Hangul Celluloid: You are a London-based Korean artist. Prior to writing and directing short film ‘One Fine Day’, what main forms did your artwork take?
Kim In-geun: I was sort of trained as a sculptor early in my career but once I moved to the U.K, I started to branch out into painting, sound and moving images as well. Some of those incorporated still sculptural elements.
Hangul Celluloid: What ultimately led to your decision to make ‘One Fine Day’? Did the differences of working as an artist in London, as opposed to living in Korea, play a part in that decision?
Kim In-geun: Making the decision to make a short film was quite easy as I didn’t realize how hard it would be in the beginning. I was very lucky that I had people around me who willingly joined the project when asked.
Lives of international students or artists including me in London appear to be somewhat more eagerly focused on achieving success. But at the same time, we want to be more relaxed despite our time limitations in London. ‘One Fine Day’ reflects this difference in life style.
I think most people involved in my film had similar notions to it.
Hangul Celluloid: At the Q&A after the screening of ‘One Fine Day’, you stated that you are a fan of Hong Sang-soo’s films. What attracts you most about his films?
Kim In-geun: I watched one of films called ‘The Power of Gangwon Province’ when I was about 18. I remember that I didn’t find anything interesting and I must have skipped so many his other films too. Not so long ago I watched his film ‘As if you know it all’. I was seduced by his language and ability to represent the reality of mundane things in a more realistic manner and the awkward pleasure throughout the film. Then I started to catch up on his other films. I guess in some respect, the more I experience or age the more I become aware of his intentions.
Hangul Celluloid: How much (and how) do you feel Hong Sang-soo’s film-making influenced you in making your short film and do you feel that influence was present in both the script writing process and the directing of your film?
Kim In-geun: I am not a perfectionist and I am very tolerant of myself when I am doing something new. I think Hong Sang-soo does often liberate his film-making in order to achieve naturalistic effects. In some respect, there is some similarity with my film-making and my other art projects. During the shooting of ‘One Fine Day’, I think I enjoyed a great amount of time observing the actors responding to each other and to the situations I gave to them. When I was writing the script, I tried to make the words quite allusive rather than explicit. I think that led viewers towards more open interpretations.
Hangul Celluloid: The narrative of ‘One Fine Day’ focuses on the story of a self-conscious artist and the various people he comes into contact with, including another artist who could be described as somewhat pretentious. Where did the basis of the story begin?
Kim In-geun: I think both characters are self-conscious and pretentious at the same time but each person expresses their emotions in different ways. I don’t think I identify with only one particular character. I initially wrote the story of a conversation of two different artists and then built up the rest of narrative. For me, the conversation seemed to be pretty plausible as we look quite absurd especially when we are drunk.
Hangul Celluloid: Is the main character of Ilsu perhaps partly auto-biographical and were any of the things that happen to him in the film based on your own experiences?
Kim In-geun: Yes there were. Particularly, in the beginning of the film, Ilsu’s voice over on the term ‘consistency’ is partly taken from one of my favorite quotes by Hong Kyoung-han the art critic. However, I see my reflections in other characters as well. I become different to different people around me. The incidents in the film are compounds of my own experiences, some secret stories I have heard, and fabrication.
Hangul Celluloid: To my mind, ‘One Fine Day’ speaks to those involved in any creative endeavour, be it art or even writing. Was that your original intention?
Kim In-geun: It wasn’t my original intention to be honest. I didn’t know much about the vibes in other creative fields. But I guess all the people in creative fields have many common concerns and ideas.
Hangul Celluloid: There is more than one mention of pornography and masturbation in ‘One Fine Day’ and, in fact, the film even finishes with the main character watching pornography. What were you ultimately saying with the inclusion of this element?
Kim In-geun: I didn’t want any of the different characters in the film to look dominant or appear better. From the very beginning of the film, Ilsu’s impression is quite intelligent and determined. However, his counterpart Gemini fools himself in some respect. I wanted to focus on Ilsu’s non-verbal expressions on pornography in a rather absurdly explicit way to make this element a social unifier in the hierarchy of two people.
Hangul Celluloid: As pornography is referenced in your short film, what are your feelings about the increase of adult/sexual content in Korean films today?
Kim In-geun: I think it’s natural. Many ideas are becoming generally accepted nowadays. This is the most important thing for creativity.
Hangul Celluloid: One of the characters in ‘One Fine Day’ repeatedly mentions “images on Facebook” while another states that he hardly uses Facebook at all. What are your feelings about social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, both as an artist and personally?
Kim In-geun: The Facebook phenomenon is very interesting. Some people take it too seriously, some are not into it and some pretend that they are not into it. I think I’ve been through all of the above.
Hangul Celluloid: How did you cast ‘One Fine Day’?
Kim In-geun: I asked friends and some of their acquaintances to take part. Thankfully most of them willingly joined in.
Hangul Celluloid: You also created and performed some of the music in ‘One Fine Day’. Was the music created specifically for the film or was some of it created as independent pieces of music prior to your decision to make the film?
Kim In-geun: I made 2 out of the 4 tracks whilst making the film. So yes, I made two specifically for the film.
Hangul Celluloid: I believe you are also involved in working on another short film directed by an associate of yours. Could you tell us a little bit about it?
Kim In-geun: It’s a short film entitled ‘Bincent’ written and directed by Changwoo Ryu who was the director of photography of ‘One Fine Day’. I will compose soundtracks, edit the film and have some acting scenes. We have already begun shooting and aim to finish it by the end of February 2013. It’s about a Korean man in London learning English who wants to apply to an art school. There are some spin-off elements from ‘One Fine Day’ in it.
Hangul Celluloid: Do you have plans to write and direct another film yourself and would you like to perhaps try to move to making a feature length film, or do you intend to have filmmaking as a sideline to your other art projects?
Kim In-geun: I have a couple of ideas for my next projects. And of course, I’d like to try a feature length film someday. I don’t particularly intend to make filmmaking just a sideline. I just have many things that I want to do. I will make my next film when I am fully aware that I am ready and everything is in place.
Hangul Celluloid: What efforts have you made, or are you making, to get ‘One Fine Day’ screened in the UK and how difficult have you found the process?
Kim In-geun: I didn’t make any big efforts to screen the film. We were all amateurs and just happy to finish the film. I met Yovi Jisun Song - the Director of Alpha Art Association - and Dani Daeun Kim - the creative manager - at one of their events and they showed continuous interest in my film. Thanks to them, we managed to have this premiere screening and I was very happy with it. Then I realized finishing the film involves screening it and talking about it with the audience.
Hangul Celluloid: What are your thoughts on audience reactions to ‘One Fine Day’ so far?
Kim In-geun: It was really nice to have a Q&A after the screening and we spent a great length of time talking about the film with many people. Reactions varied from person to person. I think the film itself played a role to lead many people to an open and comfortable ground.
Hangul Celluloid: Finally, what would you ideally like audiences to take away with them as a result of watching your film?
Kim In-geun: It’s difficult to think of anything ideal to be honest. I wanted to avoid any strong messages or implications in it that might have led the audience towards quite inhibited ways. I’d like them to have various different opinions to my film.
Hangul Celluloid: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my many questions.