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November 30 2009

Blue Gloves Assault - Another campaign to bring back Firefly. The Blue Glove Assault is planning to send blue gloves to Universal on 20 September 2010 in an effort to convince the execs to bring back Firefly.

From the group's website:
"So- what we're going to do is this: every Browncoat, from costume wearers to casual viewers, is going to send in to Universal a pair of disposable rubber gloves. With these gloves will be a card reading "Can't stop the signal." These will all go out on the 20th of September, the anniversary of the airing of Firefly."

Might be worth pointing out that Universal doesn't own the rights to Firefly.
Yeah but they need latex gloves more than 20th Century Fox (little known fact: the entire corporation is germaphobic). Besides Simon, are you trying to stop the needless waste signal or something ? Bad, bad fan.
I really thing Joss has moved on to other things, and so should these guys. Are you sure he even *wants* to bring back Firefly?
Loving something doesn't mean not being able to let it go.
We had Firefly and Serenity. Joss Whedon has many many other stories he wants to tell.
Come on, guys. Let it go.
There is fandom...

there is dedication...

and then there is simple stupidity.
Also worth pointing out that fan campaigning was not the reason why Serenity got made.

And that sending items to studios who won't understand the meaning behind them often results in negative publicity and feelings from studio staff. A glove with a message that says Can't Stop the Signal won't mean much to those at Universal, given that blue gloves were not featured in Serenity, and that it'll have been 5 years since the movie slogan was introduced so they won't necessarily link it to Serenity.

I always find it interesting when fans reference the Jericho campaign as a reason to send things to studios. One thing that's often forgotten is that the Jericho campaign consisted of people buying nuts online from a single company, and then the company who made the nuts delivered them en-masse on a single day. Same as the WGA strike pencils stunt. Getting people to send things in directly doesn't have the same impact.

Is there actually any proof that the Jericho nuts campaign was the reason Jericho got renewed (and subsequently cancelled again)?
No, there's no proof AFAIK, only correlation, not causation. It'd be a hell of a coincidence though, seems reasonable to assume it was a borderline decision to cancel and the nuts made them rethink. Still, execs are wise to that now and that's also because of the 'Jericho' campaign since for all the sound and fury from the fandom, the ratings actually went down when it came back, and kept doing so (on average) up until [re-]cancellation. The message a network/studio takes from that is "Even large fan campaigns don't translate to viewers. Which means they don't add to the bottom line. Which means, basically, ignore them".

I really thing Joss has moved on to other things, and so should these guys. Are you sure he even *wants* to bring back Firefly?

In fairness, they don't actually state (that I can see) that they want to bring back 'Firefly' specifically (as opposed to e.g. a sequel to 'Serenity'). It's quite strongly implied though and not an unreasonable read of it.

But yeah, it's total pie in the sky. Up to them of course, their money. So long as the studio actually uses the gloves (or donates them to someone with a use for them e.g. a free clinic or whatever) then I don't see much harm in it (otherwise it's a helluva waste, in direct proportion to how "successful" it is).
Yeah, this just feels not very well thought out at all. Why now? Why not years ago when the movie came out, or even further back, when the show was canceled? Aside from the September 20th date (which is nearly a whole year away), this all just seems so arbitrary and frivolous.

Additionally, how about some consideration for the time, money and effort that is going to go into the postal service shipping all this crap out and delivering it all on roughly the same time? That's just such an unimportant waste of the nation's (the world's?) resources.

I love Firefly, but seriously? This is ridiculous.
Nonsense! I'm sure anyone would appreciate being sent free blue latext gloves on a semi-regular basis (assuming they're not allergic to latex...)

ETC: Grammar.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-11-30 13:35 ]
The nuts were delivered daily en masse to NBC. I'm sure the delivery room were certainly begging for Nina Sharp to change her mind just so the influx of tonnes of nuts would stop.

Also the gloves shouldn't be rubber. 1. bad for the environment 2. Nitrile gloves look more authentic (and frankly are far more comfortable to wear every day)
The Jericho "Nuts!" campaign worked because it was well organised, went through one single company, was relevant at the time, and it was the first of its kind (the media attention on it was a huge boon). It obviously made the company stand up and pay attention, but the proof was in the pudding. It came back, did terribly ratings wise, and died.

Now I'd imagine all these random campaigns of sending in to try and change the execs minds are greeted with annoyance and the rolling of eyes. Can you imagine all this useless crap coming to your door, having to be checked, all for a show that obviously proved not to be financially viable or creatively viable? So what if a few thousand fans send in some gloves, it proves nothing. It comes across as more like a prank that actual dedication to the cause. If the fans organised more campaigns that actually made financial sense to the company -- buying DVDs, buying merchandise, guerilla marketing, charitable donations -- it would get my backing.
Given how *lousy* Jericho became after it was revived, I'd rather let Firefly and Serenity rest peacefully in the grave, not brought back in a zombie-esque fashion like Buffy's mother. Joss has moved on, and we should as well. It's hard to say that, given how much I adore Firefly, but it's simply too little, too late.

That said, I'd be very happy with some Firefly graphic novels.
I think, with 2010 being the 5th Anniversary of Serenity, we should be sending Universal Thank You Cards on September 30th, for having made the film at all. -Not asking for a Sequel, mind you, but thanking them for what joy we did manage to get.

Another thought... e-mails would all be guaranteed to arrive on the same day. :D
I truly love Firefly and Serenity, but really this just seems like a completely wasted effort. My feeling is that if Joss wants to continue pushing to continue either or both, he'd be letting us know constantly about that. But I've never heard anything but rumors about a possible sequel and much as I adore the show and film, as a writer I know that I have other stories to tell besides just the one I perhaps love the most; I'm sure Joss feels similarly.

I also don't get the whole "send stuff to studios" thing in the first place. I mean, they're just going to throw it all away.
Please be careful of name-calling.
I'm all for fandom and everything, but seriously, no.
Sorry, but in these swine flu days, I'm keeping my rubber gloves for myself.
Though if I was a betting man, I'd wager we'd see a revival of the Firefly 'verse rather than the Serenity one.
TDBrown wrote:

sending Universal Thank You Cards on September 30th, for having made the film at all.

snip

Another thought... e-mails would all be guaranteed to arrive on the same day. :D

Isn't there a saying that you catch more demons with kittens than with latex? Yes indeed, say "thank you" and they might be inclined to play along more.

The 'verse seems to continue - for example the recent buzz about another short story collection and the ever growing CSTS charity contributions. But, not so much in the big-budget, studio-produced way. I think Serialized Firefly / Serenity stories would make an awesome web property. And Master Whedon & crew have nailed one of the few commercially successful new-media ventures, I heard. Some "Dr. Fabulous / Captain Tappety-Tap" thing or some such.

So, what can we offer the soulless minions of evil & destruction, I mean execs and money-folk? A studio-sponsored, serialized new-media venture that pays off, perhaps? Our beloved BDH are aligned with two early successes in such stuff - The Guild & Battlestar. Are there others?

The message for Universal / Fox (studios, not broadcast) / Wolfram And Hart Micro$oft ought to be: "Find a way to feed us, and we'll be there. With fluffy, crunchy kittens for you."
I love seeing these fan efforts continue to pop up. It's quite a tribute to the wonderous verse Joss created.

Being in a group based on a shared love, and working together for a common goal, is fun, not a waste.

Also, I firmly believe the Firefly DVD sales pushed Serenity out of the development slump it was in, allowing the numbers to make sense to the investors writing the check.

I hope these Firefly/Serenity fan campaigns never die.
Also, I firmly believe the Firefly DVD sales pushed Serenity out of the development slump it was in, allowing the numbers to make sense to the investors writing the check.


I believe that Mary Parent, who gave it the greenlight at Uni says otherwise. IIRC, she started talking to Joss about it before DVD sales figures would've been available.
Also, I firmly believe the Firefly DVD sales pushed Serenity out of the development slump it was in, allowing the numbers to make sense to the investors writing the check.


I'm also firmly in the "it's a myth that it's a myth" camp Succatash. I believe the film already was in some phase of pre-production (like Wonder Woman and Goners were, once), but I don't believe Universal would have decided to make a movie verison of Firefly if the series had been nothing more than a quickly cancelled tv-series and a complete failure. That they went for a movie-version of a quickly cancelled tv-series that later caught a small cult-following seems miraculous enough.

ETA:

Hi Zeitgeist! Hadn't seen your post before I posted. Sorry to see we seem to be disagreeing, though the two things might not have to be mutually exclusive: it's been years since I read the various statements that supposedly exposed the importance of the DVD-sales as a myth, so I might be off entirely, but I think I read all of them back then and my interpretation always remained that, while Joss and Uni were already at least in the first preliminary talks, it might very well have been the DVD-sales and the development of a (slightly larger) cult following around Firefly that pushed Serenity out of development hell.

ETA:

Of course this doesn't mean I don't agree with everyone that think this whole action is quite silly and random and that it will only be become an annoyance and a source of bewilderment to the people receiving the gloves. Though in the most constructive scenario it might also bring them a few laughs at the expense of the participants.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-11-30 17:50 ]
I'm aware that this is an old debate, and tiresome to many.

But Zeitgeist, the Greenlight came 4 months after the DVD release. "Started talking to Joss about it" is not a greenlight. It's a development deal, and completely different.

Edited to fix typo.

[ edited by Succatash on 2009-11-30 17:36 ]
Universal will be going through major corporate shakeups over the next year or so and without Mary Parent there (she is at the almost defunct MGM), no chance for any more Serenifly exists at Universal. None. This is cute and will just make mailroom people think scifi fans are looney (or just confirm already existing bias), but will have absolutely no effect on actual business decisions. Without Joss pushing for it and having a champion on the inside, nothing will come of any of it.
The only campaign that could work is a everyone buy serenity again day.

Eithr we let Universal know the day beforehand or couple it with a send proof of purchase to universal.


If 1 million copies of Serenity sell. That could show a sign to them. Not gloves FFS.
It may have been the most publicized, but the Jericho nuts were not the first of its kind. Tabasco Sauce, anyone? I have no idea whether that was the first either, but it was well before the nuts and many others were tried in between. That kind of stunt is in the past though. It only served to show the existence of a fanbase, which isn't really necessary now that online fandoms are so common. They know we're here, and they know we didn't make them as much money as they wanted.
Let it go. The time is past.
They know we're here, and they know we didn't make them as much money as they wanted.

Yep, we're loud but few.

If 1 million copies of Serenity sell. That could show a sign to them. Not gloves FFS.

Ah but can copies of 'Serenity' protect you against bacterial infections ? Yes, yes they can. So we should all buy two copies, one for each hand. Stands to reason.

... my interpretation always remained that, while Joss and Uni were already at least in the first preliminary talks, it might very well have been the DVD-sales and the development of a (slightly larger) cult following around Firefly that pushed Serenity out of development hell.

It might very well have been. Or it might not have made any difference. Did it hurt ? Presumably not, that seems axiomatic. Did it help (i.e. push a situation where a greenlight was in question to one where it wasn't) ? We don't know. What we do know is, the deal was on, Universal had acquired the rights and Joss was writing a script before the DVD even came out then the film was greenlit a few months after the DVD came out (in the US, it was before the R2 and R4 releases). Whether 'Serenity' would have languished in development hell without the 'Firefly' DVD sales is unknown, as things stand it didn't.

(old ground is so alluring, it feels safe, like my Blanky ;)
This seems like such a very bad idea ohmygoodness.
Can't Stop the Serenity is behind us (tentatively)
That's disappointing. Please tell me it's a lie.
From my experience in the SavingAngel campaign (including talking directly w/studio suits) and friends who were in the Save Farscape & Firefly campaigns it's money, bottom line. The Scapers went directly to the advertisers and got them to pay for the miniseries by showing them that scapers were buying their products by sending in their receipts in an organized way. Browncoats showed the power of their dollars by buying Firefly DVDs in an organized mass. According to what I read and heard at the time, Joss *was* in talks with Mary Parent, however showing the amount of recent DVD sales is what helped get the okay for Serenity. It's all about how much money a studio can make. You have to show them that there are people out there who will pay for the project.

Now MGM does love it's fandoms (Stargate and James Bond) and if Mary stays at MGM, perhaps Joss has found a new home.
But Zeitgeist, the Greenlight came 4 months after the DVD release. "Started talking to Joss about it" is not a greenlight. It's a development deal, and completely different.


No, the PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT came four months after the DVD. She began speaking with Joss in July or August and had decided by late November/early December is what I recall. I could be wrong, but that's my recollection.
The reason an effort like this can work (as it did with Jericho) is if it shows the studio that there is an overwhelming fanbase that they might not have been entirely aware of.

Universal is well aware of us. They threw their money behind our passion to bring us Serenity. And while the hardcore fans came out in droves, the rest of the viewing public was slow to follow. This is why it was a stand-along movie rather than a trilogy.

It is also why this campaign is almost guaranteed to fail. Having already taken the chance once, it would take twice as much convincing to entice Universal into investing in another Serenity movie. They would need to be convinced that there is a much wider audience than there was before. A campaign like this does not display breadth of audience, but passion from the core fandom.

Then there's the fact that most of the folks involved have moved on to other things. Many of the actors have regular series gigs, and the creative force behind it would probably have more fun dipping their toes in the web again rather than going back to another big studio production.

Someday, a Serenity sequel might make sense. But right now I'd much rather see what else Joss et al have rolling around in their imaginations, and what contribution they can make to the ever-evolving new media ecosystem. That's a much more exciting adventure than going back to a story we already know.
Why does there always have to be more? Why can't we be happy with what we have already?

Sometimes movies are better off if they never had a sequel (or prequels) Makes them just a little more special.

[ edited by Spacegirl3200 on 2009-11-30 19:38 ]
I agree with the majority of the posters here. I would rather send a great big thank you to Universal than do something to irritate them. And while I am at it, send a box of cookies to the gentleman that is in charge of sending the actual Serenity reels out for CSTS every year.

And as much as I love my Captain, and want to see his very tightpants again, he's committed to a hit show now. And so is Adam. So I don't think Firefly will rise again.

However, the rest of our TRILOGY would be appreciated.
Y'know, I was serious about the Thank You Card / E-mail thing. Just as a courtesy, mind you; not to get Universal to Do anything. 2010 is Serenity's 5th Birthday. I think it's worth celebrating. What better way than just simply thanking Uni for having made the film? It's harmless and well-intentioned. A few thousand thank you cards and e-mails won't give us a sequel, and shouldn't. But it's a heck of a lot less intrusive than gloves (cheaper to mail, too)and just an all-around nicer way of saying...

"Universal, we're still here, and we still appreciate what you did."
If I was working at Universal, honest to God, I wouldn't put the glove to the Serenity... at all. I'm a reasonably big fan of the 'verse but just seeing a blue glove (a la Castle) doesn't make me think about the 'verse at all - unless pointed out, that is.

The word 'assault' isn't very pleasant either.
Actors who have hit shows still can arrange their schedules to do movies and other projects. Some of our BDHs being in hit shows only makes a Firefly revival more bankable... it's a good thing!

Most likely the next incarnation of the 'Verse will be created and delivered in a different way than the traditional studio movie/TV series. At this point it might be a case of waiting until the production rights are fully expired at the studios and Joss can make Firefly his own way.

As for the Blue Gloves Assault notion, I was contacted by its leader to participate. I find it rather amusing that every reason I gave for why I didn't agree with the idea has been repeated in this thread! I never received any answer after I sent my reply email, but perhaps this thread is validation that I wasn't just blithely crushing someone else's promotional idea.

I'm all for ideas that are inventive... but effective is also a key word, and not making our fandom look like loons is another desirable aspect. The fans all got an education on how fan passion alone isn't enough to save, or revive a show, there has to be a business incentive too. A studio is always going to look at the numbers when deciding whether to go forward on a project or not. So continuing to buy those FF/S DVDs, and spreading the word to new folk, are still the most solid and effective ways to keep the 'Verse alive and build an audience. May not sound so glamorous to some, but when we keep doing it, and the new fans then also do so, the effect is exponential.

Math can be a powerful thing...
What on earth makes people think they could AFFORD to hire back Summer, Alan, Nathan, and Morena? True, Ron and Adam were already well-established actors, Gina and Jewel are pretty much in the same boat, and Sean Maher could probably be hired for his previous salary, but the "relative unknowns" who made Firefly great... aren't. I have no idea what salaries Summer and Nathan can command now, but I'll bet anything it's a lot higher than when they were cast in Firefly.
TDBrown-
Honestly, and I'm not trying to be mean here...but do those Thank You emails & postcards get read by anyone at Universal? Not just the kid working in the mailroom, but someone of importance?
No math(s) in the verse can stop us? Look out! ;)
I find it rather amusing that every reason I gave for why I didn't agree with the idea has been repeated in this thread!

Well, many of us, yourself included, have been through this conversation before. Many times now. Heh. We should just make macros to post our reasons.
I'll put it right after my "DVD sales didn't greenlight Serenit.y", "Kevin Reilly is actually a cool guy...", "!!!PIE SPOILERS!!!", and "That makes it sound like you have inside info, which you don't..." macros.
This seems quite silly, and is the type of thing that makes so many people especially on internet dislike Whedonites (and I don't mean to generalize here BUT) when it's mostly Browncoats making loud, desperate attempts to reignite a project that holds little realistic interest to any of the parties involved, who worked on it.
jclemens: Nathan, at least, has shown a willingness to work for potentially nothing. I'm not saying the actors should have to--if they want more money than Joss/studio can offer them, that's their right. But given that most of them still seem to be buddies with Joss, I don't think it'd be crazy to think they might lower their salary expectations a bit to work with him.
We should just make macros to post our reasons.

Too funny, and true! On this subject I've been saving various verbiage over time, from myself and others, regarding what makes a good guerilla marketing idea, what makes a lame one, and finally which ideas suck like Serenity's left engine intake. I also worked to create a concise paragraph or so on why the business side matters, and looking at things from a studio's perspective.

bIx, as you commented, so many of us have had these conversations before. My plan was to have a "go to" website for folks new to the 'Verse and were very motivated to do promotional work. The plan was to provide info to help guide good ideas, and hopefully nip the lame ones in the bud. It's great to see fans who want to do something to help the 'Verse, but the trick is to direct the energy in a productive and positive way.

Adding a comment to the subject of affording the cast now... I'm sure something could be worked out. There's money up front, and then percentages of DVD and online sales. The cast know how well these things sell, so the money part can be worked out. Plus, they all really, really, REALLY want to work together again. These are all real people and they want to work with Joss & Co. and make something awesome.

Besides, Joss can always tempt them with pie...
I would guess that most if not all of the fans behind this are fairly recent and feel the need to do something. I understand that, even if I don't agree with this latest attempt.
No offense taken, Spacegirl.

There was a Thank You campaign back in 2006, for the first Anniversary. Universal HQ may or may not have noticed. It didnt make the press, of course, but many of the Folk who e-mailed received automated responses about the system being "delayed due to high traffic". The e-mails and cards were all addressed to the head of Universal programming or some such. I actually can't remember; It's been so long ago. My point is that we should make a Friendly gesture, not a hostile one.

I seriously believe that making a statement to begin with is sometimes as important as being heard. Someone will notice if we say thank you. If we're sincere about limiting it to that, with no harm done, we'll have done something nice. Whether acknowleged or not.
Jobo,

The Firefly cast have probably been the most universally fan-friendly bunch involved with any of Joss' past projects. Still, it'd be a shame to have that used as a weapon against them in salary negotiations.

The more I think about this, the more I think "Firefly" belongs in the same category as "The Prisoner": a classic that should serve as a monument to a defining achievement of its time, never to be continued or revisited.

... What?
Don't we thank Universal every year anyway, by giving them a small infusion of public performance licensing money to show the movie for charity around the world. ;)
Good point, biX. But it's going to be the Fifth Anniversary! We should do something to celebrate. Please notice that I've not been saying "do something to ask for more".
I won't piss on this bonfire 'cos it's not my place.

I will say try not to use the word 'assault' in fan campaigns. And, frankly, don't target Universal. Talk to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment or Fox Digital Studios if you're gonna try.
Good point, biX. But it's going to be the Fifth Anniversary!

I've little doubt that some things will happen for that.
The only thing this "glove" campaign helps is the makers of latex gloves. Besides, the actors have gone on to bigger (Chuck, V, Castle) things. It's not like the Firefly actors had to become baby-sitters.
Joss has said that the cancellation of Firefly broke his heart, and the making of Serenity was a miracle - as much as we all like both, I'm in the group that thinks it's beyond unlikely that more will get made - and especially unlikely that blue gloves would get us more.

Re: Serenity - never understood why people don't take Joss at his word, but I guess fans know best.

AH: "You mentioned Universal got it, there... was part of the reason they wanted to make the film the fact that there was this sortof fanbase for the show, or did you.. was it just purely the strength of the script and the ideas you had?"

JOSS: "It was really just, you know… what sold it was the show itself. The DVD hadn’t come out yet, so they didn’t really know about the fan-base. They knew that there might be some sortof cult thing, but nobody really knew how big it was until well after they had commissioned the script. There was no script, there were just fifteen episodes and me saying, 'Here’s what the story will be.' And they took it from there.

So they really came on board with very little. When I say they got it, all they did was watch it." -
Joss Whedon/Ambrose Heron, FILMdetail, February, 2006

• • • • •

JOSS: "I’m privy to the essentials. Ultimately how good the DVDs sold certainly helped. But nobody ever said to me 'Ok we need a number on the DVDs before we greenlight the movie.' I was already into the script, I was giving it to them, the timing was fortuitous and if nobody had bought the DVDs they might well have gone, 'Well gee I don’t know.' At the same time, everybody knew that nobody saw the show so we didn’t really know what a big fanbase there was.

I don’t think Universal gets enough credit. People assume they decided to do it after the DVD sales. But they’d been in it for almost a year before that. Based on the shows, the cast and the world they said 'Yeah there’s a movie in there.'"
- Joss Whedon/Daniel Robert Epstein, Suicide Girls, Sept. 30, 2005
She's called QuoterGal for a reason. :)
(Hey, is that a macro?)
Can't Stop the Serenity is behind us (tentatively)

That's disappointing. Please tell me it's a lie.
The One True b!X

To the best of my knowledge, their statements about tentative support from Can't Stop the Serenity are based on an email they received from the Anne Barringer, the 2009 Global Organiser, who thanked them for their enthusiasm about Firefly/Serenity and mentioned that she'd bring it to the attention of the Global Team for discussion. I don't believe it got any further than that, as none of us on the Global Team have heard about this from Anne. Given the relationship CSTS has with Universal, how much we want/need this relationship to stay positive, and how a campaign like this could potentially irritate Universal, I'm have strong doubts that CSTS as a whole would vote to support these kind of fan campaigns.

That being said, I always love to see that people are still passionate about the verse, and I hope that they can find a more positively productive way to channel their energy - like host a CSTS event to raise awareness for Firefly/Serenity and Equality Now permaybehaps? :)
Yep, i'd love to see all that energy and enthusiasm directed at something charity related that also helps raise Serenifly awareness - then the worst case scenario is, a charity benefits. Which is not that bad a scenario.

She's called QuoterGal for a reason. :)
(Hey, is that a macro?)


S'cause she quotes like the wind. Good stuff QG ;). And here're some extra bits from "Serenity: The Official Visual Companion", reasonably fully quoted (it's on page 17 if anyone with the book wants to confirm it ETA: the bits in square brackets are my additions /ETA):

"Did the sales success of the Firefly DVDs help convince Universal to make Serenity ?"

They were definitely going ahead. It did not hurt at all. It definitely helped light a fire and make them go 'Okay, we've really got something here' ... but they really had been supporting us for quite some time already.

"Did Universal give you a timetable for writing the script and/or going into production ?"

They had ideas about when they'd like to start shooting and I really only missed it by about eight months. I started writing and then they were like 'Well, clearly we can start shooting in October [2003 i.e. 3 months before the DVD release]' so when we began shooting in June [2004, as Joss says, about 8 months later than originally planned], I felt a little sheepish, but that was mostly due to the problems with my finishing the script.

So Joss himself says Universal originally intended to start shooting the film 3 months before the DVD set was even released. Would they have gone back on that nearer the time ? We can't possibly know. But the evidence we actually have says they were fully onboard and intending to actually make the film before the DVDs arrived.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-11-30 22:18 ]
I recall Nathan announcing plans for the movie way before the official statement.
Nathan announced the movie online (on the FOX Firefly forum) before the DVD set even came out.
but I guess fans know best.

QuoterGal, you're confusing the issue and I think your sarcasm is a tad insulting.

Those quotes address the false assumption that Universal didn't want to make Serenity until after the DVD sales. Yes, media has reported this, and yes, this is false.

It's very clear that they wanted to work with Joss and make Serenity, and that Serenity was in development before the DVDs came out. That's not the issue.

It's naive to assume that Mary Parent's bosses, and their bosses, all went out of their way to make sure Joss attended all financial meetings and had full disclosure of all discussions.

Joss is/was talent. Talent gets handled and gets told what "They" want the talent to hear and know.

Universal decided to do it before the DVD sales. They didn't officially announce anything or start actual filming production until several months after the DVD release.

To address the quotes in the Visual Companion. Joss had a script, and they wanted him to make it better. They weren't ready to cough up the money, when it came down to it. Isn't that interesting? But with the DVD sales, "Okay, we've really got something here." - came the greenlight.


It's not about Univeral wanting to make Serenity. It's about the final decision from the financial/investor/board of directors/whatever group being convinced, when all is said and done, to write a monster check and fund the movie.

Joss himself says that the DVDs certainly helped, and if sales had flopped it might have killed the project. What more is there to say on the matter?

Way to go Browncoats for buying a ton of DVDs and pushing Serenity out of development and into an official greenlight.
Here's Nathan's announcement about getting the news from Joss that they'd be big damn movie stars - dated 13 June 2003

Prior to that, he kept fans updated on news about a possible future for Firefly.

"We are all still waiting to hear Joss' news about Firefly. He has been hard at work and keeping us all updated, it looks as though something is close!" (20 Feb 2003)

The DVDs were released on 9 December 2003.

Edited to correct links.

[ edited by JenskiJen on 2009-11-30 23:29 ]
Succatash, it was definitely going ahead regardless of DVD. If you meet anybody involved ask them and they will tell you that.
I only get his profile when I click that.
Meanwhile, there is a difference between "Firefly DVD sales got Serenity the greenlight" and "Firefly DVD sales reassured Universal in the decision they'd already made".
Indeed. "Firefly DVD sales and fans campaigning for more got Serenity made" is a brilliant marketing pitch. Easy hook. Which is why it was used.
Thanks for that, b!X. I've corrected the links.
You're doing it wrong!
“The definition of insanity is doing arguing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. I think I'd rather listen to Hero of Canton.
Ok, I know this idea is *bleep*ing retarded and Universal doesn't own Firefly, but the fact that this is on my birthday makes me super shiny :D And, I'm all for projects to try and bring back Firefly/Serenity in a while, just not... stupid ones.
“The definition of insanity is doing arguing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. I think I'd rather listen to Hero of Canton.

What, and lose our reputation for insanity wacky hijinks ? ;)

Meanwhile, there is a difference between "Firefly DVD sales got Serenity the greenlight" and "Firefly DVD sales reassured Universal in the decision they'd already made".

Exactly. That's what the quotes from the Visual Companion actually say. The ellipses from the first quoted Joss answer replaced "It definitely helped them just be comfortable with the decisions they were making, [but ...]" - I left it out above because it seemed not to be saying anything that wasn't already covered.

To address the quotes in the Visual Companion. Joss had a script, and they wanted him to make it better. They weren't ready to cough up the money, when it came down to it. Isn't that interesting?

That doesn't so much address the quotes in the Visual Companion as, y'know, make some up. Where does it say that Succatash ? Please, quote the part where it says they weren't happy with the script or ready to cough up the money. When he started writing they were talking about filming in October 2003 (before the DVDs). As I say, were they possibly hesitant or even going to pull the plug prior to March 2004 ? Maybe, i'm willing to look at evidence. Where's yours ? Where are your interviews, quotes and blog posts that show that ?

If you're literally just saying "If DVD sales had flopped they might not have made the movie" then I totally agree, they might not have, we've no way of knowing (happily) because sales didn't flop. If Mary Parent had been hit by a bus they might not have made it either. Or if another Universal movie had made less money in '03/'04 they might not have made it. Etc. It's speculation and you're obviously entitled to do it but speculation isn't evidence for or against.

Sorry if it feels like people are ganging up on you, I really don't mean for that. But it does seem like you're wedded to a position mainly because it's your position rather than because that's where the bulk of the evidence points.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-11-30 22:57 ]
It's not about Univeral wanting to make Serenity. It's about the final decision from the financial/investor/board of directors/whatever group being convinced, when all is said and done, to write a monster check and fund the movie.


Mary Parent is, I believe, the only one who had to okay it and she did.

Joss himself says that the DVDs certainly helped, and if sales had flopped it might have killed the project. What more is there to say on the matter?


So the correct way to say it is not that it helped greenlight the project, but that it prevented the project from stalling after it was greenlit. We are arguing some pretty minute points (but I think it's an important distinction) and I appreciate you hanging in there and dealing with this cheerfully :).
Maybe someone who has a clear understanding of the timeline should update the Wikipedia Firefly (TV Series) entry? I can see how new fans could get confused, as it currently says "These [fan campaigns] and other continuing fan activities eventually convinced Universal Studios to produce a feature film, Serenity."
What, and lose our reputation for insanity wacky hijinks ? ;)

Ah, but we'll still know what going mad feels like.
You know, I don't think the CSTS organisers have ever sent a nice big thankyou basket to PG. I think perhaps we should, he has done a lot for us over the years. I know he helped me track down Aussie distributors, and had a big hand in helping with the fiasco of destroyed prints.
Ah, but we'll still know what going mad feels like.

Yep, I just have to look at the lifesize mashed potato statue in my living room. If I had one I mean which obviously I don't. Cos of how sane I am. Ahem.

I can see how new fans could get confused, as it currently says "These [fan campaigns] and other continuing fan activities eventually convinced Universal Studios to produce a feature film, Serenity."

That's the problem with Wikipedia - all you need is one citation and you can put a "fact" in there that might stay unchallenged for years. Funny thing is, the 'Serenity' entry mentions the June 2003 Fillion/Baldwin posts and references the interview in the Visual Companion that I quoted from. But it cites the Visual Companion for:

"Through a business connection, he was introduced to Mary Parent with Universal Pictures, who immediately signed on after watching the episodes on DVD."

when in fact pg 17 of the OVP doesn't say anywhere (that I can see) that Mary Parent signed on after watching the episodes on DVD, it just says:

"Barry mentioned it to [Universal executive] Mary [Parent], Mary saw the [Firefly episodes] and just signed on. Before I even had a story to tell, Mary said, 'I believe in this' and gave me all her support."

(square brackets in original this time) - the DVD bit just appeared (maybe she saw them on film in a screening room, we don't know). Wikipedia - at least it's free ;).
Why don't we all buy as many copies of serenity and firefly on September 30th, 2010? How the hell are gloves going to convince universal to make a Serenity Sequel.
Grumble, Grumble.

Where are your interviews, quotes and blog posts

Do I really need to link to the thousands of articles that say Power to the Browncoats?

definitely going ahead...
No, sorry, this is no such thing as "definitely" in Hollywood.

Mary Parent is, I believe, the only one who had to okay it and she did.
This is interesting, if true. I find it impossible that she had 100% full reign to spend Universal's money without reporting to higher ups and getting approval. Was her name on the check?


But it does seem like you're wedded to a position mainly because it's your position rather than because that's where the bulk of the evidence points.

I was given this position by Joss, the actors, the media, and by Universal. If you want to kick over my sand castle than show me proof besides opinions, "ask anyone" comments and scorn for Browncoats who love the verse too much to shut up.

Meanwhile, there is a difference between "Firefly DVD sales got Serenity the greenlight" and "Firefly DVD sales reassured Universal in the decision they'd already made".

In the spirit of this discussion, I'd say there's not a difference. A Hollywood decision is smoke. There were decisions made about Wonder Woman too, it means just about nothing.

It's always sound advice to follow the money, though.
I fail to see how stating facts involves scorn for Browncoats.

The DVD sales did not get Serenity greenlit. That is fact.

Those thousands are articles you mention don't cite anything (or anything credible). They are essentially misinformed speculation that took one thing -- Firefly DVD sales -- saw another thing -- Serenity getting made -- and created a connection between the two when none existed. That's the first thing you learn in high school science -- correlation does not equal causation.

Here's the thing -- Joss cares about the fans, right? So what rationale would he have for correcting the interviewer about the movie getting greenlit before the Firefly DVDs were released if it wasn't true?

And, if the DVDs were a factor at all at a later date, what reason would he, or anyone else in the know, have for, either then or in the five years since, not saying, "I think the DVD sales really pushed the project ahead," or "DVD sales got us a bigger budget," or anything along those lines.

They wanted to start shooting three months before the DVD was released. The studio did, not Joss. You can speculate that they wanted the script to be improved, but that goes against what we've heard, and frankly I'd find it more likely that it just took Joss a long time to write (it was no doubt a tough script and we know his first draft was 190 pages).

Saying otherwise is pure speculation, and even if it's true that they wanted a rewrite, it would still have nothing to do with the DVD sales, as they presumably would have asked for rewrites long before the DVD was released.

Yes, Hollywood decisions can go away, as you say, but as others have said, what you propose is no more or less likely than any random scenario for the deal going away.

The most we can say is that there's a chance DVD sales helped somewhere down the line. There is, however, zero evidence of this, as far as I'm aware.
Given that most fans on this board are begging off this effort screams volumes about it's efficacy. There is no more battle to be won, this feels like showing up to court five years after the settlement and expecting someone to take you seriously when you ask for a retrial. I hope they realize the true frivolity of this effort but something tells me they wont. Something also tells me come the end of September a few pairs of blue gloves will be kicking around the office with people either not getting what they are doing there or worse, thinking that is what remains of the Firely/Serenity fan base. Awkward cringe at that thought.

I do love the idea of sending a thank you note, no matter how you view it, from the studios point of view they took a big chance on us and ended up giving us fans a gift we can always appreciate. Recognizing that effort and being grateful is so much classier and something I was hoping as Whedon fans we could be capable of, rather than taking a 3 year old mentality to the situation perpetually demanding more.

Furthermore, nice quoting QuoterGal and Saje! Succatash let it go, you’re arguing in circles by stating things with no actual proof. You read into the articles what you choose to and are aggravated when several people are telling you your bias has led you to a false assumption. You think fans here wouldn’t be the first to say we made Serenity possible buy flexing our muscle in contributing to DVD sales? We would love to and ultimately helped but the simple truth is before that happened the movie was already in transition and being created. Take solace in the fact your contribution comforted the studio just a bit more with the decisions they had already made.
Ah, faith-based fandom.
I know he ... had a big hand in helping with the fiasco of destroyed prints.

No lie.
what you propose is no more or less likely than any random scenario for the deal going away.

Succatash let it go, you’re arguing in circles

I suppose I am, since all of you just keep saying that DVD sales couldn't have greenlit Serenity, because Mary Parent liked Joss and Firefly. As if that makes more sense, as if Hollywood is that simple. And that's all the evidence you've provided. There also seems to be a disagreement on the definition of greenlight.

Not good enough, sorry.

Why are you guys wedded to the position that Browncoats must stop smiling about greenlighting Serenity? The notion was given to us by Universal, the actors, by Joss, and just about every media outlet in the world. And yet you seem dead set on crushing our/their spirits. Why? The perfect metaphor is kicking over someone’s sandcastle.

It's no secret that many of you think and thought of Browncoats as annoying, loud, fanatical and you really wanted them to shut up. To put them down. Whenever a new group of fans discovers the series and tries to have some fun with a campain, it's met with ridicule and tiresome, weary cynics here at Whedonesque. This ongoing Firefly DVD issue comes from that dark place, and I refuse to bow to it without some very solid proof.


If I’m "wedded to a position," than it’s the position that bullies suck. Despite the rules here at Whedonesque, the most vocal here are Passive Aggressive Masters and can swing a sharp sword that can cut deep.

As if “Fandom” is a magical group of consenting members, and you guys are in charge. Um, no, it's not. And you’re not.

I really enjoy being a member here, and I try so very hard to follow the rules, which is not easy at all when I’ve been drinking, seriously (I’m not now, btw). My use of the word “Fandom” is not referring to the members and rules here, because the concept of Fandom is much much bigger.

I admit I’m motivated to stick up for Browncoats, and smaller fan groups, because I don’t like to see them getting bullied. In the case of this new fan campaign, the OT of this thread - it’s not worth being mean about.

How did this thread start?

“Needless waste.”

“simple stupidity..”

“not the reason why Serenity got made”

Jesus, people.

Can’t someone get an interview with Mary Parent? I promise I’ll shut up.

Can we all be nice and hug now, or something?
So, insisting we go by the established record of evidence now means we're bullies? Oh. Kay.
Sorry if we came off as bullying, I know it sucks to get piled on, but I swear that was not my intention.

Look, I would love it too if fan support made a movie happen. That's an awesome story, I just see no evidence of it.

I'm not kicking over your sandcastle, I'm pointing out that there IS no sandcastle.
Bring back Firefly? Even Joss says it's never gonna happen. Maybe someday we'll get a Serenity sequel, but it's looking less and less likely. And if a fan campaign were gonna make that happen, with all the previous Browncoat campaigns it would have happened already. All anyone can do is buy more Serenity DVDs and wish for the best, but not expect any miracles.

And that's all I have to say on the issue.
I thought most of us here are Browncoats. Being cynical doesn't preclude that.
I really enjoy being a member here, and I try so very hard to follow the rules

Then you'll keep your comments respectful of fellow posters. Describing everyone who disagrees with you here as bullying and passive-aggressive strays past civil discussion of the points and into personal territory.
So, insisting we go by the established record of evidence now means we're bullies? Oh. Kay.

Hmm, I thought I made it clear that I was referring to an ongoing pattern of behavior, which indeed includes this seemingly angsty-ish need to set Browncoats straight. I don’t know how many times I can say that your evidence only deals with the development deal and “mights” and “maybes,” which I consider insufficient evidence.

Hey I have a question: Didn’t Joss and Drew Goddard make a special deal with Cabin in the Woods – with a greenlight guarantee included in the script sale? Found it.

Does anyone know if Serenity had a similar contract? That would be a great way to clarify “greenlight” and make me shut up as well.
Hi Sunfire, just saw your post. Sorry, I will be respectful, I always try. I don't think I said anything about everyone who disagrees with me. I'll take this to email. Peace.
Every year since Serenity came out, the Browncoats here in Southern Indiana have done something for Charity on or near the date for Sereniversary, which is Sept 30th in the 'States. For 2010 we will be having the 3rd Annual Browncoats Backwoods Bash, a picnic at a State Park that features a pioneer village and grist mill (shades of Saffron!). We hope to have a charity screening of Browncoats: Redemption, if at all possible, and a screening of the BDM for Charity is not out of the question. We've always kept Sereniversary "grass roots" and donate to a local women's shelter, MiddleWay House.

My point being, Yes... we can do things for Charity to celebrate Serenity's 5th Birthday. But we can also say thanks, just because it's the nice thing to do. Blue Gloves? an impractical, vague, and expensive waste of time. JMHO.
I think you're seeing persecution that doesn't exist. No one's said anything "against the browncoats," we're talking about DVD sales of a show causing a movie. Did the browncoats buy all those millions of DVDs on their own? No, they did not. This has nothing to do with fandom, to me.

Here's the thing. Mary Parent wanted to be in business with Joss. She came to him and asked what he'd like to do. He said "Firefly movie." He showed her the show, she said, "that's a movie," and commissioned him to write the script.

Now, we don't have proof of this, but I'm guessing a writer with Joss Whedon's name and resume isn't writing that script on spec. There may have been an implied greenlight, maybe a contractual one, at the very least, he would have gotten paid a writing fee. During this time he wrote the kitchen sink draft, got notes, was involved in the development process, and announced the movie to fans (this was over an entire year).

Only then did the DVD even come out.

Given multiple opportunities in interviews to say "hey, it was the DVDs," Joss instead said, "no, it was the show." Why would he say that if it wasn't true?

I swear I have no hidden agenda. From a purely logical perspective, you seem to be grasping at straws. Not that there couldn't be some validity to what you're saying -- there's just no proof.

And again, if DVD sales were a factor, why wouldn't anyone involved had said so, at any point. I can see no reason why it would reflect poorly on them to say "the amazing DVD sales helped us make the decision," and every reason for them to do so -- and yet no one did. It just doesn't make sense.
"why wouldn't anyone involved had said so, at any point."

Hi, bonzob. Thanks for your kind words. About this quote, I'm not sure what you mean, because everyone was saying so at the time.

Here's Adam Baldwin saying so, if you scroll to 32:18 or so.

I'm not claiming this is proof of evidence, because I'm aware AB is reading from a teleprompter. But the message was everywhere. From Joss, Universal, the media, the actors, everyone was beating us over our heads with our awesomeness. It was... awesome.
Trying to read all these comments made me dizzy. Actually that was probably a combination of sinus issues and sugar overload.

If there seemed to me to be any merit in continued Firefly/Serenity fan campaigns, you can bet I'd be making noise about them. (I wouldn't organize them, but I'd make noise.) As it is, I feel like I move farther and farther away from the heart of the fandom each time one of these ideas is put forward, because it does make us look the crazy. Somebody suggested the blue glove thing in 2002. It was a bad idea then. It's a bad idea now.

But the message was everywhere. From Joss, Universal, the media, the actors, everyone was beating us over our heads with our awesomeness. It was... awesome.


And it's a great and inspiring story. But it's not good business, sad to say.
i'm all for fandom, but there's a difference between quitting ....and losing.
I don't think anybody lost really. Somebody asked me the other day what I 'got out' of Serenity. My answer: uhm, a major motion picture!

(Snipped out some of my depressing stuff).

[ edited by gossi on 2009-12-01 08:22 ]
As much as I'd love for the 'Verse to receive another run, I really don't believe something like that is going to come to fruition. :(
By the way, Browncoats promoted the shit out of the movie. Make no mistake about that.
By the way, Browncoats promoted the shit out of the movie. Make no mistake about that.

To the tune of $2.1 million, even. ;)
I know that WhyiWatch isn't run by you guys gossi & Bix, but do you know if it's still being updated? There's no mention of Belonging anywhere on the site. It'd be great if a Hulu link was where the other three S2 episode links are
[offtopic]There should be some stuff going on the different Dollhouse sites tomorrow. Additionally there are some interesting Twitter things sched for eps 7+8 of Dollhouse.[/offtopic]
If you want to kick over my sand castle than show me proof besides opinions, "ask anyone" comments and scorn for Browncoats who love the verse too much to shut up.

We've given you quotes from Joss in the OFFICIAL visual companion (where he says they were considering starting filming 3 months before the DVD release), quotes from Joss in interview, quotes from the cast dated 6 months before the DVD release. And when I ask you for your proof you refuse to give any (or give some you admit is bad evidence) or mention "the thousands of articles that say Power to the Browncoats" (a nicer example of an "ask anyone" comment would be hard to find) and then claim bullying and passive aggression when a couple of people (myself included) specifically took pains to apologise in advance in case you were feeling that way.

And it's not browncoats I have scorn for BTW, it's untruths and half-truths in pursuit of some agenda (even, maybe especially, when I happen to share that agenda). Funnily enough, I consider that to be closer to the message of 'Serenity' than believing a version of history just because it makes me feel good.

And yet you seem dead set on crushing our/their spirits. Why? The perfect metaphor is kicking over someone’s sandcastle.

Here's the thing: it's not your sandcastle, it's ALL of ours that're Firefly/Serenity fans. And if it was on solid foundations i'd be the first to plant a flag in the tower.

The evidence provided on this thread is fairly open and shut to me. Joss says (in print) that it helped Universal feel better about the decisions they were making and says they originally wanted to film in October 2003 (before the DVDs) - the quotes are there for all to see and the book is available to verify them. I believe him. If you think that's wrong or misleading then the burden of proof is on you succatash (and that means evidence, preferably direct evidence, rather than wild and insulting accusations).
Ok. here's what I think we, as a fandom, should do. A Serenity/Firefly Sequel isn't coming for a LONG time. Right now Joss is busy on Dollhouse, he's going to direct a Glee episode, if we're REALLY lucky he's planning Dollhouse Comics, he's probably going to start writing a Dr. Horrible 2 Script if he hasn't already, and he obviously has some ideas of future projects if we're going to know his next thing by late January.

Morena Baccarin is filming season one of V. Gina Torres is also working, in Flashforward. Nathan Fillion is doing Castle. Alan Tudyk is doing Dollhouse, and V. (I know what happened in Serenity, but I'm assuming he'll be in some flashbacks. I'm also assuming Book won't need to be, because of A Shepards Tale.) Adam Baldwin is doing a voice in Superman: Doomsday and he's in Chuck. Jewel Staite is doing Mothman. Summer Glau is doing Dollhouse, and a... Western movie?

W/e, the point is almost everyone is busy now, and will be in the forseeable future. We should wait, wait for it to look like we can get a film going, try to line up the hiatuses of tv shows, probably at some point in the summer and decide that that's when we should tell the studio to do a sequel.

We shouldn't send stupid gloves, we should pick a day, and on this day all send emails saying the actors are going to be free from blank to blank, as will Whedon to direct, and that's when it should be filmed. Nicely, and also thank them for Serenity. That same day, we should all buy Firefly and Serenity as many times as we can and give them away, or keep a pile in our closests and wait for birthdays and holidays to come around.

Obviously this day will be FAR before the filming or writing would happen, we'd need to plan it, but until Whedon announces his next thing and the shows our actors are on get renewed/cancelled, we have no idea when's a good time, and Universal's going to think that there's no way they could do it if they WANTED to.

All that makes sense, to me. Anyone else in?

[ edited by DeezyG on 2009-12-02 00:20 ]
(old ground is so alluring, it feels safe, like my Blanky ;)

Heh heh. Yes, I read the whole thread, and now I feel soothed by the sweet familiar and I'm going to bed.

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