GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Firefly by subscription?

POSTED BY: AVATAR
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 11:08
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 4299
PAGE 1 of 2

Monday, January 6, 2003 12:21 PM

AVATAR


As one who has been physically ill since finding out Firefly was cancelled, I've been racking my brain to think of ways to save it.

One thought that I've had is that even though our "paltry" 4 million or so viewers isn't enough to support a broadcast TV show (in Fox's mind, at least), we do represent a significant number of money-earning (or at least credit-card-using) individuals.

If everyone were willing to pay just $1 for an episode on DVD (or by download), by my math, that would be $4 million bucks. I don't know how much an ep costs, but it's got to be less than that. I know everyone wouldn't want to part with $1 and lots of cretins would rather just make a bootleg copy, but even if 400,000 people were willing to spend $5 per ep, that's still $2 million to keep Serenity flying each week.

Does anyone know how much an ep costs? Also, has anyone ever heard of a "subscription" TV show before?

(Please feel free to tell me why I'm either a genius or an idiot...)


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 6, 2003 1:08 PM

LORA


I like this idea a lot. It would be great to have Firefly on tape (without having to fight with my VCR) with NO COMMERCIALS and be able to watch it whenever I want.

Is there anyone reading this who knows jack about production costs?

I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 6, 2003 1:30 PM

CARDIE


I'd imagine Firefly costs somewhere between $750,000 and $1 million per episode. But keeping it in production, paying actors' and crews' salaries requires an upfront commitment. No one is going to pass up other work on the hopes that all those dollar bills will come flowing in. Also, there's no way to know how many of the four million viewers love "Firefly" so much that they'd pay to see it, rather than picking it up for free while channel surfing. The only way such subscription TV could work would be if some big risk-taking entrepreneur got sufficient capital investment to produce episodes of excellent niche shows, investing the money upfront, and then gambled on being able to sell enough episodes through pay-per-view to produce a decent return on investment. Actually, if I had lots of money, I'd love creating the "Second Chance" subscription channel and commissioning new episodes of worthy cancelled shows. But I suspect I'd have to run it as a charity.

Cardie

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 6, 2003 1:37 PM

SERSI


I like this idea, too. I'd be willing to pay more than $5.00 an episode because I'm really fed up with all my favorite shows being cancelled.

I think ST:TNG cost around a million an episode. Of course, that was several years ago, but also before computerized special effects, which, I understand, cost less. I don't know how Firefly films, but I would like to think the fans could afford whatever it costs.

Four million viewers is great, but how many of them are true postcard-writing fans and how many were just casual watchers?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 6, 2003 1:44 PM

HAKEN

Likes to mess with stuffs.


I don't know about limited exposure, but the entire Porn industry works this way. And they've succeeded at delivering content in an alternative manner for years.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 6, 2003 1:52 PM

CAPTAINMAL


It SEEMS to me that if such a thing were practical it would have already been done but let's just say theoretically that each EP cost 1.5 mil, and that the production and distribution cost (for the DVD's which I presume would be the prefered method of distrobution) was a genorus half mil.

That's 2 million per episode.

Now, let's say that you would subscribe to a service akin to a record club (except you don't have right of refusal) in which you would be sent perhaps 2-3 eps at a time 10 times a year.

Let's be bold and say you get 30 episodes and for eact you pay three dollars...round it off and say you pay $100 for your subscription.

30 eps * 2 mil = 60 mil devided by $100 per subscription = 600,000 subscribers to break even.

Probably a million to make the start-up of a brand new venture worthwhile.

But it seems to me this would have to be something bigger than one show. But some bright boy with gobs of money ought to check into it...if you could offer the latest effort from the best of the best producers - name guys like Weldon and Chris Carter, etc - uncensored, uninteruppted, uncancelable, for 1/3 more eps per year...you should be able to sell that...and need less viewers over break even to make the whole thing profitable.

Add to that that some shows would not be as expensive to produce as others thus increasing the profit margins there...

The start up expense would be huge without shows ready to go (for instance, if one was ready to go right now they could start with Firefly, and Farscape lower thestartup costs) but if someone wanted to gamble the necessary capital, it seems like a solid idea. The trick would be selling the show unseen. You'd have to be very creative to get half million or more subscribers to a show no one has seen. And it wouldn't be practical, I would think, to just hang around a canabalize shows the networks started up and then cancelled.


Still, it's the most refreashing new idea I've seen in years.

Kudos.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 6, 2003 2:46 PM

LEGALBEGAL


The NWA wrestling company produces a show this way. It airs every week on payperview for 9 and some change dollars cheeper if you order a package of eps 4 of them I believe. It cost less. Just so you know direct TV airs other telivison shows this way and I think it will work for firefly.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 6, 2003 3:06 PM

SELNYC


Quote:

Originally posted by CaptainMal:
It SEEMS to me that if such a thing were practical it would have already been done but let's just say theoretically that each EP cost 1.5 mil, and that the production and distribution cost (for the DVD's which I presume would be the prefered method of distrobution) was a genorus half mil.

That's 2 million per episode.




I think we may be forgetting the primary reason Joss moved Buffy from the WB to UPN. He wanted more money per episode -- not to line his own pockets (well, maybe a little, but I can't fault him -- he deserves it!), but to invest in the show's production values. The WB balked at paying $2 million an episode, as they'd been paying a million or less each to that point.

Firefly, right out of the gate, was obviously a much more expensive show to produce; just as an example, understand that the set containing the loading ramp on Serenity is ALWAYS in the studio -- they only make it look like its outside by using digital effects/ChromaKey technology. This is not cheap. If you own the 1st season of Buffy on DVD, you may have heard how Joss described their high school set as being one hallway in a constant state of redressing to show "other" parts of Sunnydale High.

Fox gave Joss something on the order of (I forget dyslexia combined with Alzheimers) whether it was $6 or $9 million JUST TO FILM A PILOT THEY DIDN'T SHOW until after Firefly was cancelled.

If this show costs less than $2 million an ep just in production costs, well, I'd be pretty surprised. And I can't help wondering if this was another factor in Fox's decision to cancel...

It was the best day ever!

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 5:09 AM

LEGALBEGAL


I dont think that a direct to DVD show will work but I know for a fact that a payperview show will work if everyone is willing to pay 5-8 dollars a week to watch firefly with out the commercials. After the first month or so you can take those numbers to advertisers and for a few they can play ads befor the show much like previews at the movies.

The other idea that I had is a bit more far fetched pay per view internet video. Built around a decent site like this one where advertiser could purchase space on say the message board or news links.

By the way if one quarter of the 4 million viewers payed 5 dollars and episode to see this show the Joss and company would make 5 million dollars subract the 2 million for production cost and they still have 3 million dollars not the best that they could do but definetly not the worst. Then add in advertiser money once people realize that we are watching the show and we will have enough money to kepp firefly alive in some form.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 5:50 AM

AVATAR


Quote:

Originally posted by LegalBegal:
I dont think that a direct to DVD show will work but I know for a fact that a payperview show will work if everyone is willing to pay 5-8 dollars a week to watch firefly with out the commercials.



I personally prefer DVDs for several reasons:
1. The video quality is great.
2. I can play them on my bigscreen TV, on my PC, or in my car (but not while driving, of course).
3. They are relatively inexpensive to produce in quantity.
4. They are somewhat copy-proof (at least to the general public).
5. They can hold lots of extras.

Pay-per-view is a good alternative, but then I'd have to keep it on Tivo or dump it to a tape if I wanted to watch it again. I'd rather reserve a section of my DVD shelving exclusively for Firefly (in attractive slipcases manufactured by Blue Sun, of course). Joss could also throw in cheap extras like behind the scenes bits, outtakes, interviews, etc. Creative marketing types could offer walk-on roles, Blue Sun jackets, signed scripts, Tim Minnear bobble-head dolls, etc. that were only available to be won by registered subscribers.

Quote:

The other idea that I had is a bit more far fetched pay per view internet video.


The internet pay-per-view would be OK, but I'd rather watch shows on my 50" TV versus my 17" PC screen. (I know that I could solve this with the right hardware, but I'm saving my money for my subscription. :wink )

The quality would also suffer, if my prior experiences with Internet video streams are any indication. If subscribers were allowed to download it (as opposed to watching an online one-time broadcast), you would run the risk of piracy which seems to terrify most media companies and which could be fatal to any show that needs every subscription $ to survive.

These are great ideas, however, and I'm glad we're looking beyond UPN. Anybody affiliated with the show have any comments?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 5:59 AM

CARDIE


I think everyone is forgetting to factor in the costs necessary to get the delivery system going, like acquiring whatever equipment it takes to set up video on demand, get space on a digital cable provider's roster, etc. Then you need the staff and infrastructure to collect the weekly payments. Also, no one with a solid reputation in the business like Joss is going to sign on for this kind of penny ante success, even to keep viewers happy. Something like this requires huge upfront financial guarantees. You don't turn out a $2 million product and then hope that every week enough people opt to have it delivered to their homes so that you can recoup the cost. Essentially the only way to do it is to establish a subscriber premium channel dedicated to keeping good quirky shows going that also produces these shows. That's what you have now with HBO, but it has a cushion because it also shows movies.

This is a lovely dream but totally impractical.

Cardie

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 6:28 AM

LEGALBEGAL


Quote:

This is a lovely dream but totally impractical.


I dont think so as I said in my first post on this subject pay perview is something that has been done by a couple of shows. The one that i am most familiar with being NWA TNA a wrestling show that provides an alternative to the WWF. They make enough money in shows and merchandise to produce a decent telivision show pay all of their employs and in demand all while according to them making a profit.

On top of this they started off in a bad place some how or a notherthe person that the hired to do their advetising was also working for the WWF and for the first few months their ads where terrible and the suffered from not having any real name stars. Now they have a few of older stars with name power.

Pay per view is something to consider that will work.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 8:53 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


I agree with the assessment that if the porn industry can do it, so can sci-fi. I'd pay $5 per episode, no question.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 8:53 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


sorry for the double post

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 9:05 AM

CARDIE


Porn and wrestling are so much cheaper to produce than a show like Firefly that it isn't even funny. And again, do you really think the kind of talent Firefly employs behind and in front of the camera would keep working in a stigmatized format with "neighbors" like porn and renegade wrestling?

Cardie

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 9:55 AM

CAPTAINMAL


Don't forget us poor country folk with dial-up.

I can't even listen to a vbaseball game in streaming audio without big "catch up" gaps...no way streaming video gets to me.

And i agree that folks are more willing to spend for something they own as opposed to a one time viewing.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 12:44 PM

VIVAFIREFLY


What about Fox? Yes I know they're the morons who canceled the show in the first place but they do, as far as I know, own the rights to the show as well as 13 already made episodes. If the unfortunate event occurs that nobody picks up the show then all 13 episodes end up in storage with That 80's Show and the Tick, where I think we all agree it doesn't deserve to be. But what if instead Fox put the episodes on DVD's say 5-7 DVD's with 2-3 episodes per DVD and the pilot episode on its own DVD and made 100,000 copies to start out with. They could then sell these and if people truly are interested in buying them they'd make more copies of the origanal episodes and might even consider sponsering a subscription show or put it back on the air. If they don't the sales could be used as an incentive for another station to buy the show. And even if we're all wrong about this Fox wouldn't too much money for this idea to be stupid, they might even make a bit of a profit.

I truly hope we find a way to save Firefly

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 2:30 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Didn't mean that they should be associated with, just that perhaps some lessons can be drawn from "the industry", for example- how to establish outlets, how to charge, how to protect IP etc.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 10:35 PM

GIRLIE


I have been mulling over similar ideas in the past few weeks. Wondering why viewers really have no choice in what we view, and how to change this.
1. First of all a revised version of pay per view subscription would work (if orchestrated correctly which could not be the responsibility of individual producers.) I decided I would be willing to invest $10 for a new ep.(along with others) That money could be used as start up and one new ep. In the mean time, first season eps could be shown pay per view style (perhaps some bonus stuff like behind the scenes scoop for loyal viewers) at a lower cost—I’m sure we would all support. These earning could be used to generate more new eps. Shown at a regular time and fee. Which would in turn continue to generate revenue for more new eps, as well as attract new viewers.
2. Advertising could still be used during eps (less though) more like the Public Broadcasting people have added more subtle and restricted advertising.(Subliminal would be ok too! Why not? "Send money for Firefly") Still it would generate revenue and advertisers would have the privilege of being viewed by a paying/ appreciative audience.
3. DVD’s could be produced and released post season (like Buffy) and contain as suggested extras that will make it better then your taped from TV copy. Again generating revenue.
4. This would allow more freedom to a producer because instead of answering to a network they would be responsible to the viewers-Not much less “head up the butt” but a little.
5. I don’t even have cable but I would be willing to get it if they would show Firefly anywhere…. so I’m obviously willing to pay at least $30 a month for it. And I don’t even like SciFi!! (Which I still say this isn’t. More like western “West Wing” in future outer space, then “Buffy” in Space.)

With regard to:
Quote:

“Also, no one with a solid reputation in the business like Joss is going to sign on for this kind of penny ante success, even to keep viewers happy. Something like this requires huge up front financial guarantees. You don't turn out a $2 million product and then hope that every week enough people opt to have it delivered to their homes so that you can recoup the cost. Essentially the only way to do it is to establish a subscriber premium channel dedicated to keeping good quirky shows going that also produces these shows. That's what you have now with HBO, but it has a cushion because it also shows movies.”


Any producer who is tired of the way things work now might be interested. Also anyone who enjoys giving people what they don’t expect and screwing with The Powers That BE could find this an entertaining prospect. Anyone who has revolutionary/ cutting edge ideas (Vampire Slayers on Primetime?) and has enjoyed the success of that may be intrigued. Besides "penny ante success" is not guaranteed. I am just barely old enough to remember the onset of cable TV. I remember relatives discussing the ridiculous idea of people paying for something they got for free already.("How much TV do we need?") Only my Uncle was “dumb enough” to get this new HBO thing because he liked sports and it gave him a chance to see more. Who’s laughing now?
Everything has to start sometime and by someone…Ok someone with money, but still it’s a viable although complicated alternative idea. Maybe not now, and not Firefly….but someday.

My hand to God, I’m not usually this long winded!


"Objects in the mirror may not be as smart as they appear!" --Mine I think.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, January 8, 2003 1:05 PM

CAPTAINMAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Cardie:
I think everyone is forgetting to factor in the costs necessary to get the delivery system going, like acquiring whatever equipment it takes to set up video on demand, get space on a digital cable provider's roster, etc. Then you need the staff and infrastructure to collect the weekly payments. Also, no one with a solid reputation in the business like Joss is going to sign on for this kind of penny ante success, even to keep viewers happy. Something like this requires huge upfront financial guarantees. You don't turn out a $2 million product and then hope that every week enough people opt to have it delivered to their homes so that you can recoup the cost. Essentially the only way to do it is to establish a subscriber premium channel dedicated to keeping good quirky shows going that also produces these shows. That's what you have now with HBO, but it has a cushion because it also shows movies.

This is a lovely dream but totally impractical.

Cardie



But all those pay-per-view concerns are addressed by the Subscription DVD idea since you (the viewer) make the financial comitment on the front end for the whole season. And theres no need to get delivery space or anything...you can contract with any number of already established mail-order buisnesses for distribution.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, January 8, 2003 2:14 PM

ESME


Here's to new ideas...and those who voice them! I'd pay at least $5 an ep...better than throwing it away on some crappy $8 movie. I'd also subscribe to any cable channel who airs it. (I now pay $55 monthly to watch about 3 channels.)
Any market researchers out there? Sign me up. I'd even pay in advance!!!
Forgive me, but I have so few pleasures in life....and now one less.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, January 8, 2003 2:57 PM

SERGEANTX


Esme,

Just curious, where'd you get the nick, is that your name?


SergeantX

"..and here's to all the dreamers, may our open hearts find rest." -- Nanci Griffith

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, January 8, 2003 3:16 PM

ESME


SgtX,
It's a diminutive for Esmerelda...but I lifted it from one of my favorite short story characters.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, January 8, 2003 5:40 PM

AVATAR


So where does that leave us?

At least a few of us think that a subscription DVD might be feasible. Others lean toward pay-per-view (TV or internet). We all seem to agree that WE (this site's readers) would be willing to pay in advance for new shows. I guess the real question is would enough NORMAL people pay to make it feasible.

I'd love to get a professional opinion from someone at Mutant Enemy, even if they just tell us we're beating a dead horse. Anybody know how to get in touch with them? I did find a PO box address, so I guess I could send them a letter. I've also sent an email to firefly@fox.com which used to be the contact point at FOX.

I know at least one or two cast members have been on this site before. So in case they come back....

*** IF ANYONE AFFILIATED WITH THE SHOW READS THIS, PLEASE TELL US WHERE TO GO NEXT !! ***


Thanks - and keep the faith.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, January 9, 2003 6:07 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


I must say that the ideas presented in this thread have been creative and have some merit.

While I do not pretend to know all of the logistics involved in making any of these endeavors work, I think that they bear closer consideration. Has anyone pitched these ideas in an email to Joss? It seems the next logical step, as Avatar pointed out, is to get someone w/ Mutant Enemy, Joss, or someone from the cast or crew of the show involved to work from the inside.

I know that I personally would gladly part w/ $5 per episode to be able to see Firefly on TV again. I have never considered paying out of my pocket to keep a program on the air before, but for Firefly, I would gladly do so.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, January 9, 2003 6:26 AM

LIVINGIMPAIRED


Quote:

Originally posted by BrownCoat1:
I know that I personally would gladly part w/ $5 per episode to be able to see Firefly on TV again. I have never considered paying out of my pocket to keep a program on the air before, but for Firefly, I would gladly do so.



I hear you. In fact, at this point, I'd do anything except sexual favors to keep this show flying. ... maybe even a lapdance or two.

________________

Zoe: “If I'm gonna wear a dress, I'd want something with some 'slink'.”
Wash: “You want a slinky dress? I can buy you a slinky dress! Captain, can I have money for a slinky dress?”
Jayne: “I'll chip in!”
Zoe: “I can hurt you."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, January 10, 2003 4:38 AM

LOSTANGEL


What kind of sexual favors? And only if I get my first episode free.

Seriously, I think that a reason why it hasn't been done before is because...it hasn't been done before. Not because it's unpractical in any way. Big companies have a hard time "turning on a dime" and have a hard time going with something new (obviously) and little companies don't have the rights to them.

I would also prefer a DVD method. I like collecting things, (much to the dismay of my boyfriend and roommate) but I would rather pay for a nice set of FF episodes with nice shiny covers and maybe those extras that someone in a previous message talked about.

And I would pay dearly for a Joss Whedon bobble-head doll.

I say go for it, and count me in on anything that gets me my firefly.
___________________
Lost Angel

Zoe: See honey, he's putting the hair away.
River: But it will still be there... waiting.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, January 10, 2003 5:29 AM

PEAK


A lot of anime (the ones marked OVA) are something like this. They are released directly on DVD.

It could be feasable if they began with the already aried episodes on DVD. They are already paid for, so they should create a small buffer.

And if they are really intelligent, make the DVD:s region 0 and bring them over to Europe too.. ;)...



European Firefly-fan...

//Peak

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, January 10, 2003 5:37 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Quote:

Originally posted by LivingImpaired:
I hear you. In fact, at this point, I'd do anything except sexual favors to keep this show flying. ... maybe even a lapdance or two.



LOL!

A lapdance huh? Hear that Joss?

Seriously though, as nice as it may sound, I am not sure how well a subscription deal for FF would go over. I know that all of us would gladly pay (be it cash or lap dances ) for a chance to see Serenity fly on TV again, but I am not so sure this is the way. Would a subscription type airing of the show further limit the number of viewers that would be able to tune in? Seems like that is a possibility.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, January 10, 2003 7:46 AM

LOSTANGEL


Subscriptions or Pay-Per-View would keep the interest alive. I read one thread where people were sick and tired of waiting and were about to *gasp* go on with their lives (ie: forget about FF. If it came on great, if not, oh well).

If they did a subscript. thing, they could take the sales data and show the TV stations that there is a following. "If people are willing to pay for something they haven't seen yet, then why not take a chance and make the show?"

Don't forget, ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING!


Lost Angel

Zoe: See Honey, he's putting the hair away
River: But it still be there...waiting.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, January 10, 2003 12:43 PM

MRGREEN


Theres a big thread on the 'official' Fox Firefly board about this. There's someone who claims he is in a posistion with some type of media company to offer Firefly via DVD for a per/ed subscription fee. I'm not sure at all how real this guy is, but at least there's some hope someone can do something to help firefly if sci-fi doesnt come through.

Here's some more info from this guy:
Quote:


Our company is in the process of drafting a "thinking outside the box" proposal to Mutant Enemy and Fox to help keep Serenity in the air (and maybe even change the way TV is produced).
However, it hinges on the true demand for quality TV on DVD. So I need your input:

How much would you be willing to pay per episode for high quality Firefly DVD's? ($2, $3, $4? - be honest!)

Would you be willing to subscribe for the entire season if at the end of the season you recieved a bonus disc with all sorts of extras and an interactive episode guide?

Would you be able to maintain your excitment about the show if it never actually appeared on the air?

If it suddenly started showing up in some markets as a syndicated show, and thus was available for "Free" on the air (with commercials of course), would you stop buying the DVDs?

If each episode had a couple of sponsors at the beginning of the disc (they would NOT interrupt the show but you couldn't skip them) would that discourage you from buying future episodes on DVD?

Jeremy
---------------------------
Now that UPN has (sadly) decided to pass on Firefly, it's time to get serious about other options, like this subscription idea. So I am bumping this back to the top. If we can get 100,000 subscribers (less than 2% of Firefly's average viewers), then we can make this a viable option. Remember this is a long shot, so don't let it discourage you from writing Sci-Fi channel (maybe the two ideas could work together).
Again if you are interested in subscribing drop me a note at: jeremyn@mac.com include some demographics.

Thanks,

Jeremy



I say drop him a line and let him know what you think... it cant hurt!

Rob



NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, January 10, 2003 1:16 PM

REYVNDARKNIGHT


As broadband becomes more prevalent, this is an excellent idea.

However, the technology is yet to put into place. Not until fiber optics becomes available will people have such programming choices.

And as I would like to produce a cgi sci-fi series, I am definitly following the development of video streaming over the Internet.

One day, I think we will finally have the option to access foreign programming without the dilution of national networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, et al. It would be kinda of kewl to view an anime when it is produced rather than five years down the road.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 13, 2003 5:05 AM

LEGALBEGAL


Whilw reading the UPN passed thread I saw three little letters that sparked and idea I had never thought of and since we are talking about paying for FF why not air it on PBS a network that will do and try anying and keep just about anything on as long as people actually want to see it and they can make a profit off of it. They also know how situatons simular to this work they picked up American Family, a drama about a spanish family when ABC dropped it before even showing the first episode and a couple of the PBS shows have come back from the grave after pledge week.

I think we should begin to target PBS and its local affiliates in our areas. PLus they give away free stuff during pledge week I'd gladlly pay 40 or so dollars for 13 new eps and a plastic model of serenity.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 13, 2003 5:28 AM

LOSTANGEL


Hey MrGreen:
I dropped him a line with my info, but is this a guy that you know well, or someone that you met in passing?

I'm curious about this guy, and if he's for real, would like to help in any way I could, especially if any merch. gets put on the market.

(edited) never mind. I read your post over again and answered my own question.

______________________
Lost Angel

WASH: Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.
ZOE: We live in a space ship, dear.
WASH: So?


NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 13, 2003 6:19 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


I dropped him an email w/ the info he asked for (demographics and such). I hope this will help in some way.

Perhaps if a network won't pick up FF, we can at least get some sort of subscription viewing thing going.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 13, 2003 3:26 PM

MRGREEN


Just to clarify, I do not know or have anything at all to do with the individual I mentioned in my above post.

I have been reading his posts on the official Firefly website ( www.fox.com/firefly) and he claims that his company is getting close to making an offer to ME.

We'll see. Personally, I hope he succeeds. I think this idea is just what we need right now. Something to consider, however, is if something like this happens, be prepared to pay. While a season of Buffy on DVD might cost you 50-60$, that is a show which has been already paid for through advertising. NEW episodes of firefly on DVD, in my opinion, are going to cost _at least_ $10/ep, or $200-250/season, to be able to be profitable, unless serious corporate support can be found (unskippable ads in the intro of the dvd sort of thing).

So keep sending your postcards to Sci-Fi and to the sponsers :)

Rob

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 5:14 AM

LEGALBEGAL


Thank you for the information MrGreen. I went a head and dropped the man of mystery a line with my dems and stuff. I hope that you are wrong about the price.

I was thinking 20 dollars per disk with each disk containing three episodes. 1 disk every other month and we have 18 episodes a year. They could even go with two eps a year at 12 episodes taped during the summer hiatus or something like that so that the actors can have time to do other things as well.

I think that a shorter seasons is going to be what occurs if something like this is to work and be profitable. Also with a shorter season if its not profitable your not throwing away as much money. This subscription medium will allow for other new products so be prepared to get a catalog featuring reviews of orderable DVDs.

We should also expect more fresh faces and new names in roles of these types. I dont know to many industry pros who would be willing to risk it but a lot of younger kids out there would. Which is a good thing because you dont have to pay them as much per episode and they will work as hard if not harder if they believe that a subscription show could lead to their discovery or big break.

If this works and people start buying the shows that they want to see advirtisers will notice as will other people and our cost will go down.

Ok I think I have ranted enough im gonna run.

fox deserves to be

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 6:18 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Someone with experience has to sit down and do a business plan. I forsee a possible problem with the DVD appraoch. Assuming there is enough market for DVDs of previously aired eps to fund another episode for each DVD released, how are you increasing exposure? People who don't know FF won't plunk down $15-20 market to try something new, the DVD rental market seems like a very slow way to increase exposure. So basically FF DVDs would be a small and stagnant market.


I suggest exposing the already aired episodes to the widest possible audience, and that means over the i-net. I think that would mean establishing an official download site, with eps in a format that can be burned to DVD. It may mean some losses due to "piracy" but I hope it would mean a rapidly increasing market. No doubt it's a gamble, but you try to get maximum $$$ out of aired eps you will only strangle the infant.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 6:36 AM

MRGREEN


You both have really good points...
LegalBegal - I think your idea of a short season, filmed during the the summer off time is a good idea. They could always expand the season if it was a hit.

SignyM - I had the same thought about getting a market. You would need a good advertising blitz (not neccisarily expensive, just effectively plan).
Step 1) Re-Air the original 15 eps, if possible. Include a commercial for the subscription service several times during each. Offer a risk free 2 ep trial, at an intro rate. Half off or something.

2) Get the original 15 onto a DVD set. Cheap. Like $25 for them all. Include ads for the series in there. Stuff a coupon into it as well.

3) Create a kick ass website. Make up some clips from new episodes and realease them. Not confusing commercials, but a whole scene.

4) Get ads onto all the shows that a Firefly fan may watch. Farscape (reruns i spose now ), all the ST series, etc.

5) Pray like hell, if thats your thing.

It would be neat to see this work, but, like you said, and I, on another forum somewhere, if they try Firefly as the pioneering business model for this, it will probably fail. Others may follow and be successful, though.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 11:35 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


How 'bout:


ON this website, run a "Best fanfic" and "Best script" contest. Announce to all writers and wannabes out there. The criteria is that they winning entry must be truest to Joss' vision. Of course, ppl unfamiliar with the story should have a sample SCRIPT and EPISODE available. The entries can be voted on by readers. The prize? Something meaningful: a chance to watch filming, or have the idea worked into an actual filmed script, or publication into a magazine of note. This might pique writers.

What about the software end of it? Pobably some people at slashdot might like to try their hand in a contest: best rpg, or best computer animation.

Besides writers and software geeks, there seem to be an unusual number of activists and social theorists here. They'd probably like to get a chance to vote on "best script", for example, so a notice to folks who normally are planning the next anti-war demonstration might be a good thing.

And then, there may be people (as individuals or groups) who would really like to try out a new business model. Maybe they could get a crack at developing a new market.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 11:58 AM

LOSTANGEL


Hey, let's not forget the mystery guy : jeremyn@mac.com

At Fireflysupport he was mentioned again, and it sounds like he's getting closer to pitching something.

______________________
Lost Angel

WASH: Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.
ZOE: We live in a space ship, dear.
WASH: So?


NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 12:52 PM

MRGREEN


Here's another thought... how much money does ME make? They have 2 hit shows, they much make some bank... I wonder if Joss has given any thought to try to independantly produce the show, on a subscription basis. Now, following that line, what about selling shares? not in ME, persay, but creating an enterprise specifically for distributing FF. ME would own 51% of it, and the remaining 49% could be sold to interested parties. Share holders would still be required to pay for subscriptions, but would get dividends if the venture ever started to turn a profit. That could be a way to raise some capital to get things rolling.

on a seperate tangent, how about Troma? They're the guys who did the Toxic Avenger movies, and also the first Matt Parker/Trey Stone movie, Cannibal the Musical. They've been doing independant (low budget) movies for YEARS, and seem to enjoy being outside the mainsteam media. I wonder if they would be interested in doing a direct to DVD series. Or maybe just partenering with ME to get the capital and equipment together. Could be worth looking into, imho.

Rob

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 1:16 PM

ALICIA


About the price - Not that many people buy Buffy DVDs because they CAN get it from the television and tape. If the only way to see Firefly is by buying a DVD then I would think you'd sell a lot more (once people know about it, of course).

Hmmm...at $12 per movie (two of us) and a season's worth is about 11 movies...that's $132. So, I'd at LEAST pay that! Plus I KNOW I'll love Firefly and the popcorn is cheaper at home.

Wow....more Firefly....yeah....I'd pay $200 for a season.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 1:54 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


I like the PBS-idea. Getting PBS to air the show and give away DVDs is great publicity. NPR-affiliates might also like some DVDs for giveaway too.

One question: does ME own the copyrights? Or does Fox?


Hey, we got lots of ideas here. How do we start???

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 6:42 PM

SUCCATASH


Money talks, so here's what needs to happen.

We need a trustworthy person or business to collect pre-orders for the DVD's. Actually take our credit card numbers, which would get authorized but not charged until the DVD's were shipped.

What if people pre-ordered 3 or 4 million dollars worth?

I realize this is very unlikely. With so much credit card fraud and identity theft, no one is going to want to give up their financial information for a non-existant DVD --unless the "money collector" was very, very, very reputable.

But what if it was a company like Amazon.com? I know you can pre-order items on their site, for DVD's that aren't made yet.

For example, the movie Orgazmo is not available in America on DVD, but on Amazon.com you can "vote" for it by pre-ordering.

We need something like that. A simple "voting" pre-order would also be cool, but it would be much more effective if we could offer Mutant Enemy actual orders, with credit card numbers, waiting to be charged. It we could pull this off we'd win.


I already posted this on a separate thread, but I wanted to include it here as well.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, January 15, 2003 4:12 AM

LEGALBEGAL


OK so who is goingg to turm these ideas into a feasable business plan/model and send it off to ME?

We need to start really thinking about these out the box ideas now that sci-fi has passed on the show, and it looks like that is what Joss and Company are doing.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, January 15, 2003 6:31 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Sounds good. Who among us has business experience?

I think we could work on two or three business plans- you know, option 1,2, and 3.

But I think we'll need to communicate less anonymously than this board- eventually, if people promise to ante up, they gotta ante up.


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, January 16, 2003 1:18 PM

JAYSEDAI


Mystery person here!

I've never been called mysterious before... I think I'm flattered.

Here is my crosspost from the "official" Firefly forum:

Sorry for the delay in updating everybody, I had to go on a very unexpected out-of-town film shoot (2 hour notice!). I'm now back, here is my update:

We finished our proposal Tuesday night, and I would like to thank everybody for their enthusiasm for this idea, and I would also like you thank you all for your your input. (keep it coming!) Based on a random sampling of posts (I haven't had time to process all of the posts and emails yet), here is some interesting information about who YOU are:
Average age: 32.3
Average income: $45,877 / year
Average price wiling to pay (per episode): $9.63

Mutant Enemy received our proposal today via FedEx, and we are anxiously awaiting a reply.

reply to Aliciaone,

>Wouldn't y'all love to know how far Jeremy has gotten with this. Has he been in >contact with ME?

I have been in brief contact with ME.

>What company does he own?

Due to possibility of being under NDA in the future, I'd rather not say specifically. Generally speaking, our company is a digital media and marketing company. We have produced DVD, DVD-ROM, CD-ROM and Web sites for a variety of customers ranging from Hollywood to corporate to educational.

>Does anyone know anything!? Does >20th Century Fox really understand how >willing we are to part with our money for >this show (with current actors and >writers)?! I would love to know that they know >this.

I would love to know this too, however the more important question is HOW MANY people are willing to part with their money for this show. IMHO, I think a realistic long term goal is 250,000 subscribers. (About 5% of it's average weekly viewership - not counting the tens of thousands of TIVO viewers)

>Please come back Jeremy and tell us what's happening. The natives are getting >restless.

I will keep everybody updated as new info becomes available.

Thanks,

Jeremy

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, January 16, 2003 6:23 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Hey guys, well it seems someone with an actual DVD business is stepping in to produce and (I suppose) distribute FF on DVD. It sounds like they're in negotiation with ME/Joss Whedon and that's great!

Sounds great but I hope they keep promotion in mind!

But ya know what? Even if this doesn't work out, or it works imperfectly, we can do a lot. There's no reason why we can't promote, or even produce, FF. What would it take? A plan. Someone who can produce DVDs. A distributor who'll collect the $$. Promotion. A thousand other details I don't even know about. And there's absolutely no reason in the world why we can't do this. The only reason why we don't try is because of learned helplessness. We tell ourselves "Oh it won't work" or "I don't know enough" or "It's too big and I'm too small" and we give up. Fail to put the *ss into it. Fail to get together. Look for a hero, wish, hope, but do nothing.

What do we have to lose???? Nothing, not a gorram thing. A little time, maybe some effort, possibly even a little face if things don't go smoothly but- so what???

Imagine it's 3 AM. There's nobody to tell you what to do, to sell you something or monitor your reactions, to supervise you or spin the info that you get. It's just you and your thoughts. They should be free.

Off the sopabox now.

Keep flying. Let your thoughts be free as the stars.


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
PSSST Wishi, Dun. Over 'ere.
Sat, October 25, 2014 15:46 - 55 posts
"Adam is a Hottie"---FFF Version
Sat, October 25, 2014 11:30 - 396 posts
76th Independent Battalion Part 47
Sat, October 25, 2014 09:35 - 184 posts
FFO
Sat, October 25, 2014 06:04 - 6 posts
Voice messages from Utopia
Fri, October 24, 2014 17:51 - 18 posts
CAPTION TIGHTPANTS: Aim to Misbehave #57
Fri, October 24, 2014 11:01 - 2 posts
Plums are tall, y'all. New Firefly game due out in February.
Thu, October 23, 2014 09:53 - 1 posts
Firefly and Genre
Wed, October 22, 2014 04:36 - 6 posts
CAPTION TIGHTPANTS: Aim to Misbehave #56
Mon, October 20, 2014 18:36 - 36 posts
Amazon.com Deal o'th' Week: Whedon Series
Sun, October 19, 2014 05:28 - 2 posts
Permaybehaps the SHINIEST Gorramn Fanfilm In The Verse...?
Sat, October 18, 2014 22:18 - 3 posts
Those awful Fox teaser trailers - anyone archived them?
Thu, October 16, 2014 16:43 - 6 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL

OUR SPONSORS