Have you ever heard the word mockumentary? A mockumentary is a fake documentary that looks like a formal documentary and makes fabricated events look real. This genre is not well known in Korea. However, a CAU student challenges to make a mockumentary sitcom just like Columbus did to explore the New World. Here is the Columbus of Chung-Ang University, Kang Min-gu, who is directing mockumentary sitcom “University Students (대학생들 in Korean).”
CAH. There are many students who still do not know about the mockumentary sitcom “University Students.” Could you express the sitcom in one word for them?
Kang. When I started filming the sitcom, there was not so much enthusiasm as now. “University Students” does not fit with a fancy word. However, since its goal is to sympathize with university students, it can be expressed as ‘Sympathy.’ Unlike previous sitcoms such as Nonstop or Rainbow Romance that were far from the situation of the real world, “University Students” deals with the problems in reality such as part-time job, romance, GPA, and getting a job. Thus, students can sympathize with the characters by watching the sitcom.
CAH. You are majoring in English literature. What made you decide to be a director?
Kang. Since I was a middle school student, my dream was to be a director. Movie director or drama director, I didn’t really care. I shot a short film when I was in high school. However, I decided to major in literature in university because being a director requires literary sense. Among many languages I chose English literature because English is what I need to live in a globalized world. Moreover, considering my future career, it just made more sense to picture a globalized director working abroad. I’m double majoring in mass communication and there two majors fulfill my goal to be a director.
CAH. Is there any helpful class to improve your acting? How do you practice it?
Kang. I’m a substitute. I was not an actor at first. An actor who was supposed to play Min-uk dropped out. However, I could not remove Min-uk because he plays a major role in the sitcom. Instead, I distributed many parts of Min-uk to other characters. American dramas such as Friends and Modern Family help me a lot. Mostly, I focus on watching non-verbal expressions and try to mimick them. No special practice is done because my character does not require difficult acting skill.
CAH. There are four characters, Hyun-jin, Do-kyun, Min-uk, and Cha-ryum, in the sitcom. Who is your favorite character?
Kang. Many people expect that Min-uk is my favorite character just because I play him. However, Cha-ryum is my favorite. He talks about situations realistically in the sitcom and acts out my intended purpose well.
CAH. What is the most memorable event while you were filming or acting?
Kang. I was not lucky with the weather. When I had to film on the outside, it was the hottest day or raining too hard or wind blowing too much or a typhoon came. On the other hand, when I had to film inside, the weather was way too good. It made me crazy because weather is not something I can control.
CAH. Producing a sitcom is making something out of nothing. Was there any difficulty? What or whom was the most helpful to overcome the difficulty?
Kang. Gathering equipments and people was the most difficult part. To make things worse, most people were inexperienced so it was hard to teach them everything from scratch. Also, students majoring in film studies and mass communication can borrow equipments or get help from professors. However, I had to deal with it on my own.
Everyone involved in making a sitcom helped me overcome the difficulty. No coercion or contract exists in participating to film the sitcom. Anyone can just leave. However, passion and affection keep us as a group. They give me physical and mental support.
CAH. What is a message or theme to deliver through “University Students”?
Kang. As a university student, I can understand university students better than others. I want to show how hard university students try to achieve their goals. Elders say that university students these days only know how to have fun. This is not true. Many students struggle to get good grades, have a part-time job, and build their careers at the same time. I want to show university students’ hard efforts through the sitcom.
CAH. What do you wish university students to be influenced by watching “University Students”?
Kang. I want university students to be consoled by watching the sitcom. Some characters are placed in a difficult situation and overcome the difficulty. Students also can get over a difficulty.
CAH. Is there any direction field except mockumentary sitcom you want to try? Are you the person who prefers to pioneer in new fields?
Kang. I want to try as many fields as I can. However, I would love to try thriller movie for several reasons. Thriller movies display their director’s ability clearly. Lots of suspense is needed and a cliché story bores people. Maintaining suspense throughout the whole story is the most difficult thing. If I can successfully make a thriller, I can do well in other fields, too.
CAH. You are busy filming the sitcom. What is your plan for after college?
Kang. For the foreseeable future, I’ll edit season 1 of “University Students”. Then, I’ll work on a short movie. Directing season 2 of “University Students” comes later. I’ll keep studying about directing drama and movie. Of course, I want to work at drama broadcasting company in the future. I’m interested in E&M that includes Onstyle and TVn.
CAH. After the sitcom gains popularity, you get a lot of fans. What kind of person do you want to be?
Kang. Whenever I hear about gaining popularity, I feel uncomfortable. I’m not a professional director but still a student who is learning about directing. However, I want to be a person who is constantly learning. I learn a lot from challenge and failure.
CAH. Only a very small number of students you are able to work in the field they want to like you are. Say something to encourage CAU students to challenge themselves.
Kang. An ordinary student like me can do this. So can you. Failure as a university student is acceptable. Once you are thrown in to the real world it is not. Just do it. We can learn from our failure. The chance you just missed will never come back.
CAH could feel Kang’s humbleness throughout the interview. Kang is only a student, yet passionate and challenging one. CAH wishes him luck and bright future.
The mockumentary sitcom “University Students” is gaining popularity day by day. Why don’t we check this out on the website? www.paperfeelm.com< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >