Lee Ha Jun
AS: How did you work with the DP on Parasite?
LHJ: We determined the angle of the house based on the angle of the sun and based on our 3D-rendered set designs. Sometimes we discussed widths and lengths to accommodate the required angles. I always go over the production design not only with the director but also with the DP. Our DP Hong Kyung Pyo loved to take reference photos. We went over many stories and ideas based on his photos. And we discussed practical lights and camera angles by looking at the 3D virtual environment created by VFX. Our DP is a real master who is always really invested in the project. I always learn a lot from him and respect him.
AS: How do you get your jobs? Do you have an agent? Or is it all through people you know?
LHJ: I get my jobs from directors, producers and sometimes from other acquaintances. We don’t have agencies for crew in Korea, just for the actors. We all work independently.
AS: Are you on the set during shooting?
LHJ: I’m on set most of the time except when I have to build another important set in advance.
AS: You mentioned earlier that certain sets can become characters in the movie…
LHJ: The set seems like it’s in the distant background, behind everything, but when the crew and actors come into the set and become one with each other’s inspiration, the place becomes the main character.
AS: How do you feel about people saying the design of a set should be “invisible”?
LHJ: I don’t think it’s always good to design a set that stands out. Except for the cases where you need to emphasize the expression, it is better to be in harmony with the character of the film.
AS: How do you see the future of production design? More and more greenscreens and VFX?
LHJ: I was kind of anxious when I was doing Okja because it had a lot of CG compared to my previous work. But the production design team’s job still requires creativity. There may be fewer sets to build but won’t there still be infinite imagination and details required?
AS: What project are you currently working on?
LHJ: I’m working on the biggest blockbuster in Korean film history. It is the first time for a Korean film to have two production designers.