Thursday, January 6, 2011

Namyangju Studios

If you think going to North Korea from South Korea is impossible, think again! I just did! Yes! I just crossed the Dimlitarized Zone (DMZ) through the Joint Security Area (JSA). Now how is that possible? Just take the Jungang Line and get off at Ungilsan Station then a shuttle bus going Namyangju Studios will take you to the location of the movie JSA! hahahahahaha

According to Gyeonggi Province's website Namyangju Studio is comparable to US' Universal Studios. I am not sure if I can agree to this but definitely both are filming sites.  The famous movie JSA was filmed here. As you can see our pictures looked so real. The area is quite huge. aside from the JSA location or Panmunjeom, there are also traditional villages especially made for historical movies and dramas. When we went there, a drama was being filmed. There is also an indoor musuem where you could see interesting wall paintings, huge movie posters and many more about Korean film industry.

I guess the area is also called Seoul Filmmaking Complex. Located at Yangsu-ri, Gyeonggi-do it includes outdoor sets as well as studios. At the Film Culture Museum, it is possible to see and experience all stages of film production from beginning to end. In addition, there are many props and accessories as well as wardrobe departments. The outdoor sets from the Korean hit "JSA" in 2000 to director Im Kweon-taek's film "Chilhwaseon (Strokes of Fire)" are located here.

Shuttle Bus Schedule:
Ungilsan Station to Namyangju Studio

Arrived at the station at 08:45 and departs at 08:50

Every Monday , New Year's Day

Operating Hours
March-October, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. / November-February, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Admission Fees
19 yrs. and over, 3,000 won
13-18 years old, 2,500 won
4-12, age 65 and nd over, 2,000 won
(Groups of more than 30 people may receive a 500 won discount each)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Power Korean: Kim Jong Seon

Born on April 16, 1989, Jong Seon grew up in the suburbs of Seoul, Gimpo. I always think of Gimpo as the airport for domestic flights or flights nearby Korea like Japan and China.  Anyway, back to the topic, he lived in Gimpo for 20 years and decided to find himself after realizing that he didn’t know what to do with his life. His interest in music made him take it as his major in college. Eventually, it also led him to his current career, which is a musical actor after meeting his mentor at his school. He said he saw how his mentor “made” music, which also made him dream of becoming someone in this industry.

I came to know Jong Seon because of a common friend, which I will also introduce later. I think this very humble and polite friend of mine, will definitely be successful in the future. He may be young but he is already very busy with his current career. “There are still many things I have to learn” as he told me many times. He is not just interested at acting but he is also into the mechanics of how a musical is being managed like music, background, setting etc. He is also very open to different kinds of roles he would get in a musical. He said he is ready to take all challenges he would experience as an aspiring actor. When he was younger, being the only child made him stay outside all day with friends. Just like any other young Koreans, as he emphasized, he has done a lot of crazy things way back then. Having no dream for 20 years, he thinks that he is very blessed to be able to finally find what he wants to do. He knows that there will be many challenges ahead. Now he focuses on how to improve his acting and singing and believes that he should be more confident.
He is currently performing in the musical Hwarang which will run until February 2011. His first role was Sadaham but he will play another role, as Kwallang, for the upcoming performances. 

Just a brief background about the “Power Korean” entries. I try to feature my Korean friends’ here which I think worth sharing to the public. I believe this will give everyone a glimpse of normal Korean people’s lives as they dream and take challenges on the path they’ve chosen. Since power Korean is synonymous to potential Koreans, most friends featured here are aspiring artists.