October, 2023




Seongho, tell us a bit more about yourself. Where does your desire to be a director come from?

Hello, I’m Seongho Won, the director and cinematographer of the short film “Gain.” I am a 22-year-old student currently studying visuals at Kongju National University College of Arts, Department of Visual Studies.

The desire to become a director probably started when I became a college student. Now that I’m in college, I met people who like the same things I like to do, meeting and working with talented people, and I have a dream that ‘Oh, I want to be a successful director with the work I’ve made, so I can go up to the podium, hold the trophy, and say thank you’.

What is your background?

I started with photography. My mom told me that I’ve been holding a camera and taking pictures since I was very young and don’t even remember. The moment when I started taking pictures on my cell phone that I can remember was when I was about 11 years old.

I started editing videos when I was in middle school, and I wanted to be a video editor until I was in high school. However in high school, I had the experience of shooting short films and making small UCCs with my friends for fun, and I gradually realized that I wanted to do videography, and cinematography more professionally instead of editing.

That’s what I did, and now I’m learning more about videography and cinematography and doing it professionally. Of course, I still take pictures as a hobby. 

What were your references for Gain?

Gain’s reference is my experience, and the experience of different actress, who I worked with.

When I was in the army doing my duty for mandatory military service, I was in a period of depression where I was looking at social media and seeing pictures of my friends on Instagram filming movies, and having fun, and I was like, “Oh, why am I here, I could do what they’re doing, I could be better at it, I want to go out and do that.”

Later, I met and talked to actress for a Nikon photo/video contest, who I originally knew, and she told me that she felt similar emotions when she wasn’t working as an actor.

I put that story together with my own experiences and began to write the script for “Gain”‘s Story, which was back then, for the Nikon contest. This story became the reference for scene 4, where the main character, Gain Lee, receives a call from Hyeonjoo.

As a side note, when I asked the actor to participate in the Nikon Photo/Video Contest at the time, I was told that the pre-production period was too short, so I extended the pre-production period and looked for another actor. That’s how “Gain” with Jungyeon Kim was born.

You won an Honorable Mention for Best Poster at the RED Movie Awards, what does that mean to you?

First of all, I’m very grateful. Receiving an Honorable Mention means that my work was remembered by the jury in some way, which gave me the opportunity to participate in the award ceremony. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the RED Movie Awards for giving me such a great opportunity.

And a little bit greedy. I’d like to win again for something else. I’m currently working on a documentary. Next time, I would like to be recognized and awarded in the ‘documentary category’ or ‘first time director’ category for this documentary.

How did you work to define the poster?

I collected still frames from each scene that I thought would best represent the theme and mood of the movie. I then showed each stills to a co-director I had worked with on the movie and asked him which one he thought best represented the theme and mood of the movie.

After settling on a frame from the full shot of Gain looking at the Han River Bridge in scene 5, I started searching for poster references.

I’m not very good at Graphic design, so I ended up just taking the actor’s name, and “A film by ooo,” and adding the title of the movie, along with the Chinese characters. The meaning of Chinese characters are “Beauty of Endurance.”

What do you want people to feel when they see it.

I want you to feel comforted when you watch my movie. There is no one in this world without a story, and we all have difficulties. But we all have the power to overcome our trials. I hope we can all be like Gain in the movie and not give up on the difficult tasks and obstacles that come our way.

How did you work with the actors, in particular with Jungyeon Kim?

The actor who plays the director in the movie, Joonhyeok Oh, is actually a high school friend of mine. Originally, I was going to play the director myself, but I realized that I wouldn’t be able to focus on filming and acting if I did, so I asked him.

I called him and said, ‘I’ll buy you a meal. I’m making a movie and I need an actor, I need your help’. Thankfully, he agreed, and we got to see him on screen.

except for a script reading, and when she called me to ask any questions she had about film and character Gain, I didn’t give any guidelines to Jungyeon Kim. but she was able to capture the character I envisioned and what I thought Gain Lee would be like.

On film set, I didn’t give her any directions. Rather, I personally held the pan bar of the tripod to set up the shot, gave artistic direction, and gave other technical instructions to the crew. In terms of directing and acting, I didn’t have to worry about anything; she is a great actress, experienced, seasoned, and very imaginative. I hope that through this opportunity, the world will realize that there is a great actress named Jungyeon Kim and that she will get love calls for various works.

Can you tell us about your production method, are you produced or self-produced?

I was self-produced. When I first decided I wanted to make a movie, I called each of my crew members. I said, “I’m trying to make this movie and I need help. Can you give me help?” and they all said yes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them again.

I then posted on the internet community “” that I was looking for actress. Over 350 actors sent me their resumes and acting videos, and after reviewing them all, I contacted the one who most closely matched the vibe I had in mind, Jungyeon Kim.

In the meantime, I made all the technical preparations, and did a test shoot with a co-director, and the next week, on March 17, 2023, we started shooting and finished shooting in six hours.

What does this mean for the creation of a film?

It’s about feeling alive, doing what I do best, and being able to do something I’m always excited about. I’m definitely tired and exhausted when I’m shooting, but I always feel proud when I’m done.

Do you have an anecdote to share with us in particular?

I asked the cafe we were shooting at in scene 3, if it would be okay to shoot there for an hour starting at 7:30pm. The original plan was to serve lunch and dinner to everyone, and to wrap up the shoot with plenty of time to move to the cafe.

However, as you know, things happen on set and there were delays. In order to keep our appointment with cafe, we skipped dinner and went straight to the cafe to shoot, and we ended up finishing exactly at the scheduled time.

Afterward, we had refreshments provided by the owner of the cafe and talked about the shoot.

I asked everyone to stay for dinner, but the other crew members said they were tired and wanted to rest at home, and I had to go home from Seoul, so there was a lot of time pressure. I was relieved that we finished on time, but I still feel a lot of regret that I didn’t give them dinner after all.

What is your next project?

I am currently filming a self-documentary about me who plays the flute and my mother. It’s also an assignment for my college class, Documentary Workshop, and should be finished in the next couple of months.