[ENTERTAINMENT]'Forget about that movie, it's got a lousy Web site'To attract moviegoers these days you need to put focus not only on movie screens but also on computer screens. Koreans, especially the tech-savvy younger generations, are beginning to judge films by the quality of their Web sites. To meet those expectations, distributors are bending more and more attention toward building impressive Web sites.
A good example of the trend can be seen at www.discoking.co.kr, the Web site for the local comedy "Bet on My Disco." Jung Suk-jung, a promotional manager at the public relations agency for the movie, told the JoongAng Ilbo English Edition that the site plays a crucial role in drawing people into the theater.
It was Ms. Jung's idea to pack the gaudily designed Web site with a variety of content instead of just providing a simple synopsis. For those who like computer games that play out as a story, the site has a section where visitors can create their own story line as they play a game based on the film's premise. The highlight is the cyber dancing contest, inspired by the part of the film in which the lead actor has to save his lover by winning a disco competition. Visitors can choose characters from the movie and a song, then design dance moves, stage sets and lighting effects.
While "Bet on My Disco" is attracting a younger audience, the heartwarming drama "Jibeuro" (The Way Home) has broader appeal. That is reflected in the Web site for "Jibeuro," which offers behind-the-scenes stories, like what happened to the chicken at the grandmother's house. The most popular section is the bulletin board where people share stories of their own grandmothers. The site for "Chihwaseon" is classier, and remains true to the film's theme, the life of an artist in the Joseon Dynasty. The site is like an oriental painting, with calligraphy brushes introducing sections and a golden carp floating around.
The fad to build elaborate Web sites for movies can be traced to last year's "My Sassy Girl," according to Ms. Jung. Now she says movies targeting younger generations must have hip Web sites to make it at the box office.
by Chun Su-jin