Recently we met with a Kyungwon University graduate who studied in the department of Mass Communications. She graduated in 2007 and was the 22nd newspaper editor. Now, Im Gwihyun is a writer for the SBS program ‘TV Animal Farm.’ The show that aired on August 21st, was the first episode that Gwihyun had written. The Gachon Herald met up with him to hear about her days as a Kyungwon University student and also about her current occupation as a writer.
1. What motivated you to become a writer?
At first I wanted to work on movies, but I always loved writing. Since I’ve always been attached to of mass communication, I knew mass communication was my path. And one day by coincidence, I became a writer.
2. Did your activities in the school press help you in any way to achieve your goals?
Since my major was Mass Communication, the press activities were always very helpful. Even though my current job can be difficult at times, I find my student days were much harder than right now. Back then, I would spend all day preparing and working on the school newspaper. I have to admit, it wasn’t easy. The responsibilities I had when I was in the press helped me become the man I am today.
3. I heard you are now a writer for ‘TV Animal Farm.’ What made you become a writer for this program?
I didn’t start writing for ‘TV Animal Farm’ at the beginning. At first, I started off with ‘An Expert in Life’ and then worked on ‘I Want to Know That’, and finally I came across ‘TV Animal Farm.’ Becoming a writer is easier than you would expect. I saw an ad for writers, so I simply picked up the ad and tried out for the job.
4. What do scriptwriters for TV programs do?
TV writing is not just about writing itself. In scriptwriting, writers are divided by their experience, role, and position. There are the main-writers, sub-writers, and assistant writers, but writers are not given the opportunity to write a full script without formally debuting. TV writers work closely with PDs and participate in meetings, field research, filming and editing as well.
5. How do drama, entertainment, and documentary writers differ?
The role of a TV scriptwriter varies in each of these fields. Let’s take drama writers for example. Long before a drama is produced, preliminary research is needed, and writers may have to stay together for several months to build the characters and plots to perfection. On the other hand, an entertainment show usually has no detailed script. Ideas are rather thought up at the spur of the moment. Writers provide numerous ideas while the filming is done in studio. Hence drama writers mainly focus on one show, whereas entertainment writers can work on several shows.
6. How does it feel to write a show that focuses on rescuing animals in bad situations as well as animals that are in danger?
These days, animals are receiving more attention from the general public because they have attained a role as our companions. Due to this, when it comes to the topic of animals, some things can be very sensitive. Animal cruelty is a very hot topic, and we’ve done a couple of episodes on that subject, such as the Hwangu incident, where a dog lost its eye from animal cruelty. Also animal fur has been a major issue as well. After these episodes have been aired, many people were shocked. I was in shock as well, when I saw the un-edited versions of animal fur being processed. All the writers that were with me at the time shed tears of sadness.
We aired the non-mosaic version so that the public can see it for themselves. The treatment of animals has always been a controversial subject. Some people feel that calling 119 rescue services for animals should not be allowed because the rescue service is only for humans. Due to these opinions, our staff members have decided not to involve 119 rescue members.
7. There are very fun parts of the show where voice dubbing is done to express the animal’s thoughts and situations. Do script writers write these as well?
At first the scripts are written without any parts for the animals, and after all the editing is complete we then write a script for the animals. The current voice actor has a lot of experience, so he often does the voices without a script.
8. When have you had difficulty as a writer, and when have you been proud to be a writer?
The first time I felt my work was worthwhile was when I finished my first dubbing work. I felt really great about having completed this job myself. What makes my job difficult is a TV writer’s daily schedule is irregular and we end up working later than most people. If I have a script that needs to be done by tomorrow, I work overtime at night. Because of this, it is sometimes hard to meet the people who work in different fields.
9. What kind of program and content do you want to work on in the future?
For now, there is no specific program that I want to do. I just want to do well on my current project ‘TV Animal Farm.’ But I do hope to be a drama author someday. After a year and a half, if I’m in a secure position, I would like to work on a less restricted show. I could possibly work on cable TV programs.
10. What would you like to tell your fellow Kyungwon University students and alumni?
everything they want to, as long as you keep your hands free and travel around. I especially recommend going on backpacking trips, and train trips. Also take an interest in cultural life. I’m not telling you to stop thinking about your goals, or to stop focusing your future or your grades, but instead don’t be attached to those chains because of your schoolwork. Go out and meet more people and socialize because that is also a lesson you must go through in life.Communication with students is important too, but what’s more important is that you find your identity as the press of campus.
< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >