Posted in: Internet Video Producers, Interviews and Talks, Making Money & Web Video, News by Dave Parrack on September 23, 2009
Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a Web series turned short film that has turned heads by being a truly phenomenal success. Now, Joss Whedon has confirmed a Dr. Horrible 2 and talked about creating a digital studio. Web video is growing up.

Dr. Horrible Is Born

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was created by Joss Whedon (best known for Buffy The Vampire Slayer) during the Hollywood writers strike of 2007/2008. Unable to write for any studios, he decided to finance and produce his own series meant just for the Web.

The result was a three-part series created for around $200,000 by Joss Whedon, his brothers Zack and Jed, and Maurissa Tancharoen. The original aim was to ensure the show broke even so everyone could be paid and walk away happy. But much more than that was achieved.

Monetary Success

The show premiered on its own Web site, with hosting via Hulu (where it is still available), in July, 2008. The site crashed under the strain of everyone eager to watch the series while it was still free.

A few months later and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was made available on Apple iTunes. It has since also made its way to Amazon Video on Demand.

The 42-minute short has since been released on DVD with a huge collection of extras. Forbes has estimated the show has now grossed $2.5 million, 12 times the production costs, which is a great result by any standard.

Dr. Horrible 2?

There have been many rumors of a sequel since then. And in an interview with TV Guide, Whedon has now confirmed a Dr. Horrible 2 is on its way, although the timing and budget of the project have yet to be decided. He said:

“The main question, he says, is whether he does it ‘on a shoe string again’ or goes bigger budget and ‘invites other people into the process.’ Either way, he promises that it won’t affect the storyline.”

Tube Filter suggests that “other people in the process” alludes to Whedon’s plans to create a digital studio which he would hawk around Hollywood. If a go, this could mean four original Web series produced every year, both by Whedon himself as well as others.

The Future Of Web Video

The success of the first Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and plans for a sequel and more original Web series show how firmly Whedon believes the Internet is where the future lies, especially for unique ideas that likely won’t be wanted by movie studios or TV networks.

While it’s true that a DVD release was still required to truly make this kind of money, the buzz all happened online. And Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog even won an Emmy award at the weekend. Web video is definitely growing up and growing more important.

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