Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Joss Whedon launches Dr. Horrible's Sing-along blog - and its already heading for cult status!

Dr.Horrible's Sing-along blog is a new internet 3 part mini-musical available until 20th July. Dr.Horrible's Sing-along blog is another example of a full length production being split down into easily manageable chunks for consumption on the internet - and it already looks like a hit. (There were 200,000 'hits' (horrible word) an hour on the first day of release causing the host servers to crash and the show is number one on US iTunes where each installment is on sale for $2.)

Joss Whedon (the man behind Buffy and Angel) 'found himself at a loose end' during the Hollywood writers strike and used the time to create Dr.Horrible's Sing-along blog which claims to be the 'first internet musical.'

"Dr Horrible tells the story of a would-be villain (Neil Patrick Harris) who dreams of joining the Evil League of Evil. He's thwarted by arch-nemesis Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) and by his affections for the girl from the laundrette (Felicia Day). " (Guardian)

Episodes are being released over a 5 day period at before being removed from the internet forever. Act one (Wheee!) was released on 15th July, Act two (OMG!) is released on 17th July (today!) and Act three (Denouement!) is released on the 19th July. After Dr.Horrible's sing-along blog has been removed from the internet, the full 42 minute feature will be available as a subscription download, before moving to a DVD release (that will even have sing-along commentaries!)

There is a significant social media presence around Dr.Horrible's Sing-along blog. The Dr.Horrible Facebook fan page now has 12,314 fans, there is a MySpace page with 5770 friends, a Dr.Horrible Twitter with 2301 followers, 5834 blog mentions on Google Blog Search and a YouTube user profile with a teaser trailer that has been viewed over 40,000 times:

Dr.Horrible is weird, different and fun. The Hollywood writers strike shook up a lot of areas and a by product was that influencers, like Joss Whedon, started re-evaluating ways of doing things. Dr.Horrible is well made and cleverly distributed through internet and social media channels. At the same time others like MySpace are experimenting with webisodes that ultimately come together in a full length feature (eg Beyond The Rave) and this is an area that will continue to develop as video sharing sites seek to expand the volume of professional content that they index. Feature films that split down into small chunks that can be easily digested through mobile or social networks are on the increase!

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