This site showcases the (mostly) digital work of Andrew DiFiore from both Virtual Arts Studios and answerYES Interactive as well as random thoughts and experimental projects too volatile to be contained anywhere else.

 
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    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog TV Debut

    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the Web musical starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day, made it’s television debut on the CW channel yesterday (in case you prefer to watch your entertainment with commercials). The creators and stars of the show live-tweeted during the broadcast, including Felicia Day (@FeliciaDay) and Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion), Maurissa Tancharoen (@MoTancharoen), Jed Whedon (@JedWhedon), and Zack Whedon (@ZDubDub)

    Dr. Horrible

    Created by director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngel and Firefly) during the 2007 WGA writer’s strike, I remember when Dr. Horrible first appeared online July of 2008 in three parts spread out in two day intervals (below is Joss’ hysterical announcement letter); I thought it was the perfect pitch of humor, music, and story wrapped up nicely in 42 minutes.  Others obviously agreed as it was the first original Web series to receive an Emmy.

    Though many cite Dr. Horrible as an example how low-budget Internet content doesn’t have to be poor in production quality or substance. True, but to be honest, not many indie houses have access to a lot on Universal Studios or a cadre of talent willing to work for free, not to mention the collective online fan-base ready to spread the word. Even with this, Joss Whedon still had to put up $200,000 of his own money, but according to Forbes, the series has since grossed over $2.5 millions from iTunes and DVD sales (back in 2009).

    Nevertheless, this was at a time when Web series were relatively new and it was nice to see Hollywood (even a fringe player like Joss Whedon) give credence to the medium. The series still inspires today.

    Dear Friends,

    At last the time has come to reveal to you our Master Plan. BEWARE! Those with weak hearts should log off lest they be terrified by the twisted genius of our schemes! Also pregnant women and the elderly should consider reading only certain sentences. Do not mix with other blogs. Do not operate heavy machinery while reading this blog. You must be this tall to read. ‘Kay?

    It is time for us to change the face of Show Business as we know it. You know the old adage, “It’s Show Business – not Show Friends”? Well now it’s Show Friends. We did that. To Show Business. To show Show Business we mean business. (Also, there are now other businesses like it.)

    ONE WEEK ONLY! AN INTERNET MINISERIES EVENT!

    “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” will be streamed, LIVE (that part’s not true), FREE (sadly, that part is) right on Drhorrible.com, in mid-July. Specifically:

    ACT ONE (Wheee!) will go up Tuesday July 15th.

    ACT TWO (OMG!) will go up Thursday July 17th.

    ACT THREE (Denouement!) will go up Saturday July 19th.

    All acts will stay up until midnight Sunday July 20th. Then they will vanish into the night, like a phantom (but not THE Phantom – that’s still playing. Like, everywhere.)

    And now to answers a few Frequently (soon to be) Asked Questions:

    1) Why, Joss? Why? Why now, why free, why us? Once upon a time, all the writers in the forest got very mad with the Forest Kings and declared a work-stoppage. The forest creatures were all sad; the mushrooms did not dance, the elderberries gave no juice for the festival wines, and the Teamsters were kinda pissed. (They were very polite about it, though.) During this work-stoppage, many writers tried to form partnerships for outside funding to create new work that circumvented the Forest King system.

    Frustrated with the lack of movement on that front, I finally decided to do something very ambitious, very exciting, very mid-life-crisisy. Aided only by everyone I had worked with, was related to or had ever met, I single-handedly created this unique little epic. A supervillain musical, of which, as we all know, there are far too few.

    The idea was to make it on the fly, on the cheap – but to make it. To turn out a really thrilling, professionalish piece of entertainment specifically for the internet. To show how much could be done with very little. To show the world there is another way. To give the public (and in particular you guys) something for all your support and patience. And to make a lot of silly jokes. Actually, that sentence probably should have come first.

    2) What happens when it goes away? Does it go to a happy farm for always like Fluffy did when mommy was crying and the neighbor kept washing his fender?

    No, Dr horrible will live on. We intend to make it available for download soon after it’s published. This would be for a nominal fee, which we’re hoping people will embrace instead of getting all piratey. We have big dreams, people, and one of them is paying our crew.

    And somewhat later, we will put the complete short epic out on DVD – with the finest and bravest extras in all the land. We’ll go into greater detail about that at Comiccon, but we’re changing the face of Show Friendliness a second time with that crazy DVD.

    3) Joss, you are so kind, and generous, and your forehead is like, huge, like SCARY, like I think I can see Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint hanging off it… what can WE do to help this musical extravanganza?

    What you always do, peeps! What you’re already doing. Spread the word. Rock some banners, widgets, diggs… let people know who wouldn’t ordinarily know. It wouldn’t hurt if this really was an event. Good for the business, good for the community – communitIES: Hollywood, internet, artists around the world, comic-book fans, musical fans (and even the rather vocal community of people who hate both but will still dig on this). Proving we can turn Dr Horrible into a viable economic proposition as well as an awesome goof will only inspire more people to lay themselves out in the same way. It’s time for the dissemination of the artistic process. Create more for less. You are the ones that can make that happen.

    Wow. I had no idea how important you guys were. I’m a little afraid of you.

    4) Joss, do you ever answer a question simply or coherently?

    Shledzguohn?

    There’ll be more questions, and more long, long answers, but for now I’m just excited that we’re actually making this happen. We (and a lot of other people — gushing to commence soon) worked very hard on the show and we hope/think you guys will be pleased.

    Until July 15th , I remain, yours truly, -j, of the firm j, j, m & z.

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    There has been a lot of reporting of the dispute between Viacom and DirecTV. Since I don’t actually subscribe to DirecTV, I listened with passing interest.

    When I read that Viacom deliberately stopped streaming content online in an attempt to thwart DirecTV, it seemed like the media giant was cutting off its nose to spite its face. Moreover, it is a complete disregard to the online viewers. In terms of dollars and cents, I’m sure the fallout is inconsequential but it is just one more example of how traditional media companies view their online counterparts.

    I know, be patient. There is a bigger revolution taking place and soon we will no longer have lines between mediums. I guess still sore from how I went from programming paid by advertising to programming I pay for with advertising.

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    Chill, The Next Cool Thing

    Chill is like the Hulu’s cooler little brother. But more than just catchup TV, Chill supports just about any video source from YouTube to ESPN.

    Content can be high-def TV shows (supplied by premium content partners like Hulu) to videos taken from your iPhone.

    The site has a sexy Pinterest-like grid layout with Turntable-like social viewing integration, including Path-like emoticons and a Facebook Timeline-like profile covers.

    You sign up using Facebook Connect. Once in, you can start a Chill Lounge or hang out in an existing Lounge (Lounges are like DJ Rooms in Turntable). Chill users can create a livestream Lounge simply by selecting the Live Video Stream option available in the Chill Lounge creation flow. The feature currently supports Ustream, Justin.tv, Livestream, YouTube Live, and Twitch.tv.

    Chill was founded by Brian Norgard and Daniel Gould less than year ago and as of last week has raised $8 million in Series A funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersRedpoint VenturesAtlas VenturePaul KedroskyScience MediaWilliam Morris Endeavor, 500 Startups, Troy Carter, Mike Jones, Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, and Michael Arrington’s CrunchFund. As of this post, Chill claims to have 19 million members.

    And She Came to Me in a Dream

    (Molly) Anne Coogan came to me in a dream.

    It is not what you think.

    Actually, only her name was in my dream, printed on the back of an old LP album cover (LPs were how your parents used to listen to music).

    Let me state for the record, I have very vivid dreams. It is not unusual I will remember a very specific detail like this.

    I usually can figure out the connection to my waking life but, in this case, I never heard of or have ever known an Anne Coogan (full disclosure, the name Molly was not in the dream).

    So, of course, I googled it and discovered this upcoming singer/songwriter attached to this lovely little song appropriately titled It Could Be. I say “appropriate” because the dream took place in the future, even though I was looking at an old LP cover (it made sense in the context of the dream).

    According to Ms. Coogan’s website, this video was filmed in one take on June 6th, 2011, in New York City. You can hear more of her music on Bandcamp.

    As for my dream, it actually had nothing to do with music or anything related to Anne Coogan. It was a small, seemingly irrelevant detail in a much broader dream sequence about rebuilding society after a cataclysmic event. I don’t know what it really means but I’m, nevertheless, thankful for the inspiration.

    SpaceX Falcon 9 Dragon Makes History

    The historic first commercial spacecraft Falcon 9/Dragon launched today, May 22th, 2012, It will dock with the International Space Station on May 25th and return home on May 31st.

    With NASA officially closing down the Space Shuttle program (a.k.a. Space Transportation System or STS) in 2011, the mantle of responsibility for US interest in space has been passed to private companies like SpaceX. SpaceX, of course, was established in 2002 by inventor and engineer Elon Musk, founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors.

    Keep up to date with the space mission at the official SpaceX website.

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