Monday, October 5, 2009

The Story Behind Jaebeom’s Sky Banner

Hottests, the fans of ex-2PM leader Jay Park (Jaebeom), took an extraordinary leap in the world of fan dedication and loyalty on September 28 when they hired a plane to fly over Seattle with a sky banner asking, "J. WHAT TIME IS IT NOW?"

There has been a rush of mixed feedback but the question has remained in many people's minds: who started all this? It has now been revealed that Briar Francis, a 19 year old from Australia, came up with the idea of writing a message in the sky. Through lots of planning, help of many others and developments, the sky banner project was born. But if I'm correct and my elementary school simplified map doesn't lie, Australia is quite far from Seattle.... so how did Briar accomplish this? The mind behind the project tells all in the interview below.

Who conceptualized the project?

Briar: I came up with the idea first as sky writing, and contacted the 2OD forum to suggest it. But it was rejected, and I [thought] about it and agreed with the 2OD staff. At the time it was an unrealistic, disorganized group of thoughts. The sky writing wouldn’t last very long for the amount it would cost. I [searched] the internet and thought maybe a banner would be more interesting. By this time I’d gotten excited about it, so I made a Twitter page, emailed around for the best quote, and then left a post [on] Soompi and the 2OD forum again. The quote was around $2000 at first, but it increased to $2500 after suggested changes to the plan were taken into consideration. People were starting to get interested, and that’s when Tiffie heard about the project and contacted me to help. Tiffie is my angel; she seemed more enthusiastic than I was at times, and practically went door-knocking around her neighborhood to collect donations. I’d already donated 10% of the funds, and Tiffie had raised a whopping $1500 on her own. When we started getting donations so much bigger than a dollar, we laughed [together] for underestimating the generosity of Hottests around the world.

What was your GOAL/INTENTION? Why did you choose the words "J. What time is it now?" to write on the banner?

Briar: Ah, the important question. I’d always stated right from [the] get go that this was to support Jaebeom no matter what his decision was. If that was to stay in Seattle and start again there, no matter how heartbreaking it was, we would still respect that decision. [The project] was to show our love, nothing more. I wanted [the project] to be a neutral event that everyone could contribute to no matter what they believed – something that was positive, not placing any blame on anyone, but just making Jaebeom and the fans smile. We wanted it to be something like ‘Jaebeom, fighting’, but it quickly became obvious that this sort of message would only bring unnecessary attention and hurt his family. I came up with “What Time Is It Now?”, and later followers requested the “J.” at the beginning. We were strongly against the American media being involved; it was too close to Jaebeom. So we warned our followers that the American media was not to be contacted at any point in time.

What can you say about the POSITIVE support you've received?

Briar: There’s been so much of it. From people tweeting to us and thanking us for completing the project, to some saying [that] they cried when they saw the photos, to others actually going to the trouble of thanking Tiffie and I on every forum we’ve ever advertised on so that we [would] see their messages. It’s been overwhelming, and has really helped enforce our belief that it was right to continue on despite everything.

This is only a simplified version of the interview. Check out the full interview here.
Source: allkpop