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Important connection of the drama production scene and the editing room, the scripter

  • [등록일]2017-08-11
  • [조회] 380

  We know from interviews with filmmakers or actors that many dramas are being filmed live on the side script. Although pre-production is different, many of the staff at the shooting site are often follow tight schedules. Sometimes, they’re not even able to come home or take showers during production. The same goes for the scripter who participates in the whole process of production with the director.

  I met Pang Bo-young, who has 18 years’ experience of drama scripter. She  was unable to sleep during the production but continued to go to the next scene after one was finished. She is a highly-experienced drama scripter, who is affectionate of the scripts with the thought that it is “my work,” and feels pleased to see the performance of actors before anyone else. A scripter is usually seen as a step in the process of becoming an Editorial director because he or she can usually learn the whole process of production, but she said 'Being a scripter is my vocation. I want to continue to work as long as there is a director who will work with me.' She invites readers to the world of drama scripters.


Pang Bo-young(left), at the drama production site


Q. What was the first time you learned about the job of a scripter?
  Since I was a kid, I was very active. I even joked with my teacher in the classroom, and I enjoyed performing in front of my friends. I used to dream about becoming a play or musical actor in the future.
  I went to the Department of Broadcasting and Entertainment, and my brother told me to join the new club in the department. I entered a club called “Standby,” where students made works of various genres such as drama, music video, advertisement, and documentaries. When I was in a meeting, seniors told me that they needed me as a scripter- that’s when I first learned about scripters. I learned the scripter’s job first, and as I tried the field practice with the seniors who already worked in that field, I thought it was a wonderful job. When I graduated, the seniors also proposed me that I work as a scripter at SBS.
Sometimes, when it was necessary to have a female assistant actor, but there were none ready, I did some of the roles, so it can be said that I also achieved the goal of becoming an actor, too.


Q. What does the scripter do for each production stage?
  The scripter must enter from the pre-production stage and must be at all shooting locations with the director. In some cases, the scripters go to the editing room after shooting, so you can see that they participate in the whole production process.
  Out of all staff members, it is the scripter who must best understand the director's script. In addition to script analysis skills, the scripter should be able mentally visualize how this scene, which is being shot in front of me, will be displayed to viewers after editing. The scripter needs to keep the script at all times and record all the decisions the director makes on the shoot.
  We express it as 'drawing lines.” The records of every scene require video numbers, whether the director's signature is OK or KEEP (save), or how it was shot?in full shot, bust shot, two shot, overtight bust shot. There is a director who tells us how to use the scenes after shooting all the scenes. Directors are usually too busy filming to go the editing room, so my scripts tell editors the opinions of the directors. In short, it connects the director and the editing room.



A script with a lot of notes and 'lines'

  Viewing double action is another important thing that scripters should take care of. Double Action is a technique to connect the previous scenes to the next ones naturally, like when the actor lifts his right arm up in the previous scene and then moves it down after, the next scene starts with the arm down. This job prevents the so-called fly in the ointment.
  Without a scripter’s script, staff members who are stuck in the darkroom for a couple of days all night editing cannot know these details. Since the film does not shoot in the order in which the play progresses, many parts are likely to be blocked without the script. When I first started working 18 years ago, we recorded video tapes, so I used to take my own scripts and tapes and head to the editing room. Now, every file has its own number on the screen, and there is a separate job for the file backup manager, so it is much more convenient.


Q. Do you remember when you first joined as a scripter? It must have been challenging to be in the field with so many people on staff.
  Yes. It was 18 years ago, and I remember the first day when I went to SBS. It seemed like there was a huge ship, and I was overwhelmed even before I entered the building. There was a work called the 'Gol-bang-i' the youth sitcom about the Internet. Everyone in the field seemed too high for my position and was difficult to talk to. I learned from the current scripter, and after only a week of probation, I was the only one in the field. The other parts, such as the director and the camera, could complement each other because there were more than one, but since there was only one scripter in the field, it was really hard for me to manage the work alone. No matter how much I learned and practiced at school, I was a beginner at the production site. Every night I fell asleep thinking that I did not want to go out tomorrow. When I went back to my hometown during the holiday, I felt sick thinking about going back to Seoul.


Still cut of SBS sitcom , on which she participated as the scripter for the first time.

  Viewing the double action mentioned above was the most difficult job. I had to see and record when the actors put down the cups, touch their hair, who passed by, but I missed a lot since I was not skillful enough.
  For about a week, it was common for me to beg for some sleep and a shower in the sauna. I had only one scripter among the entire staff, so I had to be in the field, even when I was sick. As you know, it is not easy to go to the bathroom when shooting in the mountains or outside. was shot on an island in a hot summer, so our arms and legs were swollen because of the bugs, and the director said, 'I am sorry to trouble the staff,” and cried.

Q. As a scripter, you participated in various projects. When do you feel most fulfilled and rewarded for your work?
  Even if there are writers' scripts and department of directors, I feel most fulfilled when I find and correct the things they miss. There are often times when the actor unconsciously says 'yesterday' when day and night change in the play or after two days.
  When shooting outdoors, and the rain pours, the dialog changes when moved to indoors. The director must continue to make judgments accordingly, and my ideas are often accepted. At this point, I receive positive comments from the directors and feel motivated to work as a scripter.
  There is a lot of interaction with actors, too. Most of the time when the shooting order is messed up, the emotions do not connect well. For example, if an actor forgets that he has been betrayed by a friend in the previous scene, I'll go and tell him. The actor also appreciates it.
  In the recent work , the tense changes frequently, and it was a difficult task because the protagonist repeatedly lost his memories. I had to add the content after finding memories in the second half of the story according to the flow of the content. At that time, I had to check and make sure nothing looked awkward, starting from the costumes.

had great synergy created by the director, actor, and staff

  Although it is not the scope of the scripter, I applaud when the final cut of the important scene satisfactorily ends in the sense that it makes a better field atmosphere and encourages staff members. This is one of the things that gives a good influence to all the staff and actors in the field. Those who felt awkward about it at first got used to it later and applaud right after the director’s “Cut, okay” sign falls. Actor Kim Seong-ryong, in , also said she felt encouraged by the applause of the staff in an interview with one media so I feel proud.

Q. You said that you are getting a lot of contacts from your younger students who dreamed of becoming scripters. Since there are not many regular or open recruitment courses, many could be curious about how to become scripters. I would appreciate your advice.
  Scripters should understand the director's script and identify and record everything they need to make sure that the shoots in the scene are naturally accessible to viewers. As I said before, it is a bridge between the director and the editing room, so scripters have to write well and 'draw lines.' A good memory is also necessary to deliver the director's intentions. Because the drama production site is so harsh and there are no substitutes, responsibility and physical strength are essential virtues.
  Collaboration is also important. It is a position in which you have to point out a lot to the staff as well as actors. Even though the staff is working overnight for a couple of days and they are tired, when a double action is wrong or extra scenes are needed, I have to tell them. It is better if you have sociability in order to communicate among the new staff. The most important thing is the collaboration with the director. Even if it is difficult to get familiar with other staff members, most of the scripter's work is done with the director.
  If you have already started to work as a scripter, I would like to support you. You are going to be worried if it is the right job for you. Even if it is difficult, if you try hard in each project?the experience will become a great memory that you can think back on and smile about in the future.



  • name  : Minju Kwon
  • profile : Chief Editor of webzine 'Hallyu Story'