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Street Fighter:Assassin's Fist - Lessons Learned

Discussion concerning the TV, film, and comic adaptations.
Street Fighter:Assassin's Fist - Lessons Learned
Post by Phalanx   » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:49 am

Phalanx
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So I saw Hutch's thread, and I thought that comparing ANY Big Budget Hollywood Movie to the Planned Honor Film is not just comparing Apples and Oranges, its comparing an Apple and a Red Honda Civic.

Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist is a live-action web series(Set to release on DVD/Blu-Ray in the US later this month) based on the Street Fighter Video Games. In my opinion, it is BEST movie produced for the Street Fighter IP.

Lesson 1:Keep A-listers to a Minimum
We all know movies that touted the fact that they crammed A-list celebs into nearly every single role is more suited for a TV charity special than a series attempt to tell a story.

Give a audiences a chance to judge the performance of the actors as they portray the roles.

Using SF:AF as an example here, people complained about the fact that the story was going to be a prequel, focus only on Ryu and Ken, and that the Ryu actor was too short.

Very few of the cast are well-known, and NONE are A-listers. This gave the series a chance to sink or sink on its own merits.

Lesson 2:Respect the IP, but explain when,how and why certain changes must be made.
Not everyone was happy with the decision to not only have the story be a prequel, but also include flashbacks. We have ALL seen BADLY executed flashback sequences in TV and movies, and so some were concerned about the quality of the story.

The explanation offered is that the SF:AF staff wanted to write an acceptable backstory for the core characters Street Fighter before moving on to the more fantastic elements and expanded roster of characters.

No Bison? No Guile?No Chun-li?

Could this thing be good?

Lesson 3:Offer something to those who know little or nothing about the IP without alienating those who do
Herein lies the rub, because most people to whom Assassin's Fist was marketed knew something about Street Fighter(even as little as "Ken is the guy who wears red and Ryu is the guy who wears white").

This is the same as "making them care" that hutch points out on his thread about Guardians of the Galaxy. Although, I would point out that Assassin's Fist does this MUCH better than Guardians. Even in the trailer for GotG, I was left with questions like "If is from Earth, how did he get into space? Is it the future?". I understand the whole point of those trailers was to get you to ask those questions and then go see the movie.

This strategy WILL NOT work for Honor(and SHOULD NOT in my opinion), and should focus on the characters AND the setting. SF:AF does a better job of explaining who these people are, and why you should care about them.

Evergreen, unless I am mistaken, won't have a Marvel Studios level of money to promote this movie, so every ad and trailer will have to count. This will be more than "differentiation", but creating interest in the setting and characters.

This also goes for continued sales of the books. Those of us who bought SITS(Saganami Island Tactical Simulator) remember that it included a disk with most of the Honorverse books that had been written up to that point(and then putting it aside because you said "I already have all of these books" :lol: ). What if a Disk conmtaining Basilisk Station and Honor of the Queen were added to every DVD/BluRay copy of the movie?

I know that is waaay down the road, but please spare us from the "Movie Poster" syndrome of other Books-into-Movies("I,Robot 'now a major motion picture' :roll: ")

Assassin's Fist focused on the fact that it was presenting the backstory of the most popular characters of the IP, Ryu and Ken.

Answer the question:Why should someone who know nothing about the Honorverse watch the movie? What sets your movie apart? The answer both the Honor fanbase and the Moviegoing public will BOTh accept MAY be different than the answer you give(or gave) at the pitch meeting.Average people don't speak Hollywood.

Another caveat is DO NOT remove elements SIMPLY because they are "too complex". This is a WEAK excuse and only angers established fans of the IP, because you get accused of "dumbing it down". IF an element needs to be removed or diminished, it should because the story can be told without it.Weber, for example, mentioned that characters may need to combined so the cast is not so huge. In this case, the fans would accept a combination that does not have us asking "Did Rafe Cardones and Harkness do the Fusion Dance from Dragonball GT?".


Lesson 4:Avoid Suggestions from those who want to change it into something else
Assassin's Fist started out as crowdfounded, and stayed that way until they found a backer who would let them tell the story they way they saw fit without "Hollowoodizing" the IP(Poor Street Fight has had this done to it not once, but twice).

What does listening to Social Justice Warriors, Media Consultants, and Market Strategists while ignoring those who understand the mythos of the IP get you?

It gets you Street Fighter:Legend of Chun-li :cry:.

Lesson 5:Honor should be played by an Unknown.
I know this seems like point 1, but it really isn't.

If I said, "Do you know Mike Moh?". Unless you have seen Assassin's Fist, you are likely not know him right off the bat. This gives you a chance to judge him on the way he portrays Ryu and whether he is faithful to the character as created. This too will be a metric by which the success of the Honor movie is judged.

The first question people should ask when the Honor actress is announced is "WHO", not "Wasn't she in Walking Dead last season?".

This is the launch of Film IP, and should sink or swim not on how much people love an actor or actress overall, but the movie itself. It should make people willing and ready for a Sequel.

For this to work, Honor needs to be portrayed by someone who is unknown.Furthermore, Honor needs to be the LAST main cast member to be announced before the first teaser trailer is released.

Because of public response, Street Fighter:Assassin's Fist has gotten a second season, World Warrior.

Lesson 6:An Orginal Soundtrack(or at least a score)
This is where GotG fails for me. It was fun and entertaining, but the fact the music was basically songs I can hear on iheartradio whenever I wish did nothing for me.

The song "Hooked on a Feeling" and the other music from the Soundtrack did more than the original soundtrack, not just because of its use as a plot device, but because it did a better job of creating the ambiance and was more memorable.

The GotG original soundtrack(NOT the "Awesome Mix") is the usual boring, and uninspired mood music that plays at crucial scenes, but is in no way memorable(Go ahead. Try humming it in your head right now.). Marvel has been capable of producing better soundtracks. The Avengers theme was good, for example.

Assassin's Fist did sort of the same strategy of music as plot device as Guardians, but the execution was better. Ken's theme and Ryu's theme are both well-known among street fighter fans and have received MANY treatments over the years. What set Assassin's Fist apart was that the most memorable song was the original theme(the one that is likely to be playing on the DVD menu). The song captures the nature of the story in a way that is more "ear food"(a John Williams or Jeffrey Goldsmith Score) than "eye candy"(score for a Michael Bay movie).

Consider how after all these years the thing most people associate with Mortal Kombat is the techno score, a score which was created for the movie only.

If Honor is going to be in theatres, then we need to have people leaving the box office not just talking about "Man that awesome, when are they making the next one?" , but humming the score.

I despise Celine Dion's "My Heart will go On"(sappy nonsense). James Cameron(the Director of Titanic), however, was smiling all the way to the bank(a friend of mine saw Titanic four times AND bought the soundtrack).

Lesson 6:Getting to know you, getting to like you.

Evergreen is to be applauded here for communication with the communication. They already have OUR money, and are still interested in hearing our opinions and responses to anything they announce.

We all know they already have our money(seriously, has anyone already decided that they WILL NOT see it?)and yet they listen.

You do care. :D

What Street Fighter:Assassin's Fist did was host multiple Q+A's leading up to the release of the trailer. I was impressed by how much they knew about the mythos of Street Fighter and the information they were giving us about the movie.

So utilize social media like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and(God help you) Reddit to engage the community and anyone interested in the movie.
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