Think about the Korean movie directors, Lee Chang-Dong, Bong Jun-Ho, Kim Ki-Duk, Jang-Jin, and so on and so forth. They are all veteran movie directors with their own distinctive styles and characters. I recently had a chance to meet with one of the new prospects for movie directors. Let’s see what he had to say.
- Q: You decided to become affiliated with movies when you saw the movie ‘Son’ made by the Darden brothers. What specifically made you want to become a director?
- A: Originally, my dream was to become a priest, but when I saw the movie ‘Son,’ I saw a different aspect of mercy. That experience made me want to become a director, who experiments with new methods of reflection and presents them through films.
- Q: I heard that cinema is not an easy field and you have found success at such a young age. How did you accomplish such feats?
- A: I have always been crazy about movies, and even as a toddler, I watched many movies. When I was in high school, I made my first movie with help from my teacher. Ever since then my passion for movies has never stopped. In 2005, I received a scenarios award from Sejong University, which ultimately led me into the Theater department at Sejong University. That is where my journey began.
- Q: I perceive your directing focuses on current social problems and second-class citizen issues. What is the hottest topic that appeals to you the most these days, and what kind of message do you want to deliver to the viewers?
- A: I think that movies are very powerful, so when the movie Dogani opened, people began to seek justice. I too want to view things from the perspective of second-class citizens, and I try to be a more realistic director rather than the one who seeks an ideal. Recently I have become interested in our children’s safety, and I would like to focus on the dangers of the society we live in.
- Q: Your movie ‘Frozen Land’ was shown in the Cinefoundation session at the Cannes Film festival. How did you feel at the time?
- A: At the time I was fulfilling my duty as a public service worker. I received the message through the phone and I remember being puzzled. After the news broke out I was interviewed constantly and got very busy. I met many movie directors that I admired and started to learn about the movie industry. It was certainly one of my most cherished moments.
- Q: After the Cannes film festival, you became the hot one to the press and directors. Was this sudden change of status startling to you? Tell us some of the negatives or positives of fame that you have found out so far.
- A: ‘Frozen Land” was a movie I directed two years ago, but people are still interested in my movies and I am very thankful for those who appreciate my work. However, it does sometimes bother me that some people might think, ‘Hey, that’s the kid that went to Cannes at a young age,’ rather than saying ‘His movies are great.’ I feel like I am given too much credit for what I accomplished. I also feel very lonely. Due to my new status as a director, I have not been able to see my friends as often, and I think they find it difficult to approach me now. I would love to spend more time with them and have a normal college life.
- Q: Who is your mentor in directing?
- A: I think many movie directors are great and I admire them all, but if I were to pick one in particular I would have to say director Lee Chang Dong. When it comes to directing, you never know when your plug might get pulled, but director Lee has lasted a long time. He has developed his own philosophy and personalities in movies. My main goals aren’t just to make box office hits, but to become a respectable director.
- Q: Finally, can you give us words of encouragement to me and the students at Gachon University?< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
- A : When I became a high school student, I wasn’t given a monthly allowance anymore. I didn’t make much from making films, but it got me through. Don’t be reliant on your parents, instead, go into society and work your way through. It’s important to learn about society and face difficult situations yourself. If we overcome this, then the clouds will clear and the sun will shine, that I can promise.