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It's All Work and No Pay at 'Ssunday Seoul'

2005/04/19 Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

CHINAN, North Cholla Province - An upcoming film "Ssunday Seoul" tells of a series of strange and mysterious stories. However, for the makers of the movie, the strangeness is all in a day's work - literally.

The film crew, staff, marketing team and the director of the film agreed not to receive any wages while the film is being made. Instead of a salary, they will get a share of the profits after its release.


Actors from an upcoming film "Ssunday Seoul" pose in fighting positions during a news conference at the movie's set at Chinan, North Cholla Province, Monday.

Director Park Seong-hoon says that due to the recent success of local films, many domestic directors are finding it easier to get funding for their projects. However, because they have to answer to investors, "not many of them want take risks and make something new and unusual. This can threaten the diversity and creativity of local films", said Park during a news conference at the film's set in Chinan, Monday.

Given the financial risks involved, Park, who previously worked as a producer on such films as "No Manners" and "S Diary", said he had to reduce production costs as much as possible. He was able to make the film with just 80 people, including film crew, special effects and a marketing team.

However, the members of the staff say they didn't hesitate to sign up for the film as they had confidence in the director, who also wrote the script. In fact, they believe it will be a good investment, they said.

"Of course, I've been close to the director, but besides that, when he first showed me the script, I found it really funny. So I decided to participate in the movie", said actor Bong Tae-gyu, who plays one of main characters in the movie.

Although the estimated budget for the film was 3 billion won, the film now has a minimum production cost of 700 million won, which is being covered by a local venture company. A domestic distributor has yet to be secured, but the film is now in post-production, with its release set for August.

"Ssunday Seoul" is cut into three episodes and a mixed genre of sci-fi, melodrama, horror, and martial arts. The stories include one about an ostracized student who suddenly has super powers; an eccentric family; and a girl with passion and talent in martial arts.

A Monday news conference was held after shooting of the last scene for the film. Taking place at a gas station, the scene involved all the characters from each episode meeting at a gas station for the first time in a deserted countryside.

The director said that he took a motif for the film from the name of a tabloid magazine popular in the 1970s, which covered unusual stories, gossip and showed sexually explicit photos.

"Many people just remember the magazine as an adult magazine. But for me, it inspired me to develop my imagination and creativity, as it was full of interesting and unbelievable stories that sounded real. I just wanted to make something new and interesting", the director said.

Young actors such as Bong Tae-gyu, Lee Chung-ah and Ko Eun-ah are joined in the film by popular actors from the 1970s and '80s Jung So-nyeo and Kim Choo-ryeon.

"Many local films don't really cast old actors for major roles", Kim said. "All they can do is just play a role of a typical old father or mother, who don't have any impact on the films. So this movie can take us out of our fixed ideas".

Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr...

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