FIREFLY AND SERENITY GUERILLA MARKETING

Who would pay $1 to get a Firefly miniseries on SciFi?

POSTED BY: MARTIANWAY
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 05:49
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Thursday, October 19, 2006 1:04 PM

MARTIANWAY


SciFi channel has too much space. They're airing BSG about three times a week, last look. I think they could be spending some of that airtime on another show.

So how about while we're waiting for Serenity II, we start a mass mailing to the SciFi channel? We needn't even ask for the series back; a miniseries would do for now. Frankly, given the number of Firefly marathons SciFi's been showing, you'd think they were just looking for the fanbase to approach them.

SciFi's owned by Universal, so it isn't like they haven't got the money (or the sets, or the rights). Plus, Universal Studios proper has been saturated with letters lately, and I'm sure word gets around. Even if we can't get a miniseries, it would let Universal know that the Browncoats are still out there (and perhaps remind them that Serenity sales are far, far into the black).

So, a path-plan thing:

-We pick a date for this mass mailing. Right now, I'd go with December 30th, or somewhere around then. It's between seasons (TV seasons, that is), so hopefully we'll catch the SciFi geniuses with their thinking caps on. It's after Christmas (pre-Christmas mail usually comes in a deluge, post-Christmas in a trickle; our mass mailing will be more noticable if it isn't swallowed by floods of other mail). It's during the holidays (more people have time to write letters) and it's a Saturday (imagine coming in on Monday and seeing a huge pile of Browncoat mail on your front step).

-We find some way to make our letters unique--another way not to get lost in all the other mail SciFi presumably gets. I say we do something a bit odd: we enclose a dollar bill in each letter we mail. I know it's not common sense to send money in the mail, but I've never heard of the bills getting stolen and it certianly has an impact on the recipient.
Imagine opening that letter; even if you only skim the paper, you're not going to burn the money; you're going to take it and stick it in your pocket (if you're me), and later, as you fiddle around for pens, or coins for the meter, or whatever you usually have in your pocket, you feel the dollar bill and wonder "Oh, where did that come from?".
And then you remember, and you begin thinking about all the Firefly fan letters that have come in lately.
Or, if you're more honest than me, you don't pocket the money, but you still have to figure out what to do with it. You can't burn it, after all, and all these letters with bills in them are a bit of an eyebrow raiser. I've been a victim (or should I say, recipient?) of a "One Dollar" Campaign, and believe me, those pretty green bills stick with you longer than the average letter.

-We figure out what we want. I say miniseries, as they're generally less expensive and longer than big pictures (and, while I loved the BDM, I think Joss is better with longish pieces). It won't get as much studio-funded advertising as a show or a picture, but since most Browncoats seem to have been hooked through web chatter or word of mouth, I’m not sure traditional ad campaigns matter so much.
A second season might be too much to ask for right now, although I think if the miniseries is a smash sucess, Season II might follow.
But this is just my opinion, and I’ll go with the majority rule.

-We mail the letters.

-We begin rumormongering before anything’s been confirmed. It’s a bit of a slimy technique (getting up hype before the studio’s endorsed anything) and if we’re sloppy, it could backfire, but it’s a nice way to put the pressure on.
And I don’t mean that we call up the New York Times and pretend to be a SciFi executives speaking on condition of anonyminity. But you know those bloggers’ll print anything, and Lord knows who’ll pick it up (remember the frightening but unfounded rumor that Joss said he was not going to make a Serenity sequel? Remember how it got onto IMDB at one point?).
I’ve heard that “suits don’t listen to net chatter”, but that’s inaccurate. I know a lot of the marketing people at New Line (and most likely the ones at SciFi, too) have Google alerts on fan-suggested projects (presumably to figure out what kind of demographic the product has—and what that demographic is saying).
So if there’s enough web talk about “the SciFi-Firefly miniseries”, SciFi is going to hear about it. If they confirm the rumors, great day for us. If they try and squash the rumors, they have to deal with unhappy Browncoats and the possibility itself gets press. And rumors unconfirmed and unchecked spread better than peanut butter.

-We wait.

This good?



"And you can't stop me by gettin' all...bendy..."

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Friday, October 20, 2006 10:04 AM

MARTIANWAY


Okay...I guess no one liked that idea.




"And you can't stop me by gettin' all...bendy..."

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Friday, October 20, 2006 2:10 PM

ZRBS


OMG! I LOVE it! That is actually a tech that is in a marketing book- YOU ARE BRILLIANT! My cheap self would be willing to send at least $10.00 in ones (in seperate letters). I also know the Flanvention 2 is going on in December (8-10) with all the firefly people. I'm going to be a dealer there and as long as BE is Ok with it I'd be happy to spread the word.
Another thought, some people (like myself) are crazy busy. I'd love a letter I could print off the internet to send with my $. This would make me SO much more likely to actaully do it. I have NO writting skills so I wont offer to write it :)
If I can get some help I could have pre made packages set up (a letter already addresses and stamped-waiting for a $ and signature & return address)I'd offer some cute freebie to people who are willing to fill them out and I'd mail them later.
Let me know what you guys think. I'm ready to jump on the bandwagon :)

Richelle

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Friday, October 20, 2006 2:29 PM

GAMBIT3


Umm.. I don't think that there's a way that it can happen. I believe, as discussed elsewhere, that Firefly can't return to TV for 10 years. That was the deal with the Devil (aka, Fox) to bring Serenity to the Big Screen. Someone with more knowledge on this can probably shed more light on this, but I believe that's the way it is.



__________________________
http://www.webcogito.com

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Friday, October 20, 2006 2:44 PM

ZRBS


Sorry I don't know the in's and out's. I'd be happy to do what I can if we can find something to do.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006 3:28 PM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


And, not to be a downer, but... Joss is gonna be busy for a while, and so are a few of the others. A miniseries without them would be bad, so (for me) sending a letter asking for a miniseries would be... um, counter-productive. Yeah, sure, I'd like to see Firefly back in production some way; but, I trust that we can get the suits' attention in other ways, and not have to settle.

My $0.02

---
"What the world needs now is love, sweet love - it's the only thing that there's just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. No, not just for some, but for everyone."

Trouble-Maker in the House!

http://richlabonte.net/tvvote

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Sunday, October 22, 2006 5:27 PM

MARTIANWAY


Quote:

Originally posted by Gambit3:
Umm.. I don't think that there's a way that it can happen. I believe, as discussed elsewhere, that Firefly can't return to TV for 10 years. That was the deal with the Devil (aka, Fox) to bring Serenity to the Big Screen. Someone with more knowledge on this can probably shed more light on this, but I believe that's the way it is.



__________________________
http://www.webcogito.com



That's interesting. Could you direct me to the thread where the rights are discussed?




"And you can't stop me by gettin' all...bendy..."

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Sunday, October 22, 2006 5:37 PM

GAMBIT3

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Sunday, October 22, 2006 6:39 PM

DJSTORMX


I LOVE THIS IDEA!!! I don't care about FOX having the rights. I'll force them to turn them over to Joss if I have to! Those bastards killed a great series, and a part of Joss, as far as I see it. I'd send $10 a month in letters in this fashion. If I had the money (which I may have figured out a way to get it), I'd buy the rights from FOX and build my own studio and start Firefly back up. FOX's executives are being incredibly selfish and stupid in not bringing Firefly back. They just don't seem to understand that if they don't do something soon, they'll lose a major cash cow and miss out on the amount of money they could make, not to mention the sheer number of people they'd please. Personally, I hope FOX sells the rights to me. Then I'll give the rights to Joss Whedon, and give him full flexibility in using my studio as a grounds for production of any show he wants...as long as he directs Firefly.

On the note of all the stars being "big actors", even if they do get so big that you'd think no studio could affor them, I guarantee that they'll go back into Firefly in an instant. The cast had a very unique bond, and if they found out that they could renew that bond I'm positive they'd jump on that opportunity in the blink of an eye.

Anyways, I have a question for the rest of you:

If you found a website that allowed you to donate money towards the cause of bringing back Firefly, would you? How much would you donate? Would it be just a one time thing? Or would you donate on a monthly basis? I'm working on getting a website together to do just that. Stay tuned for updates on this topic.

"Even the smallest contribution of any kind can have a major impact on a larger picture. Try it sometime. You'll see what happens..." -- Joseph Chapman (ME!!)

http://www.helpbringbackfirefly.com (NOT UP YET)
http://www.djstormx.com

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Monday, October 23, 2006 11:08 AM

NAUTICALGAL


I would do this. I will keep watching; if there's a date or a form letter or something, I hope to see notice of it here so I can participate.

As to the 'ten years' thing -- deals can be unmade in tinseltown as easily as they can be made, especially if the money's good enough. I don't think we should let that stop us.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 5:28 AM

VERSECOP


Quote:

Originally posted by yinyang:
And, not to be a downer, but... Joss is gonna be busy for a while, and so are a few of the others. A miniseries without them would be bad, vvote



But, if its true that Firelfy cant be re-done for ten years...now Im new at this so stick with me here...isnt this set like 500 years in the furture? So if we baggered Sci Fi enough, then a 'Verse' could be used in a mini-series. Firefly wasnt the only thing out there was it? This has huge possibilities and just think of our kids that get to watch the one that started it all...ten years from now!

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 5:36 AM

VERSECOP


Not to tac on anything here from above...but wasnt there something about a war that MEL was involved in? How'd he get involved? Where's he come from? how did it start? who started it? What planets were involved? Where they rag tag little bands of resistance or all out organized units?

There are endless possibilities with this great idea that was started and if your anything like me, your wanting more.

Heck ya I'd mail Sci-Fi..I'll send em a 100 letters with one dollar bills if that'll help. I want to know more!

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 6:09 AM

BRWNCOATCUTTR


Hey, I think this is a great idea. However, I think not only should a $1.00 bill be placed in the envelopes w/ the letters, but also a Firefly currency bill as well. You can download them from www.propcircle.com or from www.serenitystuff.com/free stuff. That way everytime they look at the $1.00 bill, they will also remember the Firefly/Serenity bill,too.
Just thought I would mention this. Tell what ya think. Cause now that Sci-Fi is cancelling 1 of their main sci-fi shows and possibly another the following yr. All they have mainly is BSG, Eureka, Doctor Who & repeats of Hero. This might be the perfect opportunity for them to scout out mini-series for shows such as Farscape again too. I have even considered to contact J. Whedon directly and ask him if he would consider a mini-series based off of the RPG Shadowrun. He could even use some og the cast from FF and disguise them in costumed characters, that way no one would see the faces for conflict of interest, but fans would recognize the voices. He could include actors from some of his older series as well. Oh well we'll see.....

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 6:10 AM

BRWNCOATCUTTR


Hey, I think this is a great idea. However, I think not only should a $1.00 bill be placed in the envelopes w/ the letters, but also a Firefly currency bill as well. You can download them from www.propcircle.com or from www.serenitystuff.com/free stuff. That way everytime they look at the $1.00 bill, they will also remember the Firefly/Serenity bill,too.
Just thought I would mention this. Tell what ya think. Cause now that Sci-Fi is cancelling 1 of their main sci-fi shows and possibly another the following yr. All they have mainly is BSG, Eureka, Doctor Who & repeats of Hero. This might be the perfect opportunity for them to scout out mini-series for shows such as Farscape again too. I have even considered to contact J. Whedon directly and ask him if he would consider a mini-series based off of the RPG Shadowrun. He could even use some og the cast from FF and disguise them in costumed characters, that way no one would see the faces for conflict of interest, but fans would recognize the voices. He could include actors from some of his older series as well. Oh well we'll see.....

Brwncoatcuttr

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:52 AM

MEIMEI555


Love the idea. I would pay lots to have the series back, i'm sure joss would be more than happy to write more episodes! but maybe set them pre wash and book dying? I want to know more about book!!!!! thats one mysterious guy...




you'd best shoot me now... or we can talk more...

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Saturday, October 28, 2006 1:26 PM

WINGNUT


I just registered about 10 minutes ago and this is my first post. I would be more than willing to help underwrite anything that might be able to be put into production.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 3:38 PM

MARTIANWAY


If people’d be willing to mail multiple letters with bills in them, that’d be great.

DJStormx, also, if you’re collecting money, would you be willing to donate some to the cause?

NauticalGal’s right—Hollywood deals are brittle things to begin with, and have a funny tendancy to snap when money changes hands.

As for the Firefly currency bill, Browncoatcuttr, I clicked the links that you posted but I couldn’t find the downloadable bill. I think it’s an okay idea, especially if we can post a bill on this page, but I’d make it an optional thing for now. If we’re going to get a lot of Browncoats to mail a letter, I don’t think we can demand terrible much of them, ‘specially around the holiday season.

I’d be happy to post a letter that can be printed off the net, although I’d like to get a few more people lined up behind this first—it’d be lame if the SciFi chaps came to work on the first day of the new year and found fourteen letters with dollar bills in them.



"And you can't stop me by gettin' all...bendy..."

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 3:47 PM

KANEMAN


Yep, I love this idea. I work part time in the mail room. I am under paid and my benefits suck. Please start sending your fu*king letters now. My local bartender thanks you in advance........Well, it's true....

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006 5:49 AM

EVILBUNGLE


Quick Question, does anyone know how much a series like firefly would cost to produce?

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