The general rule of thumb in the Korean entertainment industry used to be that movie directors created movies, and drama directors produced dramas.
However, the barrier among forms of media is quickly vanishing as more directors jump from movies to dramas to variety shows, and vice versa.
Here is a list of talented directors who have digressed from or left their original platforms.
Movie Directors To Drama Producers
The director of tvN’s “Criminal Minds” Yang Yoon Ho is on his second drama production after KBS 2TV’s “Iris” from 2009. The former film director previously directed movies such as “Glass,” “White Valentine,” “Holiday,” and “Fighter of the Wind.”
Upcoming OCN drama “Save Me” is also produced by former film director Kim Seong Soo. Kim Seong Soo directed films such as “Wild Animal” and “Nameless Person.”
Film director Jang Hang Joon, who is known for shooting the “Muhan Company” special on MBC’s “Infinite Challenge,” produced SBS’s popular drama “Sign” in 2011. Prior to “Sign,” Jang Hang Joon directed the movies “Turn On The Lighter” and “Blow Spring Wind.”
The head of the production company for “Criminal Minds” explained, “Many film directors in Hollywood produce dramas too,” and continued, “Film directors are usually in demand when there is a need for movie-like cinematography, or if a drama is produced large scale.”
Drama Producers Who Film Movies
The historical comedy movie series “Detective K” is directed by JTBC’s drama producer Kim Suk Yoon. Kim Suk Yoon successfully transitioned from TV producer to film director through the first and second installments of “Detective K,” and will be shooting the third installment of the film in August.
KBS’s producer Kim Han Sol also became a film director after airing a successful documentary series on KBS in 2016. The documentary “Im Jin Wae Ran,” or “Japanese Invasion of Korea 1952,” will be available in cinemas through a spinoff version directed by Kim Han Sol himself.
A source from KBS explained, “In an era of ‘one-source, multi-use,’ if a TV producer can create a film using a good idea, there isn’t any reason for broadcasting stations to reject it.”
Variety Show Producers Who Turned To Dramas
Previously mentioned producer Kim Suk Yoon started his career as a variety show producer before branching out to dramas and films. He scored success with sitcom “Old Miss Diary,” and transitioned into film directing with “Detective K.”
tvN’s hit drama “Reply 1988” series was also produced by past variety show producer Shin Won Ho, while KBS 2TV drama “Greatest One-Shot” was made by variety show “2 Days 1 Night‘s” former producer Yoo Ho Jin.
A source from CJ E&M, home to tvN, shared, “There are many variety show producers who are interested in directing dramas. The same goes for filming directors.” The source advised, “Since there’s a growing demand for dramas, directors will be able to seize the opportunity [for transition] if they are talented enough and are thoroughly prepared.”