I went to the DC MediaMaker meetup at NPR headquarters tonight. Mike Dougherty talked about how he and a bunch of friends created a fan movie about Firefly called Browncoats. I’ve never heard of Firefly, so all I know about it is what was said tonight. Apparently it’s related to something called Serenity – I think it’s the sequel.
Although I wasn’t interested in Firefly, I was very interested in hearing about how they put their movie together. Since Browncoats takes place in the future, they had to build an elaborate set. In general, Mike and friends created a much bigger production than Budget Justified, (http://budgetjustified.com) which was originally intended to be a bunch of web videos, until I realized I had enough footage/story for a full length feature, even after I edited out the redundant and slow-moving scenes.
Another difference between Browncoats and Budget Justified is that since Browncoats is stolen from a Fox production, Mike couldn’t make it a for-profit venture. So he created a non-profit entity for the sake of all the finances. He was able to get a lot of stuff donated. And since it was a spin-off of something that already had a fan base, Mike was able to leverage existing fan groups for publicity, extensively using twitter, facebook, and youtube to engage people. I can leverage other groups for Budget Justified publicity also, however it won’t be as clear of a connection to some groups.
The most exciting part of the talk for me was seeing Ted Taylor, who plays Barry in Budget Justified, in Mike’s movie trailer!
Mike was an excellent speaker. He was excited about his topic, and exuded a genuine and honest personality. I had to leave to attend a Social Media Club event, but I hope I have the opportunity to talk to him at future MediaMakers events.