Fans Go Viral At The Rose Parade

What do fans do when opportunity pounds wildly at the door? They open it, of course.

Back in November, the Battlestar Galactica fans had an idea about maybe skywriting in support of the writers' strike. One of the companies they spoke to was Skytypers. The prices were all too cost prohibitive, but Skytypers remembered those fans when a movie promo scheduled for the Rose Parade pulled out at the last minute. Skytypers also went one step further; they reduced the price from the normal fee, about $20,000, down to $6250.

With about an hour to decide, a fan stepped forward and generously offered the use of her credit card, with the caveat that she get paid back, hopefully before the bill came, and the silent auction was born.

Fans4writers will have 5 planes skytyping their message - kept secret until it, uhm, airs - plus teams on the ground handing out flyers. The silent auction runs through January 11th, and any funds raised over the cost of the skytyping will be donated to the Industry Support Fund.

Fans4writers is also still gratefully accepting donations of items to be auctioned; definitely the more the merrier, so anyone out there that has something groovy, please contact Brenda at brenda@fans4writers.com.

In the event that weather interferes with the parade route, Plan B is that the skytyping will take place over the Bowl during the game itself. In the event that Mother Nature gets really cranky, Plan C is that all funds donated will go to the Support Fund, as the awesome folks at Skytypers won't be charging the fans for no service.

Thanks to all the amazing fans who came together to do this -- and continue to support writers and all workers in Hollywood every day.


IA Local 892 said...

I posted this over at Deadline Hollywood, forgive me for repeating myself, but it would mean so much if people would help the fans who are so supportive of the writers.

These guys are amazing.
This idea is three days old. These fans have mobilized and committed to pay a lot of money, that they/she MIGHT get back if people bid on this auction. It’s huge. Million of people watch the Rose Parade !

Because it is such a last minute effort, that these wonderful fans and supporters have pulled together in such a seriously short amount of time, the only real donations that have been possible so far, are the Battlestar Galactica scripts donated by Ron Moore and his writing staff. (and now a great donation from Two And A Half Men)

These fans are out there delivering food every Monday morning at 6am to the Barham Gate, thy have mobilized the donation of over $500,000 pencils (one of the few stories about the strike that made it onto TV news all over the country), they’ve written letters, made phone calls, showing up to picket . They are working tirelessly in support of the writers.
Please, if you can, go to Fans4writers.com, and donate something that might help these guys. This is a fortune they are putting up out of their own pockets, and their best hope of getting it back will be with monies from this auction. Scripts, a phone call, movie memorabilia (all those old crew jackets), anything you might be able to donate to give them a hand.

If you’re a fan- please bid at this auction. A lot of you feel like you can’t help because you don’t live anywhere near LA, this is your chance to help.
I am Ron Moore’s wife, I have been interacting with fans for a few years, and have come to have an enormous amount of respect for their loyalty and devotion, but I have been blown away by how they have stood by the writers, supporting the strike all the way.

Check out some of the fan message boards sometime, and see all the avatars and banners they post with everyday, supporting the writers strike.
Check out fans4writers.com. They have created a message board for all the writers and all the fans of every show on television and some that no longer are on the air. They’ve created places for writers to talk to their fans, and to see all of the fan actions they are planning in support of the writers strike.
It is incredibly moving to see.

Take a little bit of time out of the infighting and second guessing and go see what you can do to help out the folks who keep the writers on the air. Give something back to them for everything they are doing to help. Let them know that they should continue their support and not give up because no one cares about their efforts

Terry Dresbach Moore

Tanja Barnes said...

What's viral about this?

"Grassroots" better describes what's happening here.

Go fans!

Captain Obvious said...

"Viral" because it could be a huge stepping stone toward bringing the weight of public opinion to bear on the studios.

Pamela Jaye said...

have the fans hit all BSG sites (and 2 1/2 Men) with this?

What people are bidding is way over my budget, even if I was a fan of the show (but it's very cool for you to out yourself here :-) )

Now if you could get Scott Bakula to donate something - I still couldn't keep up with his richer fans, but some things he's signed have gone for $1450 and $3500 in the past.

Perhaps someone from fans4writers (I was just there but it was 7 pages on how everyone felt on what was being auctioned and i never found out whether the writing came off) will see this and think to ask him?

Anyway, yes, the fans are great (and great at money raising, and organizing) and the girl who put up her card is just awesome, whoever she is.

I may be poor lately, but we love you guys (writers). You create worlds for us to escape to.

Pam - www.bakulanews.com

embers said...

I have gone ahead and donated since I think the bids are too rich for my blood. Mostly I just want to put some money in to make sure that no one fan is stuck with a huge bill, and because I think it was an awesome idea (I sure hope it looked awesome, the weather certainly cooperated!).

Geo Rule said...

I didn't bid on the auction items, but they also have a friendly Paypal link for people who just want to make a donation to defray the cost of the Rose Parade skywriting ad.

Which is what I did.

It was really quite a stunning display of faith on someone's part to slap their plastic on the line in the belief that the community would show up and not leave them hanging out there.

Becca said...

Auction items from The Unit and The Shield would be most appreciated also. Grey's Anatomy, CSI items would bring in bucks. The more there is to auction from various shows, the more money can be raised to repay the fan who paid for the sky typing.

Regardless of what anyone thinks about this quick decision, it was simply a very, very generous thing to do for the WGA.

Photos are just now coming in.

Rodney Peterson said...

Hats off and then some to fans that are so incredible they would do something like this for writers they've never met in most cases yet love their work so much they go to bat when it counts. I don't think it's at all a loss even if the networks don't show it and the majority of the insanely packed parade route never saw it because we all know and it gives us tremendous morale and you can bet the studios know too. I emailed Brenda because I'm a new writer writing a very unique project and if I can generate fan interest in the project which I would like to do and communicate with these terrific individuals some very positive press for my project could be realized and if the effect snowballs-maybe, just maybe the studios and producers will be so excited about some of these new projects and the public's interest in them, including mine, that they will want to move to help get these products in the pipeline.
I'm taking an unusual avenue for a writer as I do an enormous amount of self promotion but that's because I'm very enthused and confident in my project-the way these fans are confident in themselves and us. This is the best New Years present I think we could get.


Please also remember that the Criminal Minds Assistance Fund to aid the below the line pros of Criminal Minds is ongoing. We have already sent two checks to LA and a third is on its way. All monetary contributions are appreciated and we are still holding weekly auctions. Thanks!

Tanja Barnes said...

// "Viral" because it could be a huge stepping stone toward bringing the weight of public opinion to bear on the studios. //

I get the concept, but IMHO it's a misuse of the word. "Viral" pertains to marketing and memes spread by users in social networks via the Internet.

In this case, the use of skywriters is old school (albeit still potentially effective) marketing techniques.

At any rate, I still say "Go fans!"

Captain Obvious said...

"Viral Marketing" refers to the spread of ideas via any societal means. The internet just happens to be a prominent facilitator of this marketing methodology because the internet is quite possibly the ultimate social network.

Tanja Barnes said...

FWIW, I respectfully disagree with you.

Here's where I'm coming from: What is viral marketing.

Your mileage may vary.