Wednesday, August 14, 2013

KOFFIA Short Film Comp Interview: "Next Stop Seoulywood" with Matthew Rooke

Check out our exclusive interview with KOFFIA 2013 Short Film Competition finalist Matthew Rooke below! Buy your tickets to what will be an exciting short film session, screening August 25th in Sydney!

1. What / Who inspired you to join this competition? 
KOFFIA is such a tight ship and a great festival, I wanted to b a part of it again. It’s a showcase of Korean Cinema excellence and what an honour to have a film of mine amongst such distinguished filmmaking. …oh yeah and the money! Why did you get into filmmaking? I got into filmmaking through music. Music has an emotion, an image has an emotion, and when put together the total potentially transcends their sum. Film & Video is 25 such potential moments per second. 

2. Can you tell us more about your film?
It’s a cautionary tale about going with the crowd, cashing in on the latest and greatest and not really ‘getting’ what you are dealing with. The guy thinks he is a wiz but the reality is he is clueless. What made you want to tell such a story? I wanted to subvert the paradigm of the casting couch 

3. The name - “Next Stop Seoulywood” is interesting, what is your definition of “Seoulywood”? 
Haha, the Seoulywood part is from the man’s perspective. He is casting a film that he thinks will be the next Korean blockbuster, in Australia, in Korea and possibly the world? He sees a parallel between Hollywood and the Korean Film Industry and in his shallow naivety thinks he can just break into it, replicate it and cash in on it.

His character encapsulates a lot of the down side of Hollywood and filmmaking. He talks a lot but it is mostly bullshit, he has a strong belief that there is a formula for successful filmmaking. He is cashing in on the latest global trends but really has no idea outside his closeted life. 

I don’t have a personal definition of Seoulywood as it does not exist and I have always been uncomfortable with one word slogans that profess to represent a country’s filmmaking. Hollywood and Bollywood are large scale, filmmaking industries that come from a region but define a nation. They are unstoppable movie making machines. This is the irony of the title. 

4. What do you think about the Korean culture (music/ drama / tv..etc) influencing people living in Australia nowadays? 
Bit by bit. 

5. What do you think about the Korean films and dramas popular amongst fans nowadays? 
I know next to nothing about Korean drama (TV) but I love watching Korean films. Do you believe that it will Korea will become a “Hollywood” of itself in the near future? Will Korea become a ‘Hollywood’? Hopefully not! But as a varied, vibrant and prolific National Cinema putting its mark on the globe, I think that Korea is exactly that now but the rest of the world is just starting to twig. 

6. Were there any difficulties during the entire shooting? 
I love filmmaking and I pride myself on running a smooth ship, so no difficulties. The biggest challenge was the language and the absence of our dialogue coach. Which part did you enjoy most and why? The editing, because when the Korean dialogue was synced up with the man, I fell off my seat laughing. That doesn’t happen every edit.

Thanks to Matthew Rooke for the Interview!

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