Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Whedon's New Business Model 'Horribly' Awesome
Last week Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania posted an excellent in-depth interview with Joss Whedon that is one of the best pieces of from-the-trenches insight that I've read in ages - especially in how Whedon digs into the emerging business model of independently-produced Internet content. Whedon is best known as the creator of the transmedia franchises Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, as well as the upcoming sci-fi/drama Dollhouse, but it's his recent experiment with independently producing (and monetizing) the superhero-romantic-comedy-musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog that has us currently sitting up and taking notes. Created during the writer's strike and produced on a shoestring budget (approximately $200,000 and a lot of favors), Dr. Horrible was initially released for free online, then strategically taken down and put up for purchase on iTunes and finally released on DVD (complete with extras including fan-generated videos and Commentary: The Musical!) through Amazon's on-demand DVD authoring system. Although Whedon doesn't divulge actual numbers, he does admit that the project has now earned back over twice its original cost - and he's working on how to make it scale.
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