Whether you loved it or hated it (I loved it), Dr. Horrible opens up a whole can of worms that must be discussed.
"Proving we can turn Dr Horrible into a viable economic proposition as well as an awesome goof will only inspire more people to lay themselves out in the same way. It’s time for the dissemination of the artistic process. Create more for less."
Bold statements coming from Mr. Whedon's lips. I imagine he wants us to discuss and analyze and implement. So let's!
Does Dr. Horrible prove the thesis that it financially pays for an indy producer to release a movie for free on the internet? Joss is claiming to have invented a revolutionary model.
With all the comic connections, blurbs, screenwriting awards, charm, Eisner & Spirit Award connection, kick-ass ten page sample, marketing chops, video game/webseries/toy-ready sexy material, and a professional comic artist attached, I still had no interest from anyone last year at Con in my PISTOLERAS graphic novel because it wasn't a movie yet. The publishers all said they'd come on board the second it was a feature hit.
ALL the fields are hedging their bets waiting until you make it in another first. That's how dire the recession is, and why I'm trying to figure out if Joss's claims are true and should be emulated.
I maintain...Dr. Horrible's success could not be duplicated by a non-name.
Say the playing fields were even and I had his scritp and directing skills. At the least, my budget would have been five times his because name actors and experienced crew wouldn't have done free for a non-name. (Dr. H may have been accomplished by Joss for 125k, but we all know that was a 500k project. A 30 minute 500k project. This budget does not qualify as indy anywhere outside of the studio system.).
AND releasing it on the web wouldn't have generated a press mediastorm, Variety reviews, and instant hits from legion of foaming-mouth fans.
Thus it is not a revolutionary HD Indy blueprint yet.
I fail to see who in the indy world it's paving the way for.
"It’s time for the dissemination of the artistic process. Create more for less."
Frankly, Dr. H has just made everything harder for us.
Because now audiences are going to expect that level of technological accomplishment from all of us. 500k for 125k. Oh yeah. And give it to them FOR FREE.
There's another reason to add "damn you" to the front of his name.
I see Dr. H as a great accomplishment for anyone in Hollywood with a name, some money, and some pet projects they can't get funded. Awesome plan for them. They can rule the world and create their own Lucasvilles.
And it's a huge "up yours" to everyone without the above who has been struggling for years to get their work out making actual 125k* indy films. It's comparing shiny pesticide-sprayed apples to organic, bruised oranges. And everyone in Hollywood loves a pretty facelift.
* Why the importance of 125k?
Because that's the accepted, democratic, "anyone who cares should be able to raise that amount" indy budget. Most people can put it together once to make their dream. Few can put it together twice. Almost no one unknown can raise 500k.
And no, I don't believe that was Joss's intention. To screw indy filmmakers. Never the less...the road to hell...