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Ko - production in Busan
  • Seoul Station Director YEON Sang-ho
  • by KIM Su-yeon  /  Oct 17, 2014
  • “Trying zombie series through animation and live action films”
     

    Although countless films are made each year, it is not common to meet a director who is planning multiple works. YEON Sangho’s The King of Pigs (2011) received good reviews and brought recognition to its director. YEON is now working on the animation Seoul Station (working title) and preparing his first live action film Busan-Bound (working title). In addition, the ambitious filmmaker is planning Seonsan (working title) after Busan-Bound .
     
    Could you tell us about the progress of the animation Seoul Station?
    Drawing and painting work is about 70% done and composition work is 40% complete. All in all, the film is about 50% to 60% finished.
     
    Your past works contains conflicts among classes and criticisms of social structures. Will these themes project in your new work as well?
    The new film still tells a story about classes. But this film is less explicit in showing the theme. I am really curious about how audiences will respond to it. According to the investment company, the first half has similar characteristics to my previous films, but the second half is like a genre film loaded with a lot of action.
     
    Did you refer to some films while making your zombie-themed feature?
    Among live action films, I really enjoyed watching Dawn of the Dead (2004), a Zack SNYDER film. Among comics, I had fun reading the Japanese cartoon ‘I Am a Hero.’ The work inspired me to make a speedy and exciting Korean zombie film. The comic also led me to imagine making an interesting zombie film where zombies are among people protesting for the democratization of Korea.
    The work will be rather different from past zombie films. You could think of the film as a kind of fable disguised as a genre film.
     
    Busan-Bound is your next project after Seoul Station and your first live action film. It seems quite similar to Seoul Station , is that fair to say?
    Yes, it is. While Seoul Station deals with a story about the strange night zombies come out, Busan-Bound follows a man who jumps aboard a Busan-bound KTX train to meet his wife in the early morning. The stories of the two days are naturally connected to each other. The scenario of Busan-Bound will be finished this month. Shooting should begin early next year.
     
    Busan-Bound will be your first live action film. Is this a big burden for you?
    I feel some pressure. But on the other hand, I have high expectations for the film since the project will allow me to focus on directing.
    While making animations, in addition to directing, I have to engage in various tasks such as writing screenplays, drawing and painting, composition and editing. But I can focus on directing during production of Busan-Bound . Also, the specialized production staffs are giving me a big helping hand. I think I will receive more help from them in the future.
     
    How much are the budgets for these projects?
    The budget for Seoul Station is about KRW 600 million (USD 575,000 million). I expect the budget of Busan-Bound to be somewhere around KRW 10 billion (USD 9.58 million). That figure will include the production cost and the P&A cost.
     
    Seonsan , another live action film, will be introduced at the Asian Project Market (APM). How much have you worked on this project?
    The treatment is complete. At present, we are working on the scenario. The film is a family-based thriller that deals with the inheritance of a family graveyard. Like Busan-Bound , I will write the draft and a professional screenwriter will expand and polish it. Then the writer and I will adapt it for the sreen.
     
    You are the director and the CEO of Animation Studio Dada Show. As a producer, what are you planning?
    I am producing the third animation feature by LEE Sung-gang, who made My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2001) and Yobi, The Five-Tailed Fox (2007). At the moment, the project is in the pre-production stage and will enter the production stage late this year. The film is a fantasy, adventure and action film targeting family audiences. I am very excited for this film since I respect the director so much.
     
    Filmography
    Seoul Station(2015)
    The Fake(2013) The Window(2012, Short) The King of Pigs(2011) Love Is Protein(2008, Short) The Hell - Two Kind Of Life(2003, Short) D-DAY(2000, Short) Megalomania of D(1997, Short)
     
    by KIM Su-yeon · Photo by SONG Yong-hoon
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