Director of BEHIND THE CAMERA E J-yong
What Could the Future & Filmmaking Be Like?
- The story of a director making a movie by managing the shooting site remotely via the internet was already used in How to Fall in Love within Ten Minutes, a part of Cine Note, a 2012 omnibus film.
The feature film version of the production process of the short film is Behind the Camera. Based on that story, I directed the film remotely after I flew to LA in the U.S. Finally, I made one short film and one feature film at the same time without going to their shooting site.
- You have shown extraordinary forms of filmmaking not only through Behind the Camera but also through An Affair (1998), a melodrama, Untold Scandal (2003), a period film, Dasepo Naughty Girls (2006), a film which mixes an original webtoon and musical elements, and The Actresses (2009), another documentary-like film.
My style is not to stick to a consistent theme or form. I think that it is important to find a style befitting a story. Usually, I think about how I will direct a film after its scenario is written. But as for Behind the Camera, I decided its form ahead of completing the scenario. While thinking about the story of a short film, I hit on an idea, “Can I direct a film remotely via the internet?” So I wrote the scenario about a director who makes a film in that system and actually directed the film.
- Among production staff members, directors usually suffer the most from stress while directing films. Did this suffering make you create the story of Behind the Camera?
The world is changing thanks to the internet and mobile devices. It is not an exaggeration to say that we can do so many things through computers. You can have this interview with me through an internet video conferencing system. I write a scenario at my desk, search the internet for some reference materials, read twitter messages by others and see movies through computers. It is possible to do so many things without moving here and there. So production of this movie began from an idea that we can remotely direct a movie. We made the movie by using all the telecommunication methods currently available in an era where we are able to use mobile phones and make video calls. I think that this is the future of film production. Ten years later, this way may become a common film production method.
- What is this genre called?
Documentary-type films with scenarios are called “fake documentaries” or “mockumentaries.” But Behind the Camera is another form. The film seems to be a documentary about the production process of How to Fall in Love within Ten Minutes. But the film also has a mixture of dramatic story elements, such as a reality show and a documentary. It is difficult to decide which genre the movie belongs to. As it stands, this is a new genre. This is a film of the future which does not belong to the existing framework. (Laughs)
- It is impossible to prepare a perfect scenario when making a film of this genre. So, directors’ improvisation is very important on set, right?
For example, when directing The Actresses, the scenario which I prepared accounted for 50% of the storytelling. The remaining 50% belonged to the actors and actresses at the location. Compared to The Actresses, I raised the proportion of the actors to 70% when directing Behind the Camera. Since the director was not at the site, the actors were given more self-control. Although acting well in accordance with scenarios is excellent, I also find unexpected improvisations to be a lot of fun. When directing The Actresses, I found such a possibility. When making this movie, I believed more in the potential of the actors.
- One of the attractive points of this movie is that it vividly reveals the feelings of the actors.
As the actors were given more self-control, I was unable to know whether or not their complaints were real. The border between real complaints and fake complaints was quite vague. Real things and fake things were mixed together. That is to say, even I had trouble telling fake complaints for acting from real complaints about me.
- Will you continue to make films in this manner?
While making Behind the Camera, I found a way to make movies more interestingly and efficiently. Sometimes, the internet was disconnected while I was directing the film. I think I will be able to do better if the technical support is perfect. I would like to do one once again if the form and content of the film are fine. Film production will gradually move in this direction.
photographed by PARK Eun-jin
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