The Romantic Movement Seoul is a new project staring Min Hyo-rin and adapted from the first several chapters of Romantic Movement, a novel by popular Swiss writer Alain de Botton. Now this sounds like just another Korean drama, especially with directors such as Kang Chul-woo and Park Hyun-jin at the helm.
Each director gets a segment (there will be four in all) and it is shot on location around Seoul with the Canon 5d (a DSLR camera that shoots 1080p HD video). The major difference is that this is being released online. The first episode was released on the 30th and the site has integrated twitter in an interesting way on their fan wall, and if I’m not mistaken uses Wordpress as a CMS (much like us).
In between each episode there are also several webisodes featuring the series number one fan (a crazy American who is rather entertaining) as well as behind the scenes footage. Min Hyo-rin is not the only rather big star in this either, Yeo Wook-hwan, Defconn (a Korean hip-hop performer), and Mate’s Jung Jun-il will all have roles in the short film. I have watched the first episode and it is decently acted and shot well, although it is very melodramatic and so far doesn’t differentiate itself stylistically from any other k-dramas you might see on television.
I do not think this is a bad thing at all. In fact it was a smart choice on the part of the project leaders as it will allow Korean audiences a familiar transition to a newer format, and appeal to a much wider audience than say a Korean equivalent to The Guild. Choosing the very popular author Alain de Botton was another genius stroke. The broader appeal that this project receives the more likely similar projects will be made. The other thing that I appreciate is the English subtitles embedded in the video. They are appealing to a wide audience, and I am interested in what is coming next and wish them the best of luck. Hopefully it will catch on and people will try to expand stylistically and explore the digital format.
Here's the first episode of the series.
Sources: Paper Spaceships and The Romantic Movement Seoul Offical site
video credit: The RoMo Seoul YouTube Channel