December 5, 2021


business is the world

How K-dramas are designed | BusinessWorld

NO A person can deny the present popularity of Korean dramas in the Philippines and the relaxation of the environment. In fact, as an government of the Korean Imaginative Articles Agency — a govt agency that oversees and coordinates the marketing of Korean articles — set it, “Korean dramas have come to be their have genre.” But what does it take to make a Korean drama and what contributes to its global reputation?

A Korean producer boiled it down to two reasons: exceptional composing and the resonance of similar cultural values (at minimum in Asia).

“One huge [factor] in the competitiveness of our dramas are fantastic writers. Many thanks to them, Korea has made quite a few dramas in diverse genres by various platforms that blurs boundaries concerning common and new media channels,” Kim Hee Yeol, vice-president of drama production for Pan Leisure and vice-chairman of the Korean Drama Manufacturing Affiliation, stated through a webinar hosted by the Korean Cultural Centre and Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Arts Center on Nov. 6.

The two-day webinar was held on Nov. 6 and 7 and targeted on subjects this sort of as what will make Korean dramas well known and how they are prepared. The webinar included a roster of a Korean drama executive, an government from the Korean Imaginative Content material Company (KOCCA), a screenwriter, and two Filipino directors and writers, Laurice Guillen and Jose Javier Reyes.

“Our creativity appeals to the world-wide citizens and specially cultural similarities in between Korea and the Philippines will work most effective to catch the attention of much more audiences from [the Philippines],” Mr. Kim reported before including that thoughts these as filial piety and superior versus evil are “the essential [concepts] that draw in focus from other Asians.”

Looking again on the record of Korean drama, Lee Youthful Hoon, chief of the broadcasting field workforce of KOCCA, claimed in the similar webinar that they attribute the increase of Korean drama to Winter Sonata, a 2002 sequence starring Choi Ji Woo and Bae Younger Joon. The series grew to become so common that Mr. Lee stated “it became a social phenomenon,” specially in Japan wherever it spawned an anime adaptation and a stage musical.

Mr. Kim was a single of the producers of Winter Sonata.

Mr. Lee also stated Jewel in the Palace (2003) starring Lee Young Ae as a different sequence that propelled the Hallyu wave (a phrase utilised to describe the reputation of Korean material and lifestyle in the earth).

The display, he said, spurred fascination in Korean culture and foodstuff as traditional Korean cuisine was the concentration of significantly of the collection.

When video games are considered “the quantity 1 export content” of South Korea, earning 9 instances much more than broadcasting does, Mr. Lee mentioned that “the affect of [Korean dramas] is bigger” for the reason that they make viewers want to pay a visit to South Korea, visit the websites wherever the displays ended up shot, and test the food shown in the shows.

KOREAN DRAMA Manufacturing
But what does it get to generate a show? In accordance to Mr. Kim, manufacturing a show requires 17 distinct ways, seven of which are for pre-production and setting up and 10 for output alone.

Each production usually takes months — at times yrs — to build from plan to display, and demonstrates are typically developed by impartial generation providers rather of broadcasting firms.

Pan Enjoyment, which Mr. Kim is a portion of, has a pool of 35 writers, nevertheless they do retain the services of new writers just about every calendar year. The output corporation produces 5 dramas a calendar year.

Each individual exhibit is specified in excess of to a principal writer who is dependable for creating the collection, with various assistant writers who support with investigation and proofreading.

“[Main] writers should have out creating the drama,” Kim Youthful Yoon, drama script writer and executive director of the Korea Tv & Radio Writers Association, explained in a webinar on Nov. 7, ahead of adding that assistant writers are not allowed to compose elements of the script and a key writer who delegates producing the script to their assistant is “not qualified.”

Ms. Kim defined that the entire world of Korean writers is a person where only the very best survive as in the Broadcasting Writers’ Education Centre (the composing institute of the Korea Tv & Radio Writers Affiliation), only admits 350 candidates per enrollment time and these that do end up operating as writers are whittled down to 7 writers.

The centre, Ms. Kim reported, is accountable for “producing 90{903a53f4159fdac5aec44387a54014242c3e5a28574ffe78c2df1112b2cc2caa} of screenwriters in Korea.”

Most of the time, she said, writers pitch their personal tales and build them for production, although occasionally broadcasters and manufacturing organizations pitch preferred webtoons for adaptation. This is a very included process as many writers immerse on their own in the occupations of their character (serving to out at hospitals if it is a health care drama, and so forth.) to make certain that they get the nuances of the career ideal.

Following the plan and the script are fashioned, Mr. Kim of Pan Leisure said they pitch the script to broadcasting networks or streaming providers such as Netflix. Usually, he stated, networks check with to solid one or two “special grade” actors and quite a few “grade A” actors to make sure viewership.

“Special quality actors” are viewed as the prime-tier actors in South Korea. Mr. Kim explained at the moment there are about 3,000 actors in South Korea, just 40 of whom are deemed “special grade,” and 60 who are regarded as “grade A.” “Special quality actors” are guaranteed a pay back amount of between $89,000 to $178,000 for every episode, although for productions exclusively built for streaming platforms the amount can go as superior as $267,000 for every episode. “Grade A” actors in the meantime are compensated between $17,800 to $44,500.

Though Mr. Kim did not title which actors are deemed “special grade,” a July report in The South China Morning Publish mentioned that Kim Soo Hyun (of My Love from the Stars fame) earns $165,000 for every episode and is thought of the best-compensated actor in South Korea. Also involved in the top-paid out list are Hyun Bin ($84,000) and So Ji Sub ($84,000). A related listing by famous that Jun Ji Hyun (also from My Love from the Stars) earns $84,000 per episode, building her the best-compensated actress in South Korea. The record also incorporates Lee Youthful Ae ($83,000) and Track Hye Kyo ($42,000).

“The purpose we pay back this high priced assurance is mainly because it is the best way to guarantee pretty secure and superior viewing charges and also to guarantee ad income,” Mr. Kim said.

Writers are also graded and their shell out reflects that as Mr. Kim reported that “special grade” writers — there are 50 of them — are paid out a script fee of $445 for every 10 minutes and $311 for each episode.   

For a drama that has 16 episodes, 8 episodes are normally shot and developed in advance of the clearly show is broadcast and the remaining episodes are shot though the clearly show is presently broadcasting.

Although the writers and output enterprise do retain monitor of ratings and viewers opinions on displays, Ms. Kim claimed that as writers they are “not swayed by the comments of audiences and ratings,” adding that a character who is meant to die but who is well-liked with the show’s audience will continue to die — however they can change “minor things” in reaction to feed-back.

“Minor factors can be modified like far more well-known characters getting additional display screen time,” she discussed.

The reputation of Korean dramas, Ms. Kim reported, has emboldened Korean writers to be far more imaginative in the way they tell their tales for the reason that their market place now goes beyond South Korea’s shores. She admitted that writers employed to restrict themselves to stories and genres that they knew would appeal to South Korean audiences, but now they can have a broader wide range of tales and genres mainly because “we are now functioning for the worldwide marketplace.” — Zsarlene B. Chua