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Firefly - "Done The Impossible" Documentary - Iesb.net Review

Diana Slampyak

Sunday 12 February 2006, by Webmaster

The Fans’ Tale of Firefly and Serentiy - A Documentary had its world premiere tonight at the San Francisco Wonder Con. Hosted by Adam Baldwin it features interviews with Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Jewel Staite, and many others, including members of the fan base, known as “Brown Coats.”

A telling documentary, this film goes in-depth into a fan base that first formed when the short-lived Fox series, Firefly , was abruptly cancelled. Meeting other disgruntled viewers, these Browncoats formed a family-like atmosphere through their discussion boards and live meetings, creating a new style of fan never seen before. All were hell-bent on getting Firefly back on television - or in theatres.

The film chronicles this attempt through interviews with not only the Browncoats, but also the film’s creator, Joss Whedon, and many of its actors, all of whom feel the warmth the ‘family’ of Browncoats have created for them. And feeling solidarity, the Browncoats enjoy a safe environment at shindigs, “family reunions for people you’ve never met.” In fact, they can really be themselves - or someone unlike themselves, as Pip explains. She is normally very introverted, but in the family setting of the Browncoats, she feels outgoing and has little trouble making friends. Other fans reported the same phenomenon.

The film also points out that Whedon’s favorite charity, Equality Now, has gotten a boost in donations thanks to the Browncoats, who really seem to care personally for the genius behind Firefly and Serenity.

The group wrote letters to networks, signed petitions, and wrote letters to potential Browncoats in order to see their dream realized. “A bunch of losers with a spit’s chance in hell,” was a common refrain during the quest. However, as is said in Serenity , “We’re just too pretty for God to let us die,” this bunch of losers did the impossible, and helped get Serenity made.

The Browncoats so impressed Whedon that he cast them as extras in Serenity , a chance at which many did anything to take. One man, for example, flew in to LA from Utah for the casting call, then flew in again for a day of shooting a few days later. He got a whopping $70 for the work - but who can measure the amount of pleasure?

Done the Impossible is an interesting look at a sub-culture that doesn’t seem so sub, but rather a bunch of normal people impressed to death with Whedon’s work. I recommend it to anyone who has any interest in Firefly or Serenity.

The Q&A session after the film screening offered little new information and consisted mostly of people congratulating each other for making it into the film. I guess the whole contingency of the SF Browncoats were there.

The only real interesting question concerned the future of the franchise - will there be a sequel to the film or maybe a return to television? That seemed to be inanswerable, and only rumors could be certain. Other notable notes include the fact that the documentary will be made available at Amazon.com and in an HD-DVD format. The filmmakers are also releasing a soundtrack featuring such artists as the Bedlam Bards, a Renaissance faire duo.

You can pre-order the film at www.DoneTheImpossible.com.