“Chun Tae-il” could be the next big animated movie
After “Leafie: A Hen into the Wild” (2011) sold over 2.2 million movie tickets during its theatrical run – a first for an animated film in Korea – Myung Films hopes to bring another new blockbuster animation on the big screen next month.
Myung Films’ new play “Chun Tae-il” is about the life of labor activist Chun Tae-il (1948-70), who set himself on fire to raise awareness about poor working conditions in the 1960s. company used the motif of a children’s cartoon about the same historical figure created by cartoonist Choi Ho-chul to turn the actual story into an animated film.
The film, which is set to hit theaters on December 1, was first seen at the 26th edition of the Busan International Film Festival which ended on October 15. It was screened twice and the cinema’s 70 seats were all occupied each time.
“The life of 22-year-old Chun, who wanted to change the working conditions of workers even by setting themselves on fire, was no different from the grueling life many young people live now,” said Shim Jae, CEO. by Myung Films. myung in a video interview with JoongAng Ilbo, a subsidiary of Korea JoongAng Daily.
The film shows the dramatic end of Chun’s life when he speaks up and asks people to respect labor laws, which already existed but were not enforced.
Shim said that when Chun lived, life as a worker was not easy. But she added that the situation young people are currently experiencing could be even worse.
“Now discrimination in the work scene is much more devious and perverse,” she said, adding that such a reality can be seen among delivery people and other people working on delivery platforms. . “After all, the film was made to share the very basic and ordinary value of how to live as a human being in society.”
Myung Films has continuously released films that convey ongoing social issues, such as “Joint Security Area” (2000), “I Can Speak” (2017) and “Cart” (2014).
“The company cares a lot about real historical figures, some social issues or work issues in society,” Shim said. “We hope that even more people will watch the film about Chun’s life.”
The plan for making this upcoming film was first laid out upon the release of “Leafie: A Hen into the Wild”. Since the company has struggled to convince large corporations to invest in the production of “Leafie,” it surmised that securing investment for the new film would prove to be much more difficult, if not impossible, given the dismal subject of the film. The cost of production was around 3 billion won ($ 2.5 million), and the cost of marketing was around 1.5 billion won. The $ 700 million fund he received from the Korean Film Council set the tone early on to invite more people to join us. Many organizations related to animated films, those that promote Chun’s works and around 10,000 ordinary citizens have invested.
By the end of the film, over 10,000 names of those investors who helped produce the film had lasted approximately nine minutes. Together, they invested around 170 million won.
The company planned to release the film last November, in time for the 50th anniversary of Chun’s death, but the release has been delayed due to the pandemic and production delays.
Q. Is it still difficult to get investments even after the success of “Leafie”?
A. The animated film market in Korea is much smaller than the film market in general. It’s very rare to turn an animated series into a movie script, and it’s very difficult to turn it into a remarkable accomplishment. “Leafie” was a truly extraordinary case. In the year since the release of “Leafie”, the EBS television channel gathered 1 million viewers around its “Speckles: The Tarbosaurus” in 2012, there was no record like the one seen on the market. in Korea. Moreover, from the investors’ point of view, the scenario of “Chun Tae-il” might be too harsh for them to choose to invest.
Why did you push to do “Chun Tae-il” when you were aware of all these difficulties?
Chun Tae-il is a very important historical figure in modern Korean history, and symbolic when it comes to the labor movement. If we were to make the environment of the 60s and 70s a real backdrop, the budget of 10 billion won probably wouldn’t even be enough. Thus, making the story an animated film may be more effective than [making a real film] in terms of budget minimization. Also, I saw a possibility of making this great from the original cartoons made by Choi. The characters Choi drew are in their late teens and early twenties, so I thought it might appeal to young people just like Makoto Shinkai did with his animated film “Your Name. “(2016). I thought the animated movie could be more accessible than a real movie, like the 1995 movie “A Single Spark”.
Did you intentionally make Chun’s character friendlier?
The character design, in the initial phase, was more realistic. Then we thought such a description might sound old to teens of this generation, so we started to turn things around. We also used the process often used in Hollywood animated films of recording the actors’ voices first and then drawing the scenes. This made the [voices] they look like they match the faces of the characters even better.
BY NA WON-JEONG [[email protected]]