Those Who Let the Stars Shine On
Story By: Eileen Kwon Editor: Joshua Hahn
Korea is widely known for its various television programs, which are widely loved all over the world. What is less recognized are the hundreds of people who work together to make the show a reality. The viewer only sees the most popular, famous K-pop stars singing prettily on the screen. For these K-pop stars to even make an appearance on TV, producers, screenwriters, camera directors, and countless other staff members must work together to produce newer and more creative ideas of ways to deliver the show. These staff members aim to please the viewers, and they spend their days writing scripts, casting and arranging stars to appear on the show, and researching ways how the show could be better. When the public casts doubt about the show’s proceedings, the crew behind the making of the show always try to adjust accordingly to make the best out of every situation.
To investigate behind the scenes of Korean TV shows, I visited the filming set of one of the shows during rehearsals: Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook. There were many staff members spread out amongst the studio, with some in chairs looking towards the main stage, some with huge cameras, and some holding stacks of papers, which turned out to be the script for the day’s show. The rehearsals started and a group appeared on stage. It was a Korean girl group, Mamamoo. They started singing and dancing to their new song, when suddenly a member clutched the back of her neck and stopped dancing, frowning in pain. She had gotten a cramp, but the staff didn’t flounder in shock -- it had happened several times before with other singers. The staff signaled for the music to stop, but the singers gestured that it was okay and continued their stage. Some other groups appeared following Mamamoo and performed their stages, and the rehearsals ended. During the shoot of the actual show with audience, no such accidents would happen, and even if it did happen, they could simply shoot again. Yeon Lee, main scriptwriter of the program, claims that in order to give stars an opportunity to appear on television, hundreds of people must work together to organize a fluent show. The show would not be produced without them. Each and every staff member is essential to the show’s making.