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  • Kang Je Kyu: 'I Devoted My Passion to 'My Way''
  • [2011-12-16]
  • The director Kang Je Kyu who has written the history of Korean movies, said during the interview with News Y (news channel by Yonhap News) on December 15, "I gave my best effort and passion that I have spared for the past seven years while taking a break to produce the movie 'My Way.'" He led the boom of Korean movies with his hit movies such as "The Gingko Bed" (1996) and "Shiri" (1998), and his previous movie "Taegukgi" (2004) recorded the largest number of audience members, which was 11.7 million. After he made that great achievement, he has been planning his next work for seven years, and he finally came back with his new movie "My Way" that was produced with the huge investment of 30 billion won. He was greatly satisfied with his new movie. Kang Je Kyu said, "I was worried whether our technology and funding would be enough to produce such a spectacular work that I had imagined and planned, but I was certainly surprised to see the great power of Korean staff members. I could confirm the unlimited possibility of Korean staff members. When we filmed every scene, we thought 'It could be impossible, but let's try,' but we finally filmed those scenes one by one and completed the movie, I am very much satisfied with this movie."




    In particular, Kang Je Kyu endeavored greatly to film a grand battle scene and he experienced difficulties and troubles while filming the battle scene. Kang said, "I can still remember vividly all those difficulties that we had while filming those scenes. When we filmed the battle of Normandy, I agonized how we could create a distinguished scene and how we could successfully present the madness of war, and I was particularly concerned with the color, the feeling of fire, and the harmony among those elements to produce a perfect battle scene." He revealed that he was satisfied with the cast members' excellent acting. Kang explained, "I was very happy. There were many difficulties that we had gone through while filming the movie in a cold weather in the overseas filming location. There were explosion scenes and some people were injured while filming. But during this long and tough filming schedule, I and the staff members could gain energy and satisfaction from Joon Sik (Jang Song Gun) and Tatsuo (Odagiri Joe). They have presented perfect feelings of every scene, and their excellent acting made the staff members exclaim with joy and let them say, 'That is it.' Their harmony gave great energy to the production staff members, and I am personally very much satisfied with the two actors."




    But Kang Je Kyu revealed that he had worried about how to differentiate “My Way” from his previous movie "Taegukgi." He said, “Actor Jang Dong Gun also seemed to worry how to present a different appearance from Jin Tae that he played in ‘Taegukgi’ when I first suggested working together again. But we both understood very well that the basic storyline and the type of wars are all different, so we thought that we could probably present something different. Basically, ‘Taegukgi’ is a story of a family in the set of the Korean War, and ‘My Way’ has a broader set of World War Two. The setting and the scale are different, and it will be the story of two young men from Korea and Japan, so we began to film this movie with the conviction that we could possibly present a completely different movie.” As the movie was funded with a huge amount of invested money, he must have felt pressure about its success. Kang Je Kyu said, “I felt pressure about its commercial success. Every director tries his or her best to produce a good movie regardless of its commercial success, and I felt the same way. But as the movie has a gigantic storyline, I already expected the huge amount of production cost. The problem was whether I and all the investors could be convinced that the movie was worth producing despite the huge production cost. We had originally planned to produce this movie targeting two huge markets of Korea and Japan, so we decided to produce this movie with funding from both Korea and Japan.”

    Kang Je Kyu confessed that he felt more difficulty about forecasting the success of movie, as he has more experience in directing. He said, “When I filmed ‘Taegukgi,’ I used to tell the marketers or investors with confidence that they had better prepare a better marketing plan for the movie as it would attract 10 million audience members, and nobody thought seriously about my bold expectation at that time even though I had a strong belief and conviction about its success. But now I have become more cautious about forecasting the success of any work. As a director, I hope that more people will love my movie, but I cannot predict the success.” Kang has produced four hit blockbuster movies, and he revealed that he would like to contribute more to development of Korean movies in the future. He said, “I have been working in the movie industry for a long time, but I produced only four movies up to now. I think that I might need to be less greedy about producing movies. I am trying to make more chances to meet with the audience. But I think that there still exists something that I can contribute through producing Korean movies, which will be only possible by my effort. So now I am trying to find those things that only Kang Je Kyu can contribute to Korean movies and its development.”

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