Dr. Horrible and the Quiet Change of the Internet for Screenwriters
Are you a fan of comic book heroes? What about a musical? Or perhaps you enjoy romance, campy humor, or hey…blogging?
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a popular three-part web show that spawned from an innocent idea of a screenplay writer during the recent Hollywood writer’s strike. After the idea was found to have some mutual interest, Joss Whendon (the main writer) along with his brothers, Zack and Jed Whendon, and in addition, Jed’s fiancée, Maurissa Tancharoen, concocted an idea that could be made even with a strike in play for web distribution. It became a cult hit and looks to continue with more episodes.
So what some of you may ask does this have any importance? Well, first and foremost, give it a watch. It’s only an approximately 43-minute watch for the entire show and as of today, still free to watch online. The show is about the life of a villian, Dr. Horrible, and his life from his failed hatched plans to botched romances.
Its importance, from my perspective, comes from two points. One is the idea of the web spectacle. Second, the show points to an interesting trend of media professionals beginning to utilize and respect the online stage. I’m sure some people are stating that Youtube and other cult classic sites have already cultivated this culture, but I disagree. These sites have given the viewers the power to make themselves the star and create their own pieces for the world to see. Many professional media outlets got in late to the game and realistically, only use material created from other media outlets such as music videos or movie clips and use the Internet as simply a marketing tool.
‘Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog’ as silly as it may seem is a product created with the Internet in mind. It is a slight bit of proof that more and more professional media staff members are understanding the different ways to cater to the online market and also getting a feel for the freedom this brings.
I do doubt that one show can bring an entire movement of Hollywood screenwriters/actors/etc. to envision their own visions of short films or shows made for the Internet and hey, it may spawn just more marketing junk and repeats of those favorites, but I believe it to be an important step in continuing to expand the Internet in terms of its overall value and freedom.
And hey, I have to admit; I’m a sucker for songs about freeze rays and romances at the laundromat.