Before the opening of ‘BCWW 2016,’ held at COEX Intercontinental Hotel and COEX until August 2, the event was prepared to listen to which theme the main speakers of ‘2016 Global Workshop for TV Writers,’ one of the main events of ‘BCWW 2016,’ will have for their presentations, and what opinions they have about media contents industry in Korea. At the press conference, representative of Media Res Productions ‘Michael Ellenberg’, who was a producer of ‘Game of Thrones,’ representative of Hypnotic Film ‘Gene Klein’ who was was a general producer of ‘Suits,’ representative of Third Culture Contents ‘Sean Richard’, who is a production director general and leading actor of ‘Drama World,’ attended.
The press conference was progressed in the way of introducing what contents each of them will present at ‘2016 Global Workshop for TV Writers’ and answering journalists’ questions.
Ellenberg said, “I will have presentation about the contents that need to be considered when designing TV contents, especially high-end contents.” Klein said, “I will talk about the things to be considered when bringing American contents abroad, why ‘Suits’ achieved success in America, and how it can be succeeded when remade in another country.” Richard revealed that he will introduce about “the concept of the web drama ‘Drama World,’ the episodes occurred during the process of Korean-Chinese-American joint production, and the reactions to ‘Drama World.’”
The following is the content of the questions and answers from the press conference.
Q1. Where did you get the idea of Drama World’?
(Richard) In 2013, I’ve done the advertisement of a platform ‘Viki,’ and at that time, the reaction was greater than I thought, so I began to pay attention to the people who use ‘Viki’ platform. The number of ‘Viki’ users is about 40 million, and 80% of them live in the regions that are not related to Asia. So, I talked about a drama for them with Chris Martin, who was at that time a director of the advertisement, and started to produce the drama with ‘Viki.’ Investment took 8 months, and 60% of it was from Chinese capital on condition of giving rights to remake or spin-off version in China.
Q2. In case of producing the season 2 of ‘Drama World,’ will it be having Korean drama as a concept? Or employing concept of China or another country?
(Richard) Clearly, there is a part where cliché about Korean drama at the center of ‘Drama World’ made it possible. If spin-off is progressed, story about Chinese drama will be covered. If extending season of ‘Drama World,’ story about Korean drama might become the center of drama.
Q3. What do you think about that each of your production hits box-office over the cultural area?
(Klein) In our case, I think the show accidentally achieved a huge success. The show itself has great organization and funny characters appear. However, I think the universal appeal of the part that the producer and writer had interests drew interests all over the world. In case of ‘Suits,’ it shows the story of hiding people who couldn’t achieve success, and it appealed to many cultural areas. I think if it had approached deliberately to succeed in various cultural areas, it couldn’t have succeeded.
(Ellenberg) I have the same opinion with Klein. Universal thinking has parts to appeal. With sincerity and unique material, I think it is sufficiently opened to success. As American, I feel the sincerity and attraction when I encounter foreign contents. I believe that it can appeal more by using the culture’s unique feature.
(Richard) I think the story is the first. Especially during the process of cooperation, if too many calculations are put into the process, there will be a room for problems. So, the progress should be making good story first, then selecting the most suitable area for the story, and finally proceeding filming.
Q4. Do you consider completeness more important than contents?
(Ellenberg) What I want to talk about is that concreteness and detail are important. The more specific and the more detailed it is, it will have sincerity, and I believe there will be consequential attraction. When trying to appeal to unidentified all the viewers, no one can sympathize. So I think that other viewers also can feel the attractions by selecting target viewers and producing the best content for them. Among foreign shows, the content that I had interests and got inspirations is the show that local viewers also loved. If these shows receive recognition in the country, I believe that they will also achieve succeed abroad. Of course, the situation that was never thought about always exists.
Q5. Is there any Korean content remained in your memory? And how much competitiveness do you think Korean contents have?
(Richard) American studios participate in Korea’s various contents, and I feel amazing that American contents are remade and shown to Korean market.
(Ellenberg) To answer the second question, I think Korean contents have competitiveness and influence, and Korean contents are becoming important not only in Asia, but also all over the world. I personally like the works of Bong Jun-ho and Park Chan-uk. Among them, especially ‘The Host,’ it completely reinterpreted monster movie, so I was scared and enjoyed it at the same time. The strength of Korean movies is a different approach to traditional genre. I think they give big inspiration to foreign directors and raise the standard.
(Klein) I am also a fan of Bong Jun-ho and Park Chan-uk, and I watched many Korean movies through New York Film Festival. For one country’s movies to succeed abroad, its movie industry has to be solid and strong, and I think Korea has such a solid movie industry. Therefore, movie directors have confidence of developing stories in their ways. I was impressed at their appearances of having lots of characteristics.
Q6. Movie or the original platform is flowing into the internet platform. Comparing to the original platform, it seems to be needed another approach. What do you think about it?
(Richard) From a contents creator’s position, I think there are pros and cons. The advantage is that it is possible to produce the contents based on the contents that people like. Regardless of where people are, they can watch any time and anywhere. From a position of managing an independent production company, it is the advantage. The disadvantage is that the available budget is small as the scale of the platform itself is small. When considering them, the internet platform will grow and develop more, and after 5 years, I think it can reach saturation. It is interesting that the internet platform is growing.
(Klein) I want think in two aspects, creative and marketing. Internet VOD is a subscriber’s platform, and I think this form makes us free. There is no limitation in length and contents, so it is possible to do freely storytelling. Non-fiction series that we are now preparing will be opened in December, each episode is made independently, and there was no limitation in length. However, if many people use VOD platform, the problem can occur from the position of marketing. As algorithm is getting better, it became possible to recommend by finding out the theme that the user likes. But to a certain user, how to recommend a suitable show that fits the person might be hard.
(Ellenberg) I might be helpful as it can be creative in short versions. In the past, a storytelling had to follow the rules of TV platform, but there is no need to, now. In the past, when showing one season consisting of 12 episodes, we had to consider how to make the first episode interesting to satisfy customers or investors, but now it is no longer matter. Richard’s ‘Drama World’ is a great example. For appealing and achieving success at overseas markets, there is no need to suit all the countries. Once you found target, I believe that you can surely succeed.”
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