Ever since Fearchaser hit the scene in 2009/2010 it sparked a lot of interest worldwide. So much so it was turned into an online game on Adventure Quest Worlds http://www.AQW.com and 25 million out of 100 million subcribers worldwide played and enjoyed the game. The idea of a superhero who can see and fight your fears is unique indeed and seems to have captured the imagination of many around the world. Now it has spawned into a full length film that is supposed to start production sometime next year. Today Ayi Jihu is launching what she calls a conceptual teaser of FearChaser to show the world it’s progression from it’s start in 2009 to now. The new Teaser can be seen on www.fearchaser.com. Most people seem to get the idea of FearChaser but some don’t. We love it, but is Ayi Jihu’s FearChaser the next big thing, or is it just another superhero movie cashing in on the public’s obsession with capes, masks and all things Marvel and DC? We caught up with the lady of the moment Ayi Jihu and asked her that exact same question. What makes FearChaser so special?
To me there are many things which make FearChaser a little special. I think everyone on one level or another can relate to being afraid of something no matter who they are and therefore everyone can relate to Fearchaser in a way that is different to other superheros like Batman or the hulk. I mean imagine right now I am afraid nervous and perhaps even afraid about this interview. If you were Fearchaser you could see the Fear Demons that are making my fear worse, feeding my fear. Making me sweat more, feeding of my fears and making me perhaps mess up causing me stress. I think that is a cool concept and that is what FearChaser is about at it’s simplest level. A lot of people relate to this in a kind of ‘Medium’ or ‘6th sense’ way. I also like to explain it like the devil and angel on your shoulders in those old Tom and Jerry cartoons, one telling you to do this, the other telling you to do that.
One of the other things that makes FearChaser unique is the look and feel we wish to create. We wanted to create a different type of superhero a cultural hero and we are experimenting with the idea of animation and live action with photography in some parts. We had native fashion designer Angela Demontigny create the new FearChaser look which we love. It has elements of my Yi Chinese culture, african culture, strong Native American influences also. It’s not like any superhero outfit I have ever seen before. I know some won’t get it at first, because they are used to black latex or that type of thing. When most people are making heros that are looking more futuristic we have gone for a more retro look, but that is what FearChaser is all about. We are not afraid to be different and go against the norm.
The third thing which makes FearChaser special and this does not really come out in the Teaser or any of the trailers, Is how she goes about doing what she does. Yes there is a lot of punching, kicking etc but there is also a lot of drama in Fearchaser. In order for Fearchaser to be successful she must first conquer her own fears and she must also help others (mankind) do the same. It is not enough for her to just beat everybody up. That is just one part of the process. As a superhero FearChaser is mix between Batman and Superman (power wise). leaning more towards a Batman with some special abilities and powers that are taken from every culture of humanity. She has an African warrior princess, a Native American warrior, an Indian Warrior and a A Chinese and European Warrior within her. She is more in tune with nature and she is still really only human. She is a kind of mix and match of cultures and abilities from all around the world. Something she has to learn to master and control if she is going to succeed, As the warriors within her won’t always agree. This mirrors the world we all live in and how we all have different skills and abilities but very rarely seem to successfully work together. FearChaser has to overcome this problem within herself to harness the full potential of her abilities. It is truly developing into a wonderful story and FearChaser is a fantastic character.
We read that FearChaser is based on you. Is that true?
In a strange way, yes. The whole idea of FearChaser started from my managers observation of me that I seem to run towards the things that I am afraid of instead of runnig away. He said to me ‘you seem to chase your fears Ayi’. My career has always been filled with fearful things for me. Trying to crossover, doing it independently, doing a lot of the things I have done and I am doing now. Most people think I am either mad or fearless. I would say I am closer to be being mad than fearless. Anyway that’s where FearChaser came from and in the film I am kinda playing myself. The story of FearChaser is as much about my journey in this business and in life as it is about Demons and Angels and epic battles. It’s a crazy fusion of fact and fiction and I can tell you the writers who are working on it now have their hands full because it’s a very new concept and has many levels for them to take into consideration. I am not sure how they are going to make sense of it all really but these people, that is all they do and they know what they are doing. I am just excited about the final result, but we still have soooo much to do before we are there, Making films on this level is long.
Because FearChaser is very much linked to my own experiences it has allowed me to take the FearChaser theme into schools around the world and apply it my anti-bullying and cyber-bullying campaign. I use myself (Fearchaser) as an example of what one can achieve when you fight your fears and don’t give into them. It really works, the kids get from on all ages. The young ones to the teenagers all seem to relate and because I am able to tell my own story they believe in my message. I am able to reach them. I try to explain to them that even now I am being bullied. When newspapers, blogs and even people on Facebook or other places just call you this or that, say stuff about you without knowing you or that is not true, judge you or put you down it feels the same as being bullied in school. In fact to me it is the same. It does not seem to matter what good you do or how many positive things you do, there are always people who want to tear you down and they now have the internet to do it. I try to explain to the kids that even when they finish school bullying still continues in the workplace, at social events in life on the internet, so the have to figure out a way of dealing with it now at school. I try to help them see and understand that fear makes one bully and the real strong person the real cool person is not the bully, but the one who chooses not to bully. I also try to show them they must develop a thick skin because the world is not going to change overnight. School is a training ground for life in many ways.
What are you hoping to achieve with this new teaser?
We have many followers all over the world. Many came from the game, but others have just got interested in the whole FearChaser concept and want to watch it develop. The teaser was really about giving our fans and the world a cool update on how we are developing FearChaser, the look and the feel of it. It was about showing the new outfit created by Angela DeMontigny. It was great fun but so much hard work. I’m not sure people understand how much work goes into a few seconds on these things. I would like people to watch it and be infused by it and see what we are trying to create. I would like people to get involved share their ideas. Of course I would love people to like it too. However I would like them to watch it and understand this is not the final product, but a glimpse into what will be.
What scares you about FearChaser?
Me! There are so many people involved in this, so much work has been done and a lot of things are riding on me. I am very scared to be honest but I will fight it and do what I have to do. I only just finished shooting my first real acting role, in ‘I believe in monsters‘ Short film. Prior to this I have not done much acting and now I have several movies coming up and I have to lead the way in FearChaser. It’s really scary. People keep telling me i’m a natural. My manager says I was born to be in front of the camera he says I am a born actress. He and others believe in me and it is because I believe in them and trust them that I can even do this because no one wants to make a fool of themselves. Chinese people in particular do not like to ‘lose face’.
Do you think FearChaser could be the next big thing in films, like harry potter or Twilight?
I think it has all the elements to be as big a franchise as those types of movies, but we have to get it right and you need to get the best people doing the right things at the right time. It all starts with the writing and the story and goes from there and that is what we are working on at this time. We have some amazing minds on this and great creatives. It seems everyone is a believer. I think something special will come out of all of this, I really do. Just working on the Teaser in Canada told me how much more you can achieve when people really feel something. I had such a great time shooting it but it was very tough. I had to learn quite a few things in a short space of time. I loved working with crazy Tom Comet and Bex Carney from Circus orange and the whole team. It was an amazing experience.
What happens next?
We keep moving forward developing FearChaser, making it better getting all the pieces in place and building the team. The plan is to start production in late 2014 and everyone is working very had to meet that deadline. As you know FearChaser is just one of many things I am doing and for me the future is work, work, work. I have two songs and videos to release before the end of the year which I am really excited about. I have a couple of film projects that are also on the table, loads of work for my charities and lots of work with brands I am working with including Young Native Fashion. There are some seriously interesting projects that are on the table also, but I do not want to talk about them until they are fully confirmed. I would suggest people keep one eye on me because I have a lot of interesting things going down over the next few months along with FearChaser moving forward.
How do you think China or the Chinese will view fearchaser?
You know I have no idea, but I think they will like it. As i said before fear is universal and I am Chinese and I feel if they see me doing well they will get behind me. The Chinese people in China do not really know what to make of me right now. I don’t seem to follow any of the rules or fit into any of the usual boxes, so they just watch me to see what crazy thing I am going to do next. I know they are mostly proud of what I am doing or trying to do even if they do not understand it. I know in my region of China Sichuan I have great support and also from my Yi people. I don’t really think about it as much as some people may think. I am just too busy and I tend to see the world rather than just China or America or Europe. I just want people to get with what I am doing wherever they are.
Thank you Ayi
At Global News we like many others think Ayi Jihu’s FearChaser film, will be the next big thing and we are eagerly watching and waiting to see the final product.
For more information on FearChaser or to see the new concept teaser visit www.fearchaser.com.
For more information on Ayi Jihu visit her website www.Ayijihu.com
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FearChaser™ is a Shlepp Entertainment Ltd, TRI-US Entertainment Ltd and Blue Pearl Motion Picture production