Spy drama shoots in central Seoul
Don’t worry if you see fast cars, cops and spies running around Gwanghwamun this weekend.
It’s all just a day’s work for the actors and crew on “Iris,” the sleek new KBS espionage drama that has had viewers glued to their TV sets since the show began airing in October.
To make way for the film crew shooting scenes for upcoming episodes in the area, cars will be blocked from the five lanes running beside the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts near Gwanghwamun Plaza in central Seoul on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to Seoul city government.
Another five lanes on the Kyobo Building side of Gwanghwamun Plaza will be open as usual for cars heading to Gwanghwamun or the Sejongno intersection.
Normally, there’s a 10-lane road that surrounds Gwanghwamun Plaza, five lanes on each side.
Seoul city government said it signed a partnership with Taewon Entertainment, the Iris production company, to promote Seoul’s major tourist attraction sites in return for providing partial funding for the blockbuster drama.
“The scenes will help promote Seoul’s major tourist attractions to a global audience and discussions are currently underway with foreign buyers in Europe and Asia interested in airing the drama,” said Kim Seon-sun, a public relations officer at Seoul city government, adding that Iris will hit Japan’s market early next year.
To attract future Iris fans from overseas, Seoul city government plans to create tours for sites appearing in the hit show.
Past episodes have featured landmark places in Seoul such as the Cheonggye Stream, Han River and the King Sejong the Great statue in Gwanghwamun Plaza.
The production company asked Seoul city government for a two-day filming permission at Gwanghwamun Plaza, but after discussing the matter with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, we decided to only allow one day, Kim said.
Some people expressed irritation about the filming schedule.
Kim Deok-ja, a 56-year old vendor who sells goods for tourists, complained: “If the traffic’s shutdown and people are not allowed to freely walk around the area, sales will be trimmed that day.”
By Kim Mi-ju, Kim Gyeong-jin [firstname.lastname@example.org]