[HanCinema's News] Director Kim Chang-joo Talks About "HARD HIT"
By William Schwartz | Published on
Kim Chang-joo's reputation as an editor is well-known. He won the Blue Dragon Award for Best Editing on "A Hard Day" back in 2014. He has done many projects since then, including "The Admiral: Roaring Currents", "Tunnel", "Real", "Take Point", "Kingdom" and "Kingdom - Season 2". But the upcoming "HARD HIT" will be the first for Kim Chang-joo in the director's chair. In a recent interview, Kim Chang-joo discussed his feelings on the thriller film.
According to Kim Chang-joo, he first got the idea to make a film of his own from director Bong Joon-ho when he worked with the legendary filmmaker on "Snowpiercer" back in 2013. Purportedly, Kim Chang-joo heard the story of how Bong Joon-ho got the idea for "Snowpiercer" from picking up a comic book at a store in France, and having his heart moved to bring the story to screen. This conceptualization gave Kim Chang-joo the courage to strike out on his own, provided the right idea.
Kim Chang-joo claimed to have originally wanted to be a director, only to drift into becoming an editor upon realizing just how important the process was to filmmaking. Introspective by nature, Kim Chang-joo enjoyed the relative isolation of the editing room. Kim Chang-joo has also cultivated a reputation for using edits to signify important narrative subtleties. This led to his receiving offers from many production companies, eventually settling on "HARD HIT" for his debut.
Kim Chang-joo also stated that his work as an editor strongly influenced his work as a director via a cooking analogy. A meal is only as good as its ingredients, which the editor must mix together. So as Kim Chang-joo thought about what material he would want access to in the editing room, he had a better idea what needed to be filmed and how. Kim Chang-joo was less confidence at his acting direction, but described his cast as exceptional talents who could compensate for his inexperience.
True to his training, "HARD HIT" is a very lean feature at only ninety minutes. Kim Chang-joo described the film's energy as being highly animalistic, with characters constantly in a rush to complete new objectives. Kim Chang-joo emphasize this same quality to cast and crew, hoping to transfer this manic energy as a representation of the lead character's own hurried psychological state. "HARD HIT" will open in South Korean theaters on June 23rd.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.