Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse) was interviewed recently at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s Knowledge@Wharton site.
“TV and movie writer-director Joss Whedon wants to change the way Hollywood does business. While Whedon works inside the studio system on major projects, he also hopes to blaze a trail on the Internet for creating and monetizing independently produced content. In doing so, he is confronting what he terms the ‘homogenized, globalized, monopolized entertainment system.’
“One of Whedon’s recent projects is ‘Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,’ an online musical comedy starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day … Conceived during the 100 day Writers Guild of America strike in late 2007 and early 2008, ‘Dr. Horrible’ was, in part, intended as an experiment to explore options for creative content. The subject of revenues for online content was a timely one, since a major point of contention that spurred the strike involved payment to writers for content distributed online.
“‘Dr. Horrible’ was released on the web in three parts last July, and Whedon’s plan was to remove the free online versions and sell all three episodes as video downloads through Apple’s iTunes Store. A week after the series moved to iTunes, it reappeared online on advertising-based sites such as Hulu, a joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp. In December, a DVD version became available on Amazon.com. With these various distribution channels (and the lack of a traditional advertising budget), ‘Dr. Horrible’ serves as something of a case study for marketing independently produced content.
“Knowledge@Wharton recently spoke with the 45-year-old Whedon about the lessons learned from “Dr. Horrible” and what he believes needs to happen for the Internet to serve as a platform that can sustain original creative content….”