Tuesday, June 27, 2006

BYJ's photocommentary

gosh, i'm missing yong joon and i'm missing Quilt!! but i'm pretty sure that if worse comes to worst, the entire BYJ family will pitch in and share whatever info they have saved to rebuild our beloved Quilt again.

btw, i noticed that i've been blogging a bit lately. i must admit that i got a little lazy the last few weeks but i told myself that i have to make up for some of my future lost time ....huh?? yes, i will be away for a number of days next month and i'm already starting to make up..haha !!

anyways, i've read tons of very interesting and inspiring BYJ articles and i love love all of them but there are a number of pieces that have a special place in my heart.

ok, must admit i got a little paranoid with happened to Quilt so i've decided to repost here in my blog a few of my favorite BYJ articles. oh, how i would love to post all my favorite BYJ pieces...i guess i should start saving all these precious BYJ articles/interviews/translations. just in case...

one of my most favorite is this 2003 Cine21 article wonderfully translated by Youngsun onni. this photocommentary, as they call it, is very special for me coz this was written by none other than our man, Bae Yong Joon. yes, yes !!!....i'm not sure if this is the first time he did this but it sure is the first time i read an article written by him. and mind you, he even took the black & white photos !! i do hope yong joon will come up with pieces like this more often :)

he wrote this photocommentary during the filming of Untold Scandal. most of the pictures were reposted so many times in various sites and blogs but it sure feels a little different looking at them accompanied by words from the gorgeous man himself ^^

BYJ's Photocommentary on Untold Scandal
[Trans] Cine21(10/14/2003, No. 422)

Written by Bae Yong Joon, leading actor of Untold Scandal
Black & White Photos by Bae Yong Joon

Translated by 잔돌밭youngsun & originally posted in BYJ's KOB

[Manggeon*1) tightening my head, anxiety irritating Mr. Director]

"My God, 4 months' shooting from now on... Luckily, I didn't seal the contract yet"

It's not until both the movie company and I had to pass over several obstacles that I was given the role of Jo Won, the unprecedented playboy. As for my party, all including my managers objected desperately to my choice of a 'period movie' as my debut to the silver screen. And Mr. Director himself never dreamt to cast me as Jo Won. I could understand them. Judged from my drama images, it was sure to be a venture. The stronger the objections from my acquaintances became, however, the more intensely something from my inside kept signaling, "It's my role". Nevertheless, I couldn't imagine myself wearing a topknot, either. I as well as the movie company agreed to a tentative makeup test: I took off glasses, wore a beard and mustache, then a traditional costume, and then a topknot. When I did all my hair up into a topknot, and tightened the manggeon for the first time in my life, my head started to ache all at once. My only thought at the moment was to throw away everything. Director Lee Jaeyong was so meticulous that he would not permit girding a manggeon around short hair when wearing a topknot. Umm, then, I would always have to do my hair up tight like this... Their unanimous inspiring responses that it suited me surprisingly well made me forget the ache, but only for an instant... Four months' shooting period... I felt dizzy in the head... Umm...didn't I seal the contract yet, did I?

"Press hard! I've done enough for myself..."

All the actors make it a rule to prepare much before starting their new works, but, this time, I had to learn even 'how to walk' newly. Before shooting, I learned the poise of the nobility, manners of wearing a traditional costume, and the tea ceremony. Trying this or that gesture in an unaccustomed traditional costume, I felt even walking was difficult. I also had to learn how to ride a horse and to use a sword. Moreover, as Jo Won kept porno graphs of his love affairs with women, I had to learn drawing Korean paintings as well. Our ancestors were said to be good at everything; they were not only good at poetry, calligraphy and painting, but could plan their own houses. How lucky I am to be born in the 20th century! There still remained an important task of weight loss; muscular physique didn't become a scholar in the Joseon Dynasty. For 2 months until the movie crank-in I increased the amount of exercise greatly and began a spare diet. At last everybody, on seeing me, began to mention I had lost weight. However, the staff whom I met almost everyday didn't show any response. One day when shooting was taken in Andong, I told Producer Yujin and still photographer Taehwan triumphantly to press me down on the abdomen, only to receive no response from them. Saying "Well, how can we tell that you have lost weight or not, because we don't know how you were before?", they hurried to the snack table...

"May we finish it safe and sound"

On Feb. 6, 2003. At last came the first day of shooting. Cold winter wind pierced into me through the thin traditional costume. There held a sacrifice to gods for the safe progress of filming. I, together with Sister Misook, and Ms. Doyon, made ceremonial deep bows toward the smiling head of a pig with bills of money in its mouth. That posture of propping hair with her hands, to support the weight of her 4kg-heavy wig, would harass Sister Misook throughout the shooting period more than my topknot did me. What did I think of, while bowing that deeply? Jo Won in blindingly white robe made wishes softly... Mr. Director, staff members, Sister Misook, Ms. Doyon...all of them are competent and trustworthy...may we finish this long trail safe and sound! Then, the new movie actor Bae Yongjoon murmured his wishes... May my first movie not disappoint those nice persons who believe me with their best...may it be kept as a page of good memory in my life album!

"Cigarettes increase in number, whereas my body decreases in weight!"

It is quite true that nothing on the earth is easy to deal with. Dialogues such as 'hath done', 'dost thou know...' were like no less than foreign jargons to me, and their quantity was substantial. Moreover, the insidiousness of the character Jo Won was beyond imagination. Though I had spoken countless sweet dialogues and shed much tear, I could not tackle easily such a character as was confessing sincere love with his own mouth, but, on turning around, was wearing a mean smile instantly. The taciturn Director Lee Jaeyong seemed much worried inwardly. Ah~~ my hand turned automatically to a cigarette that I had avoided for a while. I could hear my weight reducing. I should not have lost weight intentionally before. His serious expression seen in the picture was captured at Seoul Cinema Complex on one day of the two months when the Buyongjeong scenes had been shot. Might he want to fly away the sense of obligation and stress in cigarette smoke...?

"How queer Mr. Director was at yo scenes"

A 'yo' scene... a very witty term referring to a bed scene of a period movie. Women with whom Jo Won slept were numerous, including kisaengs*2), So-ok who was both a would-be concubine to the husband of Lady Jo, Jo Won's cousin, and daughter to his ex-mistress (what a pair of mom and daughter they were!), etc,. Therefore, I shot a number of yo scenes... Jo Won, yes, he really has many women, I thought. It was not merely its performance but its appearance on the big screen that annoyed me. Moreover, it was also the role of a male actor to cover the actress when she became strained with yo scenes. However, I myself had never shot those scenes before! Worried that I might feel awkward at my first bed scenes, Mr. Director was so kind as to give a bodily demonstration of every bed scene. Mr. Director demonstrating solemnly those things ranging from odd moans to queer motions looked to me no less than a savior. The shooting site was filled with tension... Something must be wrong. Mr. Director and Sister PD, looking at the monitor, were exchanging words in a low voice for fear that someone might overhear them. I gave an unnecessarily loud shout, "Well, what are you two talking about? Please speak up for me to hear you!!" At the instant, the site was full of laughter. However, I seem not to have succeeded in hiding the pressing tension despite of my hard effort to shake it off. The picture, taken during the interval of yo scenes, shows me making a face with the head twisted to one side, at the corner of the shooting site...

"Sister Lee Misook, may I call you Big Brother?"

I felt particularly at ease whenever there was a shooting with Sister Misook. Perhaps thanks to her deep and rich personality, I could appreciate every advice of her who took the voluntary duty of a training instructor. The range of her view was wider than anyone else at the shooting site to an extent that she was called 'production director'. I felt very respectful of her who could turn her rich experiences into care and generosity for her juniors and peers. She shows personally what a 'senior' should be. I sometimes felt like calling her 'Big Brother'... Toward the end of filming, I could afford psychological serenity to pick up a camera and took to my own photographing. This picture of Sister Misook was taken by me during the interval between shooting scenes for the opening title sequence where I exchanged a subtle glance with her for the first time: she, in a magnificent white court dress, was discussing on the next scene with Sister PD. The presence of Sister Misook seen through the viewfinder of a camera either still or in motion pictures was felt very huge to beyond expression.

"What a pity for Mr. Director to waste his acting skill..."

Although I'd already heard that Director Lee Jaeyong was meticulous, it was far beyond imagination. His sense of humor was also extraordinary. How terse and witty his word was! It was such that you would explode into laughter only when you went your way one or two steps, and then, stopping your way, would look back at him again. Moreover, his demonstration of acting for characters was another fun of the shooting site. His demonstrations for wicked and bewitching expressions of Lady Jo, deceitful manners of Jo Won, and decent walking of Lady Sook as well made me wonder why he didn't become an actor himself. The picture shows me, standing side by side with him and following his hand movements. As we studied together which performance could be better, our postures and expressions might get assimilated. The poises of Mr. Director and me looking down at the monitor are almost the same, excepting the difference of our heights. Another characteristic of him is that he never shouts. Mr. Director in my photos was shown only in silhouette, buried in the background; like himself who didn't lose his own pace, however noisy his surrounding was.

"Hurry up, finish kissing quickly!"

While on persistent operations to seduce Lady Sook, the role of JDY, I was shooting a kissing scene, the supposedly fatal blow to her. Its tension was no less than that of yo scenes. Though the kissing was instant, it meant Lady Sook the first bodily relationship confirming her feelings of love, and, to me, the flashing realization that she, unlike other women, should not be trifled with. As the expression of this subtle feeling was more difficult than the smile of a playboy, I made quite many NGs. Moreover, as hairs of my beard and mustache glued around my mouth fell off, I had to redress them whenever I made an NG. As it kept raining on of off, with changeable weather, the staff was also worried. The looks of those surrounding the two serious-looking actors were graver. They might urge secretly, "Hurry up, finish kissing quickly!!! Before we have more rain!!!"

"All of you did really great jobs"

Nobody who hasn't experienced the hardship of the staff can know the degree of their difficulties. To say nothing of the long preparation term and the great shooting trail from winter to summer, for it was a period movie which required the attentive hands of the staff to every bit of its details, the sight of the staff working at the location was enormously touching. The art team was busy applying bean oil on the all corners of the floor in the Korean room within camera angles, and sprinkling water there for better color effect. They worked so hard that the shooting director, checking camera angles, would shout, "No! That's out of the angle! No more of it!!!" The grip team had to stand in the pond all day long, drenched to the waist, to hold the boat loaded with cameras for the boating scenes at Unrimsanbang; the assistant director planted out-of-season reeds one by one; the lighting team gazed ruefully at the whimsical sun playing hide and seek with clouds. However, they would not know how beautiful they looked every instant. Click, click, as I photographed their looks with my camera, their memories were kept in my mind. The filming period was felt only too long at the time... On retrospect, it's felt thrilling as if it had been an instant. Now, [Untold Scandal], out of the hands of those who produced it, has passed to the audience for the final judgment. For me, it will become a precious memory that I will turn to over and over again like an aged B&W picture.

*1) manggeon: a horsehair-woven headband
*2) kisaeng: a female entertainer who makes a feast or a drinking party more enjoyable


Blogger bb said...

hey, thanks for bringing this back! i hope the bewbies will all see this... will go 'shout about it' on my blog too.

am sure you've heard this before... yong joon's been known to write very well. so well that he's been rumoured to have engaged a ghost writer.

i remember, in particular, one interview when a journalist asked him if he wrote all the messages and stuff himself. what did wuri yong joon say to that? i think he said something to the effect that if he didn't write those, who else did?

mmm... i love a learned man.

thanks again, frances!

5:56 AM  
Blogger frances said...

you're welcome bb :)

oh yes, i'm aware that our man writes very well. his messages in kob are well written & i particularly like the one about the dokdo issue.

but he engaged as a ghost writer?? way too cool !!!

love him much much more ^^

6:28 AM  
Anonymous jaime said...

Wow frances, thanks for posting this precious photodocumentary. His writing is so well thought out. He does not write like he's a major star who's in control of everything. He poured out his feelings about the uncertainties he faced and never forgot to appreciate the staff around him. Such a talented perfect gentleman!

We are sad that Quilt is down, but it's fortunate for us that resourceful and articulate sister like you are posting more often now. Looking forward to more, thanks!

6:56 AM  
Blogger yokee said...

thank u frances for bringing back the good ole great writings of him..

*thanks bb for bringing me here*

i guess if u could read korean u would feel as tho the man is talking to u.

oh gosh...now i REALLY REALLY miss him !!!! i was trying so hard not to miss him but having read this again. i REALLY MISS HIM SO MUCH !

how i wish to see 'Hello this is Bae Yong Joon' in OB tonite. and its about this time to midnite that he usually post.


7:07 AM  
Blogger bb said...

oops... think i wasn't clear... what i was trying to say is that people were surprised he wrote so well, so there was so speculation that the messages and stuff didn't come from him. that he had used a ghost writer.

p.s. yokee, yea, me too noticed that he likes to post his messages around midnight or even later :p

p.p.s. hee, suddenly remember those days when kob was supposed to release the promo film or pics for the image in late 2004. i think they put those promo materials up at 2am or something.

haha, they probably thought not so many people would stay up that late. boy were they wrong. i can still remember how congested the site was!

yea... it's about time he appears and leaves us a message!

7:34 AM  
Blogger yokee said...

yeah...u know? not only him 'work' that late...even HIM too !

and for all uve done frances...

ive made a SOS call to him there...OB and here...http://absolutelybyj.blogspot.com/2006/06/nowim-missing-him.html

7:55 AM  
Blogger frances said...

haha, i got carried away when i saw the words ghost writer...i suddenly have this vision of yong joon writing an article or something and having this naughty knowing little smile !! thanks bb :)

8:23 AM  
Blogger frances said...

hey jaime,
another great stuff from our man, ya?
i'm running out of ohs and ahs everytime i think of the things that he can do as ...a sensitive actor, an astute businessman, a great strategist, a witty writer, a gorgeous hunk of an actor....^^

8:43 AM  
Blogger frances said...

hi there yokee !!
i'm also hoping that he will come out with a personal msg in kob...preferably a written one ^^

as much as i love seeing him on a VOD, it just feels fun & exciting writing down a reply to his message :)

8:53 AM  
Blogger marissa said...

Thanks for saving this photodocumentary cause I never did (babo). I can post this in baewatch?

9:31 PM  
Blogger frances said...

hi marissa,
sure sis, post it away in baewatch ^^

10:55 PM  

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