Kim Hye Jung (part II) Director of ‘Butterfly’ music video from G-Dragon’s first full-length solo album Producer of videos for ‘Gossip Man’ and ‘She’s Gone’ featured at G-Dragon’s Shine a Light concert
G-Dragon’s gallery planned an interview with director Kim Hye Jung for the publication of G-Book volume 2. Inverview questions were taken from gallery members for a period of about two weeks from April 20 to the beginning of May; after screening such interview topics in addition to survey questions regarding director Kim Hye Jung’s projects and videos, it has all been organized and produced into an interview book that was released on June 1, 2010. We thank director Kim Hye Jung, who not only graciously agreed to the interview, but also sent us honest and sincere responses to all of the questions.
Continued from part I.
8. How did the background for ‘She’s Gone’ come about?
From the beginning I had the stage in mind for the video of 'She’s Gone.’
So our priority wasn’t to produce an awesome music video, but to create a video with straightforward meaning and expression that would highlight the stage and the music, and I think that is what inspired those who watched it.
As much as G-Dragon was inspired by a movie to write the song, the inherent 'cruelty’ found in the song was not literal but part of a fantastical and aesthetic fiction, and so the decision to create this video like a scene from a movie came naturally.
Also, this performance is not a story of a provocative 'murder,’ but a way of expressing the crooked image of a man who chose a theatrical way of loving, and so in order to portray a world that was far from reality, a scene from a cruel fairy tale, we chose the backdrop of a time that is not the present.
The opening of the title screen as if it were a movie, the monotone of the picture with the contrasting red of the blood - which looks like red paint - were all ways to separate the story from reality.
And because the song 'She’s Gone’ is not a cold and cynical song, but one that carries the burning feeling of a man who yearns for a woman until the very end to the point where he cannot control himself, I thought it would work well with a classical and romantic theme.
9. I’m curious about the candle in 'She’s Gone.’
Originally we had G-Dragon open by smoking a cigar.
The scene with the candle was a scene that I shot in the middle of filming. Whenever I think of an image in between cuts I like to shoot it right then and there, and that’s how the candle scene came about. Because GD’s good with improvisations, he was able to pull off scenes that I came up with on the spot without a hitch.
So there are some cases where such improvised scenes make it to the final cut, and while it wasn’t intended this way, I used this cut while I was editing the age-12-and-under version.
10. About 'She’s Gone.’
Of all the work done for 'She’s Gone,’ I remember the first rehearsal the most. Because both Jiyong and I were really busy during the time before the concert, we had only been able to meet to discuss the stage for 'She’s Gone’ very briefly once at the general meeting. And so I went to that first rehearsal half worried and half excited, and I remember clearly getting a really strong impression from how smoothly everything went at the first run-through, from the transition from video to the stage, to the emotional expressions and stage directions.
I want to say that those who did not see 'She’s Gone’ at the concert will not be able to understand this feeling 100%. The video and the stage, along with the connection with the audience all led to an incredible experience in which one could feel the energy from GD’s explosive emotion.
If there’s one thing I regret it’s that those who did not see 'She’s Gone’ at the concert would interpret the video by itself and distort the essence of the performance.
- As a director, what do you believe to be the story and feel behind 'She’s Gone’? The image I got when I first heard the song was a film noir centered around a murder mystery. GD could have played two roles of both cop and murderer, or he could have been a character conflicted between a duality that he himself wasn’t even aware of. If it had been made into a music video, it probably would’ve had a much more complicated storyline.
11. About the 'Gossip Man’ video.
Filming for 'Gossip Man’ began without storyline. We began filming with only the general frame of doing a parady of Kim Gun Mo’s outfits and backgrounds.
When filming began, G-Dragon was tired from his schedules the day before, but as time went on he came alive and had fun with the parodied wardrobes. And he did something different for each cut without repeating any of the same gestures or movements. Honestly speaking, at this point I left it all up to G-Dragon and simply rolled the film.
'Gossip Man’ is ultimately a song that makes light of a heavy issue. We focused on that point for the video centered around humorous and bright expressions through parody. But I think there’s some dark humor to be found here, as one finds it hard to outright laugh at a performance in which [G-Dragon] is calling himself gossip man.
12. What are your thoughts or impressions about G-Dragon?
I’ve only seen G-Dragon’s industrious and professional sides, so I don’t know who is as a person. One thing I did feel as I stood by him during his solo activities is that the things he has to endure must be even greater than anyone could imagine. There are times when he appears mature beyond his years, which is probably why I feel this way.
And after working with G-Dragon, it’s true that my opinion about men as a subject matter has changed. I thought, hm… Men are also capable of such visuals, this kind of emotional expression… But such men are probably quite rare…
13. About G-Dragon’s acting.
When GD stands in front of a camera, I open the door to possibilities other than what was discussed on the storyboard. He isn’t afraid to come apart in front of the camera and shows many different sides of himself. It can’t be easy not to be self-conscious of these things in front of so many cameras and staff members, but his freedom always made for new things on set.
14. How is it like filming?
Honestly it is mostly difficult… On day two of filming for 'She’s Gone,’ G-Dragon was already exhausted and he had a departing flight the next day, so everyone was on edge. We were filming the scene with the candle and coincidentally GD blew it out with his nose, and all the tension broke and everyone started laughing. After that G-Dragon showed off his skills in blowing out candles with his nose and I remember the atmosphere on set becoming lively again.
15. What project are you most attached to and which scenes do you treasure the most?
I have to say the projects I’m most attached to are 'Butterfly’ and 'She’s Gone.’
It was pure luck for me to able to do two such contrasting projects with a single artist.
If I were to pick my favorite scenes from each project, they would have to be the final cut from 'Butterfly’ where GD is sitting on the roof, and the outtro of 'She’s Gone’ where GD first appears twirling a jack knife while thunder rolls in the distance. We filmed this in one long take and the camera movement along with GD’s acting and the timing of the thunder all fell in place perfectly, and we ended up with a really great scene.
16. About the director, Kim Hye Jung.
Rather than looking at the reality within a shot, I am more affected by creating the things you cannot see in reality. That’s why I think many people feel that my work is like a fantasy. You can say that music videos themselves are fantasies in that you create a visual world for a piece of music that you cannot see with your eyes.
If there was a difference between myself and other works and music videos, it would be that I consider the cooperation with the artist and the synergy that comes from that cooperation to be extremely important and effective.
I normally enjoy visually imaging while listening to music, so I don’t ever really enjoy the music for itself. I find myself listening to music that can inspire me visually, without regard for the genre or musician.
When 'Butterfly’ was released after two and half months of work, I was happy but was also met with this inexplicable feeling of nothingness. I could only see parts that were lacking so for awhile I had a hard time watching the final product. When 'Shine a Light’ concert was aired in theaters, I was embarrassed just sitting in my seat. Ultimately, I am not very cool. ^^
17. Is there a project you’d like to work on with G-Dragon in the future?
After filming 'She’s Gone,’ President Yang talked to G-Dragon about doing a short film, and that if there was the opportunity it would be nice to make a 15-minute short film in which we would be able to showcase his acting that didn’t make it into the short videos. If this ever becomes a reality I think it would be a really fun project to work on.
From G-Dragon’s solo album, I would like to put together a music video for 'She’s Gone’ that is completely different from the concert video.
18. How do you feel now that the interview is over?
Interviews are harder than I thought! ^^;
But I enjoyed looking back on my past projects. I would like to do this again once I put my regrets about my debut projects 'Butterfly’ and 'She’s Gone’ behind me and create even better projects.