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November 29 2005

Operation: Browncoat is underway. A group of Browncoats are using Shawna Trpcic's costume auction as a means of buying their Captain a birthday gift.

After being informed (by Shawna and Nathan's brother) that Nathan Fillion does not have a Browncoat of his own, from the series or the movie, a group of Browncoats have gotten together to raise a fund in order to win the coat from Shawna's auction. Any money not used or if the auction is not won, all proceeds will be split between a new gift for Nathan and a charity of Nathan's choice.

God help me, I'm going to donate. Somewhat b/c I'm a huge dork and want to thank him for what he's given to the fannish community with his talent and his charm. And shamefully, also as a small consolation for the movie not doing better. (the latter makes me sound deranged, but I choose to embrace myself and all my quirks.)
I'm sure I'm in the minority on this, but I've never really seen the sense, for lack of a better word, in buying an expensive gift for someone with far better financial means than myself. The charity I can see, but thousands of dollars to buy a wealthy actor(I don't know how wealthy, but I'm gonna bet he clears more than my piddly 40K a year) something he could buy for himself...I know, fans do it all the time, and obviously I'm not going to tell anyone what to do with their own money, but just for myself, I'd rather buy a few small things for me. But I'm selfish that way. And cheap. And poor.

I realize it's all to show appreciation and thanks and whatnot. But I'd rather say thanks in person at a con or something, rather than be a faceless donor to a big ticket item. And again, because I'm sure it will come up a few times, I'm not telling anyone what to do with their money or saying it's a bad idea. Just saying why it doesn't work for me. I'm sure Nathan would be pickled tink to get his own browncoat.
I'm sure Nathan would be pickled tink to get his own browncoat.


Ummm ... you sure you don't mean "tickled pink"?
I don't know if you're in the minority, Rogue Slayer, I've heard that point from others. Certainly, all of us are free to spend our hard-earned money however we choose, without having to feel like more or less of a fan for it (we've all invested to some extent in DVDs, movie tickets, etc., already).

I just want to raise one point about Nathan's "wealth". Unless some here have personal connections to him, we can only imagine what his wealth is. My guess is it's not spectacular. More than 10 of us put together? Sure. More than 100 of us? Personally, I doubt it. So if we can get a few hundred fans to pitch in to this, I think it's probably more than Nathan could do for himself.

In the end, this isn't about that, it's about the meaning of the gesture, but as far as money goes, I wouldn't assume that Nathan can drop several thousand without missing it.
I see your point, and it's one of the reasons I'm every so slightly embarrassed by deciding to donate. But for me, it's not really a problem to give money to buy someone much richer than me something they could easily afford on their own -- that's not the nature of a gift, y'know? I've done most of my holiday shopping (almost finished!) and it's not that I think my friends can't easily buy DVDs and books on their own -- or afford them, because I'm far from being the most financially flush of them all -- but that I want them to have something that they will enjoy, and which will make them happy. To gift someone isn't an act of economics to me, it's a gesture of affection, or thanks. It has no deeper significance than me saying thank you.

Besides, going to a con would be several times more expensive, and a lot of con-going isn't to give something to the actors, but to receive pleasure for oneself. This near-anonymity suits me better.
Besides, going to a con would be several times more expensive, and a lot of con-going isn't to give something to the actors, but to receive pleasure for oneself.

The majority of money con guests make is from autographs and photoshoots with guests.. In the cases like Jonathan Woodward and such, I've got to be honest, I probably earn more than them (and I don't earn much) - a bulk of their money comes from fans at cons.

That said, Nathan had a big talent deal with NBC for a while, Serenity and Slither under his belt, together with 10 years of acting elsewhere.. I doubt he's doing too badly for himself.

The person you are really giving to here is Shawna, Fireflys costume designer. She didn't work on Serenity, I don't know if she's worked on anything since (anybody know?).

[ edited by gossi on 2005-11-29 12:26 ]
According to Shawna's IMDb page, gossi, the last thing she worked on was Marti Noxon's failed Devil's child series Point Pleasant from earlier this year.

Here's to hoping she gets some more work going...
" The person you are really giving to here is Shawna, Fireflys costume designer."


Perhaps … if independent browncoats or commercial vendors end up bidding against ‘Operation Browncoat’.

But, unless she has been very very canny in setting the reserve at a high enough level, it could be that what happens is that this venture puts other bidders off (who feel that they may be spoiling Nathan’s party) and the coat goes for less than it otherwise would. She'd then get less for her kids college fund and the extra money raised would go to a charity of Nathan’s choice (enforced charity giving by Shawna).

An interesting alternative is that 'Operation Browncoat' ends up bidding against Nathan himself as he trys to get his coat and honour/benefit his costume designer!
Has anyone actually asked *Nathan* if he wants a small fortune spent on this on his behalf? After all, he's had several other opportunities on both the show and the film to have one as a souvenir for himself (as many actors do with favourite bits of costume) and he chose not to take those opportunities up.
Frankly, I doubt this will remain a surprise to him -- it's shown up here, and probably has been bandied about the browncoats boards, and he does keep up on fannish news...

I don't know if he honestly would have had the opportunity of getting the coat. It's an expensive piece of wardrobe, much nicer than Wash's Hawaiian shirts, and in a commentary, Tudyk mentions how much he liked the shirts but was not allowed to take any home. I think there's a reason that the designer ended up in possession of all these costumes, a reason that's not actorly indifference. After all, AT swiped the red button, he wasn't given it. At the end of the LotR movies, all the actors were given their swords, and Wood got one of the rings of power, but that sort of gesture is not customary.
Ummm ... you sure you don't mean "tickled pink"?

I was just bein' goofy! :~)
Heh. I don't think there's anything wrong with buying someone a gift. Because that's just what this is, people banding together buying someone a thank-you gift, so I guess I'm with dottikin on this.

Now it'd be something else if people were being forced to spend money they couldn't miss. I'm not sure if I'll donate, simply because I'm not sure if I have extra money to spare at the end of this month (being a student and all ;-)). If I do, I'm sure this would be a nice way to spend some. Really no different from buying a friend a gift.
My own thinking on this one tends to be along the lines of that of Rogue Slayer - who said it more eloquently than I could have done. I won't be making a donation because I'd rather spend the money on myself, my family or my friends - or find some other avenue to dispose of it.

At the same time, it seems like a very nice gesture, one I'm sure NF would appreciate. Good luck to all who get involved. I must admit I almost found myself being swayed by the posts of dottikin!
Something tells me if Nathan really wanted a coat, he could have had one. "Hey, Ms. Wardrobe, I'd like to take this home to remember the show and so forth" would probably be all it took.
As to Gossi's question about Shawna's work, after Firefly ended she moved to Angel for its last 1,5 season (even though this is mentioned below her Firefly work on imdb).
The question of Nathan wanting the coat is a tough one, cause we don't wanna ask him straight up. As mentioned in the FAQ, the best indication we have is that his brother thought this was a cool idea (and will let us know if Nathan plans to bid on the coat himself). And I don't know if he had an opportunity at the show's end to keep the coat, but even if he did, I'd like (selfishly?) to think that receiving it this way would mean something different than getting it post-production, that it would now be "imbued" with an additional meaning. =)
Ditto on what Dottikin said above- if you listened to the audio commentary by Alan Tudyk, he implies it was not so easy to get a costume, and in fact if you wanted something of your character's then you'd have to "steal" it.

This happens a lot on movies and tv series, if the wardrobe designer doesn't keep them then the studio will often auction the memorabilia off- occasionally for charity. It seems like whenever I see an interview for a movie where they are asked if they got to keep such and such item- the actor always says no because the studio wouldn't let them.

So yeah, I doubt he has a coat, and if he pays close enough attention to know Shawna is auctioning these things off he also might know the fans are planning on bidding on it- so I highly doubt he'd bid on it himself.
Just wanna update that the status has gone from "We're humped" to "Well, here we are", and we are past the $1,500 opening bid. So it's doing well, but we have a ways to go yet. =)
I wondered about some of these things, myself. I found that a lot of the questions and concerns are answered in the FAQ portion of the Operation Browncoat site. :)
Just a heads-up, folks. The costume auctions are now up and running. you can find them on eBay here:
http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZtaran88

Happy hunting.

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