An Open Letter To Joss Whedon

Dearest Mr. (Joss) Whedon,

Allow me to start by offering my sincere congratulations for the highly successful release of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Once again you’ve hit it out of the park, much to the great delight of fans like myself. I hope that you are ultimately able to both pay the crew and reward yourself handsomely for such an excellent product.

While the method of releasing Dr. Horrible is obviously successful, it still relies on “push” production: you develop, create, and package entertainment, and then push it out into the market, where it is hopefully eagerly consumed. The risk must be borne by yourself, and the market has little opportunity to provide you (and any intermediate parties) with direct feedback, other than after the fact through grassroots fan movements.

I would like to propose a new paradigm of entertainment delivery that could provide more benefit to both yourself, the people you work with, and your fans. It is a model based on agriculture, of all things; specifically, Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA). A typical farm operates on “push” production: a crop is grown, and pushed into the market to be sold. A CSA farm, on the other hand, operates on a “pull” production method, in that it has a membership that is allotted a share of the yields of the farm on a weekly basis. Instead of trying to find the best method of pushing the farm’s yields into the market, the market is already there, waiting for the yields to come to them.

Applying this sort of paradigm isn’t unheard of in entertainment. I personally know a musician, Bryan Moyer Suderman, that has successfully adopted the CSA model to music; he produces music on a regular basis and distributes it to his membership. You can read more about how he, and others, are using this model at CommunitySupportedArts.com.

By now it’s probably no surprise that I propose that Mutant Enemy Productions embrace a Community-Supported Entertainment model. We, your loyal Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dr.Horrible fans, will pay UP FRONT for entertainment you produce. This summer, it was Dr. Horrible via iTunes. Perhaps in the winter you’ll send us a comic book via PDF. Later you could send us some songs you wrote. Maybe Firefly could live on again as monthly episodes. That’s the beauty of it – we get our Whedon fix direct and undiluted, and you have the freedom to create, balancing distribution between traditional marketing and Community-Supported Entertainment.

Please, Mr. Whedon. Allow your fans to support you. Thank you for your consideration.

Regards,
Andrew

P.S. If anyone has the means to forward this on to Joss or his agent, please do so with my blessing.

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