Thursday, 22 November 2007

An Interview with Park Min

Do you like Batman? Batman was Park Min's favorite production to work on. Having over 18 years in the animation industry, Park Min has helped bring Batman and many other characters to life for audiences around the world.

In his earliest days, he worked as a final checking assistant. Since this start, he's moved through almost all the jobs within an animation studio. Working hard as an inbetweener so he could work even harder as an inbetweening director. Doing key animation and then moving up to key animation direction. At some point, he was a layout artist as well multiple other positions. He has just recently began work as a storyboard artist.

Park Min is an experienced animator who was willing to offer us some insights into life in the Korean animation industry.Midodok: What do you think about your life in the animation industry?
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Park Min: I think that the Korean animation industry and the animation industry in other countries, like Japan and America, are really different. These days, the animator's situation is getting worse and also disappearing. Yes, it's a really bad situation.

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Midodok: How so?

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Park Min: Many animators quit their animation work because they can't make a lot of money and we are all not paid regularly, right? We are not on a regular payment and we have to work long hours to keep the schedule. The schedule is really tight. Many animators have to spend a hard time. You know, my career is 18 years long, but these days, most directors are from my same generation so we are the last remaining animators and there is not many newcomers.

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Park Min: The Korean animation industry is really hard and if they choose to work for the Korean animation industry they have to work hard and study animation. I think many beginners don't want to become an inbetweener and key animator, they always want to become directors without doing all the stuff in between (inbetweening, key animating, final checking, etc.). But they don't like that cost, right?
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Midodok: So how have you lasted in the animation industry if it's so difficult?

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Park Min: If somebody wants to become something, they have to have patience and keep trying until they become something, right? But, the situation these days is really hard. It will take a long time to become a director. I think it is not important to become a director, but to improve themselves and their drawings and their ideas.

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Midodok: What do you think about the Korean animation industry?
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Park Min: We need more creative people in stories and ideas, but up until now, Korean animators have only concentrated on a small part--drawing or making films. But, first of all, we need to improve ourselves as a Korean animation industry, and then have a more adventurous mind. Money is always an issue too, right? And I hope more people get interested in Korean animation, too. But if we make a good animation then we won't have to worry about that.

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Park Min: I think that we need a shock. A shock that looks like a Sputnik from the Korean animation industry. I know these days it is a hard time, but we should force ourselves through it. We can do it!
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Midodok: How can somebody prepare for a career in animation?

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Park Min: I think all kinds of animation are the same even if they have unique styles (Korean, Japanese, American). I think if you wanna become an animator, you should prepare by improving you drawing skills and your understanding of story, right? And you should know about high technology like computer editing and graphics tools. And one more: language. Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese, whatever.

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Midodok: Why should they learn another language?

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Park Min: Up until now, we made animation for a few people. For only that country. But these days, we can show our animation to the whole world. So someday, we can work together to make a good animation. Nationality doesn't matter, but communication is a really important thing. If we work together with foreigners, we should find a solution through conversation if we have a problem. It's very important.
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Park Min: Everybody has the same feelings: happiness, sadness, loneliness. Emotion is the same, even if we have different color skin, language, culture and place. It doesn't matter to making good animation. That's all.
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Midodok: Thank you very much for the interview and your time.
Park Min let me look through his current sketchbook and take a couple pictures.His sketchbook had lots of good stuff in it, but I thought you might like these two best. He's got lots more cool stuff posted over at his
cool blog.

Park Min likes meeting new people. Feel free to
email him or leave questions and comments here.

I especially like Park Min's analogy of Sputnik, and how a lot of hard work can really leave the world in awe of Korean animation. What do you think?

12 comments:

Anthony said...

Greetings from UK!

What a cool site! The animation work is amazing!

park min said...

someday you can see awesome animation!!!^^ we are always trying !!! why dont you visit my blorg!! i also appreciate to roberto's wristing!!!

Anonymous said...

writings.....ㅡㅡ:

Midodok said...

Hey Anthony,

Thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Cool~~~!^-^
i kept my promise kkkk^^
-Jieun-

Midodok said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jieun! ㅋㅋㅋ

JimSeung said...

Wow!!! It's really good to see you in here.
You are AWESOME!!!

park min said...

don't mention it!! anyway im happy to see you here too!!someday soon we will join for drink!!!!^^ see ya!!

Jay said...

Cool. this looks like a real interview. by reading the interview, i could see that you have been positive about your work and you've also been patient for all those times! It's not so easy to be like that for a long time.
Keep up the good work then opportunities will present themselves right in front of ya! cheers!

park min said...

thanks jay!!!^^ i will try!!!
one day i will do everything what i want do about my ideal!!!^^

sgirl said...

One of the biggest successful export from Korea now are the dramas. How about trying to recruit some of the most famous drama directors to work with Korean animators? I've always felt that Korea technically has the capability of producing great animation, but the story has always been a bit awkward and clunky.

Korea needs to also come out and visit the foreign markets. Come visit the anime expos and conventions in Europe and US as a delegation and talk to the fans who love animation... there is a huge convention coming up in July in LA if you want to consider turning out. It would be an eye opening experience for Korean animators to see how successful Japan has been at exporting their anime.

Gerard said...

hi..greetings from india...i would like to join korean animation oneday..after completing my animation studies..good luck with ur animation