ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This story fills a square on my second card for the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo fest. This fest encourages people to create and share material focused on what is variously called fluff, schmoop, gentle fiction, light reading, comfort reading, positive thinking, chicken soup for the soul, or anything else that offers a fun alternative to usual run of sex, violence, and angst of modern media. I'm hoping to attract some new readers for my writing.

The following story belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, featuring an apocryphal television show supported by an imaginary fandom. It's science fiction about quantum physics and saving the world from alternate dimensions. It features a very mixed cast in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation. This project developed with input from multiple people, and it's open for everyone to play in. You can read more about the background, the characters, and a bunch of assorted content on the menu page.

This is actually the first piece I've written about fans of the show, rather than the characters within the show itself. (It will make more sense if you've read the background material, especially "About the Show," "Aired Episodes," and "Unaired Episodes.") In this case, the Avengers are all great big fangeeks, and they happen to love Schrodinger's Heroes. There are also references to assorted other fanac hijinks. As sometimes happens with Schrodinger's Heroes, various relationships among the Avengers are hinted rather than specified. So you can pretty much fill out the shipping manifest with your favorite combination(s).

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


Fandom: Avengers/Original (Schrodinger's Heroes)
Prompt: Crush / Infatuation
Medium: Fiction
Summary: The Avengers and friends watch television together and discuss how much they wish for the return of a favorite show.
Content Notes: Fluff. Meta. An assortment of crushes, squishes, infatuations, and admirations. Team bonding. Patching up dysfunctions. Friendship. Science jokes. Avengers geeking out. Pepper is perfect. Tony is a jerk but he's OUR jerk. Steve is homesick for his former time. Phil is the puppy-est fanboy in the history of ever. Some references to real people, but all offstage.


"Saving the Heroes" Part 4


"I can't blame Steve for getting upset," Clint said. "Schrodinger's Heroes is one of my favorites too. I can't remember how many petitions I've signed for it."

"Forty for me," Natasha said.

"I'm up to a hundred and ten as of last month," Phil said.

"I do not understand your exchange, although I admire this example of Midgardian entertainment," Thor said.

"Petitions demonstrate support for doing something. People have been trying to get the show renewed ever since it went off the air, but well, it's been years," Pepper said. "Even if we could solve the financial and legal problems, it wouldn't really work now -- the actors are too much older."

"Why didn't you just buy it up back then, Tony? You mentioned earlier that you've been a big fan since the very beginning," Bruce said.

Tony looked away. "I was in a bad place at the time."

"I did what I could, but it wasn't much," Pepper said. "Though I am quite proud of hiring Stacy Anderson before anyone else could."

Bruce goggled at her. "Stacy Anderson works for Stark Industries?"

"Oh yeah," Tony said. "It took me a while before I found out, but here, look." He flicked his fingers to activate a hologram. "Stacy does a lot of the high-end work in our imaging department. I thought you'd recognize the style."

"Now that you mention it, I do," Bruce said. He grinned. "That is so cool. This is my absolute dream job, just because I get to hang out with people like you who know all kinds of amazing experts."

"Yeah, my gamma ray guy is the top of his field too," Tony said with a wink.

Bruce blushed. "Oh, go on," he said.

"No, seriously, I only hire the best," Tony said. "I may be a genius, but it's a lot more work to pull ideas out of my ass all by myself. It's easier and more fun when I have other geniuses to help. Then it's possible to deliver multiple miracles at once." A twist of his wrist sent the hologram dancing around the room.

Bruce followed it with his gaze, then said abruptly, "You could do it."

"Do what?" Tony said. "Miracles on order, science bro, but you gotta fill out the request form first."

"You could bring back Schrodinger's Heroes," Bruce said. "You've got the money, you could leverage the rights --"

Tony shook his head. "Yeah, no, Pepper's got a point about the time lapse."

"But that's exactly what I mean!" Bruce said, his voice scaling up. He grabbed the hologram and dragged it back to Tony. "Look at this thing, this thing is brilliant. Remember Gollum in The Lord of the Rings? Gollum wasn't just a CGI cartoon, he was a -- a digital costume. You could do something like that, only better, replicate images of the actors as they were at the time of the show, along with their voices, then use those to act out the unscripted episodes. You're Tony Stark and you have Stacy Anderson working for you. You could do this. You could bring back the show."

"It's crazy ..." Tony said, but slowly, his mind turning the idea over and over.

"You could make like a kazillion bucks from that kind of program," Clint said. "The competition is pathetic. Remember that piece of crap paint program that Steve was fighting with before you wrote him one that actually works? Just imagine what you could do with that in 3D. You never watch CGI animation without dissing the quality. People would throw money at you for a digital costume program."

Tony shrugged. "I don't really need more money."

"Tony!" Pepper said. "We've talked about this. Don't blow off opportunities."

"So write it and give it away for free," Clint said with a shrug, ignoring Pepper. (Clint lived with Natasha. It gave him a nonstandard risk assessment.) "That would be heroic, from an artist's perspective. Steve would probably love you for it."

Pepper tapped her stylus against the notepad computer that rarely left her grasp. "Hm, no, you're onto something, Clint. If we released the main program for free, it would attract a lot of users fast. Then we could capitalize on that and sell expansions, upgrades, additional actor images ..." She took notes rapidly. "A big bottleneck in programming is man hours, because experts are so expensive. But we're talking about Tony and Stacy here -- they code at blinding speed."

"Plus fandom would pretty much worship at your feet, Tony. The PR benefit would be tremendous," Phil pointed out. "We need all the help we can get there."

"This could work," Pepper declared. She looked up at Tony. "The only question is, could you actually develop a digital costume program powerful enough to shoot the unscripted episodes and make them indistinguishable from the originals?"

Tony chuffed at her. "Piece of cake," he said.


[To be concluded in Part 5 ...]

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-19 06:29 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Okay, I have to admit my first thought is, what are the actors going to think about this? I think you'd need to have something really gnarly in the program's User Agreement regarding using other people's images without permission, or Hollywood is never going to hire another warm body again.

OTOH, it would certainly be ideal for a lot of other series too. Imagine someone actually getting the rights to produce My Enemy, My Ally as a movie! With all the original actors, even though some of them are now dead and the others are Getting Up There.

Re: Well...

Date: 2012-12-20 01:04 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
FYI, what you call the "creep zone effect" is generally referred to as the Uncanny Valley.

talent not included

Ah, that makes sense. I was just thinking about a story I read in which real-actor CGI and its effects on the Hollywood film-making industry were central to the plot. Can't offhand recall the title or where I saw it, but it was about 10 years ago that I read it, and the story itself might have been older.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-19 11:30 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Uhhh.... I think the Avengers might have just come up with a way to kill Hollywood there.

Think about it, it's a computer program that anyone can use, with digital actors [and I presume all the other stuff included.] It's basically a film studio in a box, giving one person complete artistic control and no need for crews.

And they're going to give it away for free.

Now imagine what all those fan-film makers are going to do with that.
I'd give it five, maybe six years after it's creation, and the whole industry will be digital based and largely fan-made. Hollywood wouldn't be able to compete with the flood of cheap, high quality films and tv series. [although the IP battles would be something fierce!]

We really could do with something like this in the real world...luckily, we're getting there.
Edited Date: 2012-12-19 11:35 am (UTC)

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2012-12-20 01:09 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I don't think the whole industry would go digital, although a majority of it might. Some people would always remain attached to the older medium.

Hmmm... A lot of that depends on ratios. Would the number of people who remain attached to the older medium be closer to the number who still want hard-copy books, or the number who still want vinyl LPs? Would new live-actor movies continue to be released, or would the whole field become a vintage-only niche market?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-05 07:36 pm (UTC)
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
From this direction a couple of years later, I'd note the MLP fandom has been doing some interesting things with SFM (the Source Filmmaker), a free software suite from Valve for doing CG animation. It was the tool Valve used to make animatics for several of their games, released in beta form to the public.

And as mentioned elsewhere in this thread, yeah. You can provide everything but the talent and still get awkward crap... but add a bit of genius and you get floods of awesome pouring out.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-19 11:34 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Oh, and Eeee! Firefly series two! [*grins*]

Seriously though, that shows what happens when you bounce ideas around, because Tony Stark, super-genius, hadn't thought of that application of his technology.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2012-12-21 02:38 am (UTC)
thnidu: A shield-shaped hunk of watermelon rind, with bits carved away to make 2 staring eyes and a mouth. By bensanaz (melonhead)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
And of course, talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.

I *like* that aphorism!

"Uncanny abyss" is what I've heard it called. Of course, as it, uh, creeps out of jargon and into popular use its form mutates.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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