Shoots nearing completion for Friend
(Hyun Bin, is that really you?)
One of the buzzworthy dramas this year is the remake of the 2001 film Friend [친구], which is being adapted for television in MBC’s Friend, Our Legend [친구, 우리들의 전설]. Aside from the casting, the drama has a few things going for it that’s drumming up early interest: It’s being written and directed by the film’s director, Kwak Kyung-taek, and it’s just announced that it’ll get all 20 episodes in the can before premiere time.
The production company, ZinInSa Films (which also produced the film), stated on May 10 that filming is currently about 80% completed: “Filming and editing are being done together, so the entire production will be completed prior to broadcast.”
Hyun Bin and Kim Min-joon, both looking rather unlike their usual selves
As you may know, many Korean dramas get a bit of a head start in filming, but produce the majority of their episodes as the drama airs. On the plus side, advance productions often give the overall series a more finished feel and tighter writing, because the cast and crew aren’t rushing to shoot one episode in the three days before it airs. It’s in recent years that the pre-production model has been gaining traction, although I’d say it’s still in the minority (recent examples of wholly or mostly pre-filmed dramas include I Love You, Gourmet, Terroir, and Return of Iljimae).
Despite higher aesthetic quality, though, advance shoots don’t guarantee high ratings, which may be why more dramas aren’t made in this fashion. (In fact, one downside is that after all that extra time and effort, many pre-produced dramas falter badly in the ratings anyway, and they aren’t given the opportunity to adjust to audience reactions — which can be both a good and bad thing.) However, it does ensure that Friend will avoid issues like scripts being sent out a few pages at a time or “real-time filming” difficulties that other time-strapped dramas face.
Shoots had commenced in Busan in February with the principal cast (which focuses on four friends growing up in the ’70s and ’80s), and MBC is aiming to put Friend, Our Legend on the air in July.
Hyun Bin (The World They Live In, My Name Is Kim Sam Soon) and Kim Min-joon (Tazza, Insoon Is Pretty):
Kim Min-joon again:
Seo Do-young (Spring Waltz, Unstoppable Wedding):