With the massive popularity of K-Drama in the Philippines, many Filipinos are curious as to how South Korea shoots and produces its shows. A lot of people have been commending the exceptional quality of Korea’s television series and movies that many wonder how they achieved such output.
We asked actor-host Richard Juan to share his experience working with South Korean television network tvN. Richard was one of the regional artists who was tapped by tVN to star in a show called Create My Seoul last year, alongside Korean stars Sandara Park and Joon Park.
In this PUSH interview, Richard gives us an insider look on how it is like to work with a Korean production team.
WASSUP MAN!! Hello from #KOREA 🇰🇷🇰🇷🇰🇷!!!! #SEOUL excited to be shooting something for the next couple days with some reJOONal artists and two “g.o.d-like” Korean celebrities! Any guesses who they are? Clues are in this post 😉 Come on guys, it’s easy, it’s a walk in the PARK for you guys I’m sure! DARAndom guess would be Kim soo Hyun but hey....2NE1 out there who still don’t get it; I’m disappointed....... 😂😂 #CREATEMYSEOUL #ISEOULU #SEOUL #SEOULTRIP #VISITSEOUL 📷: @samsungph Galaxy A70 #withGalaxy #samsungA70ph
How strict is a Korean production team when it comes to shooting hours?
For me, they were fairly strict when it comes to scheduling and call times. We had someone from Thailand, from Vietnam, and from China and it’s funny because they actually rented a very beautiful Airbnb for us to stay in. They put us all in a house instead of hotels so that we could bond and probably to also make sure that we’re all in one place! It also makes pre-production meetings a lot easier and also if ever someone oversleeps or whatever, they can just knock on the door to make sure we wake up.
How big is their production setup? How many cameras do they have when shooting a show?
The one I shot was a reality travel show and they really wanted to capture our natural reactions. As we are a cast of six people, four regional artists and two Korean superstars, they had around 25 cameras! They had one cameraman specifically following each one of us throughout the whole day! Then of course there are mid shots and also wide shots, and also a couple of selfie GoPro cameras. Oh and I think we also had some drone shots too!
I remember one of our locations was at this really popular Korean restaurant. And we were sitting at a long table. I was sitting next to Dara and I told her how fascinated I was to see 20 plus cameras! I was counting them and I even IG storied it! So every single movement, or kahit konting galaw lang, kita talaga lahat. So as long as the cameras are rolling, you have to make sure you’re 100% ready!
When it comes to styling and grooming the stars of the show, what were your observations?
This one I would like to share about this other time when I also shot in Korea for Viu for Seoul Fashion Week. Every day during the week long shoot, the production arranged for me to visit a local salon which many Korean celebrities also go to. This was such a crazy experience because the makeup process was very different from what I was used to! I literally had three different people do my makeup at three different “stages.” First one was the basic stuff with foundations, then stage 2 they had someone do the contouring or something, I forget, and stage three was the eyes and other finishing touches. Parang they all have different expertise!
How was your experience working with a Korean director?
We only had one director and he was probably one of the nicest directors that I’ve ever worked with! I was very, very pleasantly surprised because I remember when I first found out about getting cast, I was slightly pressured and worried because I heard how scary and strict producers and directors can be in Korea! I mean, that’s probably how they were able to produce such high quality shows, di ba? But turns out, the output quality and strictness are mutually exclusive! You can have high quality output even with a very friendly and relaxing crew.
There’s just something about this city that always makes me feel very comfortable ~~ been here so many times but I still cant pinpoint what it is. Is it the people? The food? The culture? My past life? Loljk i dont know 🇰🇷 🤔 來到這個城市我一直感到很舒服. 我來了多次我也不能說是為什麼. 是這裡的人嗎？還是食物？還是文化？還是我的前世？真的說不出來。 #seoul #iseoulu #korea #visitseoul #createmyseoul #ssilife #armaniexchange #charriolph #axchange
Do you think they allotted a big budget for the show that time?
I think they definitely spend more money considering probably that their sponsors are probably bigger also as the reach for the show is regional! I actually had fans from Thailand, Indonesia, and also Vietnam message and tagging me because they saw my show on tvN Asia! And the fact that we had so many cameras I think already speaks volumes because of the number of cameramen that were needed, the number of production staff needed, all that adds to the overall budget.
This was one of my first projects where I was not allowed to bring in an assistant, but they guaranteed me that I’ll be well taken care of and I do not have to worry about anything because they will have people in the production to take care of us daw. My management team at that time was a bit hesitant because I’ll be working in another country alone without someone to make sure I’m okay, but I really pushed for it.
And they were not lying, the whole crew was so, so, so kind to me and all of the cast. I genuinely feel like they treated me with the utmost respect. I mean, I am sure that they have worked with a lot of bigger stars than me but yet they still treat me, and the rest of the cast, with so much respect. In hindsight, I probably should’ve known because Korean culture is all about respect.
How was it working with Korean stars?
Oh my God, this was honestly totally the opposite of what I expected. I’ve heard many stories from different people saying that working with Korean stars would be difficult because the managers are so strict, the stars can be a little bit protective of themselves, but Joon Park and Sandara Park are two of the nicest people that I’ve ever worked with in this entertainment industry!
This Korea work trip is definitely one for the books!It was an incredible privilege to work with two superstars, @godjp and @daraxxi! These two are literally the most genuine and humble artists that I've ever worked with! Thank you for also guiding me and also inspiring me. To my fellow castmates - @manttien @gonghivesalon24 and @yunyun_xyj - I had so much fun bonding with you guys througout the whole trip; will definitely be hitting you guys up when I visit your countries! And of course to the team behind the whole show (and all 20+ cameras haha), thank you for having me and thank you for the hardwork!!! Cant wait for this to come out!!! 🙏🙏🙏🇰🇷🇰🇷🇰🇷 #CreateMySeoul #visitseoul #iseoulu
Joon Park was really a ball of energy. He kept everyone entertained and energized. It’s that energy that he gives off that makes all of us bond naturally. It’s very important to be feeding off each other’s energies when it comes to shoots like this. It’s pretty amazing how at the end of our show, he was the one that asked for all our numbers because he wanted to create a Kakao talk group chat to keep in touch!
Dara is still such a sweet girl! From the start, we of course had an instant connection because of our Filipino background, and by the way, she still speaks good Tagalog! You really do not feel any awkwardness or wall during the whole shoot and they treated us as if we were one of them. She even asked for all our IGs and followed all of us!