Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Monster Fan Interview: Schumi

Everybody who participated in Nuts knows who Schumi is. She gave us Mission Orders, calmed fears, inspired, motivated, taught, and believed in us. Schumi is a class act. She is a one of a kind and a true Jericho fan. She has a real life so we don't see as much of her as we once did but she's still here. How does she feel now that Nuts is over? Keep reading.

1. During the Nuts campaign was there ever a time when you thought "This will never work"?

Sure. There were plenty of times during the Save Jericho campaign that I thought we wouldn't succeed, but if you're trying to rally people you can't very well say that. I'd hear one thing or another about the direction the campaign needed to talk. I was working with a number of really talented people. We would discuss things decide on a course of action, but in the end it was the same throughout: send card/letters, call, send email, if you can send nuts. It's one of those situations where you know the odds are completely stacked against what you are trying to accomplish, but if you don't at least try, you can never succeed.

2. How difficult was it to get people to understand that there were some things you couldn't say like who your sources were?

Extremely. It is still an issue I deal with 3 months after we've gotten the show back. My favorite perpetuating rumor that still lingers is that I work for CBS or am somehow a mole for CBS. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don't even work in the entertainment industry. But people don't always realize that sometimes information crosses your desk and that information usually has strings attached - the most common of which is "you can't tell anyone I told you". Others include things like its background information only to help you plan but you can't outright post it anywhere and on an extremely rare occasion your allowed to actually straight up say "I heard xxxx."

3. How did you feel when Nina Tassler said the show had been renewed?

Absolutely elated and then stunned. I couldn't believe we'd pulled this off in just 3 weeks (almost to the hour). It was absolutely incredible. I was so proud of the effort all the fans put out to save this show and look upon it as one of the most incredible things in my life I've had the privilege to be part of.

4. How did you become addicted to Jericho?

Jericho first crossed my radar about 6 months before the upfronts. I’m pretty good at using IMDB to see what projects directors and actors I like are attached to and so of course I noticed when it was rumored that Skeet would be attached to Jericho. So I started paying attention. The concept really grabbed me as something that would be interesting – such a unique premise as opposed to the tired ones we see constantly being recycled. But still I thought “not a prayer in hell of getting greenlit.” Every year in May, I watch to see what drivel the networks hope to pan off on the viewing audience each year. Imagine my surprise to see Jericho on the schedule.

Jericho has really been the little show that could all along. For a concept this unique to get the green light – amazing. For a pilot to be shot and actually make it on air – incredible (and that was when I was completely hooked – that opening shot of the train along the river paired with the music was a great way to start off this series). Then factor in the early pickup for a complete season and the resurrection from the dead in just weeks – well really beyond words.

5. Do you believe there will be a 3rd season?

Yes. I don’t believe CBS brought the show back for 7 and only 7, but the ratings need to be there.

6. What should fans be doing now to promote the show?

Talking about it. Not talking about promoting it – talking about the show. Sharing with all these new people just now discovering it why you’re so passionate about it. People don’t understand promoting something until they have embraced it as their own. We need to get back to participating in the Mythology, Residents, Cast, Episode and Fan Fiction boards and get back to what locked us all in here to begin with.

If you’ve introduced someone to the show, follow up with them each week on Monday maybe. As them what they thought, see if there’s something they don’t understand, of course try to get them to watch the front half of the season when most of us fell in love with Jericho. Yes DVD sales are important and will help to a certain extent but what we really need are more people for whom Jericho is Must See TV, more butts on couches, etc… each week watching the show and then talking about it in the days between episodes.

7. What is the most important lesson you learned from the Nuts campaign?

Patience and persistence. The Save Jericho campaign required a lot of patience. Things take time to work. There isn’t always time to explain to everyone why something was done or why it was done certain way. People don’t understand and get frustrated. You have to patiently ignore all the negative and stay on course. Not that you should be rigid in your approach. You need to be flexible enough to make adjustments as needed and patient enough to explain what you can (and hope people will ask question rather than keep things bottled up). But in the end you have to be willing to see things through to the end, no matter what the obstacles are.

8. Is there anything, looking back, that you feel we should have done differently?

Hard to say, because in the end what we did worked. I’m sure faced with the same situation again, of course there would be things done differently. I’d never done anything like this before. This is the first fandom I’ve ever been a part of. Everything was a learning experience. Not everything was perfect and I’m a person who truly believes if you don’t look back at the past with a critical eye now and then, you’ll just make the same mistakes in the future.

9. Is there anything you would like to say to the fans?

You all did an amazing, history-making job. Everyone who did anything, even if it was to tell someone else about the campaign, deserves the credit for saving the show. No effort was better than anyone else's. All should all be proud and stand up to take a bow.

There will always be differing opinions as we all bring our unique experiences to the table with us and base our view of something on those. We succeeded by moving past differences and sticking together on a few well defined initiatives. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t many more completely commendable initiatives out there that people came up with and got others to support. But not everyone can support everything.

If we always approach each other presuming each one of us has nothing but the best of intentions in our words and actions and we treat one another the way we want to be treated, then there is no way we can’t get a season 3 for Jericho.

See you all at Jerichon 2007 in Oakley, KS.

10. What are you doing now to promote Jericho?

Talking about the show. Yes I’ve bought my DVDs (a few copies in fact), etc… but the main thing is telling people about the show and then following up with them after. And most of these people don’t use the internet for anything more than e-mail. They don’t go to message boards. They don’t surf for web sites and blogs. They are just normal every day people who I think might like this little show.


openminded1 said...

What a great interview. Schumi said some really great things...too many to list them all, but this quote is one of my favorites:
"And most of these people don’t use the internet for anything more than e-mail. They don’t go to message boards. They don’t surf for web sites and blogs. They are just normal every day people who I think might like this little show."

And you are 100% correct- Schumi is a class act..all the way.

This world needs more Schumis in it.

Anonymous said...

Schumi will always be my 'hero'!!
She was a leader when we needed one.
She never lost her patience with us.....never gave herself any credit for all she was to us.

Schumi, I hope you will come back to the CBS boards more often.
We STILL need your strength and leadership.....maybe even more than before.

How many times can one say THANK YOU? Not enough for Schumi.


Anonymous said...

Ahma said:
What a great interview! Thank you both. I have also missed seeing Schumi on the board, but I know she has much more going on than just Jericho! I miss our marching orders from the beginning of the campaign. Schumi is so great at supporting everyone, and always trys to downplay her role in all of this. I for one would have been clueless as to what to do to save Jericho, if not for her direction. Thanks Schumi! Ahma

rubberpoultry said...

We all owe Schumi a big thanks for stepping to the plate to lead this fight.

Without her and her team, there's a good chance that we would be morning our canceled Jericho even now. She basically made Jericho her sole priority for the 3 weeks it was canceled, putting real life on hold. That's devotion. The kind of devotion required to make history. Not many of us would have been able or willing to make that commitment.

I'm proud to call schumi a friend. I've seen her in action behind the scenes (now as part of her team) and in public too and I have to say she is selfless, resolute, and a talented leader. I've not encountered anyone else in this movement that shares the qualities that she possesses.

She had been criticized almost from day one, but despite repeated attacks, she continues to fight for the show. Most people would have walked away.

Thanks for being a big part (probably the biggest) of getting me my show back!


Briarpatch said...

Schumi has done this fan community so much service, and she did this with absolutely no strings attached. Three weeks of anybody's time is priceless, and to be so selfless in her contribution, she is to be commended. She continues to give way beyond the call of duty even now. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us to save my favorite TV show.

auntvonna said...

I agree, Schumi was instrumental in keeping the campaign alive and organized. I would not have been able to keep up my momentum for 3 weeks without her! Thanks for the wonderful interview and thank you Schumi for all the hard work you put into saving our show! I was proud to be a part of the campaign and am proud to be standing beside you as a Jericho Ranger.

Anonymous said...

Great interview - thank you!
Schumi - Thank you so much for everything that you have done to help save Jericho. Thank you for staying the course and doing everything that needed to be done. I haven't seen any naysayers but I guess they are out there. Please don't let them bother you. The vast majority of us know that you did everything with the best of intentions, focused not on self-promotion but solely on advancement of our cause. Thank you!

schumi07 said...

Many thanks to Jane for all she does. Her interviews are always so inciteful and she asks great questions. It was fun to do one myself. My thanks too to everyone who left such nice comments here. Working on saving Jericho really has been a privilege and I've met some of the best people I'll ever know as a result.

- schumi

azlady said...

Thank you Schumi for all you did to bring back Jericho. You were one of the great leaders of the campaign and did a fantastic job of keeping everybody motivated and going and a great morale builder when the going got tough.

As always, thank you Jane for this great interview.

maybei said...

Schumi was the one who kept us all going during the NUTS campaign with her daily campaign updates, words of wisdom, encouragement, etc..

She was the reason I came to CBS every day to find out what was going on.

Schumi made everyone feel like their efforts in the NUTS campaign were important - no mater how big or small.

She is a fine person and a Jericho Ranger in the truest sense!!!!!

Bill said...

Schumi is a FANTASTIC person! She is one of most selfless people I have ever met. She is truly one that verifies that there are good people in the world.