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Troubled Hwayugi pre-empts episodes in wake of accidents

It has been a pretty awful launch for tvN’s big buzz drama Hwayugi, and now the production is taking a week off to regroup and get back on track, with this weekend’s planned airings of Episodes 3 and 4 being pushed back to next weekend instead. That means no episodes till the new year, when they’ll resume with their normal schedule.

The troubled launch was a shame since the problems were all behind-the-scenes; the story itself got off to a strong start and general positive reception. It’s just that the production has been hit with issue after issue, and that rather overshadows the narrative side of the show.

The first sign of trouble came in Episode 2, which aired this past Sunday, which included scenes with improperly edited CG sequences. Stunt wires were left in frame and computer graphics weren’t completed, making a fight scene full of supposed ghostly demons look like a choreographed aerobic exercise with stunt dudes instead. In another case, a magical painting was shown with the green screen still in place, rather than the moving picture originally intended. Worst of all was when the episode cut out early, mid-scene, with no ending.

These snafus were cleaned up in the rebroadcast the following day, and initially the production announced that they would only pre-empt one episode this weekend (moving Episode 4 one week back). But then news arose of an accident on set wherein a staffer fell from the ceiling while hanging a lighting fixture; the accident occurred on December 23 (premiere day), and it was reported that the staffer suffered paralysis in the lower half of his body.

In response, the Ministry of Employment and Labor sent a labor supervisor to inspect the set. Moreover, now a police investigation has been opened as well: The company representing the injured staffer, MBC Art, has pressed charges with the police against Hwayugi’s production house, JS Pictures, as well as its CEO and art director, for criminal negligence resulting in injury and also for threats and intimidation.

As a result, tvN announced today that it would be postponing broadcasts by a week in order to inspect the production environment. A rep apologized for the trouble and stated that work would be done to ensure improved conditions and future safety on sets.

Via News1, Yonhap News, Kyunghyang

 
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I think this will be very beneficial! It will allow everyone to take a step back, make reparations for the past mistakes, and then reassess. After taking this break and then coming back, I hope that they can prevent any more problems from arising! The first two episodes were great and I’d hate to see the great storyline get ruined from behind-the-scene problems. Fighting Hwayugi!

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My comment is not only for you, but also for the people who upvote you and the ones below that I think has the same tone as your comment.
This is a very ignorant comment. I don't know if this is really what you feel or I'm reading it wrong (I'm sorry if that's the case). But, very beneficial to who?? The audience?? The big production company who neglected the safety of their employees?? How is this very beneficial? This actually shines a dark reality behind the working condition of those dramas that we love. The actors, writers and PDs get all the glory, meanwhile the staffs suffers sometimes without a compliment or an award to their hard work. Didn't you read the article? The production house were being sued for criminal negligence resulting in injury and also for threats and intimidation! Knowing how Korean company works, they'll sweep this under the rug, do a shady behind the scenes stuff and not change anything.

I personally refuse to watch a drama where the bosses (production house, CEO) threatening and intimidating their staff for an accident that he suffered. Just like I refuse to watch a movie or a TV series where the producer or the actors that star in it were accused of rape and sexual harassment. How an accused rapist Park Shi Ho can still get roles and now acting in one of the highest rating drama of the year is infuriating me.

You hate to see a great storyline get ruined from behind-the-scene problems? Well, I hate to see human rights get stomped because audience want to watch this so called 'great storyline' effective immediately and the people above want to make money as soon as possible. Your sympathy should go first and foremost to the staff whose body paralysed, threatened and intimidated by the company. Not instead hoping for everyone to 'take a break and then coming back' and then saying 'Fighting Hwayugi'. You should say 'fighting to the staff that's injured'

And the fact that your comment got so many upvotes saddens me. It's like you guys are hoping this unfortunate accident doesn't disturb your happy drama watching experience. Oooh noo just when I got a perfect drama for my slump.... /s. Nevermind that the accident might be the fault of the production company or that they might intimidate the staff to keep his mouth shut. Noo, your 'great storyline' is more important.

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I think majority of people who upvoted and the one who wrote that simply didn't read anything other than title. I remember the same thing happened with a similar article previously.
Let's just hope the responsibile ones would pay for all that. You don't need special knowledge to know that dramas that big can't be made in three days. This and that saving money shouldn't cost someone's safety.

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Well, I hope that's the case. Because I hate to think that some beanies really prefer their drama watching schedule isn't disturbed instead of supporting the staff that's intimidated by their supervisor.
I hate that trend of only reading the title of an article and then commenting without knowing the context. That's lazy, ignorant and they always seem uninformed. Context is everything people! This also always happens in netizenbuzz and reddit.

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No, they misunderstood everything about my comment. I wasn’t implying what wire said.

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I'm with you. Let that person be sad about me too :-)

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Fanning the flames again?

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This reply was meant for commenter Nerdy

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Imagine the reaction if the accident happens to our beloved actors..

I dont want to wish bad things but we are only 2 episodes in! There 18 more episodes to go! With how early they are already in a rush like this, I'm just so worried for everyone involved.

Really really disappointed that they rush to broadcast this now.

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The drama has a great potential to be a sensation. If they are not so greedy, if only they are more rational, considerate and wiser they could have achieved more success.

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Sorry you feel that way... but it wasn’t ignorant at all. Maybe I should have put more details into my comment. I believe you read way too much into it though.

I simply meant it’ll be beneficial for the production team because this will allow them to have better working conditions. They were clearly being rushed for all of this to happen. However, this is their job and their success depends on the success of the drama but because the higher ups were forcing them to work so quickly, accidents happen.

So basically my comment was meant to say that this will be beneficial for those that have put time and effort into the drama referring to the actors and the production set. It wasn’t supposed to be a selfish “I don’t care what happens to everyone as long as I get my story”. I simply want those that have put in the work to have a successful drama, but also have a working condition that is favorable to them. By having them delay and step back, things can change in that direction.

As for it shining light on a dark reality of kdrama working conditions... wouldn’t this actually be beneficial to that as well? Without anything “shining a light on it”, there might not be as much pressure for things to change. This could be a catalyst to the beginning of change.

Fighting Hwayugi was supposed to be a blanket statement to cover all the staff working on it......

So maybe next time don’t read too much into a comment. It definitely wasn’t an ignorant comment. You misunderstood everything.

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I'm sorry then. That's my fault for reading too much into your comment. I was angry because there are some comments below that said that kind of sentiment and you're the first one who (I think) expressed that so I replied to you.

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Sorry I reacted strongly to your comment. Next time I’ll put more thought into my comment before posting to make sure it actually makes the point I wanted to make. That was my fault for causing confusion. I agree with your points though!

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No problem @rasonic! My comment was written in a state of anger so it came out harsh. My fault. Now that I read it again, I definitely can understand your intention better👍👍

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Just wanted to say thank you to @rasonic and @wired for handling the misunderstanding with such class. 😊

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Indeed Jules. I wish everyone on the internet has that level of respect and kindness instead of wank just for the sake of it <3

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Agree with you. Good that the Ministry of Employment and Labor are checking on this, as a matter of fact they should take these things seriously with all the reported labor strikes from the Big entertainment companies. Korean entertainment industry in general should change the way they do things. I hope this incident will bring improvement in the future.

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Agree 100%
I was also shocked that they already announced that the drama will continue to air next week. They only delay it one week!! One week!! Someone is paralysed for god sake. They're also in the midst of being sued for criminal negligence resulting in injury, threats and intimidation! What a nerve. SO much disrespect for the injured party.

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I was simply saying that delaying will allow them to correctly deal with those problems. Wire read way too into my statements and accused me of things I didn’t mean. 🤦‍♀️

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I'm sorry @rasonic. I'm not cursing you. I'm cursing tvN and the production team. They're the one who's disrespecting the injured party by delaying it only one week and while they're still being sued. So don't worry. I'm not talking about your comment. I read your clarification above.

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For what I understand, the contracts are time sensitive, meaning that a drama could be delayed under extreme circumstances (like this one) but not much.

Remember all those dramas with main actors' accidents? They never got delayed more than a week (if there's one I can't remember and it would be a rare case).

Damn, I remember Boys Before Flowers in wich several main actors were in a car accident and the main actress needed a face surgery due injuries on her mouth and jaw. And how many days the drama was delayed? Less than a week.

How many actors has been in severe accidents and the general feeling with the production company was "The show must go on"?? It's not that they're self-sacrificing and altruistic noble idiots, its' that their contracts have penalties and they can't afford to take care of their health. And that's when there are visible injuries, don't let me start with exhaustion and starvation or inhumane work schedules (Han Ye Seul had a mental breakdown due the PD being an abusing bas***d and filming non-stop, as in 2 freaking hours to rest (!!!!!!) that she took the first flight to USA mid filming. How utterly helpless and wreck have you to feel to do a thing like this, that could probably destroy your entire career and face with enormous penalties. The backlash was incredible, I tell you)
And when they do, the only reason socially acceptable it's bc they're almost fucking dying. Like literally.

Now imagine what happens when the accident doesn't affect a main actor, but someone of the crew. They tried to cover it up and (thankfully) it blew up on their faces. The only reason (imo) the airing got delayed is bc they ACTUALLY needed more time for all those CGI scenes. Yes, the crew member's accident reached the public and exposes the poor work conditions. Yes, if they countinued airing like nothing happened it would create controversy and maybe even affect the popularity of the show. But the reality is that they NEEDED more time in order to deliver a good quality product. From what I see in other sites they're even using this accident as a reason for all those errors in ep2. Wich I'm not saying it's a lie, bc seeing one of your coworkers like that...it would shake anyone. And having to continue to work...well, I would be a mess.
But the reality is that this drama should have AT LEAST a few episodes pre-produced BEFORE the air date, bc otherwise (as demonstrated) the filming is full of stress, errors and flat out dangerous.

I just wish the Korean industry will someday stop being so unreasonable and stupid and begin to undertand that if you want to deliver a good product, you actually NEED time to do so. And that work safety is a thing, damnit.

I REALLY hope this terrible accident will serve as a cataclysm in order to change a lot of things in the drama industry, bc nobody wants to watch a drama that is tainted with the literal blood and suffering of people. Not when is actually pretty easy and...

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->
Not when is actually pretty easy and simple doing it otherwise.

Wake up, Korean drama industry. You cannot keep doing things like this.

(Ps: Sorry if I made some mistakes, English is not my main language and sometimes words slips)

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I remember Han Ye-seul's case. That one was pure peer pressure because she stated in the negotiations that she wants a fixed # of hours to rest a day but when filming started, they didn't give her that. Then people called her a diva for not sucking it up like everyone else.

Also, in Heartstrings, Park Shin-hye was in an accident and they had to re-write some scenes so she can film in a wheelchair. :(

I wish Kim Eun-seok would write a ton of high-ratings shows that are pre-produced, if only to influence the industry to move towards that method.

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I honestly don't know what it will take for the kdrama and kpop industry to change. There has already been so many accidents related to hectic schedules that have resulted in injuries and deaths. There has already been numerous suicides. There has already been numerous mental and physical breakdowns. All the above have been from crew to actors, from newbies to internationally known veterans. I really don't know what will force them to change. The government needs to make regulations that mess with the companies' profits if not followed and then actually enforce them. But, everyone knows how hard that'll be. It's just sad and frustrating.

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I'm not saying you are over reacting but I guess we just understood @rasonic comments differently. Obviously, you just concentrated on the last sentence of her comment because her first words were very positive for everyone involve in the drama. Furthermore, being sued doesn't really mean you are at fault, I'm not siding with the drama bigwigs or so, but just like in every cases, one is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
@rasonic you don't have to explain your comment, everyone are entitled to their own opinion and its not your fault if they misread or misunderstood the context of your comment. People will believe what they want to believe anyway so pay them no heed.

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Being sued doesn't mean you are at fault?
You're too naive. Nowadays innocent until proven guilty only works if both parties balanced in term of power and money. Big corporation vs a mere staff. I believe the corporation will win. You can also see that any other case where a celebrity is accused of rape (Park Shi Ho, Yoo Chun), beating his girlfriend (Kim Hyun Joong), etc. They're all big people vs small people. If that's the case can you still say innocent until proven guilty?
Also, @rasonic already explained her comment and I already said I'm sorry. You don't have to insert yourself and contribute nothing but say that I will believe what I want to believe, because unlike you I can admit the mistake I made.

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@Wired
You're reading too much into her comment. I think she meant rushed production can bring on accidents, injuries, laugh-out-loud mistakes. Slowing down would produce quality show, no one gets hurt, beneficial to all.

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I know rasonic included an explanation below, but I totally get where you were coming from. For such a horrible tragedy, it seems like that there were many comments that came off very light in tone. I also will not be watching this drama anymore. I can’t with good conscience support a production team with such poor working conditions. It seems like the director has had a horrible reputation to begin with, and I can’t say I anticipate it changing due to this one incident sadly.

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@rasonic and to all other users, the problem is that "some user" after reading an article that say:
"staffer fell from the ceiling while hanging a lighting fixture; the accident occurred on December 23 (premiere day), and it was reported that the staffer suffered paralysis in the lower half of his body"
Decide to write a comment completely dedicated to the drama, without even mentioning the fact that a person has risked his life at work. I find it very immature, read an article like this and do not think in the least about the gravity of the thing. Or spend a few words of comfort and / or concern for what happened.

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You are calling names and judging other people's comments telling them what they should write.
Some things are implied. Is there any of us who is not dreadfully sorry about the poor technician? Should all of us start our comments with the needed words of circumstance?
One person called the comment "ignorant", now you call it "immature". Stop bashing people already!

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Oh, wow!
I didn't know it was this bad ... Poor person :(
I hope everything gets back on track.

I did not like the production/directing at all for both episodes, but everyone deserves a second chance & I sincerely hope this break helps tie things together, regroup, and move forward with renewed energy & direction.

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I am so with you on this. I wasn't at all into the first episode and only watched the second episode after finding out about all the CG issues. But I really hope everyone stayes safe and that the person who was injured has all the support (monetarily) for rehab and basically everything they need ad infinitum.

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Worst Year For tvN.

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There's so much pressure with a big show like Hwayugi. Although it started off with a wrong foot, I'm hoping they just learn from all of the mistakes, genuinely compensate for all who were injured, and get back up from there. I don't really care whether they postpone the broadcast to a few weeks or even a month, as long as they take precautions to make sure /everyone/ is safe and that they would bring out quality content. There's no need to be pressured to broadcast right away. :)

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How exactly can you possibly conpensate a person who in a span of a day became disabled? He has two kids at home, his and his family's lives are completely ruined. I loved the first two episodes if this drama, but I couldn't care less about it if they don't provide normal working conditions. What the actual F.

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Well, there's an actual case right now, and there's a an investigation going on. Owning up for their mistake and getting rightfully punished is one way to do it. They could also handle hospital bills, and medical assistance that he will most likely need in the future. They could grant the two kids scholarships, because as head of the family he has to provide, but he could have a difficult time looking for a job as well.

That's just some of the things they could do to properly apologize. It may not undo what's happened, but at least it's something - rather than them trying to cover everything up.

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How about they fired and properly punish in the court of law the ones who threatened and intimidated him. I'm fine with financial compensation to the accident stuff. But threatening and intimidating is a criminal offence.

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money solve everything, huh? good to know.

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Doesn't solve everything, but if you don't have it and it's given to you, it sure helps make life better. I'd rather have money than someone kneeling before me with a heartfelt excuse which doesn't put bread on my table.

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You compensate with money. You cant reverse time and prevent the injury so you give him potential future earnings insteads

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Actually, the director make this drama into a mess in first eps, but strong acting and story covered it. And I expected more CG in this drama.
Live and this drama began filming as the same time, but why Hwayugi come first, although it need more editing and more complicating scenes than a romcom / slice of life drama?

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Noh Hee Kyung Mama doesn't like to mess with her scripts!
Either u give her the whole time or stop it, so plz don't include Live in this mess
it's tvN fault to get again with the live shooting system.

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I think it's a good idea. I loved the first two episodes, but they need to make sure everything is in order before continuing. Take some time off to fix the issues, compensate the person injured and make a more safe working environment for everyone. JS Pictures sounds like a mess though.

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They should have done this in the first place and waited until they had more episodes filmed or pre-filmed before airing especially for show such like this with a large amount of special effects and action involved. This live shooting method that Korean drama practices is dreadful. It is excruciating and exhausting for the cast and crew and puts everybody involved with the production under unnecessary pressure.

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It's sad that it took such a severe accident for action to be taken. I hope production teams and the Ministry of Employment and Labor will step up with more preventive rather than reactive measures. They can compensate the injured staff financially, but they can't reverse his half-body paralysis or undo the mental and emotional damage the accident caused.

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How horrible that someone was paralyzed! I can hardly imagine what havoc must be playing in the background.

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I love this series so far and am rewatching episode 2 every day since it has been aired, but I sort of wish they would take at least two weeks off. They need to both improve the safety conditions of the set and catch up on filming so sleep deprivation doesn't cause an accident. I hope they know that filming something like Hwayugi is more complicated than filming actors talking in a franchise coffee shop. And I'm sure morale is down with one of their staffers paralyzed from the production company's negligence. Since it isn't full body paralysis, I'm hope there is some physical therapy to improve his condition. I pray he can walk again.

You'd think CJ E&M, who owns majority stock in JS pictures, would have been hyper vigilant after one of the assistant PDs from Drinking Solo committed suicide this year and it was found that he suffered abusive working conditions. I didn't think they would slip up again this fast.

I still don't get how the specific effects weren't ready for episode 2. They must have filmed that footage like 6 weeks ago. Was it a lack of time or a lack of organization and communicaton?

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As long as filming is done in a safe and steady environment I don't mind the pushbacks at all, but being sued for criminal negligence and threats and intimidation?! Does that mean they tried to keep the staffers quiet about their injury? That is horrible.

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It's been reported that they didn't want to disclose any information about the accident and tried to hide the truth but it backfired.

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That's just awful >_<. I'm glad it backfired, that is something they should be apologizing and taking responsibility for, not trying to hide it and act like cowards. Hopefully, though, it doesn't affect the moods of all the other staff and the cast too much. That would just be more stress.

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tvN should know so, so much better, especially what with what happened with that Drinking Solo employee. Employee (this includes actors, too) safety is crucial to the success of ANY drama.

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I feel this all could have been avoided if they had delayed the premiere. Accidents happened because they were rushing. I hope that all wrongs are properly addressed and handled and that the production takes its time to finish each episodes. I can wait if that means a safe work environment and properly completed episodes.

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or maybe not hv team be understaffed to save on salaries..
given they added new pd.. i think they just hire less people expecting 24 hrs of wrk from them

korean ent industry overall needs some strict rules on work environment... look at these idols..working nonstop... that's ridiculous.. you can stretch to 20 23 hrs a day once or twice..not for months

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Aigoo.... I'm so sad because this was the drama that got me out of my really long slump. And now.... well....

That being said, I understand fully why they have to preempt the episodes and I too feel it is for the best... Safety and health of those on board is most important. I also hope the government will step in and stop this insane practice of kdramas having such crazy deadlines such that staff are "forced" to work crazy inhumane hours.

That's the rational, adult and mature side of me.

The teenager side of me is just gonna sit in my corner and silently sulk till I get the next 2 episodes in.... *gasp* FOURTEEN days time. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MYSELF?! 😩😰😱

Oh the life of a drama addict. It feels good to be back.... 😂😂😂

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Oops it’s 7 days not 14. Better but still... I wish there hadn’t been all this behind the scenes drama. The drama itself is so promising. Sigh. I hope something good comes out of this though.

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I still can't brain why they decided to premiere this drama this month when they can simply push it to next month since they weren't ready at all.

Nevertheless I hope things will get better. I also don't mind if they take time to give us a good drama, instead of something half-cooked.

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Hear Hear. Why on earth did they rush the premier? Even if they had nothing else ready, they could have filled in with a previously popular Special under the guise of a Christmas re-run or favorite or something. There's so many options.

This is taking away my enjoyment of Hwayugi. I know many K-dramas have crazy schedules but someone being paralysed waist-down? This is truly horrible.

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The company representing the injured staffer, MBC Art, has pressed charges with the police against Hwayugi’s production house, JS Pictures, as well as its CEO and art director, for criminal negligence resulting in injury and also for threats and intimidation.

Good that the staffer will be protected.
This is a real mess and I don't want to watch a drama that puts its employees in danger.... I'd be so ashamed if I was in charge of the production.

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You better skip all Korean dramas then. They are all a mess with terrible shooting schedules.

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Mess with terrible shooting schedules does not equal danger. It sounds like you're normalizing this situation when clearly they're doing an investigation to make sure everything is okay.

Honestly, they premiered too early when they obviously weren't ready. This resulted to everyone being in a rush, stressed out and not being careful. Higher ups were probably demanding results and that lead to threats and injuries. This is not "all Korean dramas". This is for now - just Hwayugi. Not to say others are doing amazing - the biggest hit of the year Goblin had GY and LDW on health scares too. But it's not due to negligence or threat or intimidation. It was overwork. And while this is indeed dangerous, it's not on the level of Hwayugi right now.

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I'm not at all, but this is a bigger problem than this one drama. Heck, LSG himself was injured on his last drama due to dangerous conditions and live filming. Song Joong Ki was injured during DoTS. It happens far too often. And even without injuries there is still completely unhealthy and dangerous live filming that is common practice.

I don't know why they didn't wait until Jan to start the drama. I don't understand their logic.

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There might be bigger problem and injuries in the other drama sets. But at least they were not sued for threat and intimidation. That's the problem with this drama. The fact that the injured party feel the need to file a suit for criminal negligance, threat and intimidation is an indication that this isn't your usual drama accident.

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DotS was pre-produced so accident can happen in any kind of setting at any time.

For the sake of the staff and crews I do hope that pre-production means, less hours on the set and more time off is a must.
Currently, I'm not totally convinced that's the case in most of the pre-production sets.
I think most Koreans are workaholics (#2 in the world).

I believe the government is making an effort to decrease the work hours and create more holidays but it's rarely observed or enforced.

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I usually prefer pre-produced dramas. Better quality and I hope that the schedules of those are less crazy.

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I think the quality of a drama depends more on the talents of the people who are involved in it.
We have more crappy pre-produced dramas so far then quality ones.

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Why did you say that? Why did you say 'You better skip all Korean dramas then'. Does the other drama have a staff who's paralysed because of an accident on site and then the same staff is threatened and intimidated to keep his mouth shut? If yes then I don't want to watch that drama either. For me there are a lot of drama with better working condition. Can you guess which one? The one where no one is injured or threatened and intimidated! That's the one!

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It's been a while since I have commented, but this whole issue with terrible working conditions (plus the incident with Drinking Solo) has been bugging me. Hope they decide to push back the remaining episodes even if they hire a new PD on board. I know in terms of business-wise, this is not a great move, but accident and slip-ups serve as a reminder that safety is important and they lose out big time by not addressing it.
Probably why Mr.Sunshine decide to postpone its premiere.
I feel like it's just me, but I thought the first two episodes were off? I felt something was off about it, but I couldn't really pinpoint it. Is it the transitions? Or maybe the longer episodes?

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Dear Ms. BananaChocolate, long time no see!.

I am very sorry for the accident in the set. It kind of remembers me Lee Yuu Bi's accident in The Night Scholar. Everyone's main tool is their own bodies, and it is not something to be tampered with. Security is security IS SECURITY.

On the second part of your comment, yes: there is something off. There is a strange seriousness in the way of dealing with the issues in the show (Hong Sisters used to be more happy and zappy in their delivery).

Also the titular Monkey is not a heartwarming rascal but an irredemeable character. How I am supposed to root for someone who psychologically messes with the heroine?, if a bastard like that were hanging around one of my sisters I would urgently ask them to snap out of it.

It kind of remebers me Hong Sister's Fantasy Couple, where Joanna (and for a stretch her alter Ego Na Sang Shil) was so overbearing at the beginning that many people got off the boat simply because the character was so insuferable that she did not raise enough simpathy in order to be interested in her subsequential development. In fact one of the strengths of that show was that after seeing the toxic Joanna being so high and mighty, seeing her devolve into a miserable slave of that family was such a vengeful satisfaction and it piqued the watcher's interest in seeing her development. For a big stretch seeing her eating humble pie was Oh soo good! (and the transition was done very swiftly, at episode 2 if correctly remembered). I don't see that kind of dynamic here. There is nothing to entice me as a viewer to care about Son Oh-Gong. Bull Demon seems a way more interesting and nuanced character.

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Hello~ I didn't think a beanie would recognize me 😅
I've been trying to get back in with kdramas, can't say such horrible news of accidents for this drama made me that happy to dive back in. There was another incident I believed I have forgotten and someone posted it in a comment (from another website). There was an incident in the drama production of Maids where there was a fire and a crew member died from it :(. I'm glad this time around there is an investigation being conducted because it seems that someone is finally setting up some things straight.
Anyhow, back to this story.
I personally felt Oh-Gong can be rather unhinged at times (I guess they are trying to pull this rambunctious personality from the original Wukong) and there is a bit of softness coming from him that was conveyed in first two eps. I just felt his softness is rather unconfounding. Why? It's because the Hong sisters are directly jumping into the story without giving background on the Journey to the West they are using. If they give more background details on the Monkey King from his time being imprisoned and how he grew from a rock with no parents...then surely Oh-Gong would be more sympathetic and understanding from the viewers' point of view. Had another actor played Oh-Gong, would the viewers like him as much? Hard to say.
As for the Bull Demon, there is indeed given some more thought put into his character as the source material didn't really explore it so much (although if you watch some older Chinese dramas... the bull demon gets spinoff stories lol).
There is also needs to be more focus on the PK and the sand demon...
I feel like after watching so many Journey to the West adaptations that Hwayugi is not turning out...that interesting? I dunno
Another issue is that I'm bugged by Seon Mi's dark circles and eye bags. I know her character gets less sleep due to the demons and spirits, but I felt a portion is from the Oh Yeon Seo not getting enough sleep herself. I just keep thinking about their working conditions and how freezing cold it is for the actors and actresses. Also the production crew too. Ugh.

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this is terrible news!! i wish they would not push it by ONLY one week... seems they don't have anything under control if their 2nd episode (as initially aired in korea) was such a disaster!

seems like a very bad omen for it to start out this way -- i really hope they can get things under control and not push their staff and the actors too hard because of the timelines...

all too often there are injuries on set - seung gi was injuring filming Gu Family Book, right?? so scary, he could've been blinded being poked in the eye with a stunt knife or sword...

Lee Philip was injured -- did any mention of his recovery ever hit the news? was he blinded in one eye from his injury during filming - does anyone remember which drama he was filming and had to drop out of? was it Faith?

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He was injured during his last drama You are all Surrounded. They had to cancel an episode because of live filming of course. I'm not sure whatever happened to Lee Phillip. He was injured on Faith. he might have decided to go make use of his masters in engineering instead of suffering on Korean drama sets.

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Lee Philip's injury actually did not happen on the set of Faith, it just caused him to pull out of faith.

I found news saying his surgery went well and pics of him looking good 6 months later. A New Years message from him said he was at his USA house and hoping to work more the coming year (2014)...nothing translated to English that I could find after that. Seems he quit show biz or maybe he joined something like plays that international fans don't hear much about.

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even if they remove the wires you can see, there are aspects of the drama that feel fake. The costumes are propostrous and the acting is unnatural. mythology isn´t something you present with tricks and props. The story itself should have a spell over you even in an empty room. they have a set full of stuff but no true magic in the story. and this "Everyone wants to eat her" thing ... not really interested. I also can´t take Cha Seung Won´s character seriously.

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I hv a feeling most of us.. at least me..was so impressed did seungi n dat electric chemistry upon meeting monk again after 25 yrs n dat behind u song...dat overshadowed everything anyone did drama n automatically made it a must eatch for me

Otherwise retrospectively..not impressed wid direction..cinematography ( d first thing any goblin dat made news was d direction) ..
Cad n hongki just nt interesting...humour is not top level...plot feels episodic did monsters per episode instead of a rich background..

But then again..seungi n seungi did it's on screen n it's magic

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Csw n hongki*

N if hwaguyi becomes a super smash hit...dat did truly be seungi factor

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Crazy autocorrect..

Last line..seungi n seungi wid oys on screen

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Let me just quote the Commenting Policy:
"
Spelling, plz. If u rite like dis, ur commt wll git delet’d. also, lee minoz will nevur luv u back. u duns want dat, do u?
"

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yes, it is very hard to read.

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Finally a post I can relate with...I just don't get how people say 'this is very good' if their favorite 'oppas' are in it.
This show is a nightmare for me.

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Very unfortunate. Hoping the production team will be able to ease things out and deliver a really good drama. PDnim and staff, hwaiting! We can wait even a month for as long as everyone is safe!

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This drama has a very promising plot and a fast paced one.i couldnt get enough of it yet, if it is for the good and safety of everyone i guess missing 2 episode this week will not hurt us Hwayugi fans. Praying that everything will be alright and back on track for good.

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Awful for the staffer that fell. Poor guy!
I actually was surprised that Hwayugi is a live shoot and not pre produced. There is no way that people could make the CGI work in such a short amount of time. Maybe it would even be better to push it back even further, that the workers would be able to sleep. There is no fun in watching it, if we know that people get hurt or are suffering while filming.

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This production team act so amaturish. They fired their lighting team unilaterally a WEEK before broadcast. and then the director of the team also quit. WTF are doing with the prep time? They think just because they have big name actors in it, everything will work just fine, huh?!

This is no longer live shooting tradition anymore, this is MESS.
If you are not ready, dont do the drama. Tvn has become greedy because of reply series and goblin end of year success that they push this drama even when the drama is not even 30% ready for broadcast.

Siwon and seunggi has no luck after army discharge 😔

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Consuming k-drama and k-pop is very much like eating sausages. You might never enjoy it as much once you see how it's made.

Hwayugi probably got into trouble because it is pushing the boundaries on many fronts simultaneously. It's got a large main cast, star writers, complex location and set shoots, a ton of extras, many action sequences and a lot of CGI and it has close to 24 hours of air time in total.

All these factors drive up costs by many magnitudes. I don't think I'd be wrong in guessing that Hwayugi is probably THE most expensive drama to produce in recent memory. I'd guess that the closest rival to it would be LotDBS (just imagine paying LMH and JJH).

While we may lament the live shoot schedule - it is a reality for production companies without a large bankroll to fund all costs and then wait for payment from the broadcasters. Even with the so-called live shoot system, there have been cases of production crews and actors not being paid months after broadcasting.

Part of the popularity of K-drama's is simply market penetration. They are sold at a low enough cost for many broadcasters in small countries to afford. As a system, they have good production values and pretty steady output.

But the flipside is many crew/extra's are paid less than minimum wage. Earlier this year, the Korean tax service reported that actors as a group report earnings averaging 37K USD a year. Even more stunning 86% of total earnings in the group went to the top 10% (46% to the top 1%). If you average out the remaining income to the rest of the 90%, it comes out to less than half the minimum wage in Korea (to be fair, many 'actors' may not rely on acting as their sole income or are just entering the market)

Injuries due to workplace incidents are probably the norm and we can hope that the visibility of this particular one forces some needed change. Progress is likely slow since the situation is rooted deep into the structure of the Korean drama industry.

Meanwhile, let's hope the injured staff is treated well.

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@tummy

Eating sausages is a good analogy...

I agree with much of what you have said and so eloquently framed....However, in the sausage analogy there is another important element.

There is the sausage squeamishness we have from the use of "less desirable" parts...(thats just a product of our isolation from production)

THEN...there are practices that are beyond those...ones that risk public safety. These usually bring the entire process to our attention (think practices that led to BSE in the UK)...Those are quantifiably different issues.

We don't have enough information to judge the full story...so I reserve comment on the drama...However. just a little wary when fact of life messiness (our discomfort) can be used to soften our response to more dangerous issues.

Workplace injuries will happen...Its why they happen (how we can minimise them) and how we treat the people who are injured that are the important issues.

I fear that (due to economic pressures on the industry) at some point Kdrama viewers may be asked - what level of practices are they no longer willing to support.

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Yes, there aren't quick, easy or magic bullet solutions. Like the BSE issue in the UK, there is an element of "tragedy of the commons" to the economic structure.

The solution requires some combination of adverse media attention, public outcry, government action, punitive legal/financial outcomes, worker organization, and maturity among the players in the supply chain (of which, we, the consumer are the end point of).

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Paralysis that means the staff has suffered severe spinal cord injury. 😢😭. Too bad coz I enjoyed the 1st 2 episode. I think I should stop watching this drama for a while.

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I read in soompi that the episode 2 mess was the production staff rebelling against the company. They did not do their job right in order to attract the media so they could talk about the injured staff member, and that just makes me have a lower opinion for the ones on top.
2017 ends up being the year where we discovered all the ugly things that happened bts, from Drinking Solo, to the MBC and KBS staff and now to this drama. 😡😡😡😡

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That would make sense why the episode 2 snafu happened. If that is true, I'm glad that the production staff were able to rebel and draw attention to the situation. I feel like there are probably similar debilitating injuries that staff have suffered in other kdrama sets that get hushed up.

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I'm sad to hear about the accident and I hope he will still be able to live a long and happy life.
There seems to be so many accidents on set of (or because of) korean dramas, involving both staff and actors, that something seems wrong with the industry. It's upsetting and I hope it will change.

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Sad to hear about the injured worker. Fwiw, I have worked for a staging company that sets up stages and lighting for events, (Janet Jackson, WWE). There is a small army of workers hoisting huge light trusses, speakers, etc. Quickly and safely. Safety is paramount for the guys and gals going aloft. Hooked to a safety harness, helmet, etc. Time is money, no doubt, but noone would ask you to do something dangerous, ever, to make up time. While it might look like chaos, it’s orchesrated. WWE has an insane amount equipment to set up. I’m guessing that film and tv probably has a rapidly changing shooting environment that requires a set breakdown and setting up for the next shot. How many workers they have may be an issue . Possibly to “save” money by working a few folks like rented mules?

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I don't mean to act superstitious but seeing words like Lucifer as a name of a company or a byline didn't sit well with me. Sometimes words are used that we don't know might have darker connotations or come with what some might call "bad luck" or bad vibes. Just my thought.

That said I found the drama well depicted and feel sad about the accidents and injuries. I hope things get ironed out satisfactorily for all concerned.

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I think it's a good decision, they obviously need more time and i heard that there's a second PD (from Gu Family Book) that just joined the team to help and probably him and the rest of the team needs time to adjust.

I feel really sorry for the staff that got injured and i really hope he get well soon and find justice, nobody should put to work under unsafe conditions.

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I wonder if it actually helps to have two PDs. I remember Criminal Minds -K had two PDs and one of them ended up leaving.

Did they get the second PD because they foresee letting go of the first PD? Or maybe they need one PD who is better at the production management aspect so that the first PD can focus on the creative aspect? I can't remember which specific PDs, but gleaning from various interviews with actors and actresses, there are the perfectionist PDs (aka PDs who asks you to reshoot a scene like 50 times) and there are those PDs who are satisfied with the first shot (leaving you confused as to whether that was really the best shot...).

And are they daring to squeeze more hours out of existing staff and the actors if they can shoot multiple scenes at once. I wonder if they have more staff members and CGI specialists to go with that second PD. I hope they throw in a safety manager.

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In films there is something called "Second unit". That is, while one unit shoots some scenes, the second unit shoots different scenes with different actors (typically the second unit goes to different locations and/or shoots scenes with secondary actors).
This means that there are two crews instead of one. It costs more, but cuts down time and is more efficient. The downside in the case of this drama is that most of the scenes involve the main leads. So that the actors who would normally have time to take a breather since they are not on the scenes being shot, now, with two units, they get to work almost nonstop.

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Thanks for the explanation! Folks not getting a breather is what I'm afraid of.

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it is true that there are set ups that acquire several number of PDs to divide shooting scenes with different set of people. It may also be a tag team type wherein one PD shoots, another takes care of the editing and pre-broadcasting needs (i.e. checks the continuity and post processing) — it is like having a main director and an assistant director who plance the pre-shooting needs and check & balance each other at post production.

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Good for them!

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Safety first. They need to respect health and safety procedures in the entertainment industry. Hopefully the production company will learn from this. I also hope the staffer will be OK. I really hope the paralysis is only temporary. And from an editing point of view it is the best decision they could make. A drama with so many special effects takes time to be edited and the staff needs to have enough time to do their job without getting rushed or overworked.

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And here I was loosing my temper on bad editing job but the situation is far worse its seems. TVN seems to be gaining quite a reputation when it comes to unsafe, unhealthy and stressful work environment. First that rookie PD and now this, I love Hwayugi and nobody wants to see this show air more than me. But this sort of repeated lack of concern for the physical and metal well being of your hard working employee is unacceptable practice in any organization. I would rather wait till this gets sorted out completely so that I can watch this show with peace of mind. Poor guy, my prayers are with him.

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Yes please! check the environment and safety before you guys kill someone or accidentally hurt the actors working in the show. This production looking like it was ran by amateurs. I am glad TVN hired two additional directors to help with the workload of producers. The lesson here: please don't rush a well written drama at the expense of people's safety and well being.

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Can someone please delete the 'anon' posts or moderate the comment section here? It's really, really unnecessary responses.

Wow, it really was played off like it was only editing issues at first, but you can never know the whole picture behind any production. I hate that I sound like a broken record every time this happens, but geez these 'rush' schedules and work environments... unfortunately this is how entertainment industries work.

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The reality is that accidents of various degrees happen all the time in the entertainment industry. The sad thing is that we don't here about them unless they are on major sets like Hwayugi. Since South Korea places such emphasis on K-ent, safety needs to become a greater priority. In dramas, at least, the KOCCA should consider placing a requirement on a number of episodes a drama must have filmed prior to the premier. This could give studios more cushion and prevent the rush to meet deadlines to some extent. I get that might not have helped in this case but something must be done to create better work conditions.

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Hope that poor employee will eventually get better,poor guy!!

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Wow...just wow... seriously disappointed and disgusted with tvN right now. Do you guys still remember that suicide incident with the rookie PD and how they mistreated his parents? What is wrong with these people??? They learned nothing...

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I don't really get why they didn't make this a preproduced drama or at least had the postproduction of a couple of episodes finished before airing this. I mean with all the CG and fantasy elements in this one they should have preproduced this. I watched the corrected Version of Episode 2 and I can't say I'm impressed. I read in one comment that the fight scenes with the ghosts/demons looked more like aerobic movements because of the missing computer effects. Well, it seems that those scenes even with CG don't actually look that much better. Even with the CG those scenes still seem kind of unbalanced/off. It bothered me a lot. "Bring it on Ghost" did a much better job in its action scenes with ghosts.
I can't say that the story sucked me in. It kind of feels like it's not going anywhere yet. At least at the end of episode two it didn't feel like there was much to tell. So I'm actually worried by the 16 90min Episodes. I mean that are actually 8 Episodes more, so all in all 24 Episodes. Well, that may have worked for "Black" but that was a story that would have even been better with 26 Episodes. That drama needed that time whereas here i can't see what they want to fill this with. But then again I don't know the book on which this is based on. So i guess there is hope, at least?!
After hearing now about all the bad things of the production itself, i hope that the responsible company has to pay for this. A lot. Just really now isn't a sign long overdue?! Treat your people better. And stop with that shitty week-after-week production. It brings more bad than it does good. Just my opinion.

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This is a major bummer. I love my kdramas, but they get harder to watch once you know how the sausage is made - it seems to be an endless cycle of abuse for staff and actors. And the global kdrama craze only seems to have made things worse - every station seems to be aiming for bigger/splashier productions, including endless PPLs, forcing teams to work on tighter schedules . . . as much as I love kdramas, I'm wondering if it's time to take a break. I don't think there will be any momentum to change the industry until viewers take a stand and demand change.

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@sighbananas

There is a tipping point where "sausage making" goes from the messiness of practicality to toxic...

If we have tipped over that line....

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Over the years, I've seen that people are generally humane and companies are not simplistically greedy and avaricious. The worst practitioners are generally known and went out of business quickly. No one wanted to do business with them, not their customers, workers or suppliers.

I had (and have) the opportunity to speak freely with workers in different countries and most of them valued the work they got and the opportunities it brought to them. Their perspectives were different, what I thought was bad was much better than any alternative they had.

On the whole, people are not blind or immoral. They select the best people to work with/for and avoided those that didn't. It takes engagement, commitment and pragmatic action over many years by many players to make progress.

I suspect it will be the same for the k-drama industry - they'll weed out the worst players and get better slowly. Better regulation and oversight help speed things up but this will be an effort measured in years not weeks or months.

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If ever a show should have been pre-produced, it was this one. You cannot have a show titled 'A Korean Odyssey' based on a Chinese epic and think you could possibly turn out episodes week by week. Pre-production were made for dramas like these.

I pray for that injured worker (are they truly paralyzed from the waist down now? Or is it rumors?) and hope they get the just care and compensation deserved. I really hope the production team and network gets it together. I feel for the bfs staff, writers, actors, and actresses in this mess. Hopefully it's a new year, new them for drama.

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Oh dear! Well at least now I know why the program I was looking forward to tonight is not on. At first I was like "What's wrong with my eyeballs?!" bc I didn't notice those things, but perhaps I may have caught the cleaned up version since I watched it during the week. Very sad and unfortunate about the crew member. I think the show is excellent so far!

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My heart goes out to the injured man and his family. I can't believe this happened, and I'm so glad this unfortunate accident is being investigated.

I'm bummed that the show is being postponed, but given the circumstances, I can totally understand. I hope things are resolved soon, and the production gets underway again, and that the man who was hurt (paralyzed! My God!) is rightfully and fairly compensated!

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It's always really sad hear about stuff like that. When we watch a drama, movie or even when we go to a musical concert, we always think it's a beautiful things, as if they lived in a perfect world.
Instead it is bad to know, that unfortunately, people who work in the music or film's field suffer heavy and ugly work, not to mention the cases of harassment released in recent times. And this happens all over the world, I live in Italy and 2 workers died to mount the stage of concerts last year.
I am very sorry for the person who suffered this serious injury, I hope that this pause is not only to put the drama back on its feet, but to give a strong sign to the whole k-drama industry on the problem of labor.

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I've been thinking about this a lot. I hear people saying they want to boycott the series because of the ugly dealings of the company behind it. And it is true that nowadays we shouldn't have the phenomenon which was prevalent in past centuries, where awesome works of art by great masters and awesome temples and palaces were built because the poor people were hungry and were bled for tax money. All the masterpieces of humanity, from the Pyramids to... you name it, have been made possible by gruesome exploitation. I'm not saying that Hwayugi is Michelangelo or the Taj Mahal, of course. And surely nowadays we prefer having more people safe and well-fed, even if it means we don't have any new Pyramids. We have learned to put the individual first, and that's how it should be.
I'm surely glad everything has come to the fore, maybe it will be an example not only for this company but for many others who undoubtedly do the very same things.
However.
Now, because of being under the spotlight, the malpractice is being taken care of to some extent. Because the spotlight, in the era of information, is the very best thing in the service of democracy and good and humane behaviour. Now this is taking its course, and I also assume that the hurt technician is being taken care of by the very best doctors.
So, boycotting or badmouthing the series because of what happened is spitting on the face of all these people, actors and staff, who have been working and are ready to continue to do so, giving their best in order to create a beautiful result, something that will make audiences all over the world dream and wonder, and relieve us from our daily worries and dreariness.
It would be a shame, in my opinion, if all these were punished, if their careers were to suffer because of the mistakes of the higher ups.
Let us separate the broadcasting company from Hwayugi, and let's give the Hwayugi crew, certainly worried and disheartened by all this, our love and encouragement. Let's judge the show according to how good it is, on what we genuinely like (or don't like) about it, without our opinion being unfairly influenced by what happened behind the scenes.
Let's also give our love to Hwayugi because it helped bring to the fore a common problem and maybe it was the catalyst which will help beneficial change in all future shows.

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First of all i sincerely hope the injured staff gets all the help he needs. Because what happened to him just robbed him of his means of earning a living. I hope that the injury is not permanent, is it?
It is just heart breaking that the conditions were so horrible!!
Every new drama that airs is a new hope for the people working for it and that includes the actors!! The drama if it turns out to be a success is their stepping stone towards another. Technicians find new work.
As much as I love this show and think that this show has the potential to be a huge hit I am angry at the Prod company's negligence and not pre producing at least 2 or 3 episodes!!! And then cost cutting!! Then covering up major issues!!
They didn't just play with the technicians' lives, they even tried to hide it! I am glad they'll pay for it soon.
However I am not going to say they should shut down the show and that we should boycott watching it. Is it okay to put the cast and crew out of work just so the company is punished for what they did?? I am not sure.. the actors might have rejected other shows to work for hwayugi.. are the actors and crew compensated if the show is cancelled?? Is the prod company liable??
It would be such a waste to see some good work go down the drain..
But every crime has consequences!!

For now I just hope the injured technician recovers and everyone not responsible for this horrible incident comes out of this unscathed! The conditions should improve without a doubt and the company should take responsibility!! The case that has been opened might as well keep them in check.

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Though english sub is so late to upload ill wait for it because i love those drama so much.. Its not easy to do some editings and i appreciate their hardwork to show that the movie must go on.. Fighting!

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