After a six-year absence, broadcaster MBC is getting set to revive its short drama series, and along with it, plans to showcase some of their newest technology, including a shift to a new digital video format that is commonly called UHD (Ultra High Definition). The name of the new short drama series will be “Drama Festival,” and the first series will be ten-episode long short drama piece.
On October 1, MBC held a program launch conference at the MBC Dream Center in Illsan. Present during this launch conference was the Chief Producer (CP) for the new series, Kim Jin Min. As for why they have decided to revive a concept that has previously underperformed in terms of ratings, Kim Jin Min CP states that “The biggest motivator was the junior producers’ strong will.” He continued to explain, “There is something in common with all three terrestrial broadcasters these days, in that there aren’t any opportunities to meld their (the producers) wishes with the requests of viewers. The producers were very determined to get this done somehow. All ten producers (for this series) are co-producers for other programs within MBC. Even while manning these other programs, they were very determined to do this short drama series.”
Kim Jin Min CP also explains that “Once the actors got a hold of the scripts, they also gladly decided to appear on the series.” He also talked about how once they started this venture, he found a lot of people willing to help with the cause, with funding being provided by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, along with funding from cable channels. Now some might be wondering why a Ministry involved in Science and Future Planning would be helping out with a short drama series, but there is a very good reason for this.
The difference in resolution between the various formats
In a first of Korean broadcasters, the short drama series “Drama Festival” will be the first ever terrestrial TV program that will be fully produced using a next generation digital video format commonly referred to as Ultra High Definition Television or UHD for short. This means that the new series will be recorded using UHD camera, edited in their native UHD resolutions, and the whole production work flow will be UHD enabled. Now to explain in more simple terms. Most TV shows currently are either aired as Full HD or HD. Full HD refers to a resolution of 1920×1080, while HD refers to a resolution of 1280×720. Just imagine upgrading from a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone with a HD screen to a Samsung Galaxy S4 with a full HD screen if you would like to understand how the change in resolution changes the video quality.
An example of a movie recorded in 4K resolution
Going from HD to Full HD is more than the doubling of pixels. In simple terms, it means that a Full HD video has more than double the amount of detail being shown compared to a HD video. Sounds great right? Well a 4K UHD video (which is the format that the new “Drama Special” will be airing in) has f4X as much pixels compared to Full HD. To put it simply, a 4K UHD video will have 4X more detail in the video compared to a Full HD video and more than 8X times more detail compared to a regular HD video. Think of it as upgrading from a 1st Gen iPhone to the latest iPhone 5s, and you’ll be seeing almost a similar improvement in video quality. Of course you will need a TV that is capable of 4K UHD to see video at their native 4K UHD resolution.
Now moving back to the drama series itself, the first two episodes will on October 2 and October 3 with every subsequent episode aired once a week on Thursday. The first episode is called “The Amazing Funeral at the Sunshine Senior’s Center.” The script is written by rookie scriptwriter Noh Hae Yoon and directed by Lee Sung Joon PD, who was a co-producer for the hit MBC Drama “The Moon that Embraces the Sun.” The episode will feature actors such as Baek Il Sub, Lee Ho Jae, Park Hyuk Kwon, Ahn Hae Sook, and Oh Nara. The story will about a group of elders staging a fake funeral to gather money for a friend’s surgery.
The second episode will be called “Rebellious” and is written by Jung Hae Ri and directed by Jung Dae Yoon (co-Producer of “Arang And The Magistrate”). One of the lead actors for this episode is none other than Kang Ha Neul, who played the role of Jung Sun Woo from the hit Mnet drama “Monstar.” The story is set in the Joseon Dynasty during the rule of King Seongjong and is about solving a mysterious murder case that eventually leads to the King’s uncle being the most likely culprit. They now have to gather the evidence required to make sure justice is served, but will that evidence be enough to prosecute a king’s uncle?
Subsequent episodes will include actors such as Park Ki Woong (from “Bridal Mask”), Choi Jung Yoon (“Ojakgyo Brothers”), Park Seo Joon (“Dream High 2″) and a variety of other actors. We will include the preview trailers for the first two episodes below.
“The Amazing Funeral at the Sunshine Senior’s Center”