'Firefly' fans resurrect canceled convention

Word comes from Burbank, Calif., that passionate fans of the Joss Whedon TV show Firefly from all over the world have ponied up money to help pay to carry off "Flanvention," the fan convention that was scheduled to begin Friday but was abruptly canceled Thursday.

According to Corey Bridges, the executive producer at Multiverse Network, who was in town for Flanvention, people had come to Burbank from all over the place, only to find when they arrived that the event had had the rug pulled out from under it.

But never to be told they can't have what they want, the show's fans, known as "browncoats," scrambled and found a way to make it work.

"It's a remarkable thing," said Bridges, who explained that the local browncoats had found a way to get fans from all over the place to help fund the replacement event. "To me it's the symbolism of this group of people, the browncoats. They've done this before, having something they're deeply passionate about canceled prematurely and having it resurrected."

Indeed, the browncoats are famous for their response to the cancellation of Firefly and the way they've managed to get showings all over the world of Serenity, the film based on the TV show.

And it's not only the fans who showed up despite the cancellation. Many of the show's actors appeared, despite not getting paid to do so. Bridges said actor Nathan Fillion had arrived and was giving away memorabilia from his time on the show to fans.

Anyway, Bridges said that there had been some scuttlebutt in the days leading up to Flanvention that there was trouble brewing. Thus, the local browncoats had begun to come up with backup plans. But at that point, they were told all was well, only to find on Thursday that all was most definitely not.

Flash-forward to Saturday where, absent the hotel ballroom the event was supposed to be held in, the browncoats were organizing replacement events at a "secret" location, Bridges said, and a series of color-coded buses meant to ferry the fans there was arriving.

"Now this is essentially happening for free," said Bridges, "for everyone who shows up. Because we don't have the list of attendees from the organizers."

 

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