The K-Pop Dream Chapter 124: Taking His Sho
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Choo didn't participate in the next appointment, I had sent her home as I planned to visit the film company which Soo man had set me up with.
Getting off of the car, Hora suddenly said: "Dylan, can you leave a script with me? Maybe… I can help look at it and help… a little?"
Nodding in appreciation of her gesture: "Sure, no problem. I've made several copies."
Hora takes the scrips, as she holds it close to her chest, waving her little hand as I drove away.
What I don't see is the trace of resolve and determination now visible in her bright eyes.
In a café at Gangnam, I take a sip of the café mocha which I have ordered, meeting up with the owner a small film called 127 Degree. Cha Bo, a man of mixed descent about fifty years old, with a somewhat haggard face.
It looked like company was facing some trouble as he appeared downright dispirited. From past experiences, I could tell that the man probably needed to vent a little, so I didn't rush to business right away and patiently listened to the mans ramblings.
"My wife, So-rim … She was the valedictorian of the Seoul Arts Academy, you know? She and Director Lee Byung were classmates, but she was just a girl from Daegu, her family heritage didn't run as deep as his, otherwise, her achievements in the movie industry would be even hight than his. She received so many awards when she was still in school."
He sighs deeply as if recalling a dream which has long passed: "At that time… I studied finance. I was what you'd call a nerd." He scoffs as he laughs at himself: "God knows why a talented and beautiful woman like her would fancy me. She said she wanted to become a director, so I told her to stay in Seoul with me and we can develop together. She could have gone to Berkley and Hollywood but I believed we could make it big.
I remember everything, from the way we struggled in the beginning to our first script: the happy smile she had back then, it was even more bright than the day of our weeding, when I put a ring on her finger.
Later, we opened a film company, naming it 127 Degrees – as a homage to Seoul's co-ordinates, she was the director and I was her producer. I would help her take care of everything, we shot several films together, we even…. Won a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. Unfortunately, a year ago – " His voice starts to chokes under his beard: "So-rim drove to Daegu to visit her parents, there was an accident."
Anyone could see he had loved his wife deeply. Handing him a tissue, I quietly wait for the man to go on.
"After my wife… left. I though I should inherit her dreams. She wanted to make 127 grow, wanted to be a director with an Oscar as a recognition. I thought I could do it…. I've been a producer for so many years. Directing shouldn't be that difficult. So I mortgaged the company to raise funds in order to shoot a movie... but the result was out of my expectations"
"Don't mind it Mr Cha. That's only one failure, which director has never experienced a setback?"
He rubs his moist eyes, as he says: "Thank you Dylan.. Thank you for listening to this old strange man blab for so long, I feel a bit better now. When the film company went bankrupt, my son almost broke ties with me. I didn't resent him. I single handily destroyed his mother's painstaking years of hard work. I was just sorry…"
I nod slowly as I begin to layout my plan, " I'm sure Soo Man Hyung, told you but I need help with making a movie, are you able to help?"
"What's the budget?"
"$20 million dollars"
He does a spit take into his mug, " $20 million? The biggest film I ever produced was $5 million dollars and that … didn't turn out great. May I know how old you are?"
"Of course, I'm twenty years old. I hope you don't think I'm too young or too impatient"
"No, actually I just want to make sure that you know what you're doing. That is not a small sum"
"Honestly, I have no prejudices against young people. Many directors shot great movies, when they were younger and turned mediocre in their later years.
Youth have always been the fountain of innovation and creativity. Film is all about making transporting people to another world, and I believe our team can help you with that. They were personally brought up by my wife, they are very professional and diligent, but … because of me they're out of a job. So you being here is nothing but a good thing. However. I can't promise you that we will turn a profit. I want you to know what you are risking"
"I Know, and don't worry about me. I'm just a spoiled rich kid" I reach into my bag, taking out a stack of paper, handing it to Cha and quietly waited.
15 minutes later, he closes the manuscript, he returns it to me, and said: "It's a good action film. In fact it reminds me less of a Korean film and more a Hollywood blockbuster. For a first time, it's a really wise choice" He contemplates, "Maybe if the budget was $5 million, you could possibly get 3x return. At an initial budget of $20 million breaking even is optimistic at best"
"I trust my script. And if it .. fails it fails, So Mr Cha… will you be the producer for this movie?"
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