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December 16 2005

I can see you: The R. Tam Sessions Story. A detailed account of the Serenity viral marketing campaign as observed by The One True b!X, maintainer of session416.com.

Well, I have to say that it never seemed like that big of a mystery to me, since I was certain that that was Summer and Joss. It was, as Summer said, a fun thing to help tide us over while we were waiting for 'Serenity' to be released.
I only wish they had something for us now, as we wait for our DVDs!
Mmm, diehard :)
I'm still waiting to find out if the River Tam sessions made it on the DVD of Serenity. Any word... as easter eggs perhaps? Anyone...?
Unless it's an entirely un-announced easter egg, it doesn't sound like it. Back when Joss when mentioning the maybe/hopefully notion of a second DVD six months down the road, it sounded like, if that were to happen, they would go there.

Now if he really wants them on any possible/maybe/hopefully second DVD, he needs to let me film a Sessions-like interview about the making of the Sessions with him and Summer, sitting across a plain table in a bare room. ;)
In the end did the River Tam sessions ever achieve anything? The only people who were talking about them seemed to be the fans. Did the clips bring non-fans into the cinema? Anyone know?
Simon, there were some anecdotal reports from fans who used the Sessions to draw in friends who didn't know anything about Firefly or Serenity, but I have no idea how widespread, or narrowspread, that was.
the Sessions seem like such an obvious dvd-extra. It seems odd that they (apparently) aren't being included in the Serenity release. And, since Joss has clearly stated that there will not be a director's cut of Serenity, I'm wondering why they would bother with a second release of the film on dvd. What would it have to offer... more extras? I hate that scam. Do it right the first time you capitalist dogs! ;)
I'm wondering why they would bother with a second release of the film on dvd. What would it have to offer... more extras? I hate that scam.

Hush, you'll convince them not to consider it. ;)

And there's one big reason to do it: Joss wants a full-cast commentary track. That'd be worth the price right there.
Yeah theonetruebix, I would totally buy a rerelease of 'Serenity' with actor commentaries, the River Tam Sessions added, and any other 'extras' they want to add. I'm afraid I'm falling for any scam Universal wants to run.
Hey, if it means a better chance at getting a sequel, I'll gladly let Universal squeeze more money out of me. I'll shell out the cash for two DVDs. If a special edition gets released that has everything the earlier release has plus some more extras, I'll give the other one to a friend as a gift.

[ edited by ElectricSpaceGirl on 2005-12-17 02:55 ]
I very much doubt that it brought in any non-fans. However, I thought it was a realy neat way to have fun with the fanbase. It might have failed it's primary objective as a marketing tool, but it was kind of fun nonetheless.
Any old recycled Serenity/Firefly thing they want to throw at me I'll buy. I'm a complete sucker and have plenty of disposable income. You listening, Universal?
This is what I'd like on the next DVD if we get it. I'm buying it regardless what's in it - have to help the cause you know!

The theatrical release
The version shown at the screenings with the Joss opening
Commentaries with all the cast if possible
A new and improved DVD cover that actually represents the movie
The River Tam sessions
All the Inara scenes put back in the movie - there was just not enough Inara at all!!
An announcement that Serenity 2 is in the works
And a musical tribute to both Wash and Book
And the original Firefly theme
The version shown at the screenings with the Joss opening

Well, each of the three cuts that I saw was different, so which one? ;) And the opening intro is already on the DVD.
I love the "R. Tam" sessions, they're a part of canon as far as I'm concerned (has Joss ever confirmed that? I figure since he wrote and acted in them, that implies his seal of approval). I hope they appear on a future DVD, but I have them saved in a file called "Firefly Extras" (which also contains the Mosquito parody) in case they never do.
I hope they appear on a future DVD, but I have them saved in a file called "Firefly Extras"

I have them on SVCD so I can watch them on my television.

In the end did the River Tam sessions ever achieve anything? The only people who were talking about them seemed to be the fans. Did the clips bring non-fans into the cinema? Anyone know?


I'll stick my neck out and say they didn't cross over, Simon. Non-fans simply weren't that interested. If it had been, say, X-Men -- something on that level -- people would have been all over it. Unfortunately, Serenity's marketing never reached that level.

Those sessions did put me in a bit of a strange position, as I had posted online Universal had denied any involvement to me. And that's because they did. Which was likely all part of the viral effort, but I did learn not to get involved in something like that again, heh.

That said, I do think these clips could be used to market the DVD. That's my opinion. Edit these together properly and you could have something to interest people in a proper marketing effort.
If there were three different screenings then I'd want all three!!

Oh, and I'd also love for the cut scenes to be put back in the movie! Would have loved to have seen more of Inara in there. Those scenes between her and Mal showed how much they cared for each other and newcomers to the movie probably didn't get the relationship or how strong it really was.
Those scenes between her and Mal showed how much they cared for each other and newcomers to the movie probably didn't get the relationship or how strong it really was.

Yeah, well, people should probably stop stressing themselves hoping for scenes to be cut back into the film, since that's not going to happen. Heh.

But beyond that, they simply weren't necessary. On a purely functional level, all an audience needed to know was "woman from the Captain's past who the Operative is using to get to him." And that was established very simply and without much in the way of extra baggage.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2005-12-18 04:58 ]
Indeed, the problem with Inara in Serenity is that you didn't need to know her backstory - it wasn't relevant to the story in the movie. If a future movie were to happen, yes, I could well see Inara's story being relevant.
At the end of the movie, I was overwhelmed by how well Joss had set-up the next movie to be an exploration of romantic relationships. Not just Mal and Inara, but with the whole crew. I would love to see what happens in the characters' love lives now that, in some ways, everything has changed.

Inara's story was not relevant to the movie, but it sure looked like that was where the next one might have headed. That said, I'm often wrong about such things. ;-)

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