Jan 24, 2008

From "Another Winter Sonata"

The following is an excerpt from the book "Another Winter Sonata" written by the scenario writers of WLS, Kim Eun-Hee and Yoon Eun-Kyoung
(published Sept. 2004)

The information may not be new, but the 2 writers reveal what BYJ himself thought about his role Min Hyung in the early part of the drama.

Original in Japanese
Translated into English by flowerbossa

One of the things we remember the most during the time we were writing episode 8 is receiving a phone call from YJ-ssi. When we write a script it usually cannot be completed at one shot. After writing the first draft, we examine the flow of the entire story, rewrite it …. and this process is repeated as we make changes. Sometimes, we end up with something completely different from the original draft (and as a result of this process, the amount of script actually written far exceeds that worth 20 episodes!). Of course, it may be possible for a good writer to draw up a scenario only at one try, but being novice writers then, and plus the project being a joint effort between the two of us, there was much more we had to work on together compared to writing alone.

So, customarily we did not show the early drafts to any one but the producer, let alone the actors, but YJ-ssi insisted that he wanted to see it to prepare for his role. We hesitated, but we sent it to him indicating that this was still “a draft”.

The next morning, we received a phone call from YJ-ssi. There were times when we talked on the set concerning the character settings, but since this was the first time to receive a call from him, it some how made us worried. And as we anticipated, YJ-ssi politely addressed his questions to us on the character of Min Hyung.

Actually, YJ-ssi had questions for us while they were shooting episode 6. When Yujin had shed tears mistaking MinHyung for JunSanhg, MinHyung flirted with her by acting like JunSahng in the beginning but in the end confessing that he was actually only MinHyung and accused her for her scheme. In this scene, YJ-ssi just could not understand the emotions of MinHyung. He claimed that watching Choi Ji Woo’s eyes over flow with tears, he was on the verge of tears himself, and couldn’t see how someone could act so cruelly.

He was right of course. In a normal situation, Min Hyung would not have acted so cruelly. But caught in Cherin’s trap, he was forced to mistake Yujin’s truthful expression as deceit. We gave a detailed explanation of the situation and YJ-ssi was finally satisfied, but he was chagrined over his character while shooting the scene claiming that even under the circumstances, HE would never take Yujin’s actions the wrong way.

The point YJ-ssi felt the most uncomfortable with was (as in episode 6) how MinHyung’s behaved so coercively towards Yujin. In the beginning part of the draft of episode 8, MinHyung asked Yujin, "who do you really love?” in a much stronger manner. After we wrote the draft, we also had felt that the expression was much too strong considering MinHyung’s character, and planned to change it, so when we received that phone call from YJ-ssi, we were really in a bind. That was exactly why we didn’t want to him to see the initial draft… We explained to him the content of what we planned to change, and after he learned that the gentleness of MinHyung’s character was going to be retained, he was relieved and hung up the phone.

We felt very sorry towards YJ-ssi at the time. Actors need to be immersed in the emotions of the characters they are playing, but we felt that we had confused him unnecessarily due to the draft. We were also embarrassed, too. We have to admit that just as actors want to be seen at their best and most beautiful in front of the viewers, we writers would prefer to avoid showing the process of trial and error we go through. This wouldn’t have happened if we were able to come up with a great script with just one draft… But, it’s no use talking about it. It was the result of our own lack of ability.

However, what we ARE able to promise is that we will continue to make changes to the script in effort of making it a better one, until the very moment the final shooting takes place.


bb said...

hi hi flowerbossa!

this is a great one to read! i guess some things just never seem to change with this man. he really is the type of actor who would immerse himself totally into a role and actually try to BE THAT PERSON...

he would take on that character's personality and try to get his psyche and thinking... i can just imagine wuri yong joon reading his script... trying to get into the head of his character and doing the things that a person with that character would do. so, naturally if he comes across a scene that he thinks that character would not do, he cannot accept that and therefore will be unable to act that out... hehe, i think in a way, he's like a stubborn young boy who has to get to the bottom of everything before he would believe something... :p

thanks much much!

gosijo said...

Hi dear flowerbossa,

This is a great translation! And timely too given our exchange in Jaime's blog, heehee! Thanks for alerting me to it.

As you know, it is my impression that MH flirts quite a bit with YJ (who is engaged!) in the early episodes and asks her too many personal questions or expresses too many unsollicited opinions about her personal life. And then, when MH thinks YJ is coming on to him, his reaction is so out of tune with his earlier interest!

Ah, but what a scene!! I think I'm not alone in really loving that scene! Including the much-deserved slap MH gets from YJ!! And, with the mis-information given by Cherin, it makes sense and we can marvel at how malicious Cherin had been!

I have no problem forgiving the writers for the earlier inconsistencies because they more than make up for it later. Also, I can sympathize with the issues around circulating an early draft to an actor who feels the need to prepare earlier than others!

It's great the scriptwriters can shed some light on the general process because I've always wondered how actors can successfully "sell" to the audience a situation or dialogue that could be unnatural under normal circumstances. How do they come to terms with what the writers have conceived even if their own inclinations would lead them in the opposite direction? And then, as is the case in that famous scene in episode 6 of WS, how can they do it in such a powerful, convincing way?

Anonymous said...

Hi, flowerbossa;

It's been a while. How are you doing? How are Satovic and Pallet?

It's a great translation and I've never heard or seen this story. Is it okay to translate this story to share with K-sisters in byjintoronto?

And do you still have the same email address?

I'll talk to you soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi flowerbossa,

Like gosijo, that scene in episode 6 is one my favorites, love MH's cold looks.

BYJ is such a honest person, this is what I felt when I first read this a few years ago.
He rejects to 'act' the role he
cannot believe in, he is a man who cannot compromise,which sometimes may annoy the staff around him being childish in a way I'm afraid. He is usually a very considerate person though.

So what I admire him is the fact that he wouldn't change such a style of acting or living, he wouldn't mind taking trouble to spend too much time for the work even sacrificing his body.
Love his such stuborness.

Your post gives me an urge to re-read the book, because this was one of the books and magazines I was checking (not really reading) so hungrily in a craze of finding Yonsama, but .... I can't find the book. Ottoke!

Hope to see you soon,

cloud nine

Lynn said...

Dear Flowerbossa,

Again, I would like to get your permission for me to translate this into Chinese and post it on Chinese website. I will mention you as the English version translator. Thank you. Really want to share it with more baesis.


flowerbossa said...

Hi bb,

Yes, it's easy to imagine that things didn't quite add up when YJ tried to build MH's character. And we know that he's not a man to keep quiet about it either. The poor writers...

Just as you say, it goes back to the days when he dismantled his toys out of curiosity!

I hope you have some time to relax this weekend^^/


flowerbossa said...

Hi Gosijo,

I'm happy this was a timely entry for you!

The more I learn about Korean drama productions and the hard schedules they are forced to work under, I can understand how both actors and staff try to buy time to give their best performance. In this respect, it was interesting to read a frank document from the writers on the process of writing a convincing script (for actors and viewers alike!)

All in all, WLS is a miracle of a drama. I reconfirm this every time I see it!

Have a nice weekend♪


flowerbossa said...

Dear Suehan,

Hello! I'm so sorry I have not been in touch with you for so long. Thank you for the effort you put into translating TWSSG.

Satovic is busy as usual with her involvement in ayurveda. Pallet as you can see is drawing away~

Pls feel free to translate this into Korean to share at your site. I hope they enjoy it.
Thank you for informing me in advance.

Have a nice weekend.


p.s. Yes, my e-mail address is the same.

flowerbossa said...

Dear cloud nine,


This is such a typical YJ episode, isn't it? His way of carrying out his "professionalism" must have been hard to handle for some staff! But we know that his intentsions are good and yes, "honest"^^

If you can't find the book, pls let me know so I can lend it to you.


flowerbossa said...

Hello, Lynn.

I'm glad this translation interested you.
Yes, pls go ahead and share it with your Chinese family.
Thank you for informing me in advance.

Have fun♪


Lynn said...

Hello Flowerbossa,

Thank you again for your support that the Chinese baesis can enjoy your article. You may find the Chinese version in the following address:

Appreciate your help!


flowerbossa said...

Dear Lynn,

Thank you for the feedback!

I enjoyed the Chinese sisters' artwork as well.


HeippieH said...

Wow, that was a nice read. Thank you for translating this. Was the book written in Japanese in 2004? Or in Korean originally? Never heard of it until now you translated it. Episodes 5 and 6 are my favorites too. He did it so well, now I learned there was so much thoughts and work he put in behind the scene. I admire his extraordinary work habits. In addition, I am moved when I read YJ said he could not act that cruelly when he saw Yujin's tears. I can almost feel his tender heart in real. I am falling in love with him once again!

flowerbossa said...

Hi heippieh,

Glad to know you enjoyed this.
To my knowledge (and suehan's), this book is only published in Japan in Japanese. Like you, I find myself falling for him all over again while translating!

I just introduced another section from the book. Hope you enjoy that one as well!