SEOUL, Jan.11 (Korea Bizwire) – ‘Pre-Produced Dramas’ are the new trend in the Korean drama industry. The reason for the change is the Chinese market, which requires content that is entirely pre-produced. As a result, most of the pre-produced dramas are starring Hallyu stars who are popular in the Chinese market.
Song Joong-gi (31) and Song Hae-gyo (34) star in ‘Descendants of the Sun’, which will be aired on KBS 2TV and the Chinese streaming platform ‘Iqiyi’ next month.
It is the first drama which will be aired in Korea and China at the same time (apart from web dramas), after China declared that it would censor online content in advance as well.
‘Saimdang, the Herstory’ starring Lee Young-ae and Song Seung-heon, secured programming at SBS and is now being filmed.
The drama is anticipated by some to be the next ‘DaeJangGum’, the historical drama that lead to Lee Young-ae’s fame in China.
New Hallyu star Park Seo-jun will star in ‘Hwarang: The Beginning’, which will air on KBS 2TV. The drama, which portrays the love and growth of Hwarang, knights of the Silla Dynasty, was sold to LETV, the Chinese equivalent of Netflix, once the casting of Park Seo-jun was announced.
‘Recklessly, Longingly’, a drama starring Kim Woo-bin and Suji, started shooting with producers hoping to air the program in Korea and China at the same time this summer. TvN’s ‘Cheese in the Trap’, which is currently airing, stars Park Hae-jin, who is gaining popularity in China. Most of the content was produced beforehand, and shooting is scheduled to end shortly.
However, whether the dramas will succeed in the Korean market or not remains to be seen.
When public interest is drawn with the casting of a top star, airing the show six months to a year after the buzz could ruin the anticipation of the viewers, as they might feel like they have waited too long.
The currently airing ‘Cheese in the Trap’ received responses such as “Hasn’t it started already” or “I thought it already aired” when the show went on air a year after announcing its production.
Many other dramas that were produced beforehand were ‘buried’ under the latest issues, not being able to draw the viewers’ attention, as the production crews adopted the responses of the viewers as they produced their show, drawing them more into it.
The practice created a deadly shooting schedule of continuously sleepless nights, and scripts were even printed out hours before the shoot.
Through pre-produced dramas, the work environment of the drama industry is expected to improve. However, success of the dramas is still not clear. Whether the dramas can succeed using the giant capital of the Chinese market and the power of top stars or not is an issue that is gathering attention in the industry.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)