I asked in my post at their plan site: "If the organizers of this campaign are proud of their efforts, why do they not step forth and self-identify?"

I would not follow or involve myself in any fan-organized venture unless I knew specifically who was at the helm and what their background was. But that's me, a dreamer who is equal parts logical and pragmatic. Can you imagine if the Browncoat Cruise or anything like it had been put together this way? I would have been running away at full tilt screaming for help or putting up a bat signal.

There's been some conversation at the Yahoo So. Calif. Browncoats group I gave Gossi a link to. I do hope that the conversation around releasing a joint group statement goes forward. I mean, what else can be done?

The only other thing I can hope is that Joss or his colleagues read this topic and full well understand that many of his fans/followers, and the folks who supported him and his work through CSTS, Done the Impossible et al, have no relationship or alignment with this campaign.
Finally, Kaan, I don't remember anything this ugly coming from the Buffy fandom and even if it did in the past, suggesting that the Firefly fandom is somehow better than the Buffy fandom is just the kind of dialogue that we don't need here. I would venture a guess that most people on this site, would consider themselves equally a part of both fandoms.

Okay one point, I did say something "uglier" than in Buffy fandom, but that's moot. What I meant by my comment is the state of the Buffy fandom, as compared to Firefly's, only in the way of how splintered and fragmented it is. Firefly, for the most part, has been a pretty unified fandom which has allowed them to achieve a lot, like CSTS. What HNBF threatens is to cause division and infighting between old and new fans. Although stemming from completely different sets of circumstances, the same thing happened with Buffy fandom (and is still happening), which led to mass exits and the forming of smaller niche-fandoms. There isn't much harmony in the Buffy fandom. People love it and it works in it's way, but it wont ever be a single, cohesive entity. (Except, I guess, if they re-cancel Angel ;)) It's one of the reasons, imo, there isn't really an equivalent of CSTS in Buffy fandom. There aren't many causes that can unite all disparate aspects of it.

I don't view Firefly fandom as better than Buffy's. I am actually much more invested in Buffy fandom over any other Joss show, but I do try to see where our strengths and weaknesses lie.

[ edited by Kaan on 2011-03-07 18:14 ]
I feel bad, I thought the HNBF campaign was cute at first. Completely unrealistic, but harmless. "Leave 'em be", I said. "They will see how silly it is." However,the tremendous reaction, the zag away from promises to redirect the focus or end the campaign continue to make me sad. Now blatantly ignoring Nathan's wishes when his name is being used just completely pisses me off. It's an unrealistic, disrepectful and dishonest effort at this point.
I really would like to hear what Joss and others behind Firefly have to say about this. Personally, I can't say I support this at all. Even if it's not intentionally a scam (which I don't think it is), it seems like so much could go wrong.
Holy pajamas. I don't think this is being covered in the mainstream press beyond the interview asking Nathan Fillion about it (here's hoping that was the last of that question). For what it's worth (which may be zilch), I don't think this is going to make "Firefly" fandom look bad. Either people understand that fandoms sometimes glitch (and this wouldn't be the first time something like this happened with a fandom), or they know so little about fandoms that they assume all sorts of crazy stuff happens, or they know so little about fandoms that they have no idea of *anything* that goes on. But I think it would take something much bigger and probably qualitatively different from this for "Firefly" fandom to look especially strange compared to other fandoms in the minds of either fans or non-fans. JMHO, your mileage may vary.
Even the person known as Mondariz over there is using a pseudonym.

I figured out who they were with a quick Google search, by the way. Sci-fi novelist.
I think that the fans wanting Nathan Fillion to buy Firefly is INCREDIBLY selfish and asking FAR too much of him. That is all.
1 Million dollars an episode? In what alternative universe? I remember reading in EW a long time ago(so it may even be untrue) that it cost 1 mil EVERY time they staked a vamp onscreen in Buffy. I don't think you could make a show for 1 mil. Heck, sitcoms cost more than that.
There's also the small matter of the set. Which - for Serenity - took Universal Studios largest soundstage. And cost millions to build, light etc.

There's no point me poking holes in this, it just makes me sound bitter. I'm not. If this was doable, I'd be all over it. There's so many holes in the idea I wouldn't know where to begin.
Yeah, nevermind sounding bitter, there's no point cos it'd be like picking holes in a net ;).
Not much I can really add to the discussion, other than to say I agree with many of the above posters. I did leave a comment on the HNBF site last night. I did maintain a polite but concerned tone, basically saying that although I love the fandom and the new enthusiasm, I wish the momentum gathered from this movement could be better served by donating to the charities Joss and Crew hold dear to their hearts - such as Equality Now and Kids Need To Read.
My biggest concern, along with many others', is the effect this division will cause the fandom as a whole. I hate to see all the good works we have done be for naught. I hate to think this will make it harder to recruit new fans. And even more so, I hate to see what is the potential to either turn the newer fans (and even the long existing ones) away from the fandom or for them to become closeted fans, because either the mainstream gives us a bad rap or because the are just ashamed at how far out of control this has become. I just have to hope that in the end we can all come back together, stronger than ever!
The other event I am worried about is how this is going to effect Joss and the cast. As has been said, it will be sad if this makes Nathan and the others not able to speak up in interviews and such about their love of Firefly for fear of this situation arising again. I also hope Joss, etc. will understand this movement is being led by a small population of fans, and not by the fandom as a whole.
Left my comments (which were not all that polite:))over there last night. The morning has brought a little perspective.

What they are proposing to do is going to be really really difficult. Way more difficult than I think they can possibly fathom. And slow. Painfully slow. Between the difficulty, slowness, and wrangling an impatient, demanding, and gorram opinionated fandom this will destroy itself. Hopefully before too many fools are parted with their money and before Joss has to step out of his comfort zone to shut them down but, it will destroy itself.

The people involved simply are not up to this herculean task. If it was someone (or a group of someones) who have been in the industry for even a dozen years, I might be less skeptical but, a computer programmer in Texas, his buddy and a scifi writer from Denmark are not going to make the right contacts to even get a lot pass much less a meeting at 10201 West Pico.

I'm breathing a little easier about it all today.
The idea here is to create a limited partnership to be owned by the fans. Anyone who invests in the company has a voice. The purpose of this partnership will be to enable what everyone has been hoping for all these years: the production and distribution of more of our favorite show. Obviously, there are a lot of things to figure out before we actually get to that point.

We're going to create a system through which anyone can invest in the organization. If we can't raise enough money, or if we can't acquire the rights we're after, we return the remaining funds. No hassle, no questions, no worries. There might be expenses like hiring a veteran negotiator, but we're going to keep expenses minimal. We're fans and will be investing too, so we will make it as safe an investment as we can for all involved.

I have more than a decade of experience as a corporate lawyer helping to establish and finance numerous businesses, including publicly-traded corporations. The so-called "plan" is one that should be treated with a *lot* of skepticism. "Anyone can invest and everyone gets a say, and if it doesn't work out, everyone gets the money back" is not at all how a limited partnership works. What they are describing is basically a public offering of securities, activity which is heavily regulated under United States securities laws. Setting up something like what they are talking about will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in professional fees for lawyers, accountants and auditors, so people should not assume that there would be any significant amount of money that could be returned to the limited partners in the event that the project fails.

The anonymous folks who are setting this up claim to be businessmen, but assuming that's true, they are displaying a remarkably cavalier attention to the legal implications of what they are trying to get us to buy into.
Trust me! You don't need to know my name *waves hand* I'm a businessman... these isn't the signal you're looking for. Guy killed me, Mal... killed me with an SEC audit! How weird is that?
I love Jane Espenson. That is all.
Jane Espenson says:
I made a whimsical comment about #Firefly - if Joss revived the show, I'd help. But it's not practical. Save your $ for #Avengers tix.

My comment:
If Joss hits Avengers out the park and the studio does its job, all bets are off anyway. Ya know, assuming the fanbase hasn't eaten each other by then.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-07 19:54 ]
From what I've noticed between the website and Facebook comments, everyone in support is completely okay with ripping off Serenity, the movie (for "promotion" of this "cause") to buy the rights from Fox. Yeah, that'll go over well.
; > zeitgeist.

I'd pretty much missed the whole 2006 Ace Underhill Firefly re-boot thing (great name for a private dick, though...) so a little googling brought me back to WHEDONesque, of course, and I read this very relevant comment by Allyson here. This chunk was was especially pertinent:

"Jeremy speaks of connections, money, and experience of these folks.

Mr. Whedon has all three of these things in spades. Why would he need these guys? What is it exactly that they can do, that Joss Whedon cannot?

I also think it's crappy to force Joss Whedon to say "no" in such a public way. It appears as though unless Joss makes some sort of public statement, the operators of the site will continue on stressing some sort of stance that because he hasn't protested, then it's all good.

But if he were to post and say, "no. this is not how Things Work. if I need help, I'll let you know, but thank you for thinking of me," would that end these sorts of Rube Goldbergesque plans/websites from occuring in the future?"

My daughter asked me about this the other night. She's not exactly the fandom type and she was appalled. She asked me forthrightly, "Aren't you embarrassed by this?" I had to answer that I was.
Everything else I was thinking, JenskiJen has said better. So- what she said. ( Thank you, JenskiJen )
We've been trying the "ignore and it'll go away" approach too but this is getting crazy. I really hope Joss doesn't find out about this. Fillion is clearly already a little freaked, I'm sure (he would'nt have put out the "Don't send money" statement if he weren't). Jane is weighing in against it...but hopefully Joss is so busy Avengering that it's flying under his radar.

This is definitely already bad for cast & crew of the Whedonverse who may now think twice before commenting positively on their Whedoney past, for fear of being the center of something like this.
QuoterGal Thanks for sharing that excellent comment from Allyson. I've missed her voice in all of this noise. She always finds a way to speak (write) with a reasonableness and gravity that I just can't seem to muster. But yeah.

If this were going to happen, it would have happened. We need to let it go.
More from Jane:
Joss not avail. Few writers or cast members avail. Rights not for sale. Little interest from studios/networks. Other than that...
I really would like to hear what Joss and others behind Firefly have to say about this.

Personally, I would really have liked to find a way to avoid this. I still hope we can avoid it, because they shouldn't have to get dragged into this any further.
To be honest, I wonder if Joss commenting would even stop it now anyway. Nathan tried to kibosh it with a pretty direct statement and that seems to have had roughly the same effect as throwing grapes in front of a runaway steamroller.

Other than that...

So... Jane's saying there aren't many problems with the idea ?

(sums up the situation and in less than 140 characters. Lady should write for a living or something)
What I mean to say is that I don't think this will be resolved unless Joss says something, which is unfortunate, but it may be the only way (assuming they'll even listen to him).
Posted my thoughts here then came and found that JenskiJen already said it better. Ah, well.

One thing I mentioned that I haven't seen elsewhere: the comparison to buying the right to the Terminator franchise. How is that in any way similar? Terminator was owned by a variety of people/companies, most of whom went through money troubles. Yes, it sold for $30 million, but only because it went up for auction from a company (Halycon) that was filing for bankruptcy. 20th Century Fox is not in that position.
If Joss hits it out of the park with The Avengers, the studio will sign him up for Avengers 2, not Serenity 2.
Yes, it sold for $30 million, but only because it went up for auction from a company (Halycon) that was filing for bankruptcy. 20th Century Fox is not in that position.

At least not yet... ;)
I added links to Jane's tweets.
tink, I can dream. (And I wasn't saying Marvel would hire him for Serenity 2, 'cos, that'd be a weird version).
As I mentioned on Twitter, I wonder if the people behind "Help Nathan Buy Firefly" are just some 4chan posters trying to get off by destroying a SciFi fandom. It's only thing that makes sense.

But in all seriousness, this needs to stop this very second.

[ edited by crazygolfa on 2011-03-07 20:47 ]
tink, I can dream. (And I wasn't saying Marvel would hire him for Serenity 2, 'cos, that'd be a weird version).

At least then we could count on Wash coming back.
That's another thing about this that bothers me is that it forces them to comment on something that they shouldn't have too. Nathan revealed a wish, a dream, in an interview.
No one should have to regret answering such a fun question; which was based on a recent Castle episode.
Seems it's 'we're going to do this until he tells us not too. Oh, he did? But ge meant that with a wink.' And that they'll only except no from Joss himself, in writing in the blood of a thousand puppies, and carved into the side of a mountain so that it's indisputable. Then they'll complain about the graffiti he caused.
(Yeah, I stole a bit from Doctor Who on that image...)

Man, I am so playing woulda, coulda, shoulda in my head over this. Not healthy.
Y'know, this is the sort of thing that I'd love to see succeed, but it doesn't stand a snowball's chance. If the main spokesperson on that site isn't trying to run a scam (and (s)he's being awfully vague and doing an awful lot of hand-waving), then (s)he's just being terribly unrealistic. Either way, there's no way I'd be throwing money at this project, even if it was for "Buffy".

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2011-03-07 20:52 ]
"At least then we could count on Wash coming back."

The Dark Wash Saga? That can't end well.
They posted thing on Facebook about unveiling themselves: "When we wrap up the business paperwork and put up the website, we'll have bio's on all involved."

They're still going ahead. *facepalm*. I feel sorry for the fans caught in the middle of this.
"If 'Firefly' ever started back up, would you want to be involved?"

"Oh, hell yes, I'd be right out there in a heartbeat, you couldn't keep me away!" (leans forward and says, in a lower, faster voice: "Pursuant to a signed contract with Mutant Enemy Productions, if not in violation of my own existing contractual obligations at the time or near future, do not send any money to ruttin' anybody, not even me, or use this statement or any of its inferred potential meanings, messages or wink-wink nudges as the basis for any spontaneous ad-hoc fundraising activities with my name in the gorram URL, you hear me?" Leans back, smiles, waits for next question)
Wait, there'd be Dark Wash? I may need to reconsider my position on this.
Holy crap, has this ever turned into a complete mess. It seems like just a bit over a week ago I was complimenting the HelpNathanBuyFF peeps on the way they were handling the wind down on this very site - wait, it was!

I have no clue how things have spiraled out of control, this fast, but it's certainly all kinds of crappy.

In principal, I love the enthusiasm driving this. It seems not that long ago I was one of these people trying to get others to see Serenity, campaigning for the movie and aiming for that Big Damn Sequel on several of my regular on-line hang-outs.

Since then, though, a bit of realism and common sense has slipped into this fandom. Back when Serenity appeared (or in the intermezzo between cancellation and movie premiere) we didn't know how many of us there were, if this movie would have enough main stream traction, if we were even at all 'mighty' ;), etcetera.

This time around, we do know things. We know this plan is full of holes. I don't need to point any of them out to anybody reading this, as they're both obvious and have been pointed out by others in this thread much more eloquently than I could have done.

The bad thing, though, is that some of the more experienced and visible browncoats here are, well, experienced and visible. They're the 'old guys', the 'establishment', who can easily be painted as burned out and not up for the new fight. It's already happening on the linked site as we speak.

This is why I think the worst thing for us, as a group of people who predominantly believe this to be a bad idea, is to go into this steaming pot of enthusiasm and trying to smother the flames of passion that are so clearly on display here. Were this me, getting all riled up about this idea I felt very passionately about, people coming in and harshing my squee - as the people on the internets tend to say ;) - would be completely counterproductive. I'd only be more determined to prove these pessimistic nay-sayers wrong. Which is the effect we're seeing on these sites as well, I believe, and leads to an 'us versus them' inter-fandom type of thing.

So, what would our alternatives be? I have no clue. To be frank, I can't see a clear way out of this whole mess now that it's come this far. Like gossi said somewhere upthread, this is turning into the biggest browncoat movement ever. The best I can think of is to limit discussions on sites like and keep them civil. The next step would probably be to get established fan-groups to give a simple and non-provocative 'no' to this (like we've seen happening; which makes me happy) and trying to redirect some of this wonderful fan energy into more realistic and promising endeavors - although I have no clear idea of how to do that. Maybe others here do (then again, maybe not).

All in all, though, I come right back to my original conclusion: this is a mess. A huge one.

ETF a runaway sentence.

[ edited by GVH on 2011-03-07 21:09 ]
All the Whedon properties have always had splinters, divisions among the specific fandoms. Yes, even in the Browncoat community, probably into lesser extremes compared to the other groups, but there are divisions. However as division goes, most of the groups have learned to exist peacefully.

The scary part that this "movement" have brought is the belief that there is a "right way" to be a fan, and the other ways are just wrong.

I was really hoping that this debacle would've mostly died-off, 2 or 3 days ago, but instead it has heated up.

The signs of internal implosion, might stop things from going ahead, but as gossi said, I feel really sorry for the fans, especially people that have started to become more active in fandom due to this, caught in the middle of this fire.
Interviewer: "So Nathan, I heard you still miss Firefly! Do you ever wish you could do more?"

Nathan's publicist: "This interview is OVER!"
Yeah, Sunfire, that Dark Wash thing sold me, too. I'm in now. Luckily I have no principles or backbone, so rapid-fire flip-flopping is not a problem for me... ; >

"The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the speaker wherever possible or necessary. Probably."
Wow, this thing has been blown up way out of proportion. What the hell are these people smoking? Normally I'm all for crazy schemes, but this is just ridiculous. And the people behind it, for all their apparently good intentions, are completely irresponsible and disrespectful - not to mention delusional.

I feel so bad for Nathan that they twisted and perverted his innocent remark like that.

I also feel bad for the newbies who will in a few months get their hearts broken (not to mention never see their money again) when the whole thing vanishes in a puff of smoke. Most of them have to be newbies, right? They all sound like they're still in the first stages of grief over losing the show and those of us who have been in the fandom for a couple years are usually over this stage already. But it pains me to see so many people getting their hopes up with such an obviously unworkable "plan".

And I agree: Joss shouldn't have to comment on something like this. And I hope he won't, because it is just not worth him getting involved at all.

I still think the best policy is to ignore this mess until it goes away on its own. It's just no use right now to try to convince those enthusiastic fans that they are following a pipe dream. They plain won't listen. No matter how many common sense comments we post on their website, they will either ignore them or the whole discussion will erupt into a big flame war. Either way it's a big waste of time.
Just to be clear, I feel sorry for the people -- I'd say a vast majority of them at a guess -- who saw something called "Help Nathan Buy Firefly", with Nathan Fillion's image on it, and said "Yes! I want to help Nathan make more Firefly!".

And that isn't what this is about.

I don't think fans should go on the Facebook page and argue with other fans. This is not a civil war. The people running this thing (whoever that is) need to be held for account. I'd say a majority of the fans caught up in this won't know the issues surrounding it, and they're going to be asked for money for this business some anonymous people are setting up.

It's a mess. I'm absolutely amazed they're continuing with this. It's unacceptable. I know people think this should simply be ignored, but fans have pledged 7 figures here. A million dollars. If we say 'Oh well, it doesn't matter', that's not where I want to be.
I'm not sure I've seen anyone say that it doesn't matter, gossi - what I am seeing is people not being able to decide what's the most helpful response.

I myself get torn between the 1) if you ignore it, it's like ignoring a disease symptom, i.e., denial, and the disease will spread, and 2) if you ignore it, like someone teasing you, it might stop because they're not getting the response they need.

For me, it's a bit of a conundrum.
I'm not the most articulate of fans in the first place, and in the second place once my emotions take hold I degenerate into splutterings and affronted accusations, so I am thankful for all those who said it so much better for me, particularly JenskiJen. If a plain statement of facts doesn't dissuade the overly enthusiastic fans, hopefully it will at least have planted a seed of caution into the more level-headed fans.
This is just so frustrating, I feel like such an uprising of fandom should be used for something actually achievable or worthwhile. Either charity or fan promotion on the Science Channel. I really have no idea how to react to it now.

Everyone here has been around the block with the pitfalls of a project like this, but even for the website creators or newbie fans a cursory look around the web will reveal how hard it is to fund, create and market indie films and web series and similar projects. Even The Guild is sponsered by Microsoft because costs were high. And we're talking a fraction of the amount needed for Firefly. Here they are talking about sums which could add up to hundreds of millions of $$$ and that's before any preliminary admin/legal stuff that also costs a fortune is added. I really just don't understand why they think that's a viable target to reach.

Nor have they addressed this issue that Jane sucinctly tweeted in 140 characters: Basically everyone involved is contractually tied to new shows and might not be aviable for years, if ever and certainly not all at the same time.

[ edited by Heavs on 2011-03-07 21:37 ]
Let's be honest, people say (or write) a lot of things. Especially on the internet. I really believe when the time comes to cough up the money, a lot of the people who pledged ridiculous sums will never be heard from again.
Of course I might be totally wrong, but hey: if somebody thinks he can afford to sink a 7 figure sum into a crazy project, who am I to tell them not to? They probably can afford to lose it anyway.
What QG just said. What type of response (or in a certain sense, the lack of response) is the appropriate response to cause as less damage as possible.
What is the right action to take here? Do nothing and just expect the problem will vanish, do something and maybe making the problem worse, do nothing and the problem just lingers?
Thank you GVH - been trying to find a way of saying much the same thing as you did above. To be perfectly honest all this well-advised nay-saying just makes me want to support the effort purely out of spite. The badness of this movement is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It will fail because it is poorly thought out and totally impractical - facts which those not cogent enough to figure out on their own will be learning soon enough; it will do them good. I'm pretty sure this fandom is strong enough to weather a couple more fruitless fan efforts.
Simple statements and when asked what people could really do to help Firefly say, "watch it on the Science channel" and "stay a community". That's pretty much it. Maybe after it's run is over on the Science channel, if people really want to spend money, send the folks over there a thank you card. And some ice cream. Just for kicks.

BTW, I'm only saying ice cream because I'm at work and I really want some. Also I'm super tired from digging out my car and I'm possibly not making sense. Seriously, ow.
I have no idea what the correct response is from fans.

I can tell you what the correct response is for the Help Nathan Buy Firefly people: redirect this into, say, the Equality Now Can't Stop The Serenity screenings, or the great work Kids Need To Read do... Point people towards the existing Browncoat groups across the US, the forums, the meetups people have, the fan films, fan art, fanfic they've made. There's a real chance to use this thing for good. I think whatever is going on here will help reshape the fandom.
I think the best tactic to take is to try and be supportive of there passion but just state simply that we aren't behind this plan and the reasons why we aren't. When we state why we are not we need to do it in non-judgemental way, that isn't about telling them if they continue to support this they are ruining Firefly or the 'Verse. If I heard negativity like that it would just make me try harder and hold on tighter. If we just keep a neutral dialogue with them about everyone's love for Firefly, when this dies down we will be in a position to direct their passions in constructive ways. Honestly, not everything on that Facebook page is about their BDP, there is alot of just talking about Firefly and quotes and articles and comics. I think we continue to engage them on that level (the fan level) and continue to politely voice our objections to the BDP. The thing we can all agree upon is that we all love Firefly. If we can connect with them about that, then when the BDP falls apart we will be there to help. We can't stop grown people from making decisions we don't agree with. Frankly, until Joss speaks on this, it won't stop.
gossi that's not what the supporters who are sticking with this want, though. They want to fight for more Firefly. I even saw one post where a person explained how cons and CSTS are "too fanatical" but this was perfect. Some of the supporters might be interested in CSTS but I don't think it's as easy as substituting their main objective with existing fan efforts. I'd hoped that early on but not anymore.
I know. No answer is a good answer. The group is called "Help Nathan Buy Firefly" and even Nathan is basically saying '...What?' (but in a classier way) - which means whatever gets done, there's going to be people who get annoyed. But taking money off people does not seem like the best way forward for anybody involved.
I agree with Sunfire that that sort of pivot is basically impossible at this point.
I say keep the signal of factual information going for those who want to find it without descending into old guard vs. new fans. That to me seems like a pretty good answer. For the people who don't want to find the information or don't care about it, there's nothing anyone can do anyway.
Sunfire makes a good point. I suspect I have a lot of friends (apparently 9 of them like the Facebook page) who consider themselves people who'd love to see more Firefly, but who would never attend CSTS or the Browncoat Ball. For them it's just about more stories, I think, not about building a fan community or making a difference.

I totally value stories. I just don't think using my funds to buy them directly from the source is an effective way to get more right now. (Nor have I since it was first offered as an option years ago.)

It does look like Whedonesque as a community is being written off as a bunch of naysayers and trolls, which is unfortunate.
Kiba, I saw that too about Whedonesque. It made me sad when an apparent new fan to Firefly said that due to our "naysaying" and such that he didn't find our community "endearing". It makes me sad to think that these new passionate fans will see us as nothing but a roadblock in their way. I hope that doesn't last and the tone of our conversations with them can change.
This is all so very sad. After Nathan said SEND NO MONEY and the dude from HNBF came over here talked about creating a website to help new fans find productive ways to stay active with the existing Browncoat groups, charities, etc. I thought what a great way to turn lemons into lemonade. Instead, I'm just left with a sour taste in my mouth.

I'm also wondering when the cease & desist letter will be delivered to HNBF over still using Nathan's name on the group. I can't imagine the nightmare that must be for Nathan to still have his name front & center. They're sure taking their sweet time about renaming it to Unstoppable Signals. Come to think of it and given their concern in the past, where are Fox's & Universal's C&Ds for the Mal, Serenity & the Independent Flag likenesses on their logo?

[ edited by MizBehavin1 on 2011-03-07 22:39 ]
Well, if they've already decided to ignore step two of their complex three step plan, I don't see how this could go wrong!
I really hope that this whole ordeal does not sour Nathan (or any of the other cast members) on the fandom in the future. I would hate for him to stop talking about Firefly and stop wanting to be linked with it because of this silliness.

I also hope Joss doesn't HAVE to become involved. I mean come on - the man is busy with The Avengers he can't constantly be wrangling the fans....

I'm embarrased by this whole thing....and I never thought I'd say that about a fandom that raises 100's of thousands of dollars every year for charity.
At this point I don't think there's any real harm to Nathan's reputation since no money has yet been sent and this is still under the radar of most mainstream sites etc. It's at the dream stage and vague. Although unfortunately it might case him and the cast to be very careful about talking Firefly in future interviews. If his name is still being used when money is sent, especially when he has specifically asked people not to, then that's where it may get tricky for him and his people might be forced to react either legally or with a public statement, neither of which they will want to do before the have to. Because unfortunately given that his pleas have been ignored, I'm worried that will make the whole thing even messier.

[ edited by Heavs on 2011-03-07 22:49 ]
Y'know, if Nathan has disavowed any interest in working with this group or taking money from them for any purpose, and they continue... isn't there a face value case that this group is committing some kind of securities fraud or other fraud? They may want to think long and hard about continuing to solicit funds.
Phase 1: Collect money from well-meaning but ultimately misinformed Firefly fans
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Rights to Firefly!
Man, I come to Whedonesque because the people here are sane. To here someone badmouth it kinda puts me on edge.

I think no matter what happens, this isn't going to end well.

Has anyone on that site addressed the issue that firefly ISN'T ACTUALLY FOR SALE? Someone way up in the first post pointed out the DH comics. Which means right now, Fox is making money of firefly. They're not going to sell it. The whole thing is insane.
Phase 4: And then the main objective, 'Automan' season 2 !

They may want to think long and hard about continuing to solicit funds.

Once (if) they actually get to the point where they're taking money I think they'll need to look at a lot of issues - when you're a legal entity there's more required than just "putting on a show" style enthusiasm.

(suspect they *may* not get to that point though)

I know people think this should simply be ignored, but fans have pledged 7 figures here. A million dollars. If we say 'Oh well, it doesn't matter', that's not where I want to be.

Along with QuoterGal I also can't remember anyone saying it doesn't matter gossi and the most appropriate response (IMO) has been voiced by a few people already - calmly and politely point out the potential problems with the scheme, maybe point them towards information about previous schemes and then let them make up their own minds. Keep lines of communication open (if those bridges aren't already ablaze). Basically, just be nice and try to avoid condescension. To me most of the Browncoat group responses have been absolutely on the money - simple, direct, non-confrontational statements of position.

Browbeating people isn't going to convince them and apart from trying to convince them what else can be done ? Nothing direct comes to mind. Added to that, the more pressure put on them the more it plays into the whole "doing the impossible" narrative. There's no way to make people not contribute money to something if they wish to and if I could, frankly I wouldn't want to (cos I don't hold with it ;).
Reprinting here my most recent response to a commenter over there.
What I see is old-hand Firefly fans who have tried and failed to get it back on the air telling the new, hopeful fans that since they couldn’t so it years ago, it just can’t be done.
And what many of us “old hands” see is yet another group of self-professed Browncoats whipping up fans with anonymous promises and plans, ignoring the lessons of the fandom’s history, and routinely misrepresenting through back channels what their plans are, in what I can only assume at this point is to keep the “old hands” off guard and complacent while they continue down an irresponsible road.

Not one “old hand” disrespects the passion demonstrated by supporters of HNBF. But the anonymous instigators have consistently and persistently refuse to seriously address the lessons of history, take days to respond to changes in the landscape (e.g. Nathan’s “don’t send any money” tweet), and allow their supporters to run throughout the comments here and on the Facebook pushing misinformation.

Those familiar with the fandom’s history of these sorts of efforts have detailed the problems. Those familiar with the entertainment industry have detailed the problems. Those familiar with how businesses and liability are structured have detailed the problems.

That’s not just some collective of “old-hand Firefly fans” not wanting newer ones to have any fun being mighty (itself something of a myth re: this fandom). That’s people who have been around a decade now, and watched not only several failed (and bogus) revival attempts but also several instances of self-purported Browncoats running away with fans’ money.

On the other side, it’s a couple of still-anonymous instigators ignoring all of this, and refusing to try to pivot their supporters toward reality.
Let me preface by saying I have followed HNBF for the past week and it has been fun with the multitude of fans coming together sharing a goal and hope for the unlikely return of Firefly. I am not on board with this BDP at this time, although I am intrigued and waiting to see if Joss will respond to this ambitious approach.
Now, I read many of the comments, and to address one, the group posted and encouraged viewers to watch Firefly on the Sci Fi channel very frequently. They posted more about that then the complications of getting the show back.
Second, my understanding is they know they will not be able to obtain the rights. Their company would not bring in that much funding. However, it may be possible for them to purchase a licence to bring the show to another network, like FX (whom Joss met with it seems few months ago. probably longer, I just had a baby so all these days blend together).
If the set can be built for a few million and the license around the same, it may be very attainable to accomplish those two taske. It may be intriguing to networks and cast and crew to bring the show back if those funds were covered by this group of fans. I mean the reason why the show never got another shot was primarily financial. and this approach might be what it needed.

However, if this method is about getting a return on the money fans put into it, I think that will obliterate the possibility. I would put a hundred dollars down with a hundred thousand other fans to provide the funds for licensing and covering some costs that help spark network interest, but as soons as I am in a profitable business with a hundred thousand people it feels problematic.
It doesn't even matter if it can be done or not, it's the way it's currently going down that is potentially bad for everyone.

As members of the global team this year, it's weighing heavily on my mind how this could affect Can't Stop the Serenity which is a legit and amazing cause having raisied over half a mil for Equality Now. B!X and anyone ever involved with CSTS should be so proud. It would be such a shame if this incident casts a negative light on Browncoat related causes and group efforts which collect money in the name of Firefly.

On a lesser note and coming from a purely self-centered point of view, why would any fan want to piss off Fox? It's simply bad for Whedon sites and groups to have Fox on a fandom rage again...handing out C&Ds like pink slips. I'm not saying HNBF is a scam, the intentions may be pure as snow...but since Fillion has backed far away from his original statement, Fox may be thinking that it is right about now and are probably getting pretty sick and tired of dealing with stuff like this.

[ edited by buffyfest on 2011-03-07 23:28 ]
Butler, Joss did not meet with FX about bringing Firefly back. It was more a reaching out to see if the two would be compatible if Joss wrote another TV show, with any future discussion put on the backest burner possible due to Joss taking the Marvel job. Considering how pricey Firefly was back in 2002 and would be even more so in the future with licensing costs, it's very doubtful any FX-Whedon collaboration would include Firefly -- FX is extremely cost-conscious.
I think after hearing all the facts any working lawyer would advise the organizers of this to abandon and return any money already given. This could possibly lead to an unintentional quasi pyramid scheme which is very a upsetting prospect.

Something smells rotten in Denmark.
I don't think HNBF will cast a pall or a bad light over Browncoat charity efforts, personally. CSTS survived scam-like problems within its own ranks just fine, after all.
Something smells rotten in Denmark.

Literally, as it turns out, since that's supposedly where their de facto spokesperson is.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-03-07 23:34 ]
I would not be pleased it affected Cant Stop The Serenity in a negative way.
When I jumped on HNBF, I noticed a lot of anti-fox language being used, some agressive, but all of it was condescending. One guy was trying to arrange a march at Fox Network. I and other Firefly fans posted that antagonizing remarks and efforts towards Fox was the opposite of what fans should be doing. And I guess they listened because it stopped.
Nathans comments could be misinterpreted, reinterpreted, but I think he honestly made his public comments so that he would not get into any legal problems associated with his offhand comment about the lottery and HNBF.
Assuming its not a scam(I think it is, put I'm a cynical bastard) it only takes one really misguided/delusion fan to get something like this going. No matter what fandom, you always have the few fans who think, be it through bad info or just, well, arrogance, that they have way more power over something then they actually do. I'm a Star Wars nut, and man do I have stories. These guys might actually believe that they will raise hundred of millions of dollars at the drop of a hat. I mean, why couldn't they? They're TRUE FANS. There's nothing you can tell those kind of people, you have to just let them run out of steam. I'm ranting now, this whole thing has me upset. Time for a nap.

Edit: Oh they're in Denmark? That's not so good.

[ edited by Grack21 on 2011-03-07 23:40 ]
haha to the Denmarkiness of it all! (sorry Denmark)
Obviously this campaign isnt going to succeed. It is being lead by people who are clearly naive to the point of embarrassment. I feel embarrassed for them.

When this fails it will surely bilk money out of fans of a truly great show. This is a crime in my book.
I'm sorry, but are people actually implying that Nathan's reaction to this was a comment that was simply designed to cover his own ass?

After 10 years as a fan I'm pretty confident that he says what he means. He said don't send money not to avoid legal problems, but so that people wouldn't send money.
Honestly, I think this is an annoying, kind of embarrassing fan movement, but I don't think it will have a damaging effect on charities and future Firefly organizations.

Ha, ha, Denmark makes me laugh.
Edit: Oh they're in Denmark? That's not so good.

Just the person who is part of the work group with insider information who keeps posting to their site's comments, who denies they are any sort of official spokesperson despite acting like one and despite not being told to stop by the still-anonymous instigators.
Sigh. Thought this whole thing had blown over. Guess not.

After reading this whole thread, most all of my thoughts have been expressed by other more eloquent people (especially GVH's post.)

I'm with everyone else in the hope that this does no harm and that no one is scammed in this. I think this could be a really pivotal moment for the fandom. I sincerely hope that the passion found in all of these new fans is eventually channeled into more positive directions such as CSTS, and that many of them who were unaware of the fan community before could now join us here in the black and in other places, to discuss the awesome shows we love. But the whole sending money thing, especially to this increasingly shifty-looking endeavor, just worries me.
Isn't Alpha kinda-sorta dark Wash? Or parts of Alpha, anyway?
I'm sorry, but are people actually implying that Nathan's reaction to this was a comment that was simply designed to cover his own ass?

People on there have been saying that for quite a while now.
It's sad/funny/sad that they're taking an off-hand comment so seriously, while dismissing a serious comment as something just meant to cover legal contingencies...
some of these comments seem very sanctimonious.
ETA: Well, look at it from our point of view Butler - Nathan says something offhand and 100,000 people take it seriously, Nathan says something serious and a (significant ?) proportion of those same people go about interpreting it in exactly the way most favourable to their pre-existing belief. Seems pretty daft to me.

Yep, sad/funny/sad indeed. Deled to avoid piling on inadvertently.

Nathans comments could be misinterpreted, reinterpreted, but I think he honestly made his public comments so that he would not get into any legal problems associated with his offhand comment about the lottery and HNBF.

I think he made his public comments because it was an offhand comment about the lottery - i.e. not meant to be taken seriously, not meant to be acted on - and because he doesn't want people sending (and therefore possibly losing) money over something that he himself is really quite sure isn't going to happen. He doesn't really need to cover his arse because as far as I can tell he's done absolutely nothing for which he could be held legally accountable (people doing something in his name could potentially get them in trouble, not him. Just like Jodi Foster didn't go to jail when John Hinckley shot Reagan for her for instance).

[ edited by Saje on 2011-03-08 00:29 ]
How about if all these people pledge their money to me, instead, and I put on the biggest, most mind-blowing Whedon'verse Convention EVER!!?

'cause, really? With the million dollars already pledged, I could book the entire hotel in Milwaukee AND hire the photographer and DJ. And I'd get two headliners from each of Joss's shows, plus at least three "second tier" guests, and everyone who pledged money is guaranteed an autograph and photo session with all five guests from EACH show! How's that? ' autograph and photo session with Eliza and Tahmoh, Enver, Dichen AND Miracle???

And it wouldn't be a three-day event. It'd be a WEEK LONG PARTY! Each day would have a show theme - Buffy, then Angel, then Firefly, then Dollhouse, then Dr. Horrible. And there'd be costume contests and a prom, and a special Lorne Karaoke Tribute.

See? Isn't that a much better investment? Oh! And we'd have an auction each day and the proceeds would go to charities matching the day's theme - CSTS for Firefly, Equality Now for Dollhouse, etc.

So...someone out there wanna start the Help ShadowQuest Put on a Kick-ass Whedon Convention campaign? Hmm. That's not very catchy. How about...Carpe Noctem!

Just trying to be humorous here. I really am worried about this campaign/scam/fundraiser thing.
Saje, I agree with you. I think his offhand comment was not meant to be taken seriously. If I was in Nathan's shoes and this organization was made with my name on it seeming to be about collecting money from fans, I would make the same comments he did, mostly to distance myself from any liability. But that's me, im not Nathan. Nobody else is either. That is why I have my perspective, and I respect yours as well for the reasons you listed.
Nathan has disavowed HNBF not once, not twice, but three times now. It's way beyond protecting his own ass. It's a plea to stop.
My point is Butler, he doesn't have any liability to distance himself from so why would he feel the need to ? If a mechanic hangs a sign over his garage saying "Nathan Fillion Motor Repairs" and does an incompetent repair that kills someone then Nathan Fillion isn't liable, that's not how the law works.

What he does have (as repeatedly demonstrated) is what to all appearances is a genuine, honest regard for his fans. So he does have a motive for genuinely not wishing people to lose money over a pipe-dream.

ETA: The [first] disavowal message itself, just as a reminder. "It's beautiful to dream of more Firefly, but PLEASE DON'T SEND ANY MONEY. Just keep being great Browncoats, which you are!"

[ edited by Saje on 2011-03-08 01:04 ]
I see that perspective as well. I also see if this very large group was miraculously successful in getting the show back, Nathan and all of us over here would be very pleased or impressed that they did what nobody thought could happen.
These are fans just like you and I with a different approach. If jo shmo wants to give some of his extra money to try and get Firefly back on, that is his or her choice. Just like playing the lottery. There is almost no chance of winning millions. But I dont judge them for playing. Nobody should be telling anybody what they should be doing with their money. Unless it hurts others, and if this is hurting the Firefly franchise I would not be saying all of this. I dont see how it hurts the franchise or other fan initiatives, yet. I truly hope it doesnt.
I don't think anybody is trying to tell them that they CAN'T spend money on this, Butler. You're right that it's their money and they can do what they want with it. I think most of the people here, myself included, are worried that the people who are pledging money aren't really informed as to what they're getting themselves into. The people behind this haven't exactly been forthcoming or clear about much, and the whole thing reeks of either scamitude or ineptitude. If people are aware of how risky this is, and decide to give their money anyway, that's their own choice. However, if they don't understand the situation, I think it is only right to inform them of it.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2011-03-08 01:23 ]
That?s not just some collective of ?old-hand Firefly fans? not wanting newer ones to have any fun being mighty (itself something of a myth re: this fandom). That?s people who have been around a decade now, and watched not only several failed (and bogus) revival attempts but also several instances of self-purported Browncoats running away with fans? money.

No offense, but - at least from my persective as a relatively new old fan - a good bit of the dialogue from the - ahem - more seasoned parties here does kind of smack of just that - whether true or not.
Examples? I don't see anyone running around saying "shut up kids, you don't deserve to have any fun".
I'm new to the 'verse to but I agree absolutely with what most people are saying on the black here. It's not "party pooping" (or whatever) as opposed to people just talking logic.
Also, isn't whether it's true or not kind of important ?

(I can kind of see a point there though - this bit is the fun bit, the bit where it's all excitement and enthusiasm before reality sets in and we're kind of spoiling it by fast-forwarding to the reality setting in part. Which to those guys may never happen but either way, certainly isn't something they really want to think about right now)

Nobody should be telling anybody what they should be doing with their money. Unless it hurts others...

Yeah, I agree Butler, i've said that upthread - we can advise them based on past experience (not to mention common-sense) of people losing money in similar schemes but ultimately it's up to them what they spend their money on, they're free agents. That's somewhat beside the point of which interpretation of Nathan's message is most likely to be true though (based on facts about legal liability and again, past experience, this time of Nathan's previous comments).

There are always numerous perspectives on any situation, they're not all equally valid though.

I also see if this very large group was miraculously successful in getting the show back, Nathan and all of us over here would be very pleased or impressed that they did what nobody thought could happen.

'Miraculous' isn't far off and trust me when I say "impressed" wouldn't even begin to cover it ;). Put it this way, if they manage it then I hope Nathan makes an off-hand comment about wanting conservation of energy to not apply whenever we feel like it (I may register just in case ;).

ETR: part of a quote for clarity.

[ edited by Saje on 2011-03-08 01:43 ]
A wise man once said “Quit while you’re ahead”.... there’s a corollary to that phrase it’s called “You’re dead, stop moving” and sadly Firefly’s hopes for renewal are dead, we’re not getting it back and everyone involved has moved on to different and better paying things. FOX wouldn’t sell the rights unless they were desperate, they know the money they can make from the merchandise and DVD sales and unless they were going bankrupt they wouldn’t sell anything to anyone no matter how high the price.

It’s a nice idea to try and put the show in the hands of the fans but realistically what would we do with it? We sure as hell couldn’t put it online, we’d get one episode a month if we’re lucky and it would take the rest of that month to download it so we could watch it. We might convince Sci-Fi (Or SY-FY or Pi-Tie or whatever the hell it wants to call itself) to put it on but the chances of it getting enough viewers to make it past season 2 is a little on the low side. We could start our own network just for firefly but I don’t think the FCC would give us the broadcast space for such a channel.

The sad reality that we as fans have to accept is that the dear ship Serenity took it’s final voyage in a visual medium in 2005 and has touched down in that medium for the last time. It lives on in comics, the stories are still being told in paperback and hardcover but the potential of another season or movie is nil. We may be Browncoats and they may be the Alliance (Though honestly I prefer thinking of Fox execs as Reavers since they raped and killed this show), but our fighting them won’t change anything. They’ll still hold the rights, they’ll still hold the power, they’ll still claim they made a mistake and do nothing to fix it and if this HNBF thing takes anyone’s money then Firefly fans will never see that cash again.

Instead of spending that money on attempting to buy rights that we’ll never ever get, why not spend it on Firefly merchandise? Go buy copies of the DVDs and give them to friends, or keep them in case yours break from overuse (it happens, I've bought several copies of Buffy seasons because mine became unwatchable thanks to watching it every second I got). THAT would be the only possible way that the show could conceivably maybe return, it worked for Family Guy. That show died twice, DVD sales boomed and it came back... so we have precedent for this to do something, and if not at least we get more browncoats to enjoy the wonder that we have for this amazing show.
What do the Firefly rights even cover? I assume its the name, the ship and the characters? ... Could theoretically someone steal the universe of Joss and "expand" it without technically owning the rights?
Thank you Saje and Giles. I was reluctant to say anything on here all day because it felt like there was just a lot of aggressive attacks towards HNBF. I had to throw in my perspective though, as a Whedonesque member and one who followed HNBF the past week. I appreciate not getting attacked for it and having a constructive discourse. You both make great points.
It's so difficult to judge the right tone online at the best of times. the "Old School" fans have been around this block many times and this in many ways seems less well thought out and less based in reality than previous attempts and are attempting to be logical about the chances.

Fans who didn't know about these older attempts are understandably anoyed that others are telling them what to do and apparently just raining on the parade because they "know better" and failed before.

I'm reasonably new to online Whedonverse fandom, I've been around the block a bit. Came into the Farscape fandom right after PKW so heard what these passionate fans did to help the creators active efforts to secure a mini series wrap up (mailing in recipts to advertisers etc) which was awesome, and was semi involved in Chuck's specificly targeted subway campaign and was also involved in various Save Veronica Mars discussions and other financing issues for potential web series. And from that perspective it frustrates me that there are so many awesomely enthusiastic people that seem to think fanfundrasing and "crowdfunding" independent efforts are an entirely new thing that's just going to happen because of this website.

[ edited by Heavs on 2011-03-08 01:53 ]
Heavs, 'scapers have a very special place in the hearts of the first Browncoats. Without their help, I'm not sure we would have got the DVDs or had any type of organization to begin with. They were a fabulous resource and a great help. Those 'scapers know how to get things done.
Why couldn't they have just done a fundraising campaign to slather the US with billboards, newspapers ads etc to watch Firefly on the Science channel?

Would have been far more useful.

But i think if they can pledge 1 million dollars, they should be trying to pledge $1 million to give to a charity of Joss/Nathan's choice, whether it be EN or KNtR or whomever.

CSTS is a wonderful fan fueled effort and even they have not yet reached $1 million over 5 years worth of work. I am annoyed that all of the news articles, like CNN, failed to mention the fans good work with CSTS.
If this group is acting against Nathan's wishes but in his name, they are guilty of an intellectual and moral fraud upon the public. If they persist and solicit funds under those terms they are probably guilty of a criminal fraud as well -- whether they ultimately offer to donate to a charity or not, that's not what they are claiming to invest in.

My initial reaction was "what does it harm to try to raise money to buy rights, even if not for sale?" and wondering what possible harm this could have on the fandom. What I see on closer scrutiny is a small group basically trying to bilk the rest of the fandom.
Examples? I don't see anyone running around saying "shut up kids, you don't deserve to have any fun".

This for starters. The reason why this whole thing is a bad idea is because it doesn't have a firefly's chance in a fox of succeeding. Full Stop. using past failed fan resurrection attempts as a benchmark for the limits of what fandom can accomplish is pointless and demoralizing, and - like it or not - does give away the perception of some sort of old guard fan movement entitlement. If I thought this thing had the slightest chance of succeeding/not being scam bait based on it and it alone I'd be on the bandwagon donating money as we speak, and - quite frankly - previous efforts be damned.

ETA: Some clarification.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2011-03-08 02:53 ]
Hafta say it - after hearing on the "HNBF-soon-to-be-US-site-one-hopes" site about how jaded, enthusiasm-damping, cynical, jaded, paternalistic, and basically used-up and clapped-out Old Hands are, I am getting tempted to bag it, shut up and let HNBF supporters do what they wilt. I mean, obviously they will anyway, but...

If hearing from Nathan and Jane Espenson doesn't mean anything (and neither does input from other people who know the entertainment industry, or long Browncoat experience, or from folks w/ legal or finance backgrounds) - and if pointing out the rational and logical pitfalls and contradictions and just plain doomed nature of this enterprise makes even some WHEDONesque members want to support it from sheer contrariness, then wotthehell.

I see any further verbal opposition to this as counter-productive, and I find myself heading towards the place that says, "On your heads be it." And "stew in your own juices"... and...

And numerous other such statements that mix metaphors.

Because as has been pointed out, after a certain point, you just have to let people go to hell in a handbasket their own way.

It's just kinda weird to be referred to - generally, not specifically - as one of those jaded, cynical naysayers of the world, blocking the doorways and hallways of the world's idealistic and energetic.

Because to anyone that knows me even remotely, it could not be less true. But I am one of those those people that believes that when they see a freight truck barreling down on someone, they have a moral obligation to at least try to get them out of the way.


ETF: typos and left out a phrase. Tired.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2011-03-08 03:05 ]
I want more Firefly. And I know you can't always get what you want.

BTW, my husband is Danish. That doesn't make them bad.

Ignoring Nathan, the unavailability of rights and all sense however...
QuoterGal: Oh - the burdens of age and experience... (aka foresight.)

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2011-03-08 03:18 ]
Heavs, 'scapers have a very special place in the hearts of the first Browncoats. Without their help, I'm not sure we would have got the DVDs or had any type of organization to begin with. They were a fabulous resource and a great help. Those 'scapers know how to get things done.

Thanks for saying, IrrationaliTV. You phrased it much better than I could have. Throughout the Firefly: Immediate Assistance campaign, the Save Farscape folks were friends and advisors, and Browncoats owe more to them than most of us will ever know.

using past failed fan resurrection attempts as a benchmark for the limits of what fandom can accomplish is pointless and demoralizing

I won't deny that, but I think carefully pointing out that if this were going to happen, Joss would be the person who would be best equipped to make it happen is fair to do.
BTW, my husband is Danish. That doesn't make them bad.

It's got nothing to do with Danes being bad. It has to do with the still-anonymous instigators of HNBF leaving a Dane who is not a native English speaker to act as de facto project spokesperson despite not understanding the realities of the American entertainment industry or American business practices/legalities, and then using that non-English nativity as a yet another excuse to say to critics, "Come to talk us privately somewhere".

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-03-08 03:25 ]
QuoterGal, you and others here "done your duty", as far as I can see. Beating your head against a brick wall hurts, so - might as well just give it a little pat, wander off out of the way, and let it collapse on its own, y'know...?
I think I'm there, RH, thanks. Everybody's got to cry their own tears, I guess.

It's difficult to accept it when you can't help.

Some great writers have said as much in a gabillion places, but... I cannae quote today. My quoter is out of gas.
People should save their $ for the "Save Fringe" campaign, which may involve sending Red Vines to the network. I keep eating mine.
I've got a quote for you. It's the only response I can possibly have to all this nonsense, since anything else I might say has already been said twelve thousand times by people more well-spoken than I. So I will simply borrow the words of Jenny Calendar, and say:

"Thank you, HNBF, for making us all sound like crazy people."

I'm gonna spill a secret here, but when Firefly was first about to be aired, Scapers didn't want to like it. Our show, which was supposed to be 5 seasons, was suddenly gone & here comes this hoity toity sci-fi show on FOX in OUR time slot & had the gall to also start with a F! WTF?
Then it aired.
Son of a bitch!
So, helping was a no brainer. (Plus, the woman running the Military DVD project was awesome & eager to help & most followed her lead.)
Of course, no one was trying to fund a second season either. That would have been crazy talk. And we mailed bras. We knew crazy. ;)

I kinda feel old now.
NYPinTA, why did you mail bras?
It was in reaction to a comment made by the Sci-Fi channel president about trying to get more female viewers when FarScape had a then unprecedented ratio of female fans. (About 45% was the figure I recall.) And at that point we were a bit frustrated & tired. Needed something fun, maybe a bit ridiculous & it was both. The bras were donated to a womans shelter, BTW.
Uff-da!! I have a bad feeling about this.
I don't usually comment until I've read what everyone else has to say but I just wanted to answer doubleshiny's comment way up the thread.

Maybe the positive answer is to re-invigorate the existing fan networks so that those new fans have something to pour their energy into. We stopped having Firefly meetups in the North West after the attendance dropped to under 6 people but if there was a new influx of fans wanting to get together and geek about Firefly and Serenity then maybe it would be worth starting up again.

I remember at the first Browncoat Christmas Party in London there were almost 30 people over the course of the night, there were definitely that amount at the last CSTS I went to.

Do people still go to regular Firefly meetups? If the people currently being conned into this nonsense were actually part of a regular group maybe they wouldn't have been because they would have heard about previous endeavours.

doubleshiny | March 07, 16:58 CET

Speaking as a long-time member of the BC Browncoats and the CSTSVancouver organiser, we have new members joining every week and well over 400 people listed as members, although not all are active, of course. We have regular meetups and sometimes discussion on the boards and we had 55 people at our 2010 Christmas party and a sold out 210 people at CSTS Vancouver 2010. Mostly we get together to watch our BDHs in other shows - or with our local sci-fi groups to watch their shows - but it is a very active fan group.

I just spent the weekend in Seattle at Emerald City Comicon and hung out a bit with some of the Seattle and PDX Browncoats and I think they would say the same. It's great to have new fans who have just discovered the show and are very disappointed to find out there is nothing more after 14 episodes and a movie but the HNBF effort is not productive to the fans or the fandom in general, many of whom have worked very hard to associate the Browncoats name with being hard-working, intelligent and caring people who like to do good works in the name of the movie, of Joss, Nathan or any of the other cast who have expressed an interest in a charity.

I think what disappointed me most about this campaign at the beginning was the people commenting that they would pledge/give money to this campaign but didn't want their money going to any of the charities the group suggested.

Far be it from me to tell someone they can't or shouldn't spend their money on this effort. Everyone has the right to spend their money their way and if they don't want to support charities in general or any in particular, that's also their right, but as quotergal said above, when you see a truck barrelling down on someone, you want to do whatever you can to get them out of the way.

I don't think I'm a "better" fan for having been a Firefly fan from the time the first episode aired on TV (otherwise I wouldn't keep recruiting people!), just as I don't think I'm a "worse" Buffy fan for not watching the show until after it went off the air. However, it does make me angry when it looks to me that new fans - and some old - are being taken advantage of and are ignoring the advice of people who know the history of this fandom and/or who have worked in the business and know how things work and have sounded the alarm from the beginning. We are not trying to prove ourselves superior or "better" fans; we are trying to stop a runaway train from crashing into the upcoming abyss because there is no trestle!

I have felt heartsick several times over the past couple of weeks and I can only bring myself to read a few comments on the HNBF website at a time. I haven't been back to their Facebook page after the first time. Seeing all those shiny new fans being fed a line by anonymous people who keep changing their mind about what their goal is but in my opinion have been stringing them along from the first disturbs me greatly.

Any reasonably intelligent person had to have known that Nathan was kidding in his first quote and certainly should have backed off immediately when he said to cool it. To continue to use Nathan's name in this effort has been one of the most disturbing things to me and shows a great lack of respect for him. I realise they are finally changing the name of their website, but it should have been done the minute Nathan clarified his position.

Hmmm, this ended up much longer than I meant when I started but I've found that happening a lot the past couple of weeks when I start to talk or right about this debacle. /rant over - go back to what you were doing! :)
Odds say when this fails, they;ll blame FOX somehow.
Maurissa just tweeted.
Guys, no one in the Whedonverse is in support of Please save your money!

And if there was any question, Maurissa Tancharoen should be a pretty big voice: "Guys, no one in the Whedonverse is in support of Please save your money!"!/MoTancharoen/status/44978250010738689

ETA: I concede the title of quickdraw master to b!x. =)

[ edited by kishi on 2011-03-08 05:32 ]
Samatwitch - Although I can't speak for all of us Seattle Browncoats, I know I really enjoyed spending time with you! Hopefully, one of us will be in the others neck of the woods again soon. Hmmm...I'm thinking I should make a trip up your way for some gellato! :D

I consider myself a fan since the show was on the air ( in fact, I only fell in love with Buffy and Angel because of Firefly), but I am only recently trying to get involved with the wonderful charity works the Browncoats do. I've been a member of the Seattle Browncoats for almost two years, but this is the first time I have attended an event or met these awesome folks in person.
I love the fandom so much. I think what we do to help the world be just a little better is a wonderful thing. I am pretty poor since I have three kids to support and only my husband works, but anytime i have a little extra money, I always try to give it to the charities Joss and the crew support. I hope in the end, any division that this may cause will be mended and hopefully we will have a whole bunch of enthusiastic fans to welcome to the fold and more bodies to put to work during CSTS every year. I know I am looking forward to volunteering for the first time this year.
Firefly may be over, but really, it's only beginning. Joss has given us a lasting legacy, something to be proud of and something I think is beautiful. I just hope nothing ugly comes from all this.
@DrHorrible retweeted, too.
I dropped it into the HNBF post.
It has made its way to the Facebook page. Someone already saying "Shut it down."
Oh my. Now everyone's rushing to tell Mo that they haven't asked for money, only pledges. Don't they realize what the pledges are for?
Wow, thoughtful comments. I'll just go back to something said earlier: there is *no* Firefly without Joss. And Joss ain't on board as far as can be told.

Done deal. Over and above whether the rights are for sale or licensable, whether the actors are available and interested, etc.

No Joss, no Firefly.
The person *in whose name they started this entire thing* has said "please don't."

And yet they persisted.

What, are they waiting for lightning bolt from Joss Almighty to smite them or something?

Seriously, how disrespectful is it to Fillion to *go against his express wishes* with regard to this?


A bitter, cynical, cranky washed-up Browncoat
And, at least on the Facebook page, Joss brother and sister-in-law aren't strong enough sources to convince them to stop...
It really bothers me how some people don't think Maurissa's word is valid (general impression I got from facebook). I don't know why, but it's just so rude that it's getting on my nerves.
WOW. I am seriously thinking some of these people are on the wrong side of crazy. I'm glad to see some of them are withdrawing their support, but there are others on the Facebook page who are basically saying, "I don't care. She isn't Joss. I'm not gonna stop unless Joss himself says so".
:headdesk: :headdesk: :headdesk:

Ow. My punkin' haid.

Seriousfully, if HNBF/US persists past this, then Browncoats are the Officially The Nuttiest Fandom in the Kingdom, and we deserve that stinging entry at FanWank I expect momentarily.

But that was great of Mo and Jed (and Jane and Nathan) and everyone that's said "save your money". And boo to the disingenuous HNBF/US supporters who keep saying it doesn't involve fans sending money. It most certainly does - they just hadn't proceeded far enough.

Is it over? Is it safe yet?

ETF: typo

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2011-03-08 06:11 ]
Apparently, I am slightly Internet illiterate because I can't seem to leave a comment on the Facebook page. I am logged into my account...I don't have to "like" that fruitcake page before I can comment, do I?
Yes, you do have to "like" it, a bitter pill I only just now swallowed. Also, those on Twitter, please send Mo some tweet love. She didn't have to step into this, and we really wanted all of them to not feel like they had to.
@Deanna_Lynne - Unfortunately, you do have to "like" it to comment. But you can "like" how the idea is imploding like a flan in the cupboard.
UGH. That is incredibly dumb. But, on a happier note, I did as suggested and sent Mo some tweet love!
We are not trying to prove ourselves superior or "better" fans; we are trying to stop a runaway train from crashing into the upcoming abyss because there is no trestle!

Sometimes you just have to let the train wreck happen...

Tweet from the HNBFF twitter account:
"@MoTancharoen Agreed. Phasing out HNBF soon, no funds asked. Are you familiar with our plan for Unstoppable Signals?"

There are no words for this kind of crazy.

Edited to add: AND @grantimahara just RT'd Mo.

[ edited by tabin on 2011-03-08 06:27 ]
I know. It's like HNBF think all Mo said was "phase out the name".
Can I just take an aside to say that my mancrush on Grant Imahara grows each day? Totally irrelevant to the topic, but I stand by it.
I will say though that I do believe some are arguing against the "naysayers" out of fear of losing this new found vibrant group of fan love & not actually because they believe in the plan. I kind of understand that.
But still, those that want to stay in that particular community are going to have to insist on the pivot that was discussed way up thread & COMPLETELY change the direction of their campaign.
But seeing one person actually suggest a way to try & get Castle cancelled so Nathan would need a job...WTF?! That? No. Just no. They "honor" a dream of his by getting his current show axed? And I assume he's supposed to be grateful.
Reading just the HNBF web page I felt for the followers. Reading the Facebook page makes me less sympathetic.
Sad day.
Oh dear, I have just learned my husband is a HNBF supporter after retweeting Mo! I think we'll have to ban Firefly talk in the bedroom now.
Seriousfully, if HNBF/US persists past this, then Browncoats are the Officially The Nuttiest Fandom in the Kingdom, and we deserve that stinging entry at FanWank I expect momentarily.

Not all Browncoats - just the ones behind this particular effort (assuming there are any, of course...)
FlyInYourSoup, I had a brief scuffle with my own dear mother after I posted the link. Awkward.

The HNBF Facebook page now says they'll shut down, so hopefully soon this madness will be behind us.
They just closed it:

According to Joss's sister-in-law, no one from the Whedon clan endorses the idea of a fan-funded organization trying to help. So, that's a wrap. We'll keep the site open as a memory for a bit and if any Whedons need to reach us, hit the button.

I'm hoping Maurissa Tancharoen doesn't end up getting abuse from fans regarding this, by the way. Nathan Fillion and Jane Espenson had also spoken out publicly against this - Nathan many days ago.
I just hope they use their FB page for some good before they go, and spread the love about CSTS, EN, and KNtR.
Oh my word I shouldn't have read the comments to the "we're shutting it down" post. Ugh, some of these folk are shattering my obviously-childish-illusion that this fanbase is full of nothing but good and kind people.

ETA: Oh, man, and someone just said that they should carry on, get the money, and then "Josh will come back." Oh, I hope they're kidding or I'm going to start crying. Or drinking. Maybe I should do that anyway.

[ edited by kishi on 2011-03-08 06:51 ]
No they haven't closed it. Their website is still up. They promised to shut it down before, and they didn't. I'm not quite convinced yet.
This tweet actually makes me worried that they dont intend to shut this down, just move it to another site entitled "Unstoppable Signals" and follow through with their "Big Damn Plan." I mean, they did fool us once before by making us think they were winding down their efforts, before they kicked it into second gear.
Facebook site is still up but their mission is over. I don't think there is anything wrong with leaving it up since it generated that many Firefly fans to discuss the show, share their favorite quotes, and promote viewing it on Sci-Fi.

[ edited by Butler on 2011-03-08 06:57 ]
Yeah, I'm seeing a disturbing amount of fans saying that they don't need the Whedons. Really? They don't need the Whedons for Firefly-related stuff? Are they for real?
I have a horrible feeling from the facebook comments that Mo is going to get some hate tweets, or worse >_<

I really must learn not to read comments, EVER. It does nothing but raise my blood pressure.
Butler, I wasn't talking about the facebook page.
The fascinating thing, Glitch_Doll, are the ones who say "We don't need Joss, we'll just get the writers!" Uh, well, he wrote five of fourteen episodes and the movie, so I don't quite see how that works out.
ESG, they tweeted that before the Facebook message.

The funny thing is, they've used Maurissa's tweet to close down with, but Nathan actually said "DO NOT SEND MONEY", in capitals, and they didn't even post his message on Facebook. I would guess they're trying to use pressure on Maurissa to get Joss to speak, which is totally not cool.

It was always going to go down in flames, and it's very sad. I hope they make a graceful exist and redirect fans to the wonderful communities and charity efforts still out there.

Regarding not needing joss - you absolutely do you if you want permission to license. Hence why there's no Firefly novels (joss said no).

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-08 07:05 ]
I checked out the comments over there, skimmed them. Many folks accepted it and said it was fun while it lasted, there are some that are saying dont stop till we hear from Joss himself. Mostly positive, some negative, but it all reflects the energy and effort these fans put into it.
And *this* is why HNBF was a bad idea all along. It took what should have been a fun token gesture of new fan support & have created a page of amazingly stunningly horrible entitlement to what they want no matter the cost to the cast they supposedly love. TPTB forced people to come out against this & pushed it to this ugly point.
It never should have gone this far. It was an opportunity wasted.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2011-03-08 07:11 ]
This totally went too far. You'd be amazed the amount of people that got dragged into it.
There's been a few mentions of sending people to Whedonesque to find where else to go to support Firefly- I'd assume things like Can't Stop The Signal or Kids Need To Read, but might it be a good idea to put up a sort of "Where to Now" post? I'm sure most of it would be repeated links, so I'll leave it to the moderators for something like that.
Is there a handy directory of Browncoat groups by city? That would be a good start.
NYPinTA, yes, you can find the list of regional browncoat groups here (it's user editable, so feel free to add any group that aren't on there yet):
Oh man. Some of those comments over there made me feel ill. Seriously, my tummy hurts. Some people just expressing so much hatred and anger.

I applaud their enthusiasm and hope they find something to put it towards, but I really really hope this thing is over and done now.
RayHill, has that directory been updated recently?
electricspacegirl, I went through and weeded out the no-longer-active ones last week. Let me know if you see anything that needs to be fixed.
Together we stand. Divided we fall. We've always had different ideas on how to do things, and what we'd like to see happen in the Firefly 'Verse. That's part of being Browncoats. I'm seeing a lot of "They are" "They did" "They said" in this thread, lots of anger and hurt and viciousness, both at the HNBF Facebook page, and right here on Whedonesque. Where's the "We" and the "let's work together to find answers"?
Just askin'.
Where's the "We" and the "let's work together to find answers"?

This has been around since HNBF launched. But its anonymous instigators and its supporters ignored it.
brinderwalt: "Not all Browncoats - just the ones behind this particular effort (assuming there are any, of course...)"

Well, clearly not, brinderwalt, or I would have to start doubting my own existence. ; > - and the existence of many of my Whedonverse friends who also weren't behind this effort.

I referred to all of "us" as a group for solidarity purposes. If we're one group in the good times, we're one group in the bad.

And this was some of the bad - but I still think of us as in it together. There were always disagreements and schisms in this huge, organic, herd-of-cats fandom, and there will be again.

(Any further comments I have to make re: HNBF/US I'll make on the new thread.)
...or I would have to start doubting my own existence.

Nah, that's more a Monday thing. Unless it's still Monday there in which case why are you wasting time not doubting your own existence ??
As I mentioned to one of the Whedonesque mods in an email, I felt like it was taboo to speak on it in a positive way, as a middle of the road fan. I saw both the pros and cons, but there was so many condescending words towards participants of HNBF I felt like it was choose one side or the other. I am sure I wasn't the only Whedonesque member to feel silenced. I had to use some of my middle school teacher training to keep the dialogue respectful. And I was the one who got reprimanded here for using cuss words a few years back.
I can't post on the FB site, but there seem to be quite a few folks talking about still wanting to retain the social network/community side of the BDP. Could someone post a few links over there to help those new to the fandom find their way to our shiny communities? I'm thinking of places like,, the OB etc. Given that Whedonesque normally has closed registration periods, it might be helpful to know where they can connect to others in the fandom.
Dear Sweet Zombie Jeebus...

The facebook comments have devolved from:

1. Yay, Joss!
2. Why isn't Joss giving us what we want?
3. Joss OWES US!
4. We don't need that Uppity Mr. Whedon! Let's do it ourselves!

With a side order of "Who the hell does that Mo chick think she is?"

Springtime: The Fannish Entitlement is blooming.
And now we have the Fillion-bashing because he's *capitalized off the fans.* :O
gossi said:
This totally went too far. You'd be amazed the amount of people that got dragged into it.

Who else besides Maurissa, Nathan and the writers who spoke out over Twitter?
Jen, the aformentioned is an obvious one as well since it will lead people to some face-to face meetings if desired.
There's a new Facebook group for Browncoats to keep talking post HNBF.

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