LET ME OUT
Director Jae Soh & KIM Chang-rae
- Can you tell us why you decided to be a filmmaker and how you got started?
Jae SOH: We are both filmmakers and teach filmmaking. Both of us teach classes in making short films at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Our college received a government grant to make a feature length movie within that calendar year. We used the grant to start the movie but I ended up getting a personal loan to finish the feature.
KIM Chang-rae: We wrote an original screenplay in one month and began shooting two months after that. Because we were under severe time and budgetary pressures we decided to make a movie about a universe we know intimately: film students and their struggles with making a movie for the first time. We were also film students once so writing a screenplay about our collective experience was fun.
Jae SOH: I want to add that we make fun of film students in this movie but it is done with love, not sarcasm. They are so passionate you can't help but admire them and be proud of them. In fact, two of my former students, LEE Kwang-kuk and YOON Sung-hyun (Romance Joe and Bleak Night), are also screening their movies at the Mar Del Plata International Film Festival with Let Me Out.
- The professor in the film refuses to direct, arguing that “I don’t want to make something that turns out to be worse than my students’ work”. So what made you decide to do this film?
Jae SOH: That dialogue in the script was actually spoken by a professor in the film department. Before approaching Chang-rae to co-direct with me, I asked another professor and he answered “No,” adding “what if the movie we make is worse than the students”. I myself was never worried that we would make a bad movie.
KIM Chang-rae: But we did joke with each other that in case we did make a bad movie, we would use the footage as a teaching tool in class. For example, we would show a segment of Let Me Out and say: “this is moving shot”, or “this is a crane shot”.
Jae SOH: I am planning to use Let Me Out in my class.
- What kind of a cast and crew did you assemble for the film?
KIM Chang-rae: Both our staff and actors were professionals. Our director photography KIM Seung-hoon is a famous lighting director who shot big-budget movies including HONG Sangsoo’s Night and Day (2008), my production designer LEE Han-nah worked on The Front Line (2011) and my sound recordist KIM Young-moon recorded sound on Memories of Murder (2003).
Jae SOH: Let Me Out is our main actor KWON Hyun-sang’s first feature movie role but he is gaining popularity in Korean Drama’s like TheHeart2king, The Princess’ Man and features in the movies Hanji (2011) and The Tower. Our lead actress is PARK Hee-von was a female singer in the band MILK but soon gained popularity in the movies Grand Prix(2010), All About My Wife, and The King of Pigs and currently stars in the drama Shut up Family. The professor character is played by YU Mou-hyung, a veteran actor that performed in BONG Joon-ho’s Mother (2009).
- What were people’s expectations for your film as you set about making it?
KIM Chang-rae: Everyone was enthusiastic and encouraging in the beginning, but we were shooting a low budget movie about film students and nobody was expecting much from the project. Even our friends thought we were shooting an amateur film with students as our crew.
Jae SOH: But once we were finished and screened it for our cast and crew, everyone was happy with the acting and the story. They praised the quality of the production and could not believe we accomplished this on a shoestring budget. After we got into some major international film festivals, people really started to notice our movie. Eventually we got a theatrical distribution deal with a local film company. We are honored to be screening Let Me Out at the Mar Del Plata International Film Festival. So far in 2012, Let Me Out was invited to screen at the Dallas International Film Festival, the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, the Seoul International Youth Film Festival, the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival and the Hawaii International Film Festival. Let Me Out has done well with non-Korean audiences and I am really looking forward to showing it to audiences in Argentina.
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