INTERVIEW: Q&A With The Director Of STREET FIGHTER RESURRECTION Joey Ansah With An Episode 1 Preview!

In a recent Q&A with CBM, Street Fighter Resurrection Director Joey Ansah answered a few questions about the four episode series, which is now available. Hit the jump and check it out!


This long-awaited and highly anticipated program is Machinima's first series to air exclusively on go90 and is now available by downloading it. Download here!

In the first of four interviews Joey Ansah (The Bourne Ultimatum, Snow White and the Huntsman) the Director of the four episode series tackles a series of questions. read on to see what he had to say!

How did you get involved in the Street Fighter franchise in the first place?

Well, let me tell you something, that all started about six years ago. Not long after the Bourne Ultimatum the legend of Chung Li came out (the second street fighter feature film) and it wasn't for me. The way feature films are made these days you won't get something that true to the property except for possibly the idea. To make such a film you need someone who loves the property, says we need to make the film and know exactly how we they are going to do it. Most of these films are designed to piss you off. Everything you love about the property they've omitted and you are like how is this possible? Yet, it happens anyway.

So, having seen the Legend of Chung Lee I was like "someone needs to do something about this and it's going to be me." I put together a pitch, sent it to Capcom and they came back and said they didn't have enough money to invest in a full series, but they did have Street Fighter IV coming out, so they were like you can get some money from marketing, so I pitched marketing and they took a chance. They liked my pitch and that’s how Street Fight Legacy was born, which was a YouTube three minute, high end YouTube short, which has about 10 million views. That video was something I could get down with and they actually move like they do in the game!

The plan was to do a full feature length series from the get go and Legacy was a means to an end to accomplish that. So after three years of wrangling with Capcom to get the rights and raise the money, we got Assassin's fist in to production. We figured the story of Ryu and Ken had to be told first; they are the heart of Street Fighter. Telling the story of where everyone comes from and what is their style and so forth... now if you've seen Assassin's Fist you will know that it isn't a conventionally paced popcorn movie. Its pace is that of an older type Japanese feature film than a modern Hollywood film. The fact that the half of the film is in Japanese would be a massive no-no. There are a lot of people who say "you will never sell this, Americans don't like reading sub-titles" and I'm just like "F*** off, don't speak for people and say they don't like reading this stuff." The original Crouching Tiger grossed way more that the any other version.

You want the essence of the culture and you never get that if it’s dubbed. The Street Fighter fans will love and appreciate the Japanese culture and will dive head first into it and anyone who thinks otherwise is a moron. Assassin's Fist on Amazon has a 5 (4 1/2 actually, but still has great reviews) star coverage reviews. There is a real hardcore following of Assassin's Fist and people go as far as to say "I never thought in my lifetime that I would see this realized." Assassins Fist was a story that needed to be told in that way and although it is not the most commercially palatable film out there in terms of pace. I could have added more characters, fight scenes etc., but it would be far less sincere than a piece of art.

It wouldn't have captured the essence of what Street Fighter is about, so I needed to get that out of the way and do it. Sure as people continue to discover Assassin's Fist they'll appreciate that, however, Street Fighter Resurrection is far more modern. We unfortunately live in this ADD sort of generation where unless stuff is always at a back breaking sort of pace, people think it won't sell. As a result that really affects you telling a story in the artistic way it needs to be told. Assassin’s Fist is not filmed for the sake of being artistic, it is just the way the story needed to be told. Something like Street Fighter: World War, which is a direct follow up to Assassin’s Fist, is much more international and has a quicker pace that is aligned with the virtue of the narrative of Hollywood. Street Fighter Resurrection is a prologue to the Street Fighter V the video game and is something that I chose to tackle as something that we can pull together six months from inception to going on screen. I thought Street Fighter V is coming out and there is still a bunch of mystery that is going on between Street Fighter IV and V. Let me plug that gap with the return of Charlie Nash. There is some really interesting stuff to explore here. It would be a great challenge to take Ryu and Ken from Assassin's Fist, age them by 10 years and put them in the modern contemporary technological world and see how that works.

Where there any challenges in filming Street Fighter Resurrection and filling in the gaps between games in such sort of a period?

In comparison Assassin's Fist, I started developing that right after legacy. So it was about 3 years before we started filming so that was a long time to monitor the film and edit the script etc. Resurrection was just a quicker pace and I had to come up with treatment and mold the script, cast it and get it into shape. It was a very quick turnaround, of course I learned from the Assassin's Fist process so my film-making knowledge and skills are always increasing. There are challenges and Resurrection has about 36 minutes of total content and has 4x9 minute episodes. Resurrection has five or six iconic and recognizable characters in it. That’s more than assassin's fist, so to do those characters justice in their unique fighting styles, costumes, hair and make-up in a short space of a time was a great challenge for sure.

Did you have to work with Capcom in terms of script and developement?

Like any corporation they can be difficult to work with and different structures throughout the world it is tough to navigate, but I've been working with them for years and have developed trust with them. In a recent meeting in London they were like,

"We completely trust you; you don't need our approval now. In fact we don't want it to be spoiled by reading the script or seeing early cuts of episodes. It will spoil the experience of enjoying it as a fan.”

It is really nice that they trust me. I want to stick to the cannon and it is never my intention to go away from that. I always try to remain as faithful as possible and I will only modify the cannon if I think that part of the cannon is being poorly thought through or nonsensically written if that makes sense. Capcom knows I really respect the brand and would never try and go off piece deliberately. They were like great and everything was really easy in terms of creating. It’s really easy with Capcom.

What was your favorite scene in shooting the series?

Let’s put it this way there is an epilogue to this series, which will make Street Fighter Fans absolutely go crazy, but I cannot spoil it. Even me, the fanboy in me seeing this come to life was like "Oh my hell, this is f***ing cool!" There is a fight between Ryu, Nash and Ken which is really epic. Just seeing street fighter characters literally in front of you doing their thing, going full boar... there is nothing quite like it being live. With all the many scenes in the series with fireballs etc, there isn't anything quite like it. Even as the director and though I’m in the universe, I still almost have to pinch myself seeing these characters in their costumes doing all their moves and fighting. There isn’t anything quite like it.

How do you think fans will react to the Street Fighter Resurrection?

I think people are a bit confused because about a year ago we announced that World Warrior was in pre-pre-production, the direct follow up to Assassin's Fist. Suddenly Resurrection is being announced and everyone is like hang on, is this instead of World Warrior why are you jumping ten years ahead? We are doing World Warrior, but it may take another year before that is ready to be seen. I thing because Assassin's Fist set in the 80's in the very fantasized world in a Japanese forest, suddenly seeing Ryu, Ken and Nash in a modern setup is a bit jarring to some people. When they watch the series and settle into it they will love this new environment they will like it. I think we've pushed it to another level in filming. I hope the fans love it. I think there is a lot in there that will be difficult not to like. I always enjoy sparring with the trolls, but overall people will love it.

In Resurrection, heroes Ken and Ryu are reunited to face an ominous new threat. Charlie Nash is back, and targeting legendary Street Fighter champions in a mysterious mission. After a violent confrontation with Nash, Ryu and Ken must uncover his lethal plan and find out if he is friend or foe.  As events speed toward a showdown in London with the resurgent Shadaloo cartel, covert forces battle for global supremacy with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. 


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