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$2.00 fee could have saved Firefly?

POSTED BY: HAKEN
UPDATED: Friday, November 11, 2005 07:48
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 15618
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Tuesday, November 1, 2005 3:14 PM

HAKEN

Likes to mess with stuffs.


Interesting article over at SLATE.COM that mentions 'Firefly' and how a $2.00 fee per viewer could have saved it.

Here's the link:

http://www.slate.com/id/2129003/




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Tuesday, November 1, 2005 5:06 PM

REALLYKAYLEE


that was really interesting. i wonder if there's any chance of firefly being sold as a download. imagine the conversion possiblities!

shakespeare: more words than God.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2005 7:43 PM

GAMESTALKER25


Interesting....very interesting....

You can't take the sky from me...

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 12:20 AM

LIVIDLIQUID


It's been a canceled TV Series, a Movie that didn't gross it's budget before DVD, a comic book that didn't do incredibly well, and a dream in the minds and hearts of millions and millions regardless. I really can't imagine that the story is done. Somehow we'll get the old girl back in the air.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 6:50 AM

MITHEL


Interesting... and if paying $2 to $5 per episode and downloading it is the only way to get Firefly back as a series I'd be more than happy to subscribe. I hope you are paying attention Joss/Universal/Fox.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 8:25 AM

SEVEN


I have to differ with you. By Dark Horse's own words, they were very pleased with the results of the comic. There will probably be more...

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 8:28 AM

TALLGRRL


Pay-Per-View episodic? Sounds intriguing, but I for one don't like the idea of paying for programming and then having commercials of ANY kind in it.
All TV programming is is placeholders between commercials. Ads brings revenue. Programming brings eyeballs to the ads.
You want me to pay? There's your revenue.
Now, give me my show WITHOUT commercials.
Also, the idea of paying News Corporation ANY of my money makes me physically ill.
And if I 'buy' a season of a show, I'd better be able to tape it or copy it to disk or something.
If I like it that much, I'm going to want to see it again and again.
That's my humble take on the whole thing.



"Take me, sir. Take me hard." -- Zoe

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 8:58 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Author sure was a flan
"....broadcast-television executives could free themselves from the yoke of advertising revenue..."
It certainly sounds better to have a show funded by the fans rather than the commercial sponsors, but.... considering the reaction and fan split over certain aspects of Serenity it could be a little like replacing one kind of yoke for another.
Still, I'd pick fans over advertisers any day - besides, some fanbase will pull it off eventually and that will be the real test.

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.net

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 9:05 AM

TOMANTA


... Selling out first printings almost immediately isn't the mark of a successful comic book?

----
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government."

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 9:06 AM

BROWNCOAT1

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


Very interesting article.

I would gladly pay $2/episode, I would pay $5 per episode if that is what it took to get Firefly back on tv again.

__________________________________________

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

Richmond, VA & surrounding area Firefly Fans:

http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/richmondbrowncoats/

http://www.richmondbrowncoats.org


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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 9:16 AM

CORNCOBB


I'd go with that. Well worth the money. If somebody could make this work it could be the future for scripted drama, and especially sci fi. The TV networks just don't seem willing to support such things anymore
&

"Gorramit Mal... I've forgotten my line."

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 9:41 AM

HARTMEISTER


Here is my problem as well as the fixed fee idea of film distribution and downloads. It ignores the idea that some fans maybe more willing to pay a greater fee than other fans. For instance Firefly fans maybe smaller than Star Wars fans but may be willing pay a much larger amount of money for downloads. I mean do you really see Star Wars fans buying extra DVDs to loan out to others to convert them? Also a well-written sci-fi show may just cost a lot more to film.

I think the major problem of the whole Serenity movement was a misjudgement on how large the Browncoat movement was by comparing them to Star Wars and Star Trek fans. Star Wars fans were easy to estimate because the movie came right out in the theatres and George Lucas put the most general public friendly episode (episode IV) as the first episode.

Star Trek had to simmer for years after a cancelled series but the fans kept it alive in conventions as slowly the series became aware through the general public through syndicated reruns on independent TV stations (pre-cable). Because it was filmed and Desilu productions kept all the rights to the series, Desilu had an important motive in syndicating it. In fact we can see that Desilu had an incredible track record of syndicating. Also the incredible novelizations movement also erupted around the series. Trek provided something that was unique in the Sci-Fi written universe at that time: vast amount of novels about the same people. Sci-fi sequels at that time usually involved the same universe but different characters. Star Trek novels by using the same character, made a more franchiseable system of producing novels.

Let's reduce this to an equation:

F Ratio = Cf / B

where F is the Firefly fans Ratio
Cf = Casual firefly fans
B = Browncoats (hard-core fans)


W Ratio = Cw / J

W Ratio = Star wars Fans
Cw = Casual Star Wars fans
J = Jedi (hard-core Star Wars Fans)

T Ratio = Ct / J

T Ratio = Star Trek Fans
Ct = Casual Star Trek fans
T = Trekkie's (hard-core Star Trek Fans)

My guess is that T has a higher ratio than W but they are much closer to themselves than F is to W. I believe that F is very low.

This is not a permanent problem but it can be solved by expanding the base and/or us paying more for content.

1. What we need to do is actually accelerate the movement of lending out DVDs to others. Serenity must be looked as a failure but as a big kick in the book to lending idea of Firefly. What it has proved is that the movement is too weak right now to support a movie. Maybe ten years down the road that won't be the same but for now it is. It would help if this became more formalized. How this could be helped would be for Universal to buy the series DVD rights from Fox and figure out a way of doing this easily. We should think of Shindig's as a way of selling Firefly DVDs (not as a profit per se but just as a way of increasing the number of casual Firefly fans).

2. We must create a demand for a pay per episode version of Firefly AND we must publicly say that we think we'd pay more more than the average fan would for an episode. Eventually when there are enough casual Firefly Fans the prices would become more normalized so as to encourage those of the general public to download the show for a try. I think $4 an episode or half the price for a pay per movie (since you are only getting 1 hour versus the standard two hours) is a better price.


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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 10:14 AM

INTOTHEBLACK


I also would be willing to pay the 2-5 bucks per episode. Hell just think, not only could the networks sell online. But then after the season is over they could sell the season on DVD. Which would only help to generate more profit. Which in turn means more shows.

Take me out, to the black, tell them I ain't coming back.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 10:27 AM

DOG13000


Hello, Apple? Put them on iTunes?

"Someone Tries to Kill You, You Try and Kill em' Right Back

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 10:49 AM

HOGWAFFLE


i also read an article that says that the quality i-tunes is offerins is crap when not viewed on tiny screens like the new i pod, but i dont know how true that is. to pay money for the show to download it the quality would have to at least look good on my computer screen.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 11:51 AM

SHIRLOCKC


I posted elsewhere that I had spent over $100 on Firefly paraphenalia and the movie (and this is probably on the low end in this group). So I'd definitely pay a subscription fee to watch new episodes of Firefly if it's done by Joss and company. No offense but no fan fic.

There are kinks in this model as others on this thread already pointed out. But with NetFlix, BitTorrent, there's lots of potential avenues for distribution. A number of authors have been experimenting with online fiction in a similar fashion. Remember Stephen King's e-novel? I think this pay-per-episode model could work very well esp. for projects with cult followers (as in article) or names. I can see a popular producer/director type like David Kelley or Steven Boncho wanting to do smaller quirkier projects and have their fanbase follow them thru this marketing model.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005 12:28 PM

TOMFORESTGOBLIN


Quote:

i also read an article that says that the quality i-tunes is offerins is crap when not viewed on tiny screens like the new i pod, but i dont know how true that is. to pay money for the show to download it the quality would have to at least look good on my computer screen.


I think this article is just using iTunes as an example of software whereby you can pay for legal downloadable content. As far as i know on iTunes at the moment, you can only download video in very low quality, the idea of which is to play on an iPod. This article is suggesting that the inevitable software competition, and iTunes too, will have a much larger range of things to download, not just things for an iPod. I'm not really up to speed on this sort of thing, but my guess is it will include films, TV, music is already covered.

Personally i think its a great idea. I'd pay for it, anyway.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 1:16 AM

SHEPARD


Of course, we would all pay to watch new Firefly episodes, but there are several issues:



1) Joss made it REALLY hard to do anything new. Wash is dead, Book is dead, Kaylee & Simon are rutting like rabbits, and River is no longer the adorable psycho hose-beast she was in the series. What, really, are we going to be watching for? Or are we going to pretend the movie never happened?



2) Steven King's enovel didn't work. It really peeved him off that people were reading it for free & it was being traded on the 'Net. He finished it because of his sense of responsibility for those who were paying, but otherwise he was going to leave it hanging. I'm no techno genius, but if the show is put in a format where we could copy it for repeated viewing (or, do I dare hope, playing as a DVD) then those who ARE techno geniuses will figure out how to put it out on the 'Net for free. You can't stop the Signal.



3) My friend who turned me on to Firefly found an interview with Joss where he said he would never again work with Fox. If the property were to become profitable, Fox, to be a (insert appropriate Chinese curse here), may not want to sell the rights to the show. Would we watch the T.V. show "Lightning Bug"? Which is what it may have to be if the unstoppable force and immovable object don't change.



3) We're preaching to ourselves. Of course WE'D shell out good money, but who else would? We couldn't keep the series going, we couldn't make the movie a success; would a pay-per-view option be profitable if no other incarnation were? We'd need to create a much bigger fan base to entice The Money to pony up the production capital.



So, what can we do? Several things:



1) Buy things. Buy the T.V. DVDs. Christmas is coming, give 'em as gifts to anyone who likes SciFi, Westerns, or just great shows. Buy the Serenity DVD when it comes out & do the same thing. Encourage others to continue the trend. Buy the Anti-heroes & Space Hookers book; buy the RPG from Margaret Weis publishing. Star Trek survived to be successful because a small fan base built itself up & demonstrated that they would invest money in Trek merchandise.



2) Continue to convert others. Talk especially to your Buffy & Angel fans who normally wouldn't touch anything SciFi with a ten foot wooden stake. Play up the fact that it is a Whedon show to entice them. I mean, look how rabid those shows' fans are!



3) Organize. Stop doing the "web petition" crap. No one who matters cares. Do Firefly conventions. Have a "Firefly" marathon with as many of your friends as possible & invite in the press as a human-interest story. Build fan clubs. Create a greater overarching entity to link everything. Look at the Role Playing Gamers Association (RPGA) for Dungeons & Dragons. They are a core around which THOUSANDS of different events have happened around the world in support of fantasy gaming. It created a network of people who can help build momentum all across the country. Momentum saved Family Guy & Moonlighting. It brought back Star Trek for one HELL of a run on the big & small screen. Even if all were doing is keeping the momentum going, that's something.



4) Create a niche market. Firefly has more female adherents than ANY other SciFi property I've ever known. We should build on that. And then we can find ways to bring Firefly aspects into the mainstream. Curse in Chinese in public. Say 'shiny' in casual conversation. Create fanfics & songs & art inspired by our show and then submit them for publication/distribution/display. When they are available, buy the gorram things, even if they're not top notch. From what I've seen on this site alone, we're a damn talented group; make that work for us!


5) Don't give up hope! I feel optimistic about a Serenity sequel. Look at the dross Hollywood is putting out or considering: Indiana Jones IV, where Indy is the antique; Bewitched; a remake of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory; the list goes on. The hottest films are mostly fantasy, but the fan base crosses over: Harry Potter; LotR; X-Men. We've got a chance. We need to keep our base motivated & our story in the news. Love will keep us flying; no power in the 'verse can stop the sufficiently dedicated from achieving success.

Once you live in Serenity, you never leave.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 4:59 AM

BROWNTROUSERS


Quote:

Originally posted by LividLiquid:
It's been a canceled TV Series, a Movie that didn't gross it's budget before DVD, a comic book that didn't do incredibly well, and a dream in the minds and hearts of millions and millions regardless. I really can't imagine that the story is done. Somehow we'll get the old girl back in the air.



Ahh, The corniness of some of the posters on this forum.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 6:16 AM

MITHEL


What I'd like to hear is a firm deal negotiated with Fox and Joss. Just how much does Fox want for the TV series rights? Sure it sounds like Fox and Joss have some bad history and may not want to talk. But both want to make money. Joss has said many times he loves Firefly. So let's get right down to it, what does Fox want for the TV series rights? $10,000? $10,000,000?

Once we have that, then start a campaign to buy the rights... purchase the Firefly DVD or Serenity DVD from XYZ and $5 of each purchase goes toward the "rights" fund. Or outright donate.

Shepard, I think you really hit a big one with: "1) Joss made it REALLY hard to do anything new. Wash is dead, Book is dead, Kaylee & Simon are rutting like rabbits, and River is no longer the adorable psycho hose-beast she was in the series. What, really, are we going to be watching for? Or are we going to pretend the movie never happened?"

I'm more than willing to forget the BDM ever happened but I don't think Joss is. More than anything else I think Joss killed Firefly and launched Serenity.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 6:27 AM

BARD


Good points.

I agree, reluctantly, that some doors have been shut with the movie; the show will never be the same. As good as, I hope. Better? Possibly – although I find it hard to imagine. But never again the same. And I suspect that some of Whedon’s willingness to play hardball with his characters’ lives and his storylines is the result of his feeling that Serenity might well be the whole shootin’ match.

I am still very excited about this prospect, though. Are you sure we can’t pay enough to bring this back with the fan base we have? I’d buy an entire season for $2 an episode in a heartbeat; hell, for $5 an episode, times an optimistic 24 episodes – the best $120 I spend that year.

How many of us are there? Not counting multiple viewings of the film, and/or tickets bought for strangers? A nice, solid, conservative number . . . Seems even with the repeat DVD and movie purchases of the diehard Browncoats, we must still have a lot of fans.

Two earlier General Discussion threads where fan investment was discussed:

Lets take it into our own hands - 42 -
10.23.2005 04:51

Hi Firefly. Hello pain. - 40 - 10.21.2005 20:26

It sounds like the business model and the technology are both there.

I wonder if FOX could be convinced to keep a chunk of the gross. (Net would be better, but folks in Hollywood are – justifiably – suspicious of the net; percentages of net profits are often never seen after the accountants work their magic.) Would Whedon accept the inevitability of FOX making money off their original (ill-handled) investment – assuming, that is, that he had full creative control, and FOX was just a shareholder?

As we move slowly from “I smell a lot of ‘if’ coming off of this plan” to “Coulda, woulda, shoulda.”

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 7:22 AM

KT


Would Whedon accept the inevitability of FOX making money off their original (ill-handled) investment – assuming, that is, that he had full creative control, and FOX was just a shareholder?


I think he'd be ok with under those circumstances...He kept Fran Kuzui's name on Buffy for the whole run of the show as Executive Producer (I think that was the title) even though she had nothing to do with the show and he hated what was done with the movie. It was part of the contract which had to be fulfilled to allow the show to move forward and he's practical, among his many other talents. So he accepted that and went on to create the Buffy he envisioned. I would think if he truly wanted to continue this and Fox offered that sort of deal...he would seriously consider it.

One other comment...I've seen a lot made of Wash's death across this board and while I cried and was in shock too - I had learned somewhere that it had been planned for all along in the series, either season 2 or 3 and that Alan Tudyk actually suggested it Joss as away to develop Zoe's storyline and character. Since Joss was trying to do the entire season 2 in the movie and wrap up some storylines...I don't think he just did it for shock value. It was a planned event that he wanted to be sure to capture in case he never gets to contiue the story. Very sad...true, but Joss had always had a way of bringing in great new characters when old ones couldn't continue. Anyone remember when Doyle was killed on Angel...who thought Wesley would have ended up being such a great character? I don't always agree with Joss's decision, however it is his story he's telling and that we all love. What's the old phrase...we don't always get what we want...but Joss usually gives us what we need and I think that's gorram shiny!

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 5:00 PM

KAYLEEWANNABEE


Hey! Somebody please put a SPOILER label on this thread for the poor saps at the edge of the 'Verse who haven't seen the BDM yet!!!!! Geez louise, have some consideration for our fellow browncoats across the ponds!

-----
It's my job to incite powerful yearning in the hearts and loins of my clients. No, silly, I'm not a Companion...I work at an advertising agency.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 6:43 PM

NERDLOVER


Sure, many of us would be willing to spring a little for FF...now. If you had never heard of the show and all you had to go on were the crummy TV teasers, would you willing then? When I saw the teasers on Fox, I thought, "that looks really stupid (please forgive me)." It just doesn't seem to be an efficient way to generate a large economically stable fan base.

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Friday, November 4, 2005 7:00 PM

LIVIDLIQUID


Quote:

Originally posted by Tomanta:
... Selling out first printings almost immediately isn't the mark of a successful comic book?
----
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government."


Well hell, color me completely wrong. I was under the impression that it did just okay, like the movie. Not sure where I heard that, butI was totally wrong and perfectly happy to be.

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Friday, November 4, 2005 7:08 PM

SADLITTLEKING


I really don't think pay-per-view is the way to go. What if the show starts out okay, Joss writes up a whole story arc that takes place over, let's say, 15 episodes and then interest drops half-way through making it impossible to fund the rest of the episodes. Essentially, the show would be killed pretty abruptly and the story arc wouldn't come to a close. That wouldn't be good for anybody.

What I think would work is a straight-to-DVD release. Film all 15 episodes of the story arc and release it on DVD as a box set for $40 (basically, $2.66 per episode). Even it doesn't sell well enough to warrant another "season", we'd still get a story arc that wraps up and doesn't just leave us hanging.

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Friday, November 4, 2005 8:59 PM

TENTHCREWMEMBER

Could you please just make it stranger? Stranger. Odder. Could be weirder. More bizarre. How about uncanny?


What is wrong with "hanging"? Sometimes the "what if"s are as much fun to explore as it is to know the answer.

I think the movie answered not only River's story, but Book's too, however, it never clearly tells Book's story, leaving much to interpret!

I love a good debate, and without all the facts, you can argue for and against a great many things, and then sit back and laugh about the possibility you're all wrong! That is what is nice about hanging. And it always leaves you wanting more, and as long as we want more, there is a chance there will be more.

Bring closure to all 9 characters, and well, then what?

Let the story live on in the minds and hearts of fans. When Joss is ready and the time is right, he'll give us more...and if he can't or won't? SO what? He's given us so much. So much thought-provoking entertainment I could go on for years speculating the "what if"s.

Hanging is not such a bad place to be. Things happen when you live on the edge. Not an ideal place, but certainly interesting. And me, I've never been one to move away from the edge...


BWAH!
TCM

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Saturday, November 5, 2005 12:44 AM

ZENCAT


Straight to DVD! I've been saying this for three years. I'll pay it. A lot of people would pay for it, even if they never heard of the show or the movie, if it were reasonably priced. Lots of people will buy cheap movies just because the blurb grabs them or they like the pretty person on the cover. Why wouldn't the same folk buy a series? Word of mouth would carry such a DVD pretty far, because a DVD series would have time to build up an audience - it's not going to be out fo theaters in a few weeks, it's not in danger of being cancelled. That's exactly why so many shows find an audience on DVD long after they're done on tv.

I have disposable income and I want more Firefly/Serenity. If they film it, I will pay.

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Saturday, November 5, 2005 7:07 PM

RAISTLIN


If you film it we will pay.

My sisters a ship. We had a complicated childhood.
- Simon Tam -

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Sunday, November 6, 2005 12:36 AM

JUTIN


Exactly, you guys need to watch Arrested Development tonight at 8 on FOX... before FOX cancels another great TV show...

PS- Why is "Stacked" back? By far the worst show I've seen since "Living With Larry" starring Bronson Pinchot, Courtney Cox and Sally Field.

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Sunday, November 6, 2005 1:07 PM

RAISTLIN


I dont really watch Arrested development.

My sisters a ship. We had a complicated childhood.
- Simon Tam -

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Sunday, November 6, 2005 6:27 PM

SADLITTLEKING


Quote:

Originally posted by TenthCrewMember:
What is wrong with "hanging"? Sometimes the "what if"s are as much fun to explore as it is to know the answer.

I think the movie answered not only River's story, but Book's too, however, it never clearly tells Book's story, leaving much to interpret!

I love a good debate, and without all the facts, you can argue for and against a great many things, and then sit back and laugh about the possibility you're all wrong! That is what is nice about hanging. And it always leaves you wanting more, and as long as we want more, there is a chance there will be more.

Bring closure to all 9 characters, and well, then what?

Let the story live on in the minds and hearts of fans. When Joss is ready and the time is right, he'll give us more...and if he can't or won't? SO what? He's given us so much. So much thought-provoking entertainment I could go on for years speculating the "what if"s.

Hanging is not such a bad place to be. Things happen when you live on the edge. Not an ideal place, but certainly interesting. And me, I've never been one to move away from the edge...


BWAH!
TCM



Personally, I prefer a nice clean bit of closure. And I'm not saying that every single story has to end, but that there has to be some kind of feeling of finality so that if another story isn't made, there can still be some sort of an ending. Like the Firefly DVD, for example. The last episode, "Objects In Space", gives a nice wrap-up to the crew's acceptance of River. It just felt like that could've been an ending if the movie was never made. Same with the movie for that matter. The end of the movie could pass for an ending to the series. Joss, by no means, closed up everything so that no more stories could be made, but there is a sense that if that's the end of the story, then there's enough closure there. That's what I meant by not wanting to be left hanging. I don't want the last Firefly/Serenity story told to be one in which it feels like there needs to be some kind of a conclusion.

I do agree with you about Book's story. I like the fact that we don't know every detail about his past and that we're free to imagine the missing pieces. Some things in life are a mystery and I think it's cool that we get to experience some of that mystery in Firefly/Serenity.

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Monday, November 7, 2005 5:54 PM

TENTHCREWMEMBER

Could you please just make it stranger? Stranger. Odder. Could be weirder. More bizarre. How about uncanny?


Quote:

Originally posted by SadLittleKing:

Personally, I prefer a nice clean bit of closure. And I'm not saying that every single story has to end, but that there has to be some kind of feeling of finality so that if another story isn't made, there can still be some sort of an ending. Like the Firefly DVD, for example. The last episode, "Objects In Space", gives a nice wrap-up to the crew's acceptance of River. It just felt like that could've been an ending if the movie was never made. Same with the movie for that matter. The end of the movie could pass for an ending to the series. Joss, by no means, closed up everything so that no more stories could be made, but there is a sense that if that's the end of the story, then there's enough closure there. That's what I meant by not wanting to be left hanging. I don't want the last Firefly/Serenity story told to be one in which it feels like there needs to be some kind of a conclusion.

I do agree with you about Book's story. I like the fact that we don't know every detail about his past and that we're free to imagine the missing pieces. Some things in life are a mystery and I think it's cool that we get to experience some of that mystery in Firefly/Serenity.



Oh, I totally agree. He did a wonderful job of closure in both the series and the movie...the comics, not so much, but they were *prequelish* and that tends to leave closure loose on purpose.

One of things I loved most about the series was the fact that going into it (i.e. Serenity episode) you know very little about the crew, and those mysteries kept me hooked. The friend who introduced me to the series on DVD, was nearly excommunicated by me when I finished watching Objects in Space and I found out there wasn't anymore! Ironically, I got on line 2 days later and found this very site and found out that the movie was going to be made!

I just hope whatever Kaylee's big secret is, that it isn't something like she used to be a boy...'cuz y'know, her secret has to be the scariest of all!


BWAH!
TCM

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Friday, November 11, 2005 7:48 AM

GHOSTDOG


$2-$5 fee is reasonable but no one is going to film anything based on feel-good fans who 'say' they will pay... what the fanbase needs to do is get the money before hand (collect from all the fans) and give that $100 million to the producers to make the next series, etc.

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