SF8 Episode #2: Manxin (만신)
Premiere: Saturday, 22 August 2020, 8pm, Oh!K (Astro Ch 394)
Cast: Lee Yeon-hee as To Sun-ho, Lee Dong-hwi as Jung Ga-ram
Director: Noh Duk
Synopsis: Based on AI with an accuracy rate of 95%, fortune app ‘Manxin’ becomes the replacement of God, marking Neologism – ‘Manxin Dependence’. One day, Sun-ho’s little sister disappears with the big sinkhole in the ground. Accompanied by ‘Manxin’ believer Ga-ram, she starts looking for the creator of ‘Manxin’. Will they be able to meet the founder of Manxin app and find the solution they want?
Host: Director Noh, a manxin is known as a female shaman. In this movie manxin is depicted as an AI fortune telling service. How did you combine spiritual fortune telling with scientific SF?
Noh Duk (ND): In a way science has developed in improving every corner of living. But also, one of the goals of science is to solve mysteries in this world, such as afterlife, soul and etc. These are questions that has not been answered and, in this movie, and we tried to take scientific approach and unearth. The subject matter isn’t something that is far away from us. I think fortune telling and science are not contradicting concepts. That’s how this movie started.
Host: Lee Yeon-hee, when you see the trailer, your appearance is something that you haven’t tried before. It’s different from your previous roles in other dramas/movies. What are the reasons why you chose to be that way?
Lee Yeon-hee (LYH): My character’s concept is something that I discussed with the director and staff members. I personally wanted to give it a shot and I was thrilled with the hope that it could be a new experience. I can’t wait to hear about what everyone thinks of my character and me as it is different from my image so far.
Host: Lee Dong-hwi, your character has blind belief on this manxin service. Do you personally believe in fortunes, destiny and stuff?
Lee Dong-hwi (LDW): When you see a magazine or something, at the back of it there is this month’s fortune section. I tend to reference them. It feels good when the result comes out to be positive. But when something bad happens it amazingly says ‘be careful.’ But it feels like it’s fooling around because similar comments go around and around. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself for looking at it. But still, it is something that I want to reference a bit as I live on. I always check after my day is over. When I see it beforehand, I could start in a negative mood. So, I will check at the end of July.
Host: Director Noh, how were each cast members brought in?
ND: I had many actors and actresses in my mind when I was writing the scenario and planning for characters. I used to think that Lee Yeon-hee mainly showed a lot of lovely side of her in her acting. When we were in the casting process, she was acting as a detective character. I looked at her filmography and closely looked at what drama/movies she had been part of and what type of character she had chosen. Then I thought maybe her personality could be something charismatic? Someone who is not afraid of adventure? I wanted to work on this character with her. For the male character I wanted to draw someone who is very pure. The female character and the male character always appear together. So, the male character should be someone who can neutralize the female character’s strong will for chasing a purpose. But at the same time someone who has his own worries and does not emit that in a violent way. Lee Dong-hwi came to mind and met with him and offered the role.
Host: Lee Yeon-hee, your detective character from The Game, did it help this time?
LYH: I think this character in this movie is a bit different. In my previous drama, my character was someone armed with responsibility and had a strong image. This time, she is a bit freer who doesn’t really care for what others think and express freely in her own way in her own world.
Host: Lee Dong-hwi, please elaborate more on your experience working on this film which must have a been a bit unfamiliar for you.
LDH: It was my first time being on a SF genre. Personally, I thought that after all story of people and their life and living is same all throughout. The setting of an SF movie sure can convey a different color. But it still is talking about people’s lives. People living on their life. So, it didn’t feel that far away. I went to the Gwangjang Market to search for outfits for this movie. Gwangjang Market was sort of SF in a way that it went through past and future.
Host: Are there principles that you abided by when working on the film? How was the collaboration? If there is Season 2, would you participate again?
ND: As far as I know all the movies were produced under the same budget. SF depends a lot on CG and the same CG company did all the CG work. In terms of the autonomy on creation, I think it was more open than any other commercial movies. For commercial, many interests are involved so from the scenario stage a director’s creativity seldomly gets 100% support. However, in this project, they didn’t ask and unconditionally supported whatever directors decide to do so it was fun working on it. I have discussed with our casts but in many ways the circumstances were fierce as we need to think of budget and physical conditions. And within that, surprisingly, we found joy and possibility. In terms of Season 2, I poured everything I had in this so if the opportunity goes to other directors I would definitely recommend.