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October 03 2005

Donations sought after for full-page Variety ad. People are asking for money to place an ad in Variety for the Big Damn Movie.

Browncoat Board Discussion

It would need to be collected by Friday and be $3920 for a full page ad on the back. Shiny!

Can anyone vouch for this site/person?
Firstly, why Variety? Don't we want to get the attention of the general public, and not movie insiders?

Secondly, I would have thought that they'd already have the next week's back-pages locked in. But what do I know?
Honestly, I cannot vouch for them at all, I just posted it after seeing it on the Browncoats board and about three pages of discussion about it.
Why is this even necessary?
I find this kinda silly.

"1. Give Serenity the legs she needs/so richly deserves "

How does putting a ad in variety give Serenity legs. Nearly 4000 bucks? Would make more sense to put that in the box office receipts, not Variety's pocket.

"3. Show Universal that they did good by us and thereby make a sequel more likely. "

Putting a ad out isn't going to make a sequel likely. Putting butts in seats will.

But if people want to do it then more power to them.
zencat I don't think it is. I would suggest that if you wanted to use your money to support the film then just go and see it. Or see it again if you've seen it already.

These guys may be perfectly above board, but it's not easy to tell the honest types from the opportunists. I too am curious as to how an ad in a trade paper will help when it's the viewing public an ad should reach.

I'm not going to see the movie as I'm not a big fan of the show. But I don't want people who are fans to be ripped off. I'm not saying that these guys would do that, but just think carefully before handing over your hard earned cash.
I agree with everyone- they already have huge ads in mainstream magazines and on tv- how is an ad in variety going to do anything? Spend the money on tickets to see it!
Yep... giving this one a pass.
You posted exactly what I was going to say eddy!!!

The only thing that will give Serenity legs and make a sequel more likely is ticket sales. Id you want to show your support: buy tickets!

If you can spare $10 to donate for an ad - then you can buy an extra ticket to the movie, even if you don't use it.

Of course, if this is what people really want to do, it's their money.
I won't be donating, though I do think it's important to let Universal know that we appreciate them taking a chance on "Serenity", even if the number don't reflect that. So, I made a suggestion to them... though I think it was largely ignored.
Yeah, use the money to buy out several theaters and give away free seats.
But guys, just buying one ticket, or even a few, isn't that likely to help Serenity in the long run. I'm not sure buying a Variety ad is the way to go, but I kind of want to spend my money on something other than just more tickets. I want to get other people who wouldn't even think of going to go. I want to help spread the message of Serenity.

[ edited by vampire dan on 2005-10-04 04:08 ]
Buying one ticket won't help? Those numbers add up.
Do you think after all the TV ads and newspapers ads that Universal bought over the last few weeks that 1 ad in a biz publication is the way to go.

We would all be better off to by a ticket to 1 show a day during the week, even a mattinee, where you go or not. It's not about getting media attention - anymore - now it's all about making the bank and getting Serenity to hold it's position at the box office over this week and into the next weekend.

Remember over the next few days is actually now the more important time - if we can keep the numbers up higher than the competitors on weekdays. We might gain screens instead of any potential loss. Typical weekday loss starts around 60-70% then tapers off to about 10-20% for the remainder of the week. If we can stop that number from dropping 60% we stand a strong chance of keeping our BDM in the theatres for a few more weeks.

We want to send the film industry a message, then lets give them the slow burn. Keep the numbers going, show them that the signal may not be strong, but it doesn't fade and it cannot be stopped.

[ edited by RavenU on 2005-10-04 04:29 ]
Didn't we just spend basically the whole day talking about how NOT to be off-putting as a fanbase?
eddy, that's exactly what I've been trying to explain to my friends. I was appalled when they suggested that I download the BDM. I can honestly say the thought never occured to me... mostly because I have really slow dial-up... but also because that would be wrong. ;)

You know... while sequels would be great... I also want to be able to "Serenity" on the big screen for a while longer, before the long months between the Theatrical Release and the DVD Release. I just know I'm going to feel guilty going to see "Elizabethtown" (doesn't really interest me, but Patty Griffin's in it...), assuming "Serenity" is still around... I'll have to buy two tickets to "Serenity" at the same time...
I dont know who these people are, either. It doesn't make sense to me, and I have a Variety account for fan projects. People who read Variety are in the industry or want to be. It's a trade rag. So Joe Sixpack would never see it at all. It only serves to make Variety a little richer.
Heh forgot to mention...

I saw a few teachers from my school at the show on Saturday, didn't say 'hi' or anything, but I mentioned it to one of them today.. Mr. Ross, our Drama/Writing/English(I think) teacher... he said it was the best science fiction movie he's ever seen, and he stayed for the second viewing of it. And this is from a non-Firefly fan. It made me giddy. Today I began pimping the movie to friends, teachers, etc... but not as an obsesso-fan... and the reaction was a lot better than I thought it would be, I think a sizeable portion of them will see it this coming weekend. I hear there's another Browncoat in my school who's doing some recruiting too (in a school of 500, it's amazing that we haven't gushed over Joss together yet...).
I'm with the folks here that this makes no sense.
Ringworm speaks truth.
I thought about giving my students some kind of extra credit to see it, if they caught the , but they are so easily distracted I was afraid to mention it.

I'm relieved to hear Allyson say what she said, as I tend to think of her as the authority on this sort of thing. If people do have a great desire to advertise, I would think buying ad time on local cable access networks or in local papers would be ideal, though I really think if Uni's advertising push isn't getting the job done, then no advertising will.
Do you think after all the TV ads and newspapers ads that Universal bought over the last few weeks that 1 ad in a biz publication is the way to go.

That's what I was wondering. All these trailers on TV daily, but one ad in a magazine for movie pros that already know about this will suddenly save the movie? This isn't exactly the same type of thing as a 'Thank you Sarah' ad...
Vampire Dan- completely agree. Aside from going and buying tickets and this ad, do you have any ideas for promoting Serenity in a non-pushy way?

Adam--what was your ignored suggestion to Universal, if it is ok to ask?

Killinj-- did you mention the Daily Show also and how much we would love to see Joss/the cast on it? I do not understand the lack of talk show appearances, does anyone know the reason for that?? Sorry to keep asking, but maybe someone knows?

Also, just ran into another person who said she is waiting to see the movie because she was avoiding the crowds this past weekend! She was not aware of the box office take, but had seen the positive reviews.
I'm guessing this is supposed to be echoing the Variety ad for Firefly, which is a lovely idea that makes no sense in this setting. The point of the Firefly ad was to send a message to Fox and the advertisers, who were likely to read Variety. The point of this theoretical Serenity ad is to reach the masses, who wouldn't be reading Variety. We'd just be reaching Universal, who we already know are on board, and who would probably prefer we just get a whole bunch of people into the theater.

(Which is what all of you have said, but I have this all typed up and damn if I'm not going to post it!)
Oh, my suggestion was just a small, simple one. They had planned to include a "Firefly" quote, but I thought that it would make more sense to use a "Serenity" quote (specifically, Mal's monologue at the end of the film), as it would perhaps give off the idea that Serenity doesn't really need the support of Firefly and is strong enough to stand on it's own.

They were going to use the "If you can't run, crawl..." line, which , while great, is very much overused and gives off the idea that we've already been beaten.
I have to sing with the choir. In the thread they are saying that it is a "love letter" to Joss, the cast and crew, but aren't these ads usually placed in memorandum? IMO to act in that way is in some small way admitting defeat. I don't feel defeated. For our present cause I find it a little redundant.

But more power to them. I'll be puttin' my money into the BO.

And just because I'm fuzzy -- Wasn't Variety the magazine that named Jewel Staite as Joss' wife and listed GONERS as GONER? Those were honestly two of the laziest acts of journalism I have seen in my backyard in a while - why are we acting as if this publication is the end-all-be-all here?

And for the record ringworm - WORF!
Just, no. It's too much. If you've got money to spare after seeing the movie, give it to someone who really needs it. Lordy.
Adam, if they don't listen to smaller suggestions I guess big ones are pointless, although I think you are right on about using Serenity, not Firefly quotes, in ads. They would look good on posters as well as TV spots. Regarding posters, which I have not seen much of, I wish there could be more and different ones of the characters with quotes underneath. The story may be a hard sell but the characters shouldn't be. Jayne is not a complex character but he is a lot of people's--including reviewers--favorite. I'd like to see him in the subway with a quote "let's be bad guys" or something. I thought some of the Browncoat-made posters were fantastic, wish we could put those up!

If there's not going to be much TV coverage of Serenity via talk shows and stuff (and that's where a lot of people look, those who aren't on the Internet and who don't read reviews much), it's going to be difficult to reach people in their homes. Which is where many people will be watching baseball next weekend, so I feel the itchy urge to get the word out for those who want to escape baseball!

Serenity...the best yoga documentary never made. (I couldn't resist--at least half a dozen people have asked me if it's about yoga, one person asked if it was the sequel to "Happiness".) I told a few of them there was a strong "Eastern influence" in the film, that it's so well done, they'd feel like they were "flying" at times...and there would be some twists they wouldn't expect. I wasn't exactly lying! Some of them liked it, one was annoyed, but thought Inara's costumes were beautiful and the film was visually stunning, and recommended it to her fashion-designer friends. So, lying CAN work if used carefully. It's a gray area.

Wow, I do ramble. Sorry.

[ edited by Cygnet on 2005-10-04 07:45 ]
Buy a ticket, people. Variety and Hollywood already know about this movie. SoCal browncoats already sent flowers to TPTB at Universal.
I don't see the use in "preaching to the choir" from the Variety pulpit, or in spending resources that could be put to more effective use in a variety of ways.

Consider that Variety is so far outside of mainstream awareness, only Hollywood professionals and hard-core film junkies would even see the ad. Hell, I'm kind of a hard-core film junkie and I don't read Variety with any sort of regularity. When I do, I'm totally aware that the ads are funded by biased interests and are therefore completely non-objective in their appeals. I'm sure the magazine would be quite happy to accept any Browncoat money that comes its way (what with genre fans, and JW fans in particular, becoming an increasingly lucrative niche profit stream for them), but I get the feeling they'd be sitting in their offices shaking their heads even as they're taking the order.

Tickets are the best investment fans can make to help facilitate a return trip to the Serenity-verse. I can appreciate the spirit of devotion and genuinely good intentions that lie behind the impulse to publicize the movie on Joss's behalf; it's just that there are so many ways such an ad -- if not crafted with exquisite care -- could potentially create unintended consequences that reinforce negative perceptions (based in fact or not) in the minds of readers, or, worse, generate publicity that actually leaks into the mainstream and siphons attention away from the movie itself. I'm thinking that would be a grave turn of events at this delicate juncture, especially with the tight time frame that almost guarantees a rushed job where mistakes are likelier to occur. As someone who builds ads for businesses on a regular basis, I can also tell you they're actually extremely limited in their reach and ability to cut through the clutter of today's hypersaturated media environment.

Buzz, however, matters. If Serenity needs anything right now from its support system, it's mouth-to-mouth reiteration. If you loved the movie, talk about that. In this day and age, people believe other people more than they do advertising. An enthusiastic (but not scarily intense) first-person recommendation will do more to GBIS than any one-shot ad in a slick industry mag ever could.
About talk shows, Can't Universal(and it's brother NBC) force, I mean ask Jay Leno to interview some of the cast in his show or Conan O'Brien or Carson Daly? They could show a clip of the movie... even if they're the second guest which is always a shorter interview.
A Variety ad? Is Serenity getting axed by The WB? Did I miss something here.
I'm feeling a little like I'm throwing stones in my glass variety house.
Apples and oranges, Allyson. Apples and oranges.
It would be nice for the Browncoats to do something for the publicity for the BDM. I'm not sure this is it, as others have said it is viewers we need to reach not moviemakers.

I'd like to do something to thank Univeral though, perhaps buying Mary Parent the best gorram brown coat on Rodeo Drive.

Ok, something charitable would be better but I still think she deserves that coat.
A Variety ad? Is Serenity getting axed by The WB? Did I miss something here.
Simon | October 04, 08:26 CET

That just made me laugh really loud.

Vampire Dan- completely agree. Aside from going and buying tickets and this ad, do you have any ideas for promoting Serenity in a non-pushy way?

I was actually thinking of making some simple flyers saying "Have you found Serenity?" and posting them around town. Maybe I'd include a quote or two about Serenity, but one thing I'm definitely not going to advertise about the movie is that it's based on a cancelled TV show or that it was made by the guy behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If I was a non-fan just looking at a bulletin board and I saw a flyer like this, I think it might interest me in seeing the movie. And if every fan made a few flyers and put them around there area, imagine how many people that could influence!

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