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Korean Film News

HD films making new impact in Korea

Jun 24, 2005
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Films shot in high definition (HD) digital format are starting to stake out a more central role in the local film industry, as major distributors and broadcasters alike have announced that they will finance upcoming projects. CJ Entertainment, in cooperation with merchandising company Barunson, has decided to finance eight HD-shot films by well known local directors over the next two years. The package of films will open shooting with RYOO Seung-wan (Arahan)'s next feature in November, and will be followed by projects from directors Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), Hur Jin-ho (April Snow), Yu Ha (Once Upon A Time In High School), Choi Dong-hoon (The Big Swindle), Lee Moo-young (The Humanist), Choi Ik-hwan (The Voice), and a soon to be announced debut director. The use of the HD format is expected to result in savings of 30%, with all aspects of production from shooting to post-production to screening being carried out in digital format. CJ also announced that they plan to greatly increase the number of high-definition digital projectors in their theaters over the next couple years, in order to take advantage of digital screenings. Meanwhile, cable TV station OCN has announced that it will finance a $2.5 million horror omnibus film to be shot in HD and titled Coma. Five directors will each shoot a 50-minute episode that will be screened on OCN in November. The directors include KONG Su-chang (R-Point), who will also oversee the entire production, plus short film directors YU Jun-seok, JO Gyu-ok, KIM Jeong-gu, etc. This project follows in the footsteps of another popular HD-shot film for TV, the 6-part Same Bed, Different Dreams by BONG Man-dae (Sweet Sex and Love). This comes in addition to the KOFIC-KBS supported series of HD films that are being shot this year (more information available in articles on this site from 02/07/2005 and 08/30/2004). The move of digital filmmaking further into the mainstream is expected to speed up the process whereby Korea adopts a predominantly digital distribution and projection system someday in the future.
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