The Ferry Man
“The Ferry Man” is a mysterious web drama produced by Beijing Iqiyi Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing Perfect Jianxin Film and Television Culture Co., Ltd., etc., with Guo Jingyu as the artistic director. It starsDu Ruoxi, Chen Jie, Liu Yihan, Xuan Lu, Yang Zi and Qiao Shan.
“The Ferry Man” series is divided into three seasons, and all were broadcast on iQiyi on February 2014, October 2015 and November 2016.
On April 2013, the production of the first season of “The Ferry Man” started and the production officially wrapped up after three months of shooting. The show uses scenes of daily living making it as relatable as possible and thus making it feel extra terrifying for the audience as well. Convenience stores were created as soul stations in the play, with ghosts floating from time to time. Director Guo Jingyu cleverly uses the static and dynamic contrast method, accompanied by sound effects, lights and scenery, and the exquisite “ghost makeup” of the characters.
On October 2014, the production of the second season of “The Ferryman” started in Shandong. On March 2015, the production formally wrapped up in Haiyang after 129 days of filming. The investment in the first quarter of this drama was about 7 million yuan, and it doubled in the second quarter.
The “The Ferryman” series of web dramas tells the story of the yin and yang “distinctive eye” boy and the soul ferryman Zhao Li:
A long time ago, there was no underworld and the sky was different from how it looks like now. At that time, the sky was hanging in the clouds. It also has a name called “Kunlun”. Human beings are created by God, and everyone is God’s children. The heavenly daughter of Kunlun Mountain comes to earth. Goddess of heaven is the messenger of God. In humans, however, there is a mental disease known as love. Because of love, the first war was waged between humans and the gods.
Xia Dongqing, 24-year-old is a typical orphan who lives and rents a shabby basement. He is extremely reticent and has no friends because he grew up in an orphanage. Dong Qing has a pair of special eyes. He can see spirits and has the ability to communicate with them. This special “power” brings him much trouble. One day, he finds a job at a 24 hours convenience store called “444 Convenience Store” as a night shift shop assistant. This convenience store is in fact a “soul station”. The Soul Ferryman Official Zhao has been stationed there alone for the past 500 years. By day, humans frequent the store. By night, all kinds of spirits haunt. Dead souls depart from here to the netherworld but there are some who refuses to leave as they are still holding on to unfulfilled wishes.
With these eyes, he has seen the love, sorrow, pursuit and longing of the world. Because of these eyes, he meets Zhao Li and the beautiful and kind girl Wang Xiaoya in Convenience Store No. 444. He almost falls in love with her. Xia Dongqing becomes Zhao Li’s co-owner, and he wis destined to help him send away 991 souls.
However, one day, Zhao Li and Wang Xiaoya disappear from Xia Dongqing’s life at the same time.
One year later, he is admitted to a graduate school. No one knows his secrets, and no one knew his special eyes. Holly can no longer find the “soul station” convenience store anymore and it seems that it has never existed in the world. No one knows the college girl named Wang Xiaoya, and no ghost had seen the soul ferry man named Zhao Li.
But Zhao Li’s parting words still ring in his ears, “When the moon turns red, I will come back to you.” On the day the moon turns red, Zhao Li did not return, but Wang Xiaoya shows up instead. At this time, Zhao Li is severely injured and was lying unconscious in a mental hospital. Wang Xiaoya and Xia Dongqing rescues Zhao Li who is imprisoned by evil spirits and the three of them are united.
Xiaoya falls in love with Xia Dongqing, but this is contrary to the mission entrusted to her by Heaven. As the ghost who ferries the soul, Zhao Li seems to be godlike, but his biggest pain is that he does not have a soul of his own and cannot feel the joy and anger as Xia Dongqing feels.
Zhao Li buys a villa by the sea, so the strange journey of laughter and tears begins again and we will explore the mysteries of the yin and yang together and pursue the source of the universe…
Screenwriter Xiao Jixiang Tian said that the original intention of making this work was to try to pass on the positive energy to everyone through the analysis of human nature and the ponderings of life and death while telling interesting stories. Unlike the fast-moving Internet dramas that are purely to cater to the market, “The Ferryman” abandons the temperament of the internet, and through sophisticated production, it allows netizens to watch and feel mankind’s kindness and trigger their thoughts about life.
With high-quality content, the web series has obtained extremely high viewership. It’s total traffic in the third quarter exceeded 5 billion, Douban scores were above 8.0, and the third quarter was even higher. “The Ferry Man” exceeded 400 million viewership in 4 weeks and became a hot search topic on the net; it has proudly achieved an overall of 2 billion viewership;
Although the “The Ferry Man” series has been completed, its industry chain continues by creating mobile games, VR and movies.
The online movie ” The Ferry Man · Huangquan”, which was released in 2018 was highly anticipated by fans.
This series is a rare work that takes root in social reality in the field of online drama. It shows humanity through spiritual stories, conveys love and hope, and values the pursuit of punishing evil and promoting good.
Web Drama “The Ferry Man” Series Review
“The Ferry Man 3” is not a simply horror/thriller drama series. Xiao Ji Xiang Tian strike a very well balance between “thriller” and “positive energy”. Most of the stories in the series, he included ingenious suspense and plot twists which always ends in a positive way. Incorporating the “American Horror Story” style with local adaptation, viewers will not be left a sense of abruptness.” – Chang Jiang Weekly
“Through the “Man On The Road” episode, it showcases that the underworld also experienced the same issues as the living world. At the same time, it conveys the positive message of working hard to increase one’s standard of living.” -163.com
“The script writer tried to use the theme of “Picture of a Nymph” to wake up the mankind who are entangled in inertia. In this drama, the scriptwriter will showcase the “Seven Sins” of humans through various episodes, which is endowed with morals, making viewers to reflect on their own behavior.” -163.com
“The story of the twins will show the realistic problems of growing up. From the society’s perspective, “The Ferry Man’ may be a horror/thriller film, but it will show the unique perspective of the society through the 19 various stories, leading to a deeper discussion, not losing to any other similar genre dramas.” – 163.com
“The 19 episodes series incorporated the most popular topics, from ancient times to modern times, from friendship to family affection to love. Using ghost stories to story tell human stories, every story will have a different perspectives, making audiences to reflect deeply. The scriptwriter is extremely creative as he integrates all kinds of emotions into one big pot of delicious stew.” -163.com
“In the 20 episodes series, “The Ferry Man” made a breakthrough in the traditional mindset by using unprecedented themes such as “Lust, Caution”, to reflect human’s greed and evil. Such stories do reflect social phenomenon which has strong social meaning and set people to thinking deeply.” – iFeng
“In comparison to “The Ferry Man”, the season two went further in material selection.