Joss Whedon has taken inspiration from comic books and Shakespeare — his latest muse? Beyonce. The fanboy god surprised his fans tonight by releasing the newest film from his production company, exclusively on Vimeo On Demand.
If you saw The Avengers more than once in the theater, and still ended up buying the film on Blu-ray or DVD this week, then you are exactly for whom Marvel designed this deliciously nerdy two-screen app experience.
Many people ask why Comic-Con has held out on live-streaming the panels and events which make up the convention’s core — a paid live-stream offering would likely have no trouble finding an audience. But for now, live-streaming is unnecessary: The fans are doing it for them.
A behind-the-scenes book detailing the production of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog has just been released, a few months shy of the seminal web series’ three-year anniversary. But looking back at the last few years, what did Joss Whedon’s “lark” really do for the web video world?
Joss Whedon didn’t quite give an answer as to the question of whether or not we can expect a Dr. Horrible sequel anytime in the near future. But he responded to the question “Have you considered doing a subscription-based web series?” by saying “Absolutely.”
While we’ve written extensively over the last year about Glee, several recent episodes demonstrate that the show’s writers have an innate awareness of how web video affects pop culture. Unfortunately, though, the same can’t be said about its marketing and online distribution.
Nerdgod Joss Whedon proved last year with the still-talked-about Dr. Horrible, that he knows how to tell a story for the web. Sadly for Whedonauts looking for more Jossy web goodies, there will be no Dollhouse content to sate your appetite until Neil Patrick Harris dons the goggles again in Dr. Horrible 2.
Complex: Are you guys producing web content this year for the show too?
Joss Whedon: We’re not. Just because they’re not really looking to spend extra money on the show. The network has dropped their licensing dramatically, it’s the studio who has really picked up the slack to make this happen. Ironically, we actually have what would be fabulous web content, which is the whole 2019 storyline from “Epitaph One.” Whereas last year, it was like “I don’t think we have anything for the Web.” When they added 10 minutes to every episode, they gave it up. This year I’m like, “We have some great ideas for the Internet!” and they’re like, “Yeah…no.”
Oh well. For the web, we’ll always have The Astonishing X-Men motion comic… On second thought — never mind.
Dr. Horrible 2 and Joss Whedon Digital Studio on the Way? Sequel to the smash web series will likely happen, according to creator Whedon, who is looking for $5 million investment for a new digital studio that would create for web series per year. (Tubefilter)
Google TV Ads Signs Ovation TV; the performing arts channel to give Google access to its ad inventory. (MediaPost)
Widgets or Browsers on Your TV; as television sets get connected to the net should they have full web browsing, or offer just widgets? (The Wall Street Journal)
Vevo Hires a Sales Chief; David Kohl joins the YouTube/music label video site from Nokia. (MediaMemo)
Starz Digital Media Titles on iTunes; content from Overture Films, Anchor Bay Films and Manga now available. (Multichannel News)
Magnify.net Launches iPhone App; lets users shoot and upload personal videos to any Magnify-hosted channel. (TechCrunch)
Public radio program This American Life expanded its second-annual live theater simulcast to a full episode broadcast to more than 400 theaters nationwide last week. While the radio program itself will be aired May 1, the Fathom Events-produced evening was so popular that even out-of-the-loop nerds like me who didn’t partake can buy tickets to an encore of the same show on May 7.
The This American Life–Live! line-up included regular TAL contributors Dan Savage, Starlee Kine and Mike Birbiglia telling stories aloud accompanied by clips from the TAL TV show and other visuals and illustrations. I don’t see any reports of attendance numbers but many showings were sold out. One reviewer attests that nearly everyone who showed up to the actual live show at the Skirball Center at NYU was wearing glasses and was primed to love TAL host and hipster hero Ira Glass.
As a special bonus for the show, Joss Whedon, in his first-ever big live musical performance, played an alternate version of Heart, Broken from the musical commentary for Dr. Horrible. Could that be too esoteric even for This American Life‘s obsession with lovingly expressed oddity? Alternate lyrics for a song about the making of a musical parody that was only released online? Nah — It’s Joss Whedon; it’ll find its sliver of passionate audience. A bootleg video of Whedon’s performance is embedded above.
Fathom Events is the same company that live-broadcasts shows from the Metropolitan Opera (as well as other cultural touchstones, like Dr. Laura) to audiences in theaters nationwide.
Let’s face it — by now, the hardcore fans of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog have watched the series more than once on Hulu, downloaded and memorized the soundtrack thanks to iTunes, and maybe even bought themselves a Captain Hammer t-shirt. Of course, that won’t stop them from buying a copy of the DVD — but what do they get for this latest show of devotion? And what about the less-fanatical, who enjoyed the series but aren’t sure about dropping $10 on something they’ve already seen for free? In short: In these tough economic times, is the Dr. Horrible DVD worth your money?
Thanks to Dr. Horrible‘s minions (OK, the very nice person who sent me an advance copy), I had a chance to explore the disc this week, and I’m happy to report that, no matter who you are, the answer is yes. The devoted fan who’s already pre-ordered four copies (one for themselves, three for the loved ones who are getting it for Christmas) will be more than satisfied. The online video enthusiast, seeking to better understand this year’s undisputed king of web series, will find plenty of insight in the special features. And newcomers to the phenomenon, looking to enjoy a funny media experience, will also walk away happy — because the DVD presents Dr. Horrible in the best possible light. Read More about Dr. Horrible DVD: Yes, It’s Worth Your Money