Joss Whedon Shows How Being Awesome Rewards Creators

from the gifted-awesomeness dept

Joss Whedon has long held a special place in the hearts of geeks. And not only for producing some real cultural gifts, such as Firefly and the Avengers movies. On top of those achievements, he's also been fairly proactive when it comes to embracing digital business models and treating fans with an unmatched level of awesomeness.

With that in mind, it may not come as a huge shock when David Cortright writes in about Whedon going to some great lengths to show fans his appreciation while also giving them a reason to watch his latest short film and generating a ton of goodwill marketing on top of it.

Most filmmakers are grateful for the support of their audience, but for the past few weeks, Joss Whedon has really been demonstrating his gratitude. Last month, Whedon announced at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of In Your Eyes — the supernatural romance starring Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David and directed by Brin Hill (Ball Don’t Lie), which Whedon wrote and executive produced — that fans could watch the film immediately by renting it for $5 through Vimeo. Since then, Whedon’s filmmaking team has been secretly sending thank-you gifts to a random selection of fans who have streamed the movie.
Those gifts have ranged from planted cacti to cooking grills all the way up to Apple TVs and Xbox Ones. Those thank you gifts were also distributed not only in the United States, but as far away as the UK, Germany, New Zealand and Dubai. How do we know about all this? Was it because Whedon and his team went out of their way to operate this system as some kind of bribery contest to get people to watch the film? No. Instead, we're learning about it because recipients of the thank you gifts are going out of their way to thank Whedon and sharing the acts of awesomeness on social media.
@adriaanbloem: Rented #inyoureyes on Vimeo, and they then sent a "small token of appreciation": an Apple TV! Smart marketing because yes, I'm tweeting this
It's a hell of a promotional tool, to have some of your biggest fans get the word out both about your movie and the kind of behavior that can't help but breed goodwill and positive marketing. In other words, like anything else, this isn't so much altruism as combined marketing efforts between a producer and fans that results from being awesome. By gifting a small and somewhat random number of viewers of a small film, suddenly you have a flurry of attention being paid where otherwise there might be little.
“The idea was we’re doing something a little different, and we just want to say thank you,” said Roiff. “Someone said on social media, like, ‘Oh, it’s almost like they got Kickstarter backwards and they’re doing it in reverse.’ That is sort of what we’re doing, saying, you know what, this is working out, and we want to say thanks and give something back, and try to keep people talking so we can keep doing it this way.”
It's working and it's a lesson to other creators and artists about how much benefit can be garnered simply by treating their fans well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    madasahatter (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 8:25pm

    Good idea

    Josh shows appreciation to his fans and the fans are reciprocates. This generates positive publicity for Josh even if you are not a fan. It is nice to see someone remember it is the paying public that makes their career possible. Also, he did try to use it a publicity stunt makes it even nicer.

     

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  2.  
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    Darth Colonel Sanders, May 16th, 2014 @ 9:21pm

    Nice.

    Hats off to Joss Whedon!

    Glad to hear Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was picked up.

     

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  3.  
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    G Thompson (profile), May 16th, 2014 @ 11:22pm

    You had me convinced he's awesome at Firefly

    Starts singing all the songs of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog! woot!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2014 @ 8:38am

    I'm glad he has a good relationship with his fans, but otherwise I think he's kinda overrated.

     

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  5.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), May 17th, 2014 @ 9:51am

    Re:

    If you have enough fans it doesn't matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    A. Coward, May 17th, 2014 @ 8:11pm

    Yes

    It reminds me of what the artist/band Bassnectar has done a few times: after sales/ tours had made some money, they took a significant chunck of that profit and had their fans vote online which charity to give it to. I think one of the past winners was EFF.

     

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  7.  
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    Pragmatic, May 20th, 2014 @ 6:03am

    Re: Yes

    *Checks out Bassnectar*

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2014 @ 8:39am

    Re:

    Granted Firefly is good, but what else is there? Alien 4 should have never been made. The rest is camp and not real sci-fi. And the warrior woman genre has been done to death. Anything that goes bad, Whedon whines about how the production crew didn't listen to him.

     

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  9.  
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    vancedecker (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 12:58am

    I got turned off by the previews...

    ...when it showed Josh telling us that "I'm a big deal" that just told me that he's being an asshole.

    There are enough assholes on TV with some geek asshole, and I'm not going to watch. I don't care if you like firefly. You probably also liked the new Stargate Universe disaster and whatever that dumb show on Syfy is called where they have the St. Louis Arch.

     

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  10.  
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    vancedecker (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re:

    Alien 4? Is that where they are on the prison planet?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    vancedecker (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 1:00am

    Re: Good idea

    I once saw Josh almost run down an old lady while peeling out of the Paramount lot. He's kind of an asshole...sometimes.

     

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  12.  
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    Obero (profile), Jul 17th, 2014 @ 12:31am

    GJ

    Hats off to Joss Whedon!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    NCPTSD (profile), Sep 17th, 2014 @ 8:18pm

    nice

    Josh does sound like a prick in a away

     

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  14.  
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    electracom (profile), Sep 30th, 2014 @ 7:56pm

    Awesome

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2014 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There are only 2 I am aware of.

    Alien & Aliens... the others do not exist. Nope... do not exist at all!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Cicerone India Tours (profile), Jan 9th, 2015 @ 1:44am

    Car Rental Jaipur, Rent Car Jaipur, Taxi Service Jaipur, Car Hire Jaipur

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2015 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Good idea

    totally agree!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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