Friday, July 11, 2008
Will Joss Whedon Be The Mad Scientist Who Kills TV?
Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.
Joss Whedon has made a lot of hours of television. Joss Whedon has made a lot of money from making a lot of hours of television. Now Joss Whedon has the potential to be the guy, the person, the Mad Scientist Who Kills Television. Or at least turn an online video into a household name.
In case you don't know and/or you are too lazy to Google Joss Whedon, he's the guy who brought us the TV shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly and he happen to write a few small motion pictures like Toy Story and Alien: Resurrection. Now Joss is launching a web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Will it be a hit? I sure hope so.
For years all of us independent content creators have been doing our thing trying to make a go of the online video game and a few of us have made a little bit of money but none of us have become household names. None of our shows are as popular as Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Now, I like to think of myself as the guy who saved Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I was a young writer/producer/director new to Hollywood and Warner Bros. ask me to work on an "Upfront" presentation (a trailer for a TV Show that networks show to advertisers to get advertising dollars in advance) for a new show that they were thinking of putting on The WB. I watched the pilot episode and except for the fat girl that played Willow I loved it. I loved the fact that it had the TastersChoice® Coffee guy in it. I loved the fact that it had funny hot sexy girls in it. I loved everything about it especially the humor in it, like when just after bumping into Buffy and spilling her stuff, Zander picks something up off the ground and mutters to Buffy, "Hey, You forgot your stake." and then holds up a wooded stake that Buffy dropped. Because I loved the show so much I worked really hard on the presentation coming up with a trailer that used dialog from the pilot episode itself to explain what the series would be about instead of using a voice over narration to explain where the series would go after the pilot episode.
I turned in my cut to the guys at The WB and they loved it but they didn't like the pilot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They didn't get it. They thought it was cheesy and they made me change the name of the show in the presentation to "Slayer" because they thought it was tougher. I begged them not to do it. But they did it anyway and I heard that when they showed it to Joss Whedon and he flipped out and hated it.
I told them how cool the show was but they said they weren't going to put it on the schedule that Fall and they didn't. They told me they really liked the trailer I had created and if it tested well they might put "Slayer" on as a mid-season replacement in the Spring. I was depressed. I thought they just didn't get it but come Spring Buffy the Vampire Slayer made it on air not "Slayer."
Joss Whedon fought with The WB to keep the name of the show from becoming "Slayer" and of course he was the one that really saved Buffy The Vampire Slayer but I'll tell the kids at UCLA, USC and any other schools I get to speak at that I was the guy who saved Buffy The Vampire Slayer just cause it makes me feel good.
Oh, I almost forgot. I think I once got a call from Joss Whedon but he didn't say who he was when he called. After the pilot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer aired and did really well I sent a congratulation package to Joss Whedon. It had a note that read, "Hey You Forget Your Steak." and instead of it being a "Stake" I sent a "Steak." a raw steak.
Shortly after sending it my phone rang - and no one ever called me - A guy asked me a lot of questions about what my company did and then said, "Thanks" without identifying himself and hung up. In hindsight it was a pretty stupid idea to send a raw blood steak to a guy who didn't know me but at the time it just seemed pretty clever.
From the looks of the trailer of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (with a voice over narration that sounds a lot like the guy who called me on the phone many years ago) looks pretty clever but I think some people are going to think it looks cheesy and they just won't get it. I do however think that there will be a lot of people who will love Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and based on the story I've just shared with you and the fact the Joss Whedon doesn't need to get any TV Network's approval to launch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog I think Joss Whedon just may be the Mad Scientist to kill Televison or at least to make an online video series become a household word.
Lower your head, watch your step, and enjoy the rest of your day on the Internet or at least have fun checking out the best new videos on the 3G iPhone that you can find. - and let know what they are.