‘Beef’ Creator on Directing Music Video for RM of BTS

Beef creator Lee Sung Jin says he’s having fun with the alternatives his Emmy-winning Netflix collection has introduced him — together with his newest challenge: directing a music video for BTS celebrity RM.

Lee collaborated with RM on “Come Back to Me,” a fantastically shot six-minute music video that looks like a brief movie. The track, which begins with an acoustic vibe and contains whistle sounds and guitar riffs, was launched Friday and is a departure for the BTS member. The track seems on his upcoming sophomore solo album, Proper Place, Unsuitable Particular person, out Could 24.

“It’s so sneakily catchy. I heard it as soon as after which all day lengthy I used to be buzzing it to myself. I’m like, ‘Man, that’s an earworm. It simply will get in there,’” Lee says of the track.

“I used to be actually stunned as a result of it [had] such a unique aesthetic and tone and a unique aspect of RM that I hadn’t seen earlier than,” he provides. “RM is thought for his rapping, clearly all issues BTS and I’m an enormous BTS fan. I noticed him on the Rose Bowl so I used to be like, ‘OK, I do know he’s going a unique route’ and I knew that moving into, however I had no thought it was this sort of route. It was so refreshing and surprising and I acquired so excited on the thought of arising with a music video for a track like that.”

Lee referred to as in some inventive heavyweights to drag off the video, together with artwork director and manufacturing designer Ryu Seong-hie (Reminiscences of Homicide, Oldboy) and cinematographer Kim Woo-hyung (The Little Drummer Woman, Assasination). The video additionally options an all-star solid, together with Pachinko actress Kim Minha, Emmy-nominated Beef actor Joseph Lee and Kang Gilwoo from The Glory, amongst others.

“I feel everybody actually got here collectively for the thought and it actually felt like we have been assembling the Korean Avengers,” Lee says. “I’m so grateful to them for taking the time. I do know music movies are all the time just a little bit robust and just a little little bit of a grind, and the truth that they confirmed up and gave such unimaginable performances, I’m actually grateful.”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lee talks about working with RM, how the performer rapidly recovered after bruising his eye on set, returning to Korea since elementary faculty to shoot the music video and his upcoming work on the Marvel Studios movie Thunderbolts.



What was going via your thoughts if you have been placing this video remedy collectively?

I used to be type of blue skying it at first and I feel in my head I used to be nonetheless initially pondering of it extra as a music video. I feel I used to be pitching lots of dance numbers or narratives that concerned dance. I feel after a pair failed makes an attempt, it rapidly dawned on me that they wish to actually go for it on this one. They wished to truly inform a narrative and that’s the reason that they had reached out as a result of I do know RM was a fan of Beef and I feel he was actually keen on making an attempt one thing new, [and] we simply type of placing apart the dance side, nearly even placing apart the music and tapping into what the themes of the track really are and what sort of story that we will inform that feels true and relatable, but in addition type of mysterious and open to interpretation on the identical time. It took lots of conversations the place we have been sharing tales backwards and forwards, sharing private issues, each on his finish and my finish. Then we arrived at an odd story a few man that’s trapped previously, current and future and appears to not have the ability to go away his own residence.

There’s a great quantity of performing on this video — what was it like working with RM in that side?

You’re all the time just a little nervous if you’re working with these large international superstars. Are they going to wish to rehearse? Are they going to take notes? RM was recreation for the whole lot. He was there for lengthy hours. First take of the very first scene, he bent down and his head hit the digicam and it was a large gash on his eye and instantly I assumed, “Oh nice, I’m going to be deported instantly as a result of I’ve simply scratched this nationwide treasure.” To his credit score, he went to the hospital, acquired stitched up, got here again and he was able to go. He was so versatile and open to route and I feel he was additionally pushing me. He would come and verify the monitor and be like, “Oh, I feel we will get that one just a little bit higher.” He has an unimaginable workforce behind him too. 

It was actually refreshing. I assumed I used to be going to be coming into one thing that was just a little bit extra of the standard Ok-pop construction, however I feel RM and Crew RM are actually all about creating a brand new chapter for Ok-pop, creating a brand new path ahead and I used to be simply honored to be a small a part of it.



Did he come again and proceed filming the identical day of the accident?

Yeah. He got here again the identical day. I feel the shoot was over three days and we shot in Paju, which is about an hour and a half exterior of Seoul, type of nearer to the North Korean border. I had by no means shot something in Korea earlier than, so I used to be actually nervous. Somebody that I had gotten to know over the course of Beef, Park Chan-wook, who’s to me one of many best administrators to ever do it and he was so form and so beneficiant. I used to be telling him that I used to be going to do that music video and he launched me to his longtime manufacturing designer, who additionally does a few of director Bong Joon-ho’s stuff, the nice Ryu Seong-hie. [Her credits include] Reminiscences of Homicide, The Handmaiden, The Host, simply all my favourite movies. And director Park additionally launched me to one among his DPs that he works with typically, Kim Woo-hyung, we name him Woosh. He did a The Little Drummer Woman with Florence Pugh. He did one among director Park’s earlier movies; did this nice Korean movie referred to as Assassination.

These are two simply folks on the prime of their craft in Korea and for them to wish to do that small little music video, I feel spoke to how a lot RM means to everyone [and] how a lot the thought excited everybody. On set they actually saved the day; the lighting and the manufacturing design on this one is fairly unimaginable.

What was it like taking pictures in Korea?

I went to elementary faculty there and I hadn’t been again since and I used to be nervous, however after a few week of prep, it simply felt like lots of — there’s a click on that occurs the place instantly my Korean acquired actually good and instantly I clicked into the setting and it felt like house. It felt like I had been away from house for some time and it simply felt so snug. The crew was wonderful. They have been simply working so laborious on this factor and I’m not going to lie, the meals in between takes — in America, we acquired some good artful over right here, however the Korean artful simply hits on one other stage as a result of I couldn’t wait to go on break and get a few of that [Korean food]. I used to be similar to, “Dang, acquired to carry this over to America.” Simply each side of it felt actually snug. I’m actually excited to shoot one thing once more in Korea. I’m keen to return.

Lee Sung Jin

Elyse Jankowski/WireImage

You sang in an a cappella group and also you play a pair devices, so that you clearly have a connection to music. Is music one thing that you simply ever pursued career-wise or nonetheless wish to?

I assumed popping out of school that was going to be the factor that I do — music. I used to be in an a cappella group in faculty and I used to be in bands. I used to be concertmaster of my orchestra rising up in highschool and it was my ardour and I attempted it. I used to be in a band and rapidly realized that there are different folks which are a lot, significantly better at this than me. I used to be like, “All proper, perhaps I feel I’ll simply keep a fan” however music’s so necessary to me. With the best way I write, I all the time write with music in thoughts. I take a look at storytelling in the identical approach as chord progressions and … I see story construction equally as the way you map out chords, so I’m all the time making an attempt to determine what chord we’re taking part in in a narrative.

It was actually neat to be part of a music video, which I’ve by no means accomplished earlier than and mixing these two loves and naturally the storytelling, I feel on this one, you’ll be able to type of really feel the rises and falls of it along side the track itself and the rises and falls throughout the music. I don’t know if I’ll do one other music video as a result of it’s going to be laborious to prime this one, but when somebody like RM got here calling once more, I’m certain I might persuade myself to faucet again into this and attempt to mix each side once more.

How has life modified for the reason that success of Beef

It’s been a wild experience. One of many greatest adjustments I feel is getting to fulfill folks like RM. I bear in mind I used to be sitting at house on Instagram and I instantly acquired a DM from San [Yawn], who’s in [the South Korean music collective] Balming Tiger, who’s the inventive director of this album and of this music video. I’m an enormous Balming Tiger fan as nicely. When RM did the collaboration with them on “Sexy Nukim,” that music video blew my thoughts. I acquired the DM from him and I assumed he was reaching out to do one thing with Balming Tiger and I used to be like, “Oh, candy, I really like Balming Tiger.” Then he was like, “Oh no, that is for RM” after which my thoughts was blown and I used to be watching that DM for some time. Yeah, issues like that the place folks you respect and admire a lot watch the present and wish to work collectively, it’s a dream come true. I positively don’t take it with no consideration and I’m excited to see who else I get to collaborate with going ahead.

You wrote on the upcoming Marvel Studios movie Thunderbolts. What was that like?

I used to be working off an present script from Eric Pearson and I did my cross on it and the director, Jake Schreier, is one among my greatest mates and so we’ve got a shorthand and it was actually enjoyable working with him on that. Finally some issues took me away from that challenge and we have been in a position to cross off the writing to Joanna Calo, who additionally wrote on Beef. She co-showruns and co-directs The Bear. She’s additionally one among my oldest and dearest mates and in order that was a extremely pure handoff and I do know they’re taking pictures it proper now and I’m very excited to see what Jake and Joanna did to get it to the end line as a result of that solid is phenomenal and I hope the viewers will type of really feel among the Venn diagram between Beef and Thunderbolts by way of among the themes that we wished to discover via the movie.

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