The State of Affairs

Every day, more people continue to find the Help Nathan Buy Firefly Facebook page and join up.  Some folks weren’t ever aware of the original plan, which was a way to measure financial interest, not collect money.  Some weren’t aware of the Big Damn Plan, which came to a screeching halt, however, when the Whedon family expressed that they did not support it (later clarified to express uninvolvement, but enough that we felt uncomfortable continuing down that road).  We said we wouldn’t move forward if that was the creators’ wishes, and so we kept our word — and shut down. We continued to get inquiries directly from fans about investing in fan-funded productions, even if we couldn’t start with Firefly.  So, we researched a great deal about the legal challenges to form such an organization and built a solid plan, which led to the transition to Unstoppable Signals.

Additionally, we also began efforts to promote Mr. Fillion’s favorite charity, Kids Need to Read (KNTR).  If we couldn’t achieve our primary objective, we wanted to at least do something right.  So, we did a direct push, raising a few thousand dollars, and helping to green-light some wonderful projects for KNTR.  We did the T-shirt design contest, and with your help and generosity, more proceeds are going to the charity to buy more books for kids who really need them.

So what happens next?  People still wonder, “Can we start the ball rolling and buy/fund Firefly?”

Unfortunately, the short answer is “No.”   We felt we owed it to you, the fans, to try to make this idea work by going through the proper channels.  So, after we posted our “shut down” announcement, we politely asked The Powers That Be what they thought…and received little news.  The critical first hurdle has always been this:  Will Twentieth Century Fox negotiate with a fan-funded organization over Firefly continuation rights?  We’ve been told, sadly, that’s not possible at this time.  As such, we can’t even raise funds with the hope of rights acquisition.

We do sincerely hope that Fox and Mr. Whedon will eventually get Serenity back in the sky, whether on television, the silver screen, or elsewhere.  But, for now, this is not the way.

Nonetheless, we felt that you, the fans, deserved an opportunity to decide what shall become of this grand movement.  You’ve done the impossible so many times.  You pledged over $1 million for a company you knew nothing about and that did not even exist on paper yet.  You did good works for charity.  You showed your love in countless ways for Firefly and Serenity.  You even played David against the Goliath of all science fiction movies, The Empire Strikes Back — and held your ground.

You are indeed mighty. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being fun and positive. The letters and words of encouragement we have received, especially at some pretty low points of this campaign, gave us inspiration going forward.  We don’t want to let you down, and some of us believe that there are still some very cool projects we can work on together and show that, indeed, no power in the ‘Verse can stop us.

But first, we’re guilty of three things that were mistakes that need owning up to:

  1. We’re guilty of masking our identities — it was for the explicit reason of a direct family request. Please respect that, even if you don’t agree.  Nonetheless, you gave us your trust, and for that, we thank you.
  2. We’re also guilty of thinking out loud about our plans.  We did this because, to us, this was a fan-driven movement and people had a right to know what we thought was the direction. Anyone who thinks the BDP was half-baked is welcome to see the dynamic multinational business structure we’d put together for it. It was always reliant on a creative aspect that we couldn’t control. When it appeared the creative folks were against it, we respected that, and we stopped.  We sought to find a way to make it work by reaching out to some of those individuals, but we were not going to raise false hopes to you.  We tried, but it didn’t work.
  3. Finally, we were guilty of not communicating enough. We spent a lot of time in “the bunker” and not enough time answering the concerns of folks who keep the fans’ interests at heart or those who were interested in how we’d accomplish certain things. That won’t be the case in the future, as you might imagine.

So here we are, out here driftin’ in the ‘Verse. Out of gas, comms are out, and the shuttles are off. Looks like our miracle ain’t comin’, either — so that button might as well sit and collect dust.

In the end, this was always your movement, never ours. We’re not sure where to go from here, so it only makes sense to ask you, the ones who made this happen. So we pose it to you — what do you wish to happen with this community we’ve got here? What do you want to do with the thousands of voices here all with the same dream?

Here are some small ideas, soon to be big plans, that we view as options:

  1. Create a Browncoat social networking site or Facebook application where you can all interact, promote all things in the ‘Verse and run guerrilla campaigns to convince Fox directly to create more Firefly.
  2. Create a fan-funded production company anyway – but one that would be creating new content for the science fiction universe broadly. We only ask this because of the flood of e-mails we got on the topic.  If the powers that be ever change their mind, we’d be there. If they don’t, we can work on other projects together, trying to address a genre that is plagued by unjust cancellations and complaints of low profits despite its unimaginable importance to our cultural fabric.
  3. Pick another charity, and run a campaign to support that charity, too, in addition to helping Kids Need to Read.
  4. All of the above.
  5. Quit. Shut down. The angels ain’t comin’.

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Whatever you choose… it’s been a pleasure, Browncoats.  We will honor your will.   If you choose to continue in some capacity, whether to continue promoting Firefly, pursuing other productions, or doing good works, we don’t want to let you down.  If not, that’s okay, too.  We’re not going anywhere without you.

You, the fans, truly are the leaf on the wind.  Thank you, from the bottom of all of our hearts at Unstoppable Signals.  With your help, we have soared to heights we never dreamed.  Whatever you choose, either way, it’s been one helluva ride.


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