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.