BUSAN — Calls for a fairer share of profits was the main theme to emerge from a Busan seminar on the Korean blockbuster. Some came from surprising sources.
All the speakers and the moderator were producers or directors of movies that had sold more than 10 million tickets at the Korean box office.
“The lowest-ranking crew members should see some of the profits, not just the big companies,” said Won Dongyeon (“Masquerade,”). “Profits are concentrated in one part and that has got to change. This is not a communist society but everyone has to make a living,” said JK Youn, one of the most powerful producer-directors in the country following 2009 hit “Haeundae.” Youn is currently in post-production on “Ode To My Father,” which is expected to be one of the biggest pictures of 2014, for CJ Entertainment.
The speakers said that the expansion and opening of the Chinese market represents an opportunity for filmmaking talent to travel. But Choi Jaewon (“The Attorney”) warned against Koreans competing against each other in their rush to get into China.
Another recurring theme was the perceived oligopoly control of Korean cinema screens by a handful of major corporations.