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Korean Film News

Korean Film Commissions Support Domestic and Foreign Films

Feb 04, 2013
  • Writerby JI Yong-jin
  • View6981
Many Korean films are shot on location these days and quite a number of foreign productions are being shot in Korea as well. International co-production have become far more commonplace. Let’s take a look to see how Korean film commissions such as the Busan Film Commission and the Seoul Film Commission support the production of films.
 
Busan Film Commission Busan, the true mecca of film!
  
More and more films are rushing to Busan as the Busan Film Commission is leading the formation of the city as the ‘Mecca of Film.’
 

The number of audio-visual productions that visited Busan saw a sharp rise in 2012. Four foreign films and co-produced titles, including Hello Goodbye (Indonesia), Lemon (China), Destiny (Korean-Japanese co-production) and Snow Is on the Sea (Korean-Japanese co-production) were shot in Busan. This is a remarkable increase considering that only one film was shot there in 2011. Lemon is particularly meaningful as it is the first Chinese film to be shot in Busan.

Busan probably wouldn’t have become the ‘Mecca of Film’ if not for the Busan Film Commission. Film shooting activities started recovering in 2011 and finally got into good shape in 2012. The number of films that the Busan Film Commission supported in 2012 (feature length dramatic films shot in Busan) numbered 24, including The Neighbors, Deranged and Perfect Number. They also supported the productions of 37 other audio-visual works such as dramas. Hence, the sum of films and videos shot or produced in Busan totaled 61. Combined, these used up 689 shooting days. This is a slight increase from the 60 films shot for 660 days in 2011.

The Busan Cinema Studios also had a busy year. Eight feature dramatic films such as New World and AM 11:00 and two other videos including a drama were shot there during the year. It is also noteworthy that several promising films will be made in Busan. Kkangcheori starring YOO Ah-in and KIM Hae-sook and The Suspect starring GONG Yoo and PARK Hee-soon are currently in production there.
Digital Bay 3D Production Center actively induced shooting in Busan as well in 2012. They drew attention from filmmakers by introducing advance visualization systems and conducting workshops and technical education. Montage, starring UHM Jeong-hwa and KIM Sang-kyung, is currently being shot there.
  
   
Seoul Film CommissionForeign filmmakers head for Seoul
   
The Seoul Fim Commission successfully supported the shooting of 22 foreign films (including international co-productions) in Seoul by managing an effective incentive system.
 

The Seoul Film Commission introduced an incentive system in 2012. As a result, they supported 11 projects with their production costs and ten films with location scouting. Among the 11 supported projects were three dramatic films, four dramas, three documentaries and a TV show. Concerning nationality, four of them were co-produced and seven were foreign. Among the 11 projects, there were three Indonesian, two Malay, two Chinese, and on project each from America, Belgium, Singapore and Japan. These covered a variety of genres and spanned from On the Road starring JI Jin-hee and CHA Soo-yeon and a documentary zooming in on the harsh reality of the K-pop industry.

Location scouting was nearly as active as budget support. They provided tangible incentives such as air tickets, accommodation fees, location coordinators, car rental and so on to one or two members per production among dramatic films, documentaries and TV programs (TV movies, mini series, sitcoms and TV shows) with lengths of 60 minutes or longer. They also ran a location familiarization tour. From September 16th to 21st 2012, they invited 15 people related to film or drama from five South East Asian countries and showed them around the Seoul and Gyeonggi-do area. The visitors went to Insa-dong, Namsan, Digital Media City in Sangam-dong, Times Square at Yeongdeungpo, Cheonggyecheon, Gwanghwamun, Bukchon Hanok Village and Hongik University’s surroundings in Seoul and Nami Island and Petite France in Gyeonggi-do to experience Korean locations.

The familiarization tour was successful. A Malay version of ‘James Bond’ projected by the Malay producer Putera Hang JEBAT, is currently being developed for shooting in Seoul. The Indonesian script writers Hilman and Maruska are also considering making a TV drama in cooperation with Korea. The familiarization tour was also connected to domestic film festivals like the International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul and the EBS International Documentary Festival. The tour in Seoul was able to minimize costs by inviting producers and directors to these domestic film festivals.

A tour program, which was run separately from the location scouting, came out with positive results as well. This tour featured Laurence Inglee, a producer working in Hollywood, and two other producers, members of the Producers Guild of America, and brought them around Seoul to increase the possibilities for intensive and individual management of projects based in Seoul from a very early stage of planning and development.

Filmmaker’s Creative Zone, run by the Seoul Film Commission, also had a strong outcome. Filmmaker’s Creative Zone, which is divided into Director’s Zone, Producer’s Zone, Production Zone and Screen Writer’s Zone, came up with brilliant films in 2012. They released six features including Helpless, I Am the King and Almost Che, and 18 other films including The Huntresses, Han Princess and Talking Architect 2-City Hall  will soon be released. There are also ten films including Milk Boys, Montage and A Family Reunion currently in production.

The Seoul Film Commission drew domestic and foreign filmmakers’ interest to Seoul through their aggressive overseas businesses and successful management of the Filmmaker’s Creative Zone.
 
 
Major Local Film Commissions Shooting goes on 24/7
   
Besides the Busan Film Commission and the Seoul Film Commission, there are many other local film commissions actively supporting productions of films with locations and incentives. (in alphabetical order)
 
Cheongpung Film Commission Supported in 2012
About 50 short/feature films including South Bound, The Face Reader and Fist of Legend
To be supported in 2013 TBD
  
Daejeon Film Commission Supported in 2012
About 20 short/feature films including Runway Cop, 26 Years and The Suspect
To be supported in 2013 TBD
  
Gyeonggi  Film Commission Supported in 2012
About 30 short/feature films including New World, The Suspect, Horror Stories and Nobody’s Daughter Haewon
To be supported in 2013
Top Star (directed by PARK Joong-hoon)
The Terror Live (directed by KIM Byung-woo)
Queen of Night (directed by KIM Je-young)
Way Back Home (directed by PANG Eun-jin)
Gangtal (directed by CHOI Min-suk)
Cold Eyes (directed by JOH Ui-seok, KIM Byeong-seo)
  
Gyeongnam  Film Commission Supported in 2012
About 50 short/feature films including Deranged, The Spies and Jeonguk Norae Jarang
To be supported in 2013
Kundo: Age of the Rampant (directed by YOON Jong-bin)
F-2-1 (directed by KIM Jae-hwan)
Commitment (directed by PARK Hong-su)
N.L.L - The Battle of Yeonpyeong (directed by KIM Hak-soon)
  
Jeju Film Commission Supported in 2012
About ten short/feature films including Architecture 101, A Werewolf Boy
To be supported in 2013 TBD
  
Jeonju Film Commission Supported in 2012
About 30 short/feature films including Confession of Murder, Perfect Number
To be supported in 2013
Secretly Greatly (directed by JANG Cheol-soo)
The Five (directed by JEONG Yoen-sik)
Kundo: Age of the Rampant (directed by YOON Jong-bin)
Boy from Wonderland (directed by HEO Eun-hui)
Myeong - Ryang (directed by KIM Han-min)
  
Jeonnam Film Commission Supported in 2012
About ten short/feature films including Masquerade, Traffickers and My Paparotti
To be supported in 2013 TBD
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