Renting the DVD used to be the only way to watch your favorite stars outside the movie theater, but now straight-to-Internet has become the cool, easy way for artists to display their craft. And is it a surprise, considering the extent to which people get their TV fixes from the computer nowadays? The writers’ strike of this and last year dealt in large part with television writers wanting compensation for the network’s Internet-related profits. Gossip Girl, a cult hit with a huge teen following, stopped being posted on the CW website when executives decided that no one was watching it on TV anymore!
Responding to this trend, Joss Whedon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly (and its film version, Serenity) fame, will release his newest show July 15th: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. This humorous take on the struggle between a super-hero (Nathan Fillion of Firefly and the 2007 film, Waitress) and super-villain (Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother) is a musical, and anyone who enjoyed the musical stylings of Whedon with his musical episode of Buffy knows this blog is a don’t-miss. (There was once a series of sing-alongs to the Buffy episode in New York; the events were consistently sold out until discontinued due to copyright infringement.)
Whedon tells The Hollywood Reporter that the project was conceived and made during the WGA strike, and that he “…did not think of making money… I did it as a Web thing because I didn’t want something so big that it wouldn’t work on the Internet… We had the idea of the blog and this low-rent/underdog feel to it.” Here, Whedon touches on a recent trend toward viral marketing and publicity that suggests “grassroots” and not “corporate.”
Dr. Horrible has three installments, with the first episode airing July 15th, the second July 17th, and the last on July 19th. Starting at midnight, July 20th, the blog will no longer be free but can be purchased from iTunes or on DVD (complete with extras). See the official site at . Check it out while the getting’s good!
Matinee Idols at the Netplex
“Netplex” is my new word for the whole body of films and videos you can find on the Internet. I recognize how jealous you are for not having come up with it yourself. And yes, I can give you some recommendations for other star-studded media that you can access from home. As Joss Whedon writes in his “Master Plan” for Dr. Horrible, also available at the official site, his goal in making the blog was to “turn out a really thrilling, professionalish piece of entertainment specifically for the Internet.” Here are a few pieces that adhere to that same sentiment… and did I mention they’re free?