Chapter 521

“I’ll first tell you why I want to shoot this movie. At first, my intention was to be the whistle-blower. There’s a bullied main character, the bullies, and then the onlookers. By having the camera observe the three groups from a distance, I wanted to show the problems that the students living in this era are going through. But I thought a bit more about it. I believe that there should always be a solution to whistle-blower-type situations. It is definitely valuable to make it known that such problems exist, but bullying has long since been an issue, and many discussions have taken place already. There are proposed solutions, and whether they are effective or not, we’ll have to see in the future, but since it’s already been talked about, I decided to change the direction a little.

That’s when I thought that I should escape the whistle-blower mindset and decided to show how people act instead. The main character is a target of bullying, but he eventually escapes that restraint. Having been freed, the main character could reach out to others that are in the same situation that he used to be in, but he could also prove himself to be different from the rest by ignoring them completely. Usually, it would be a happy ending just by grabbing that person’s hand, but you know that doesn’t happen in real life. I wanted to create a story that’s more extreme and wanted to show the vagueness of people.

Is the main character, who was someone that got bullied, somehow that managed to escape, and someone got into bullying others really evil? Or is he a victim as well? If you want to blame someone, then whose fault is it? I want to throw these questions to the audience. The synopsis I wrote based on that is on the next page. Please have a read.”

Maru flipped over the page. The synopsis he saw yesterday could be seen. It seemed that this was the first time anyone else in the club had a look at the synopsis as they all seemed quite absorbed into it. He skimmed over it to find any differences, but there didn’t seem to be any.

Sora, standing at the front, was looking at the club members with an expression filled with confidence.

Everyone seemed to have finished reading the synopsis as they started moving. Sora started speaking around that time as well.

“Does anyone have any questions about the synopsis?”

Maru quietly looked at the people of the film production club. They looked at each other but did not say anything. Well, it wasn’t that surprising since none of them had any interest in producing a film before today. If they passionately asked questions about this synopsis, there wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

“I’ll consider that you don’t and go to the next part. If you flip over another page, you’ll see the storyboard. It’s not completed yet, it’s just the beginning parts. I made it to show you that that’s the plan I have, so just take it as a reference.”

Maru flipped over the page at the same time as everyone else and looked at the next page. There were some illustrations that looked like it was a scan of some hand-drawn pictures. They were very crude. A circle was a head, and a long object connected to it was the body, while hands and feet were represented by triangles. Next to the pictures were some sentences that describe the situation.

“What is this?” One of the club members had asked that.

“It’s called a storyboard, you can think of it as a manual for shooting the movie. I’m not good with my hands, so the drawings aren’t that good, but I think the structure is perfect.”

“So you’re shooting it just like this?”

“Yes. As long as we stick to that, we’ll end up with a splendid movie.”

She sounded very confident. The club members all looked at each other and whispered among themselves. So she even went this far, looks okay, she looks serious, etc. There were some good reactions. Sora’s confidence seemed to have risen a level. It was obvious from the thickened smile on her face. Maru did not say anything and just checked a few things with his pen. He was planning to ask all the questions he had in one go at the end.

“Seniors. You should have seen the content our club produced before up there. Don’t you feel your heart racing when you look at the movies that our seniors made six years ago? You know, I really want to try making this movie seriously. It’ll be hard. It will take a lot of our time as well. But I believe that the satisfaction and fun we will get out of it are worth it. Think about it. Imagine shooting a movie with all of us. Watching movies is good, but that's just consumption. I believe that true fun lies in the creation.”

Sora raised her synopsis to her eye level.

“Also, with this, I believe that we’ll get good results at the film festival. Plus, that’s one more line on your student record. It won’t just end as a simple hobby, you’ll be able to gain prizes for it, I mean, there’s a prize for the winners after all. From what I know, the grand prize is around 1 million won. If we get the prize, we’ll split it fairly. Don’t you think that’s good?”

Sora stopped there. She seemed to want everyone to exchange opinions.

Ando spoke after staying silent for a while.

“What do you all think?”

“I don’t think it’s a bad idea. At first, I didn’t really like it since when Sora first said that we should do it, it seemed like she was just bothering us, but now that we got to hear her out like this, she sounds like she knows a lot, and isn’t just being reckless.

That was positive feedback. Then, the boy sitting next to him spoke,

“Meeting up and watching a movie together is good, but after listening to her, I think it’s a good idea to create something. After all, we are the film production club. Sora seems knowledgeable in movie production as well.”

The general opinion seemed to be leaning towards do than don’t. The people that seemed to be 2nd year students all agreed that they should try it out. Ando put down the plan and asked.

“You’re asking us to help you make this movie, right?”

“Yes. I’ll also be really happy if I can make it with all of you. Since it’s like this, we should really try it out. I’m really confident. As long as you follow me, I’ll pay you back with a year that you will not regret.”

Sora’s provocative words made Ando groan before nodding. He still didn’t look like he accepted it fully, but it seemed that he couldn’t just ignore the opinions of his juniors.

“It’d be strange not to do it when you prepared so much for it. Honestly, I was surprised. I thought you were pretty much joking since you seemed to be over your head when you talked to us about it.”

“Sorry about that.”

“No, I did have my misunderstandings after all.”

Seeing the other members, who had lukewarm reactions at first, leaning towards doing it, Maru tapped on the table with his hand. While he felt sorry for breaking the mood, he had to ask some things here.

“You are accepting questions, right?”

“Eh? Questions?”

Sora hesitated for a while before replying ‘yes’ in a cheerful voice.

“First, the synopsis. You switched your mind from being a whistle-blower to showing what people are like, right?”

“Yes.”

“So what are you trying to tell your audience through this movie?”

“Like I said before, whether the main character should be seen as a sinner or a vic-”

Maru raised his hand to stop her. Sora curled her lower lip inwards and stopped speaking.

“Sorry for stopping you. I heard that before but what I really want to ask is what you’re trying to show through this movie. Throwing questions at the audience. Is that it?”

“Huh, that’s...”

“I’ll change the question. Which side are you on? Is the main character you created a victim after all? Or is he in the wrong?”

“I think that….”

He is in the end - she added after a pause.

“Why is he in the wrong?”

“Because in the end, he abandons his friend.”

“Then the intention is a little weird. You shouldn’t be asking the audience whether he’s good or evil, but rather you should be portraying him as an evil person and asking the audience what they think, am I wrong? The film will change according to which side the director is focusing on, and if you create the movie when you have already deemed him as evil, then wouldn’t the audience think that he’s evil as well? They might be misled into thinking what you’re thinking.”

“That wasn’t my intention though….”

“But you’ve already come to the conclusion that the main character is in the wrong. Oh, do tell me if I’m jumping to conclusions when I’m thinking that the main character is evil because he’s in the wrong. Is there another interpretation?”

“Uhm… I just wanted to show that such a thing can happen.”

“Show that such a thing can happen, I see.”

Maru twirled the pen in his hand. There were works that were created without intention. Not all people working in the arts produced their works with perfect calculations. However, Sora expressed her confidence in her work. She even said that she had an intention, and he just asked her to make that vagueness a bit more definite, but she was at a loss for words.

He nodded once before flipping over to the next page. This was the storyboard part.

“Did you check on all the locations?”

“Eh? The locations?”

“You said this was the storyboard. Aren’t storyboards supposed to be made after scouting all the locations out and getting the angles from them as well?”

“Ah, right. I just made it thinking that that’s the general direction I’ll take.”

Then this is more of a sketch than a storyboard. Also, how are you going to take the shots in each scene? The actor’s movements, camerawork, shot types, there’s nothing about those on here.”

“I was planning to decide after looking at the camera at the scene.”

Maru twirled the pen once again.

“Didn’t you just say that this was the manual?”

“I did.”

“A manual doesn’t just mean vague direction, does it?”

Sora fell silent.

The reason Maru asked questions about the storyboard was because of two things. One was to see if she really knew what she was doing, and the second reason was because he was curious about the reason why she actually put this here.

“Did you just draw poorly to show the seniors of your club that something like this exists? That’s how I felt about it.”

“....”

“I’m not trying to interrogate you or anything, I just want things to be clear. If you truly want to shoot a movie, these are the people you should be asking help from more desperately than anyone. Don’t you think you should have been more honest? I am lacking in some parts, but I want to fill that up as we shoot things together - or something along those lines. Were you planning to pretend that everything was perfect and get their agreement first before starting the shoot?”

Sora silently looked at him. Maru did not look into her eyes. He didn’t want to peek at someone’s mind without reason. The emotional consumption on his part was quite big when he looked into someone’s mind. He especially felt really iffy if the opponent was swearing on the inside while smiling on the outside. He would use it if it was necessary, but he didn’t feel the need to use it against a kid.

Since there was no reply, he just went on to the next question.

“From what I heard, you have to hand in the final piece by the end of May, am I right?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“I’m not that knowledgeable about short films, so I looked into it a little, and apparently, most of them take about two to three months to make, even on a tight schedule.”

“I’m also thinking around two months.”

“I feel like we can only fill those twenty minutes if everything from the pre-production to the post-production is smooth. What are you going to do about the equipment?”

“Equipment?”

“You need a camera to shoot a movie. A camera that can shoot with the required specifications for the festival.”

“I’ll look into it.”

“It takes a lot of money if you want to buy it, so try looking into renting. I guess you can ask that graduate.”

“Yes!”

Sora replied in a brighter voice than before.

“You said that you haven’t scouted the locations yet, but do you already have some places in mind?”

“For now, there’s the school. As for the house, I’m planning to use mine. I’ll think about the rest and write it down afterwards.

Maru nodded. Sora sighed.

“Then it’s decided, right?”

“What’s decided?”

“That you’re shooting with us, of course.”

He was wondering why she sighed, but it turned out that she was sighing in relief. Since she looked like she misunderstood, he decided to correct her quickly.

“What about the script?”

“Ah, the script. I can make one quickly. It’s all in my head.”

“In your head, huh. So what, I’m supposed to be shooting inside your dream or something?”

Maru rotated the plan he placed on the table 180 degrees before pushing it towards Sora. Sora made a confused expression.

“I believe that there’s at least 10 million people in this country that shoot dramas and movies in their heads. But shooting is reality. Equipment, location, script. Not even one of them is ready. It’s not that the character I’m supposed to be acting is attractive to me either. Let me ask you one thing. Why should I do this?”

“I can prepare everything quickly. I’ll show you I can.”

“Then get everything ready and bring it to me. I think you’re mistaken about something. Just because I have time left over doesn’t mean I want to do unnecessary labor. It’s much better to get some other experience during that time. Also, I might not look the part, but I am an actor who works on contract. No, let’s say I’m some random nameless actor. Even a character that walks by without saying a single word gets paid to do it. Compensation is required for labor. That compensation doesn’t necessarily have to be money, but it needs to be something that benefits me. Creative experience? Honestly speaking, from what you’ve shown me until now, I don’t understand just what you’re trying to do at all. If you want to write a novel, I can cheer for you. You were good with your sentences. But if you are going to direct and produce a movie, then bring something that might entice an actor. I don’t belong to your club, and I hope you can remember that I’m here due to someone’s request.”

He looked at Sora, who shut her lips. She didn’t look like she had given up. That was good in its own way. He was thinking that he would gladly accept the shoot as long as she prepared properly. However, if this was all she had, he was planning to take his hands off this entirely. What he wanted to do was acting, not film production.

“I’m not that knowledgeable about movies either. But what I do know is that shooting is not that easy. Talk about it amongst yourselves before giving me an offer. If I think I’m interested, I’ll definitely do it for you. I don’t want to be too stingy after all.”

Good luck - he added before standing up. He heard Sora call out to him, but he closed the door.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

KTLChamber's Thoughts

Oof, savage.

Also, the film pre-production process seems a little different in Korea.

From research online, English-speaking communities seem to think that 'storyboard or script -> script or storyboard -> shot list -> script lining' is the right process.

In Korea though, there seems to be another process after storyboarding and before shot listing, called the 'conti' (short for continuity). 

It's basically the same thing as a storyboard, but really detailed (it has pictures, so I couldn't call it 'shot list')

In this case though, 'conti' has been translated to 'storyboard' while 'storyboard' has been changed to 'sketch'. I had to find a word to fit in it...


Editor's Note:
At least she has motivation. Covid U killed all of that for me