Anticipation builds for 'Chronicle'
The movie, which opens in local theaters next year, is his second directorial feature after “Fasten Your Seatbelt” (2013).
Since Ha obtained the publication rights to adapt best-selling author Yu Hua’s novel, every part of the film’s production process has made headlines in Korea.
And the press has especially focused on the casting choices. The film is filled with A-list actors such as Ha Ji-won, Lee Geung-yung, Jeon Hye-jin and Cho Jin-woong, amplifying viewers’ anticipation for the feature as a result.
“I trusted these people to compensate for my shortcomings as a director because they have the competency to analyze their characters in their own ways.”
Ha revealed that he had flickers of doubts about having taken on such a challenging project during his pre-production preparations.
“While writing the script, I regretted selecting the work more than 12 times a day,” said Ha.
“I thought to myself that there were rightful reasons why people hadn’t adapted the novel until now.”
Ha explained that he filmed about 40 percent of the movie with a handy cam prior to beginning official shooting, as practice with a small team of staff.
However, despite his concerns, the actual filming process was smooth sailing.
“Before being a director, Ha had a base as an actor, so he really was attentive toward the actors’ situations,” said actress Ha. “The director took care of everything even before I could think of it. It was a really relaxing experience for me.”
The actors were also given room for creativity within their roles.
“Ha really emphasized that the actors were unrestricted. He liked it when I acted spontaneously and boldly,” said Jeon, who plays a sidekick in the film.
Part comedy and part drama, “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant” is set in 1960s Korea when the nation was in serious poverty. Ha Jung-woo plays Heo Sam-kwan who wins the heart of the most beautiful women in her village (Ha Ji-won).
BY JIN EUN-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]