Dr. Horrible for all of us

I waited until
all 3 acts were available to write about this. Not only does Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog have the story and fun songs we expect from Joss Whedon and great singing/acting from Neil/Nathan/Felecia, we get something that just would never have been allowed on broadcast TV. Joss and friends experiment with a narrative in a new medium that reminded me of Ernie Kovacs‘ early experimentation with the new medium of TV.

The narrative is like nothing we have seen, with the short Acts actually released at different times (2 days between each release), the musical aspect, the apparent breaking of the fourth wall by using a video blog, the ‘let’s put on a play’ parts of the old Rooney-Garland movies, coupled with the higher production values of people who have a firm grasp of their art.

So like a trilogy, one can either watch each as they come out, then have to endure the time (well, only 2 days but …) until the next or wait and watch all 3 at once. I took another route. I watched Act I when it came out. Then two days later, I watched Act I and then Act II.

Then just a few minutes ago, I watched Act I, Act II and Act III in a row. Wow. It really packs a punch in just 45 minutes or so. It starts a little slow, like it is getting its feet under it, roars through the second act with some incredible songs and then hits us with an amazing third act.

Songs can delineate emotional progress/changes faster than dialog, when used right, as they are here. When there is limited time and budget, a well done song can do amazing things. As they do here.

And, this was done without the auspices of a studio for low six figures. The servers were getting several hundred thousand hits an hour at one point. I have downloaded all 3 Acts from iTunes for about $6 bucks. If 20,000 people do that the backers (Joss, et al.) recoup their costs. Since it has been either number 1 or number 2 at iTunes the last few days, they may very well start making a profit very soon.

I know the idea for this came during the strike. I wonder what the terms are for the actors, etc. in payment for this and for the DVDs. I would expect that it could be a whole lot better than what the studios proposed for internet productions. This could be a really interesting development in the web as movie distributor.

Hypothetically, how many people might have put up say $5 a few months ago to be the first to get access to this movie? How many would have put up some money after seeing the trailer? Could this become a new route towards financing ‘long tail’ types of web media productions?

I’m sure it has crossed some people’s minds. I want the sequel. Can I send them my $5 now?

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