"Escape", a Fashion Film, from a South Korean Film Director's View on New York City

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Minwoo Park, is a south korean film director based on Brooklyn. His film "Escape" has been two nomination for winning in festivals and a selection.

An alien lost her part, and falls into Manhattan at night. She needs to retrieve her part in order to get back her planet. This is a story of "Escape"

Minwoo Park's Biography
Minu Park is a Korean director based out of Brooklyn, New York. With his inherent language and cultural barrier to the western world, he challenges himself as a film director who strives to showcase cinema rather than talk about it.

Early on, the odds were stacked against him. He grew up an only child, raised single-handedly by his grandmother in the slums in Seoul, South Korea. At a young age, he started to understand currency and its role in society very intimately. As a result, he quickly became cynical towards capitalistic society, feeling lonely because he held a different ideal.
In his heart he felt that he wanted stand out from the immense crowd of people who were on a treadmill; working, finding their partner, raising their children, rinse and repeat. To Minu, life has always had a much deeper purpose than simply paying bills & “being alive”.

From his experience of poverty, to being a Marine, he has now embarked on a new journey to write and direct a new and emerging genre of film. His central goal remains to start a new wave for filmmaking in the city, using only foreign directors from outside of the United States.

In terms of his academic background, his recent work (Yolk 2017) was well reviewed by Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo, Grizzly Man, Nosferatu the Vampiyre) while he was attending Pratt Institute for B.F.A for Cinematography, Film and Video degree. Two of his shorts, (Escape 2017, and Serpent 2017) both gotten into film festivals. At the end, Minu Park is preparing feature film Yolk for 2018.

On the other hand, Minu Park is known for fashion and commercial director, who he directed more than 100 fashion, music, contents projects since 2013. As a DP, he worked three feature films. As an Editor, he worked on two feature films. His final goal is shooting two independent drama feature films in New York City 2018, and 2019.

Q&A

1) How did your career in filmmaking start out? What inspired you to become a director?
A: My name is Minwoo(Minu) Park, I am from Seoul, South Korea. I came to the New York City to transfer my career from commercial/fashion photography to fine-art photography in 2009. I visited countless photo exhibitions in New York to learn.
One day, I went to a photography exhibition that changed my career entirely. I saw a photographer who was talking about his single photo about 30 minute. My photography career ended that day.
To me Visual art medium is something that the artist must show rather than talk. On the other hand, Movie/Film,is easily judged by audience. It’s all about, people love it, or hate it. I don’t have to excuse about the work unlike any other art form.
It’s a pure criticism art form, which I can learn about, where I stand. That’s the reason I started this film directing career.

2) What was the inspiration behind your film, Escape?

A: Idea came out during the research on LED lighting strip for on set using for my own music video project. I realized that I could make a clothes using these low voltage led strip. I want this film to be very subjective. It's all about Gideon's perspective until the very last. Main reason is that I want my audiences to feel fantasy through Gideon's experience on meeting an unknown creature accidentally. I want my audiences to understand the film without listening any dialog. To me, dialog must not be used unless, you don't have any choice. I love Tchaikovsky and Wieniawski's songs. When I wrote the script, I was extensively listen both "Meditation D. Minor", and "The Legende" At the end I chose the Meditation from Tchaikovsky’s Violin concerto “Meditation"

3) Where was the film shot?
A: Interior was one of my friend’s company, and exterior is located in wall street, and it’s pier in manhattan, New York City.

4) The actor and actress in the film gave sublime performances, was the casting challenging or did it all come together easily?
A: Actually, I almost froze them to death (Joke…) It was really cold. I think It was between -15 to -20 degrees with heavy wind situation that I couldn’t even use the Drone for the last ending shot(DJI’s Inspire 1 couldn’t fly because the weather was too cold, and the battery was frozen literally)
In fact, we called off the day one in the middle of the shooting. After it was called off, we had to push another day a week later (Which was even colder!) I had thought both castings would runaway from the project, but they didn’t. I would like to thank to both Mario and Anne for big patient and trust to their director for the project.

5) What are some of the biggest obstacles you've faced in terms of concept to execution as well as getting your finished product out there?
A: I think the biggest obstacle was technical problems. There were literally none LED clothes fashion film at all back than, not even a music video, I am sure we are the first fashion film with a custom led designed costume project. I researched so much about it, and I couldn’t believe that was the case. Well, the first means, you actually need to make a lot of mistake, and I learned a lots of lesson. Because none of the fashion/costume designer made this kind of clothes with battery powered inside the clothes, we made many wrong choices while we were making the costumes. First of all, we made the LED costume with BAD quality LED strips from Ebay + Alibaba(Internet wholesale website from China) to save the money.

In fact, the costumes were supposed not to be blinking/flicking during the shooting. At the end of the scene, everything was broken, except the head light DURING THE SHOOTING. Hahaha….
Well, after i showed the film to pre-screen to my colleagues filmmakers, I realized that nobody actually feel bad about it. In fact, they liked the idea of the blinking/Flicking was some sort of loosing her power due to lacks of the star.

I really didn’t mean to make it happen, but it came out while I was editing. I didn’t intend to make it like that…

6) We loved the costumes, can you tell us about the styling of the film? Which fashion designers were showcased?
A: Jai Ren(Fashion Designer), and King Redman(Producer/Art Director) made the costume beautifully. Again, I and King made 4 more shorts other than Escape. He and I both want to make something futuristic and minimalistic ideas.
Hair was made by Rodnei, and his work is beyond amazing. If you see her head, he literally took 4-5 hours to made that head piece on top of her head. Stylist was Alvin, and as always, his way of stylizing before the the camera is rolling helped us following the schedule under the crazy weather.

7) Is there social media behind the film? Where can we follow you?
A: We didn’t do the social media marketing, but you can follow the director’s Instagram. It’s @MINU_IN_THE_MIST

8) What's your favorite piece of equipment you can't live without?
A: iPhone. I am known director for a storyboard follower. I don’t like improvising on the set, because it’s expensive(Time Consuming), and sometimes these could break the original thoughts of the editing in my head. I literally makes every single shot of storyboard. I mean really everything. But, without phone, I can’t see it, nor show my DP efficiently.
Also, some of the difficult long take shot’s case, I take a video with iPhone and show the footage to my DP, and they usually get what I want.

If you wanted to see Minu Park's work, visit http://www.minu-park.com

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