Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Amidst the travel bans and boundaries drawn due to COVID-19 fears, one trend is clear in the world of production. We’re evidently seeing more film directors cross over making TV series as well. With countless talented directors, writers and producers all over the world, this isn’t a new shift, yet here are some notable Korean directors, who have found successes in both films and TV series.
The most talk about show in town is Season 2 of Netflix Original, Kingdom. In case you didn’t know, Season 1 was a sensational hit amongst all TV fans during it's release in January 2019.
“Kingdom” was directed by Kim Seong Hun, who started his career in film and was first assistant director for “Oh! Happy Day” and “He Was Cool”. He later went on directing and screenwriting the award winning film, “A Hard Day”, released in 2014 and “Tunnel” in 2016. “Kingdom” is Director Kim’s first television series. Season 2 was released on Netflix March 13, coincidentally Friday the 13th.
Similar to Kim Seong Hun, is director for “Train to Busan”, Yeon Sangho. Before zombies feature films were the trend, Director Yeon began a career directing short films and animated films, including “The Fake” and “Seoul Station”. He recently made a crossover to TV screenwriting Korea’s recent tvN series, “The Cursed”. Director Yeon is currently working on his latest film, “Peninsula”, four years after the “Train to Busan”, and the story, as you might have guessed, is about zombies. The film is set to release in Korea this summer.
Last but not least, Director Bong Joon Ho had to be mentioned given his four recent wins with “Parasite" at the Oscars. While Director Bong has made mainly feature films and short films in his career, he’s no stranger to the international scene since his feature film, “The Host” was released in 2006. He consistently exposed his films in front of an international audience through renowned film festivals like the Palme d'Or. He also collaborated with Netflix to produce “Okja”, further exposing his defining styles highlighting drama, darkness and black humor.
Director Bong's critically acclaimed feature film, "Snowpiercer", also written by him and starring Chris Evans, will be adapted into an American TV series, scheduled to air on TNT in Q2 2020. It was announced that Academy Award-winning film, "Parasite" will also be adapted into a TV series by HBO.
Korean film directors aren’t the only ones crossing over as many Asian directors are already experimenting from anthologies, web series to full on drama series. With rampant overseas distribution, this means more content and options available for the average consumer, keeping their eyes peeled the video platform of choice for longer hours.
As Bae Doona’s character in Kingdom says, “No matter how severe the disease is, there’s always a way to stop it.” Timely quote given this very trying period globally with the Coronavirus. The virus has taken a toll on every business all over the world and entertainment media certainly isn’t spared. However, this proves to be the best time to hide in the comfort of home, catch up on the to-do list and get creative. While you’re at it, why not catch up on some series and films too?