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'ScreenX' to provide stronger audience immersion than Imax: Director Kim Jee-woon

2013/10/04 20:24

BUSAN, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's star director Kim Jee-woon who made the first film using the country's new, multi-projection technology said Friday that the technology has a stronger merit than Imax to maximize audience immersion.

After his Hollywood debuting film "The Last Stand" (2013) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kim returned with a homegrown film titled "The X," a new experimental short commissioned by CGV, Korea's largest multiplex cinema chain run by the food and entertainment conglomerate CJ.

Known as ScreenX, this multi-projection technology seeks to enhance audience immersion by projecting a wider image beyond the traditional rectangular white screen, utilizing both sides of the off-screen space in a theater.

CGV currently has 40 screens designed for showing "ScreenX" films at 22 chain theaters around the country. The company says it plans to increase the number of "ScreenX" screens to 50 by the end of this year.

"I think ScreenX will offer a stronger cinematic experience to audiences than Imax by making them feel the images are filling the space fully," Kim told reporters here after a press screening of "The X."

   Starring Gang Dong-won and Sin Min-a, the 30-minute film will be screened in the Gala Presentation category of this year's Busan International Film Festival on Oct. 3-12.

Kim had to make extra efforts in the whole process of filmmaking to accommodate 270-280 degree images, such as adjustments to lighting, art design and editing.

"Making such a movie was like hell and nightmare," the director recalled. But he said the experience of completing a sort of experimental film made him happy.

The movie tells the story of a special agent named X -- played by Gang Dong-won -- and his lover.

X's mission is to deliver an unidentified parcel to his colleague agent "R." But when he arrives at his destination, he finds "R" is dead and his girlfriend Mia -- played by Sin Min-a -- tied up in a room next door.

"I initially thought ScreenX would be more effective for spectacular scenes but came to realize that it is unexpectedly effective for lyrical or creepy scenes, too," he said.

He advised other filmmakers to introduce the technology to enhance their films technologically and cinematically.

Kim is best known for his films "A Bittersweet Life (2005)," and "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" (2008). He also directed "I Saw the Devil" in 2010.