Film Screening and Discussion with Animation Director Kim Moon Saeng of "Wonderful Days"
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Date: November 4, 2012
Time: 2-5:30 PM
Location: Ray Stark Theater
SCA 108, George Lucas Building, 900 W. 34th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
A reception will follow at the Ahn House, USC Korean Studies Institute (809 W 34th Street on USC)
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Parking: Guests can enter Gate 5 at Jefferson and McClintock to park in Parking Structure D for $10.
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Welcome by David James (Chair of Critical Studies, USC Cinematic Arts)
Introduction speech by Director Kim Moon Saeng (5 min)
Screening of Wonderful Days (86 min)
Screening of a new trailer, Empire of the Ants (5 min)
Panel with Director Kim Moon Saeng
Moderator: David James
Panelists: Kim Moon Saeng, Tom Sito (Professor, Animation & Digital Arts of USC School of Cinematic Arts), Peter Chung (Designer & Director)
Q & A
Reception at Dosan Ahn Chang Ho Family House (Korean Studies Institute)
The USC Korean Studies Institute and School of Cinematic Arts presents Director Kim Moon Saeng: Special Dialogue with the Director and Screening of Wonderful Days
Kim Moon Saeng is South Korea’s premier animation director. Please join us for a special U.S. screening of the cutting edge animation feature Wonderful Days, with panel discussion to follow.
Panelists include: Kim Moon Saeng, Tom Sito (Professor, Animation & Digital Arts of USC School of Cinematic Arts), Peter Chung (Designer & Director)
Moderated by Professor David James, Cinematic Arts
Wonderful Days (also known as Sky Blue) is a South Korean animated science fiction film, released in 2003, written and directed by Kim Moon Saeng. It features backdrops rendered using photo-realistic computer-generated imagery, comparable to those in the film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, along with the use of highly detailed models for some of the backdrops into which the cel animated characters were then animated. The backgrounds in the film were shot with traditional motion control techniques, then processed to look like CG. The vehicles were all rendered, and the characters were cel animated.
Wonderful Days is set in 2142. Environmental pollution has led to a breakdown of human civilization. A technologically advanced city named Ecoban was built and it harvests energy from the DELOS System, which uses pollution in a carbonite catalyzed reaction to generate power. Carbonite extraction is carried out by people who live outside the city in the surrounding wasteland. Among them is an enigmatic young man known as Shua (Marc Worden). He ends up in a love triangle with his childhood friend, Jay (Cathy Cavadini), and her superior, Ecoban security commander Cade (Kirk Thornton).
Kim Moon-saeng started his career as a television commercial director within the early childhood nutrition industry in Korea. He was known for his distinctive visuals and creative ideas, which intrigued domestic and international clients within this industry.
Kim focused on using new and creative visual expression through many different types of animation. He used techniques such as stop motion, rotoscoping, claymation, miniature and cell-in-one before CG was even introduced.
His first feature animation, “Wonderful Days, a.k.a Sky Blue,” was made with three different animation techniques in one scene: miniature setting, CG VFX, and 2D animation characters. This process became what is known as the “multi-layered animated feature”. It was a very challenging task to achieve in order to express the beautiful, symbolic and poetic scenes that reflect the very sensitive and emotional journey of the characters in “Wonderful Days.”
After “Wonderful Days”, he directed a stereoscopic 3D CGI animation called “Tree Robo” which was exhibited in the Korean Pavilion during the 2005 Iichi Nagoya EXPO in Japan. With its theme of “The Wisdom of Nature”, the visuals and storytelling impressed visitors at the EXPO, making the Korean Pavilion one of the most popular exhibits at the expo.
He is now facing the new challenge of creating a world of ants based on bestselling international French writer Bernard Werber’s novel “Empire of the Ants.” The director is creating this “ant world” in a very different point of view from his other animations. It is more realistic, yet fantastic and mysterious—allowing viewers to experience an otherworldly version of Earth.
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