Archive of Firefly and Serenity

My Journey to a Million Dollars with the Browncoats by Mandy Sullivan

Thirteen years ago, I had never heard of Firefly. I had been working at Equality Now for quite some time and, as usual, we were struggling for funding. I got a call one day, from Renee Balmert from something called "the California Browncoats." She wanted our address in order to mail out a check to us representing proceeds from "ComicCon." The check was for over $3000, a staggering amount of money from one donor, at least it was in our experience. Apparently Joss Whedon had told them we were his favorite charity and they decided to give all the money to us. We were thrilled and grateful and Renee and I started up a conversation as she explained to me what Firefly was and what the Browncoats were.

I immediately purchased a copy of the series and spent the evening in a marathon viewing. Well, let's face it, it's hard not to, right?
Those events marked the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I won't go into the particulars of Joss' relationship to Equality Now as that is common knowledge now for most of you I think. The internet was starting to really come into force and, as I further learned, Joss had a huge and growing network of fans (from his other series Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as Firefly) that was quickly becoming a worldwide virtual community. When Firefly was summarily dumped by FOX shortly after its short run in September 2002, this community decided to pool their resources and see how much weight they could put behind their disappointment, actually their outrage, and their loyalty to Joss. I mean, there were episodes that HAD NOT BEEN AIRED YET!!

In any case, you all know the rest. A film was made, Serenity, that closed out the stories of the characters in the beloved series. Throughout this time, I was mostly a bystander and cheerleader, but quickly becoming a true fan, a fan of the fans actually! And, a brilliant idea was forming, in the mind of a Portland, OR fan named b!X who asked the question: "Hey why don't we hold a screening of Serenity on Joss' birthday and raise money for Equality Now." That was June of 2006. 42 cities around the world held screenings that year. As the years went by, Equality Now began receiving checks from all over the country as well as UK, Australia, Canada and Ireland, as groups of Browncoats organized their own screenings. And it all happened at the same time of year! We sent the different organizers our brochures, key chains, bracelets, more brochures, hats and tee shirts for raffles and give-aways, supporting them in any way we could.

For me, it was one of the biggest challenges and most wonderful experiences I had while working at Equality Now. The organizers were fantastic people to work with, all of them, throughout the years. From time to time, new organizers would come in to replace those taking a break and they too were enthusiastic in their support of Equality Now's work, and a genuine pleasure to work with and in some cases, get to know. Their patience with me was absolutely limitless.

And every year, the grand total increased. It was absolutely amazing. Seeing as I was the fortunate one who became liaison between Can't Stop the Serenity and Equality Now, visitors, other staff would ask me "who are the Browncoats and why are they doing this?" Well, it's a long story....

The Browncoats brought me to ComicCon in San Francisco to speak on a panel there, they brought me to the Universal Studios premiere of Serenity, they hosted me in Portland and New York City, and always assured me of my welcome in whatever city's screening I might attend. I was so happy when we were able to organize an appearance by Joss at the SoCal CSTS a few years ago It was to thank all of you in the most meaningful way we could think of. To have you hear it from him.

I left Equality Now in October, after 18 years. More than half of those years were spent interacting with you wonderful people. The fact that together you have raised a total of one million dollars for Equality Now and other charities fills me with so much pride and gratitude. You have worked so hard, on your own time, year after year. Awesome. That's what you are. Totally Awesome. Thank you for all you have done for Equality Now, for me, and for just being the people that you are. You've sent some mighty, mighty good vibes out there into the universe, and it will never be the same.

Stay Shiny but most importantly keep flyin'.

Amanda Sullivan

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The 2013 Auction has Begun

Our Global Auction for Equality Now have begun! This is your chance to get your hands on some amazing Whedonverse collectables and more, while helping a wonderful cause.

Go here -> http://bit.ly/TxTYEj

How about a silver Jewellry box which Gina Torres gave to the cast & crew during the filming of Firefly?

Or a Fanny pack which Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan gave to the Buffy crew at Christmas, 1998.
These are both incredibly rare.

The Avengers make their appearance with 2 full sized, double sided Movie posters along with a hard to find Dollhouse poster. You might also be interested in some of the official Avengers swag.

Maybe you are more into nifty crafts. Then you'll love our Big Damn Heroes created as knit dolls.

Whedon favorite Fabio Moon drew Sugar Shock and this year took on the world of Serenity, drawing the Dark Horse Free Comic Day Serenity. He generously created a sketch of Mal just for the auction.

There are also auction items from many SF fandoms including Sanctuary, Stargate, Star Trek,Farscape, Xena and others.

Oh, did we mention the signed shooting scripts for Shindig, donated by the writer of that episode, Jane Espenson? There are 2 of them. Yes! Two!

Now go bid!. The auction is over Saturday Nov. 10th.

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A Word from our Sponsors: Why We Support CSTS

This is the first in a series from our sponsors. We asked them why, year after year, they support Can't Stop the Serenity & Equality Now. First up, one of our Lifetime Sponsors, Andy Gore, CEO of Quantum Mechanix: "We all got on this boat for the same reason: To make awesome stuff for the greatest TV show ever and to serve the community of Browncoats (to which we belong). Some folks said we were crazy to put all that love into a show that only lived half a season. But we didn't listen, because miracles happen only when you push ahead against the odds. And maybe only when you're crazy. But gorammit, if it didn't work. So here we are, seven years later, still honoring Firefly the best way we can and loving every minute of it. Supporting CSTS is another way we serve the Browncoat community. It's important. It's a cause we believe in. And it's one we're proud to help." Thanks QMx for continuing to support Can't Stop the Serenity.    

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First memories of Firefly – Part II

Here are a couple more of the entries we had when we ran a contest in March. We asked people what their first memory of Firefly was.

Anna wrote:

If you want to be technical, It was a Saturday morning, a long time ago. I was watching cartoons, and an ad came on. There was a girl, fighting, guns. Serenity, the movie was called. I thought that was weird. Then my show came back on, and I forgot all about it.

It was years later that I first heard of Firefly, sitting in a religion class, before school started. A classmate quoted something, and the teacher laughed. The classmate, a boy named Kory, was knitting something, a hat. Red and gold, orange. My teacher called it a "Jane" hat, whatever that was. I was confused. They said, "Watch Firefly." But I didn't.

The next year in my math class, a girl saw my ring, the one that said "Serenity". "Like Firefly?" she asked. "I'm Ceilidh!" (pronounced Kay-lee) I was confused. She told me to watch Firefly. But I didn't.

The next year, my friend Jenna told a story about a dream she'd had. It was about cowboys in space, and someone named Mal, but Jenna was sad because someone else- Nara? wasn't there, so there was no cute UST. Whatever that was. I was confused. She told me to watch Firefly. But I didn't.

That summer, my cousin, my older, crazy-awesome fantasy loving cousin was talking. She quoted something. I knew the quote. Said it back to her. "Firefly?" she asked. "Uh, sort of. I haven't.." but she cut me off. "You haven't seen it? No. I'm sorry. We can't be related until you watch this." She handed me the box set. "Well," I thought, "I might as well. I guess I should. Mike likes it. And Bishop and Ceilidh and Jenna. And I don't want Katy to shun me. Looks fun. Might as well. At least I'll know what all the fuss is about".

I got home. Put in the first disk. Forgot Breakfast. Next disk.Forgot Lunch. Next disk. Sitting on the red couch, mouth open, I loved it. How had I waited so long? Why had I waited so long? I had to keep watching. So I did.

Ben wrote:
My brother came over for a visit one day and told me about this amazing television show called 'Firefly' that he had on DVD. He had said the same thing about many shows in the past, none of which had really captured me, but I decided to humor him and give this most recent show of his a chance. I was even more skeptical of this show after he told me that he wasn't going to show me the pilot episode first, but instead he wanted to show me the one that was aired first. Nonetheless, I watched Captain Reynolds and his crew in 'The Train Job' and after the episode was over I could only say one thing to my brother: "More."
What was your first memory of Firefly?

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Announcing our first Firefly 10th Anniversary Contest!

March 5, 2002 was the first day of filming for Firefly. Ten years later, CSTS is celebrating! To commemorate this momentous occasion, we're having a contest. Tell us, in at least 100 words, what your first memory of Firefly is.

Send your entry to info@cantstoptheserenity.com and a randomly selected entry will win a copy of Firefly: The Official Companion Vol.1 .

Be sure to include your name (real or online), an email address where you can be reached and where you are from. All entries may be published, the winning one will certainly be!

Deadline March 15th, 2012.

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Rewatch Joss & Co at CSTS Los Angeles

Missed seeing the livestream of Can't Stop the Serenity Los Angeles yesterday? Watch it below! Special guests included Joss Whedon, Felicia Day, Michael Fairman, Tim Minear, Jane Espensen, Nathan Fillion, and Jessica Neuwirth and Amanda Sullivan from Equality Now. Watch live video from GeekWeek on Justin.tv

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