Jun 18, 2008

Behind the Press Conference

For those of you who enjoyed Satovic's report on her experience at the press conference on Quilt (Subject: [sharing] satovic at the press conference today...posted by happiebb), here is a more detailed story she wrote on the Japanese site B.S.J. (BYJ Supporters in Japan). Edited and translated by flowerbossa with the permission of Satovic.

Satoko's Story - Part 1

When Satoko got to Shibuya, it was already a little after eleven.
Approximately 150 companies had registered for this press conference.
As 2 reporters and 1 photographer were permitted for each company, there would probably be more than 300 people there, including some of the most notorious TV reporters.
Now, how can I get them to pick me to ask a question … maybe the best way is to just stand up briskly....
But then, I don’t want to look too aggressive…

What Satoko disliked more than anything, was to shove her way through the crowd in order to get to the very front.
But, today was a different story. With the 100 questions she collected from her fellow fans, she wanted to succeed desperately. She couldn’t do it for herself, but she felt that she could do anything if it was for others. That’s probably why people seek family.

Maybe when YJ calls his fans family, he has similar thoughts.

Anyway, when she thinks about the “yorobun kajok (all of you family)” who cannot come here, she feels that she is capable of doing almost anything.

When she got to the west gate of NHK, the place was crowded with what appeared like wuri family. Ooh, how I wish I could make you all into miniatures that would fit into my backpack then I could take you with me (though that would make my bag quite heavy ^^;)

The reason she was able to enter the studio today was because she was hired as a reporter for the magazine “Korean Drama Tsushin (news)”. For her assignment on writing an article on TWSSG, she had watched all 24 episodes 3 times, and even wrote down the camera blocking of the entire drama. Now, if she were to interview Producer Kim, she had the confidence to discuss any scene of the drama on the same level. It was necessary to make that kind of effort to get a job like a reporter for a press conference, but many people don’t understand that....

Not anyone can enter the venue of the conference.
That being the case, the least she could do was deliver the voices of the family to YJ. So, in BSJ (BYJ Supporters in Japan), she sought for questions people wanted to ask him. She received many requests, but there were some she could NEVER bring up^^;

At the bunggae in Korea, there were some juicy questions like “what do you wear when you go to bed? Briefs or trunks?” and people enjoyed YJ’s cute reaction and humorous remark. But this visit was planned for the promotion of the drama, so she had to stick to something related to it.

What Satoko herself really wanted to ask most of all, was why YJ and the producer deliberately took on the challenge of creating a “non-fighting hero”

This was Satoko's question:

“When we look at the stone monument of Gwanggaeto the Great, Damdeok in history is a bellicose king who constantly fought to expand his territory, but you depict him as a king who is the opposite. I think such a hero who strives to avoid fighting is a new type.
I would think that a success story with the king cutting the enemy to shreds would provide more satisfaction and be simple as well, but why did Producer Kim insist on creating a new model of a king who avoids war?

Also, when we heard the announcement you made last June on the postponement of the production, we were able to interpret it as a change of direction in accordance with YJ’s words. How were you planning to depict him initially?

Also, even as a leading actor, I think it is rare that an actor would make propositions to the script to that extent – did you find it somewhat annoying?

I would also like to ask YJ-ssi the same question:
Even in the position of a leading actor, people could see you as acting beyond authority for stepping into issues of the script to that level. If you are reputed of being a loud actor, I think it would make it difficult for you to work, but could you tell us why you intentionally made such a forward proposal?"

This was what Satoko wanted to ask.
She wanted to know what was going on his head.
She wanted to know what he was thinking.
She wanted to understand BYJ, the human being.
That was her biggest wish.

But this question was rather heavy. If it was a one on one interview, she would have liked to dwell on this issue, but that was not something expected in a press conference.
Though the purpose of this visit was for the promotion of TWSSG, all the TV stations cared about were the ratings through getting the oh-so-popular BYJ on their network – they weren’t about to help out in promoting a program for another station. So, if they could get a comment out of him that would get good ratings, they would show a lot of him, but if the conference focused on the promotion the drama, they would probably cover it only briefly.

In other words, in order to get a long appearance of him on TV for wuri family, they needed to get him to say something interesting. To have him shoot a cool goal, she had to make the appropriate pass.

But knowing YJ, he may resort to one of his corny remarks…
A clumsy pass could result to a disaster of getting the whole crowd turned off…
With that in mind, Satoko went over the questions she had and found the perfect one. It was a question written by Chun Chun: “Would you like to be hugged from behind like you were by Suzini, or from the front as you were by Kiha?”
It was ingeniously connected to the drama, juicy enough that it would capture interest on TV – a win-win question.

He could give the king-like model answer, “it would be from the front, because I could hug her back immediately”, or come up with something appropriate for his age like, “from my personal experience, I think it would be from the back.” Or, he could please the family by saying “it would seem more agonizing if it was from the back.”
He could even deliver the final blow with, “it would seem like I’m being hugged by my mother if it was from the front” etc. etc.
As long as he gave one specific comment, either choice would make the headlines.

The most boring answer would be a dry comment like, “either way is OK by me”, but if he could express it in a masculine way like “both is welcome by me, as long as it’s by a woman”, he may be successful in giving a good impression to the male viewers. In any case, we really couldn’t expect him to say something like, “it would be ok to be hugged from behind when I have my clothes on”. hahaha

There would be a million ways to answer this question, and we could get people to laugh, but he would not be able to make a meaningful comment. Would he be more interested in conveying a message than a bright smile? Would he despise me for asking such a dumb question? Or would he wish to be shown on TV as long as possible?

When Satoko was pondering over this problem, Norisuke-san (editor of the magazine) appeared with a NHK calling card pinned on her.

Norisuke-san said to her,
“Oh? Didn’t you say you were going to come here in a Geomool villagers’ costume? I wore white to match your outfit.”
(note: Norisuke-san had expressed her hesitance when Satoko came up with the idea of attending the press conference in a costume. Satoko reluctantly gave up.)

“Ooh, you should’ve said so! I would’ve brought you a costume, too!"
“No, noo, it’s quite alright ^^; Let’s hurry and go to the reception desk. The photographer has already gone to draw for his shooting space.”

Normally, photographers go through a fierce battle over securing a good space to shoot good photos. But to give everyone a fair chance, the photographers were requested to draw lots for today’s press conference,

There was already a long line in front of Studio CT113.
Reception was to start from one, but there were many reporters already in line.
As the NHK staff claimed that it was no use lining up, Satoko and Norisuke concluded that the reporters would also be drawing lots, and decided to head for the cafeteria. But for some reason, Norisuke-san went past it.

”Oh, Norisuke –unni, you’re walking towards the main entrance....”
“Are you by any chance nervous?”
“Ha ha ha…^^; well, what do you think hahaha”

There was a group of children nearby who were in line, led by nice young man who will lead them in games and exercises in a children’s program. Satoko thought, oh how I wish I could be in line and be led like them...

(to be continued....)


bb said...

thanks for this, flowerbossa!

it's a fascinating read! satovic really did think hard over what question to ask him huh?

and honestly, i love her own question. but yea, gotta agree with her that wasn't the right time and place to pose that to PD kim and wuri yong joon.

and that 'yorobun kajok' brought a smile to my face... as images (complete with sound too) of that certain handsome korean man floated into my head... :)

gosijo said...

My sentiments exactly (as bb). Interesting notion about Satoko-san's feeling that "she could do anything if it was for others" and relating this to the concept of family as a powerful motivator.

I look forward to the next instalments with great eagerness. Meanwhile, thanks for this wonderful translation. I particularly like that Satovic's use of the third person to refer to herself was retained. It sounds very natural even though it is rendered in a language where this is not the norm.

Kudos also to Pallet-san for the new sketches of Dong Hyuk, Cool BYJ and BYJ Classics - The Scenes.

flowerbossa said...

Thank you bb and gosijo for your encouragement!

Yes, the story goes on...

I'm glad this style was not too unnatural for you to read.


jaime said...

dear flowerbossa,

sorry for coming in late. I enjoy reading your translation so much on satovic's struggle to decide on the question. I like her original question very much as I think there are still questions regarding the drama that a lot of fans want to get answers from Yong Joon. For one, I really really want to hear from Yong Joon's mouth why he chose this particular ending.

But I love the 'front and back' question even more. As a serious, deep thinking kind of guy, of course he answered everything logically. I am glad he added the 'front' at the end :)

Please keep them coming! Thanks

love ... jaime

flowerbossa said...

Thanks for your comment Jaime!

I wonder if the "answer" to satovic's original question is included in any of the interviews he gave during his stay in Japan.

Perhaps he wants to answer that in the sequel (the modern version) of this drama^^