You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Stoker’ to help Chung reboot career in States

10 Cinematographers to Watch 2013: Chung-hoon Chung

Chung-hoon Chung, who was born in 1970 in Seoul, South Korea, started out as a child actor and cinephiles everywhere can be thankful that he turned out to be “a horrible one — really bad.”

After 10 years of emoting while attending Dongguk U. in 1990 as theater major, he turned his focus on cinematography, directing three shorts and learning the ropes. During his senior year, he made his debut as cinematographer on a feature called “Yuri.”

“It was based on a famous Korean novel, and they had no money to hire a real d.p., so I jumped at the chance,” he recalls.

“Yuri” was invited to Cannes and Chung’s career seemed set to take off. Instead, he struggled for several years to establish himself. “First, I had to do the mandatory military service for two years, and then I couldn’t get any work for five years.”

Chung also became a victim of Korea’s strict hierarchy in the camera realm.

“You’re supposed to work your way up from the bottom, but as I started off as a d.p., the camera society rejected me, and I considered quitting and opening an ice-cream shop,” he admits.

He got his big break shooting Park Chan-wook’s 2003 thriller, “Oldboy.” Chung has since shot all of Park’s films including Nicole Kidman starrer “Stoker,” his first English-language feature, which debuted at Sundance.

In its review Variety says Chung “appears to be channeling photographer Gregory Crewdson’s eerily high-key Americana in his lighting schemes.”

“My goal is always to translate the director’s imagination into images and give the actors a comfortable working environment,” says Chung, who’s currently based in L.A. where he’s studying English. “I have a lot of work and offers in Korea, but I’d really like to stay and work in America now.”

Favorite tool: “I love Arricam and 35mm. I don’t dislike digital but I much prefer shooting in 35mm though I know I’ll have to make the change now as it’s all going digital.”

Inspiration: “Martin Scorsese’s films really influenced me, especially ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘Taxi Driver.’ And I love Sam Peckinpah’s movies. ‘The Wild Bunch’ is a favorite.”

Representation: WME’s Jasan Pagni, Devin Mann, Holly Jeter

More Scene

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

  • Mick Jagger

    Mick Jagger Makes First Post-Surgery Appearance at Rolling Stones Ballet Premiere

    Rock legend Mick Jagger made his first public appearance post-heart surgery on Thursday night to catch a glimpse of the world premiere of the Rolling Stones ballet “Porte Rouge.” “I hope you are going to enjoy this wonderful new ballet, and, of course, the music,” the frontman declared in a pre-recorded message to the audience [...]

  • Adam Driver appears at the curtain

    Adam Driver on Starring in 'Burn This' for a Second Time

    The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]

  • PMC Event Rome

    Film, Fashion, Formula E Mix at Rome E-Prix Bash

    Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.  Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]

  • Katy Perry, Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna

    Katy Perry and Anita Hill Honored at the DVF Awards

    Katy Perry was among the honorees at the 10th Annual DVF Awards on Thursday night. The singer was recognized for her advocacy work with both UNICEF and the LGBTQ community. “Music has opened the doors for so many opportunities for me,” she said while accepting the inspiration award. “The ability to meet people and champion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content