When you’ve been around for a little while you tend to hear some of the same questions asked over and over again. Thus the addition of a shiny FAQ to the site.
In no particular order:
I hear you have access to [insert stars name here]. Can you [send him/her a message? invite them to an event? get me a free autograph? etc.].
We’re always amazed to hear we have some sort of secret access to the stars of Firefly or Serenity based on our being a registered non-profit organization. While we’d love it to be true, we do not have any connection to the stars of the show. We don’t know their personal contact information – nor do we have any intention of hunting it down for you – and we can’t hook you up with anyone or anything.
We often have autographed items on auction at our charity events but we go about getting those the same way most members of the public do. We travel to conventions. We stand in line. We pay $$. Occasionally we’re fortunate enough to negotiate a discounted rate for our charity auction items. But, in general, we purchase the items (& autographs) we auction off or they are donated to us by lovely Browncoats located throughout the world.
But you’re in Edmonton. Can’t you make Nathan Fillion a guest star at your event?
Yep, Edmonton is Nathan’s home town and we’re very proud of him. But just because it’s his hometown doesn’t mean that he “owes” local fans anything special.
When Nathan comes home to visit his family and friends we feel it’s important to respect his privacy and his chosen profession. While Nathan dropping in on an Edmonton Can’t Stop the Serenity (CSTS) event would likely make our board members swoon in delight, we’d never ask him to appear unless we could schedule it with his management team and afford to pay him for his time. Just like any convention guest would be paid.
Note: Currently the Alberta Browncoats Society doesn’t have the financial means to pursue hiring Nathan for a guest appearance. We also don’t know who his management team is. Don’t ask us for contact info. We don’t have it. We’re not going to get it for you.
When he’s in town and performing (e.g. Fringe festival , TheatreSports 30th anniversary show ), Nathan has been very generous with his fans and has spent hours post show signing autographs. We may have monopolized his signing hand a time or two in order to get some items for our charity auctions. Oops!
We ask that if you see Nathan roaming the streets of Edmonton to politely nod, say “Captain” and let him go on his way. Don’t interrupt his dinner. Don’t demand his signature. Don’t chastise him for not attending a local CSTS event. Basically, in the words of Wil Wheaton, don’t be a dick.
You screen Serenity each year. Why won’t you screen episodes of Firefly?
Serenity is a movie. Universal Pictures is the license holder for Serenity.
Firefly is a TV show and its license is held by FOX (20th Century Fox we believe).
In both cases, if a screening were to occur, $$ needs to change hands to pay licensing fees, residuals, SAG, etc. Unions are involved. Yada yada yada.
While movie screening rights are pretty easy to arrange – any theatre can do it for you or you can contact a local rights holder for non-theatrical venues – TV rights are complicated. They are also often significantly more expensive to arrange than movie rights. It’s not a case of Universal being nicer than FOX or anything so petty. It’s the nature of licensing, copyright and contracts in the entertainment industry. We’re told movie contracts are significantly different than those for TV. Which makes licensing for TV episodes more difficult to obtain.
It’s scarier than the Alliance to arrange and murkier than the black to navigate all the ins- and-outs of TV licensing. So we don’t.
Ergo, public screenings of Firefly will not be authorized or supported by the Alberta Browncoats Society.
That said, it’s our understanding that private in-home screenings may occur as long as you do not charge any sort of admission fee. This should be allowable within the framework of your DVD or Blu-ray license.
Please note that finding a venue (e.g. theatre, hotel ballroom, church basement) and playing episodes of Firefly DOES NOT COUNT as a private screening. It doesn’t matter if the venue was provided to your free of charge, if you paid to rent the location, or if you’re not charging admission. If you screen Firefly outside of a private home, you’re in violation of copyright law.
Why don’t you host more shindigs?
We host a number of small events leading up to Can’t Stop the Serenity each year. For example, in 2012, we hosted a booth at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, had a team of volunteers participate in the YESS “Homeless for a Night” charity event, hosted 5 weeks of The Guild (thanks to licensing rights from Geek & Sundry) and a Marian Call concert. In 2011 we hosted authorized screenings of The Guild and a number of Sereni-fly ‘verse fan films. We also had booths at local conventions in Edmonton and Calgary.
All this on a shoe string budget and with less than 5 people doing the bulk of all planning, organizing, knitting, etc. These same people work full-time, go to school, and try to have some semblance of a social life.
That’s why we’d love to have others offer to plan and organize events. Offer to volunteer your time in order to help make arrangements. Things we’ve done in the past include:
- Authorized screenings at Happy Harbor Comics (including The Guild, Browncoats: Redemption, and Dr. Horrible).
- “Name that tune” night at Original Joe’s Varsity
- Knitting lessons at The Carrot
- Camping out in Telus field for the night
Just keep in mind that ideas should fall into the low or no-budget category. Funds are limited & ear marked for yarn, CSTS up-front costs, and convention merchandise purchases and booth rental fees.
Wait! I read the entire FAQ and you didn’t answer my question!
Click on over to our Contact Us form and send us a wave. We’ll do our best to answer your question for you. Who knows, you might inspire us to expand our FAQ.