Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Joss Whedon's Thank-You Letter to His Fans

I think we're all aware that this most recent box-office smash, "The Avengers", is a hit. It's immediately catapulted various members of the film - both in front of and behind the camera - to new heights. And surely one of the most appreciative members of this new status has to be writer and director of the film, Joss Whedon. Whedon has been around for a long time now, and has focused many of his previous efforts in television, his openly favorite medium. And while he's scored millions of fans from his development of series such as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Angel", and "Firefly", unfortunately the studios and general public have not been quite as receptive to his visions, as all three series were cancelled well before their intended completion. But even so, it hasn't stopped his dedicated and passionate fans from making their voices and admiration for the filmmaker heard. Many expected it only a matter of time before he got his big break, and with his newest film, I think we've reached that point.

I know that personally I've never been a strong Whedon follower - not that I've ever thought anything against the guy, I've just never followed that many TV programs in general, especially not the types he was creating at the time - but I've always respected him and appreciated his creative and in-depth writing abilities. Plus, fellow writer Ben Foutch has always been a pretty strong Joss Whedon supporter, so I've kept up on his various projects through him.

After the break, Whedon himself composes a letter to his fans, personally thanking all that have continued to stick by his side, even when project after project was scrapped. And while I don't necessarily consider this letter addressed to me, I can still appreciate its purpose and focus. And I'm sure Whedon-ites will genuinely admire the gesture, which should only enhance this filmmaker's cult status - though, now that he's broke through to the mainstream, that cult status made just turn to regular old status).

Anyway, let's just get to the letter and let Mr. Whedon do the talking. Also, be sure to check out his original posting of the letter on his site, WhedonEsque, for a follow-up FAKE Q&A where Whedon further goes into detail on his upcoming plans in his own unique, humorous way. "Q: Does this mean you have changed the very fabric of your existence?" "A: Dude, it's just a movie. Also, yes.". Hilarious.

Dear Friends,

Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type.

People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comic-Con. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of “the Avengers” gross, I can afford to buy… [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] …a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of “Air Bud” that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)

What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with “peeps” — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I’ve had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all. A lot of stories have come out about my “dark years”, and how I’m “unrecognized”… I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I’m ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I’ve yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I’ve thought, “maybe I’m over; maybe I’ve said my piece”. But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y’all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I’m an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go “I told you so”, to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered. So please welcome my old friend and certainly not-on-my-payroll reporter/flunky, Rutherford D. Actualperson!

The letter, soaked in his own unique sense of humor, is a really nice gesture to his extremely supportive fan-base; one that's unarguably helped him get to where he is today.Whedon has been putting himself into his projects for decades now, and though he's received high praises at various stops, he's never really broken through like you'd wish for someone with this kind of original talent. So with "The Avengers", even though I haven't followed him as passionately as other fans have, I'm still happy for him and hope that this leads to a whole new mass audience for him to share his visions with.

And let's hope Marvel gets this guy locked up soon for that Avengers sequel!