Please tell us what inspired you to enter into the world of films?
I’ve got many reasons for falling in to the world of film, the most practical reason among them is 'expression through image'. I started drawing when I was little and painting and designing have become my hobby and specialty. I think I naturally reached the movie after all. I can't say I'm better than others, but it's the only thing I'm good at.
How do you choose your star cast?
At first, we posted an audition announcement. Nearly 500 people applied, of which about 30 auditioned for in-person last year. Among them, actor Yun-jee Kim, who was handed over our script from agency, also auditioned. Yoon-jee was a popular idol singer in the past, so I wondered if she would suit our film well. But the moment I first saw her acting face-to-face, ‘she was the person’ that's what I thought. She is attractive and good at acting, and especially her emotions matched me well.
Actor Min-yeop Kim is the representative of the production company that co-produced this film. There was nothing to say about the acting. The male protagonist was quickly decided and I developed the character with Min-yeop since very first version of script.
Do you think taking an audition is the best way to cast for a movie or documentary?
I think it can be good or bad depending on the case. It may be an audition of probability to choose a good actor among many actors. Alternatively, it may be a time to solidify my resolution for the actor I chose while conducting the audition.
Who are your filmmaking influences?
My favorite director changes frequently, including Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson, Joon-ho Bong, etc. While preparing for this film, the most influenced works were Wong Kar-wai's <Days of Being Wild> and <In The Mood For Love>. And I homage a scene from Chan-wook Park 's movie <Old Boy> in the main character's shot in the introduction of my film.(picture 03) In <Old Boy>, Dae-soo Oh was released after being trapped for 15 years; the impressive close-up shot with a cat eye sunglasses were whimsical in the scene. I was thinking It fitted well with the main character's feelings.
How do you choose a script that you are going to direct?
I write a script for directing. When I write the script for the first time, of course, the plot is fixed, the words are mainly image-oriented scenes. And then I supplement the stories. I usually listen to a lot of advice from people around me. Especially, I discuss a lot with the producer. Our producer, Min-seok, we've known for nearly 20 years and he knows very well what I like and want to do. It is so helpful for working together.
What are your goals when you make a film?
Harmonising all elements in one concept. My goal is to create one and only universe by combining camera, lighting, production design, music, and sound- everything about directing. Most importantly, there should be a unique expression that only this movie can have.
What role does music play in a movie?
Music makes us forget the time of film. Chronological time in film. Sometimes our real-time 1 second could be 10 minutes in the film. It doesn’t matter how long it takes during what we see. Their relationship doesn't have to be logical all the time. However, the audience should not be aware of between the times. Music can do. And other functions of film music, like strengthening emotions, are left to the composer. It's not something that can be explained in words. Our composer, Yong-jin Jang, we have been together three films and did everything about music on his own. It's not a part where we can discuss a lot, so I think trust seems to be important in this part.
How do you ensure that production is on schedule?
It may be a very simple idea; I give up what I can't. If something is not ready for the deadline on my own(not official with the staffs), I change it to Plan B quickly. So my plans are A, B, C, A-1, B-1, C-1... as much as I can prepare for the number of such cases. It seems that thinking about multiple plans are effective in lowering anxiety. It also causes sometimes the better directing, too. Due to COVID-19 regulations in Korea, the location of this film could not be set until just before shooting. It was an irresistible part, so I boldly deleted about two scenes. Instead, I replaced it with animation, but I'm very little satisfied. I drew it.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
I am working on next project, a full-length film with the staff I worked with. Last three short films were made while attending a film school. I can say that they were experimental, but this film will be different.