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Director Kim Seong-yoon shared behind stories about the production of Netflix’s “The Sound of Magic” starring Ji Chang-wook x Hwang In-yeop

Original series “The Sound of Magic” currently ranks 4th place on Netflix’s global TV Show chart.

Director Kim Seong-yoon of Netflix’s new series “The Sound of Magic” revealed various stories about his new work through a video interview on May 10th.

Netflix’s original series The Sound of Magic (directed by Kim Seong-yoon/ scripted by Kim Min-jeong) is a fantasy musical drama based on Ha Il-kwon’s webtoon of the same name. It tells the story that begins when mysterious magician Lee Eul (Ji Chang-wook) suddenly appears in front of Yoon Ah-yi (Choi Sung-eun) and Na Il-deung (Hwang In-yeop). “The Sound of Magic” is receiving favorable reviews for its fairytale-like content. 

The Sound Of Magic

Released on May 6th, “The Sound of Magic” ranked 7th in Netflix’s global chart in the TV show category on May 7th. The drama is gaining popularity as it rose sharply to 4th place on May 8th. In response to such achievements, director Kim Seong-yoon said, “I really can’t believe it”, adding, “I’m so grateful that lots of people sympathized with the story. I feel rewarded knowing many audiences have been moved and felt the lingering delivered through this work”.

“The Sound of Magic” is a work created based on a webtoon of the same name. Fans of the webtoon raised high expectations for the drama version to not only portray the solid story but also the visuals and artworks contained in the original work. As a result, “The Sound of Magic” is receiving divided reactions. In this regard, director Kim honestly confessed, “There are limits in my ability. In the process of visualizing the content, there were definitely some parts where we could not fill in the space between lines and texts”, adding, “It would be so great if the original version could be portrayed 100%, but it’s really hard to do so”.

The Sound Of Magic

Director Kim also emphasized, “Although ‘The Sound of Magic’ is introduced as a fantasy musical drama, it’s more like a drama about the emotional growth of the characters to me”. He also asked the viewers to focus on the characters’ growing process and emotional lines. 

Below are what director Kim Seong-yoon shared about his recently released drama “The Sound of Magic”

– “The Sound of Magic” is gaining so much love from the audience as it ranked 4th place in Netflix’s global TV Show chart on the 8th. How do you feel about it?

▶ I thought there would be no figures, such as ratings, for the drama but then articles reported on it ranking No.4 were released. I really can’t believe it. We went through many difficulties to make it and I’m so grateful that lots of people watched and sympathized with the story. I feel rewarded knowing many audiences have been moved and felt the lingering delivered through this work. To me, that’s a compliment. 

– This is the first time you released a work on OTT, so what are your expectations and worries about it?

▶ If it were to be made as broadcast on a TV channel, it would be easier to modify the story and characters since you would get feedback during the filming. But since it is released on OTT, I have to wait for the result. The filming of “The Sound of Magic” ended in September last year. I had waited quite a long time until its release so I don’t feel nervous about it anymore. Moreover, I have also been in this industry for about 20 years, so I could guess the reactions of Korean viewers, but I was not sure about how people around the world would evaluate this content. Therefore, I had a few expectations but also some worries.

The Sound Of Magic

– Which parts made you feel worried?

▶ Netflix promotes “The Sound of Magic” as a fantasy musical drama, but I think it’s more like a drama about the characters’ emotional growth. The message delivered through the story is clearly about the characters’ development. I didn’t make it as a pure musical drama but only borrowed the musical material. There are lots of inner feelings portrayed in the original work, but the narrations could be boring. However, I still believe inner feelings are the main emotions of the main characters. I thought I could show this part better than the narrations, and I used songs as a method to do so. In addition, background music is played when magic and fantasy parts appear. It is used as a device to convey Lee Eul’s heart and maximize fantasy through the lyrics. I knew there would be divided responses to this part. Some people like it, but some might feel cringe. That’s why I paid attention to the bridge parts so that the viewers would not feel awkward when the music scenes and flashback scenes appear.

– “The Sound of Magic” is a musical drama so it requires not only acting but also singing and choreographies. From the perspective of a director, what do you think was the most important part in directing this drama?

▶ The fantasy in this work is closer to magic, so the tone of the fantasy and the real world must be consistent to some extent. I paid attention to that part because costumes, magic, characters, and acting have to suit the tone. I also thought about keeping the original message and delivering it efficiently/

The Sound Of Magic

– What is the existence of Lee Eul in the growing process of Ah-yi and Il-deung?

▶ Lee Eul is tall and an adult, but there is a twist. For the two, magic is only a tool. When Ah-yi suffers the feeling of losing precious things and is in need of money, Lee Eul shows her magic and gives emotional support to her. Later, they trust each other and Lee Eul thinks he needs only one person to trust him. That kind of emotional support…. It’s important to gain support from someone in your life but it’s not an easy thing at all. I think that is one of the messages delivered through this work. The scenes where Lee Eul receives emotional support and the child rescues him from his crisis by using magic explain the reason why I took on this work. It will be revealed only until episode 6, but that’s all that I wanted to say.

– What do you want to imply with the line “Do you believe in magic?” that Lee Eul says so many times?

▶ I’m not the writer so I don’t know about the intention of this but I think this line can be a small miracle in what each of us wants to believe. When we think of certain moments in our life, there are some magical ones, right? To some people, they might think, “Can this be the whole idea?”. This work alone is also some kind of magic. “Magic” might be people’s desires. Rather than giving a specific answer, I think it’s better to let the viewers get it by themselves. 

The Sound Of Magic

– It is said that you used a real parrot to play Lee Eul’s partner – Bella. How was its chemistry with Ji Chang-wook? We are curious about the behind-the-scenes of when it gets hurt as the cage collapses. 

▶ Bella is also an important character in the drama, so I felt really pressured doing all the CGs. The actor actually contacted directly with Bella. In the scene where Bella sat on his shoulder, we had to film while matching the parrot’s condition. There were two parrots to play Bella. When one of them was not in a good condition, the other parrot played instead. (Smiles) Taking this opportunity, I want to thank Ji Chang-wook for his patience in trying to follow Bella’s condition. The cage collapsing scene was all done by CG. Netflix didn’t allow us to film the scenes that might cause animals to get hurt, so we used CG. There were several complicated parts but we still made it since the scenes were short and fast. Our CG team has done such a great job.

– Magician Lee Eun-gyeol also participated in the magic work for this drama. So what was the focus of this?

▶ The focus on magic is Lee Eul’s concept. In the original webtoon, it was some kind of random magic trick. However, we considered how to maximize fantasy as well as capture the tone and mannerism of magic. Since Lee Eun-gyeol is a person who has strengths in this, he explained the whole thing to us. He also helped us with the kind of magic trick to use.

– Lee Eun-gyeol also appeared as an audience in the after-credit video. Did you have any plan of letting him appear as a different character?

▶ In fact, all the staff members were in that scene. The writer and choreographer were also there but since Lee Eun-gyeol is a celebrity, people recognized him more easily. (Smiles) I want to invite him again in my next work. 

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