Creativity Never Sleeps
Commercial director, Kim Jeong-hoon (Theater & Film ‘87)
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In a capitalistic society, commercials play a great influence on people’s consumption. Within a film that lasts about 30 to 60 seconds, a commercial gives a certain image to a product or a service. How to make one is a quite complex task and News H asked Kim Jeong-hoon (Theater & Film ‘87), commercial director and the representative of the production group, THE HAPPY about more details.
30 Years Career Devoted to Commercial Making
Kim's interest in movies from his years of middle school grew large enough to apply to the Department of Theater & Film of Hanyang University (HYU). Kim mentioned how he was eagle to study movies more in depth. As it was his major, Kim was more associated with activities related to plays and movies than advertising. “I was deeply into plays. During my years at the university. I experienced various roles in plays, from acting, planning, to directing,” said Kim.
As he was very much devoted to studying movies and plays, his life was irrelevant to commercials until he graduated. “I was even planning to apply to foreign university to study further about the field but little shortage of scores needed was bugging me at the time,” said Kim. It was rather a radical choice for Kim to apply for a producer (PD) position at a commercial agency at his 4th year, when he had to make a decision about his future. Although it was highly competitive to take the postion as it was desired by a lot of the advertisement majors, Kim proudly passed 6 exams and interviews to make a first step in his commercial career.
“I think I was able to adjust well as producing commercials share common essence with making movies and plays. They both require ‘creativity’. The name of the two work is different, but people in both fields are ultimately trying to ‘create’ something in ways that is out of the box,” explained Kim. Starting from the PD, Kim’s career steadily went on the rise as he later become a major directors in two different commercial agencies. Finally at 1996, Kim decided to move out from his last company and to establish his own production company, THE HAPPY, which remarked its peak in his 30 years career.
Magic through Logic
The company is composed of Kim, as a representative director, and several employees, which is smaller than some of the big agencies. “I wanted my work environment to be flexible and free by keeping it small. That is why I decided to make my own company. I, myself do work when I am willing to, so I wanted to provide free and comfortable working environment for my employess as well," said Kim.
While the company’s working environment is free and flexible, it does not mean the job is without any stress. Kim said that his daily cycle is mainly composed of brainstorming. “To me, advertisement is like 24 hours. Every day, every moment, I think about advertisement. How to make it and to direct it. I even did a presentation in front of advertisers in my sleep. The psychiatrist I visited 5 years ago explained to me that my light sleep shows how stressful I can be before important meetings,” said Kim.
Even though being a commercial director can be one of the stressful jobs in the world, Kim said he is still enjoying his job as it is adventurous. “To me, there is no one commercial to consider at a certain period. When it is the busiest time of the month, I even had to plan 19 ads simultaneously,” said Kim.
There are various commercials Kim have directed. It ranges from food, drinks to public campaigns. Kim said one of the key priority to consider when he is directing, is perfect planning. “I try hard not to make any exceptions when I am filming. When filming the scene with actors and other staffs, I consider it a process of ‘editing’. I draw all the scenes in my head and follow it exactly,” said Kim. “Every scenes should be made with logic, it is made due to significant reason agreed by the whole team beforehand.”
In the New Era of Advertisement
There were several turning points in his 30 years career but Kim said one of the most important time is now. “A lot of the advertisement nowadays is changing its form into mobile ads, which spreads quicker. As the change is quite vast, a lot of the domestic commercial directors tend to work with foreign companies because of the lack of the number of conventional ads they can work on,” explained Kim. Kim said it is important to jump on the new bandwagon to survive in the field. “Old days were good, but I think change is what makes one improve oneself.”
“Moreover, I could be one of the oldest among commercial directors. There are a lot of directors quitting because of their age, but I don’t think creativity is something that is confined to one’s age,” said Kim. “Creativity never sleeps, one of my goal is film in the day of my 60th birthday party.”
Yun Ji-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Youn-soo
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