I can read hangul, understand basic phrase, can catch up easy and common dialogue, and obviously: can use online dictionary, lol. That’s it. People say it’s learning by doing, so here I am… Feel free to correct my translation work. This is my own practice ground, so take everything with huge grain of salt. Lol. Thanks~
SBS <Good Sunday — Running Man> rating in Sunday afternoon slot is currently running. More viewers learned about this show because of the staffs’ effort to run faster than anyone. <Running Man> became popular because of its new guest and landmark every week and its new game with Yoo Jaesuk and Kim Jongkook’s mind battle and chasing. It also gained more “fans” as it was seen in the recent Thailand and China episodes. Thus, we interviewed Jo Hyojin PD last Monday in SBS Seoul Mokdong Office.
Up until now, Jo Hyojin PD has been directing shows for twelve years and two months (T/N: Until this interview date, which is almost a year ago). Jo PD said that he wanted to create a tense game show like in American series “24” and “Prison Break” as he directed <X-Man> and <Family Outing>. “Mind battle format has been tried few times already in variety shows like <Infinity Challenge>. It felt burdensome to me at first. But now, I am finally able to catch the gist of it,”
Gary, Song Jihyo, and Song Joongki are “variety newbies” who need time to establish their characters naturally and fully understand game show’s format. Recently, characters like “Monday Couple”, “Yooruce Willis”, and “Commander” took place in the show. At such, the staffs are surprised with Gary’s success.
Jo Hyojin PD also praised Yoo Jaesuk’s “professionalism” as he always try to involve the “variety newbies” in the show. “(Yoo Jaesuk) is never satisfied with his current state and continuously improves himself so he can survive in any situation. ‘Everyone is looking at me, so I shouldn’t disappoint’, that’s what he probably thinks.” Yesterday, Yoo Jaesuk was eliminated early and at first it made Jo PD worried. He felt relieved thanks to the strong members.
On the other hand, <Running Man> shooting venue or “landmark” also began to attract attention. The main building or tourist spot landmark is determined based on the request or the concept story. Im Hyung Taek PD who is also interviewed on spot explained. “The last Choi Minsoo special’s landmark, a grotesque amusement park, was brilliantly combined with Choi Minsoo’s character,” he said.
PDs and writers also did a field research for the venues. By doing that, they completed the rough idea for the story. Shooting usually took up about 6 hours with fast-paced games. Therefore, having strong stamina is a must. Recording enough materials in order to anticipate any error is also important.
<Running Man> staffs are also known for using multiple cameras when recording at the venues. More than 50 units of ENG 6mm (T/N: I don’t know, type of camera?) are used for individual-shoot, while 2 units of Canon EOS 5D Mark II are used together. CCTV cameras are also installed to capture the members’ gesture. By using cameras, the intervention from the crews can be minimized. “We monitored (from the cameras) so there’s no violation of game rules. Direction will only be given if the casts have desperately tried and still didn’t have any clue,” Jo Hyojin PD said.
For an example, in the popular “Yooruce Willis” episode, VJ was the only one who recorded the spy so the other members couldn’t notice it. Jo PD also prevented the other members seeing the surprises (T/N: Spy?) by telling them to go to the parking lot with his walkie-talkie. “We don’t just give direction when something unexpected happened. We’re not going to disturb the show’s flow,” That’s the core idea of <Running Man>. The staffs also held a meeting everyday. “We need to squeeze new ideas to be featured in the next week. Writers are suffering a lot,” Jo PD said.
<Running Man> has changed its format several times for the past 1 year and 2 months. And currently, they choose to stay with the “race” format. “I will not change the show format as the game show. I want to continue directing this as a game show combined with real-life struggle and mind battle,” Jo PD said. He also thought of bringing more variations in the future. “I will find more than ten variations in the future. Right now, I only have two in my mind though (laugh),”
Jo PD also thought of using various landmark concept for <Running Man>. “Right now, the locations we choose as the venues are the neighborhood near our house. We want to show the landmarks in the place where we live. The ideas for various landmarks are still open,” he viewed it as a challenge for the crew. Planned to air as Chuseok Special, the “Tru Gary Show” episode is an example of their success. “I feel the pressure weekly, but when the members start to have mind battle, it’s such a pleasure for me (to watch it). It’s really fun directing this show,” he said as he laughed.
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