‘Business Proposal’ Director Talks Creation of Netflix’s Ok-Drama Hit –


Park Seon-ho tries to keep away from feeling too responsible in relation to cliches. As the director of Business Proposal, the most recent hit South Korean romantic comedy based mostly on a well-liked webtoon of the identical title, he sticks to the precept that “what you’re familiar with works the best.” So as an alternative of forcing change or including synthetic flavors, he tries to painting comfortingly predictable scenes as they’re. 

For Ok-drama followers, the plot of the story could certainly ring acquainted – an strange woman is disguised as her wealthy buddy and meets an smug inheritor of a conglomerate on a blind date on the buddy’s request, solely to be taught that he’s the CEO of the corporate she works for. The two fall in love, and regardless of the pressures from the boy’s household because of class variations, the couple overcomes hardship and lives fortunately ever after. 

Yet this predictable storyline which adopts the Cinderella plot with a up to date corporate-workplace twist resonated in an enormous approach with many followers of Ok-drama. On Netflix, the place the sequence was launched globally, Business Proposal was the streamer’s #1 non-English sequence for the third consecutive week as of final week. It was additionally the third most-watched Netflix present on the earth behind the primary two seasons of Bridgerton. 

talked to the director Seon-ho Park to debate the worldwide success of his final work and his experiences of working with up-and-coming Korean actors.  

This is your third sequence after Suspicious Partner and Wok of Love. How did you method Business Proposal, and what was your first impression of the unique webtoon? 

I additionally shot a brief drama sequence My Fantastic Funeral, so I’d say Business Proposal is definitely my fourth piece. After I accomplished Wok of Love, I used to be getting ready to work on one other undertaking nevertheless it fell by way of with the pandemic. Right after I began feeling pissed off and dissatisfied with myself due to the misplaced time of a full 12 months, a manufacturing firm reached out to me. The impression I received from my first learn of the script was nice. I accepted the supply as a result of I knew I may take pleasure in engaged on the piece. After I stated sure, I learn the unique webtoon sequence and received the impression that it was a cute and quirky romantic comedy set in an workplace. I believed, ‘This is a piece that audiences can enjoy anytime with peace of mind. It doesn’t provide you with any complications, and it’s nice for relieving stress.’ I attempted to increase on these impressions from the unique webtoon in my strategy of dramatizing the sequence.

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Park Sun-ho

In the sooner episodes, it was obscure why Tae-moo couldn’t inform the distinction between Ha-ri and Geum-hui. Did you have got any issues about this arrange?

I had many ideas about it. I used to be at a loss as to what to do about it (laughs). From Kim Se Jeong’s standpoint, she has to change from Ha-ri and Geum-hui consistently, so the nuances in her appearing needed to be completely different. She needed to have the fundamental basis as an enthralling lead in a romantic comedy sequence, whereas giving variation to her appearing type. We gave Geum-hui a extra dramatic change in her type, however there have been some structural points to match with that character so her type needed to undergo an overhaul once more. I communicated with Kim Se Jeong consistently all through this complete course of to construct on her opinions, particularly within the particulars in her appearing and her general type. She principally needed to put together for 2 roles, since she was taking part in two completely different characters. I had numerous ideas on how the 2 characters’ relationships with Tae-moo would develop after they met him. With the fundamentals in place for the characters Ha-ri and Geum-hui, the event course of was somewhat bit simpler. But I did attempt to make the circulate extra pure and the story extra life like because it must make sense to the viewers. That’s why we put in scenes the place Ha-ri intentionally avoids making eye contact with Tae-moo to start with when she encounters him at work. We additionally added a playful chase scene along with her slipper. (We thought it might even be a enjoyable allusion to Cinderella.) Also, we deliberately portrayed Ha-ri as a personality who’s very expert at her job. We made her character likable, however by additionally highlighting her competence, we emphasised that Tae-moo could be unable to match Ha-ri and Geum-hui due to his very robust impression of Ha-ri as a certified worker. 

Young-seo and Sung-hoon’s relationship is contrasted with the traditional fairy-tale setting of Tae-moo and Ha-ri. How did you need to painting their relationship?

I didn’t assume the connection between Tae-moo and Ha-ri was that standard both (laughs). I believed it had some fantasy elements to it, so in script conferences with the author, we agreed to make it extra life like and believable. Romantic comedy as a style takes elements of fantasy without any consideration (particularly within the case of Cinderella-format tales) so I wished to deliver some realness to steadiness out feelings in order that viewers wouldn’t have a tough time accepting the story. Young-seo and Sung-hoon’s relationship is identical. I don’t assume that falling in love at first sight or the woman pursuing the man is that out of the strange as we speak. I believe what makes their relationship particular is the way in which they categorical their relationship and the way they seize their feelings of their appearing. I don’t need these two {couples} to be a stark distinction of one another. People love in several methods, which is the message I wished to convey. 

You added fascinating visuals by utilizing animated results. Whose concept was it? 

They all began off as my concepts, and naturally our nice groups constructed on it. I targeted most on an natural story circulate and believable character feelings. A drama is only a story advised utilizing visuals, so I believe the story, which is the inspiration, is an important aspect. That’s why we targeted on the general storyline and the circulate of feelings, although they will not be excellent. Visual results have been used to take care of the integrity of the unique webtoon as nicely. Personally, I like utilizing particular visible results and attempt to incorporate them the place I can. I by no means use it to compromise the circulate of the story or the actors’ efficiency although.

What was your first impression of Ahn Hyo Seop and Kim Se Jeong?

They had nice attitudes in the direction of work and understanding their characters. They have been diligent. As a producer, I wished to propel their careers ahead so they might construct on their stardom as up-and-coming actors. They have been each lovable and good at their jobs. At our first assembly, Ahn Hyo Seop was much more youthful than I had heard. That’s after I knew that he was the appropriate match for Tae-moo, not the opposite approach round. I jokingly advised him that I wished to deliver out the infantile aspect of him on this sequence (laughs). He already had the appears to be like for the a part of Tae-moo, so including on his childlike elements would deliver layers to the character’s complexity. Ahn Hyo Seop as an actor is stable and honest, so he not solely introduced out nuanced feelings from the character but in addition may aptly coloration Tae-moo’s character and seize particulars.

Kim Se Jeong is a former member of a Ok-pop idol group. Did you have got any issues about her appearing expertise? 

Not in any respect. In the primary assembly, the writers and I have been blown away by how Kim prepped and interpreted her character. I knew she had the need and tenacity to develop her character with vigor. She was excellent for us. We talked extensively concerning the character’s feelings and their kinds. She’s a diligent and gifted actor. She’s wonderful as a result of she is aware of methods to deliver out her personal feelings. There are some biases to pondering that individuals from idol teams may be dangerous actors. If idol stars go into appearing, we will choose them by their earlier works. We can fathom what sort of potentialities lie forward for them as actors, and see if producers can elevate that.

Were there any fascinating or memorable anecdotes from the set?

We loved most of our time on set. Sure, there have been instances once we have been drained or pissed off, however our nice group of workers, actors and good vibes simply compensated for that. There was a live performance scene within the present. The male duo singer group MeloMance (a well-known Korean group) accepted being featured within the drama and sang dwell. They will need to have been exhausted from capturing since they didn’t have a lot appearing expertise, however they took on track requests from our supporting actors in between shoots to supply us with dwell music. Shooting the live performance scene really felt like we have been in a live performance. Kim Se Jeong even went on stage and sang with them as a duet.  

The drama is having fun with world recognition because of Netflix. Are you acutely aware of abroad reception? What do you assume is behind the present’s world success?

Of course, I’m acutely aware of it. I’m human too (laughs). People round me maintain telling me how this blew up by way of Netflix. I used to be floored. Many world followers touch upon my Instagram posts and present their assist. I’m at all times very grateful. A drama relies on storytelling. If a narrative is sweet, it should resonate with individuals everywhere in the world. I believe that was the key behind Business Proposal. We took a cliché of a narrative, tweaked it right here and there and made it into an emotional detail-oriented narrative. The actors’ stellar efficiency and manufacturing workers’s competence helped in delivering the story in a stupendous approach — all of them got here collectively.

Romance as a style has its limits in giving variations or transcending past the mounted construction. Did you have got any rules or guidelines if you have been coping with standard compositions or cliches?

It’s such a tough process. It’s actually not straightforward to maintain that nice line between refreshing and standard. I continued to query myself when it got here to coping with cliches, on whether or not I used to be making it too predictable or not. I’m nonetheless studying and rising, however I examine loads on how I can ship a narrative in a approach that makes viewers’ hearts flutter however avoids being apparent. So lately a thought got here to me, “let’s just be honest about this” and “what you’re familiar with works best.” Let’s not power change or add synthetic flavors. Let’s painting predictable scenes as they’re, however add adjustments inside that huge body. Cliches get a nasty rep, however when used correctly, they’re to not be discarded. That’s how I justified a few of the scenes. But I’m nonetheless trying to find the reply, although I don’t even know if there may be such a factor for granted reply (laughs).

In episode 11 there’s a love scene between Tae-moo and Ha-ri. Some identified that it got here off as random within the circulate of the story. Are you proud of the end result? 

I believe some individuals thought that it was random as a result of Tae-moo and Ha-ri have been in an harmless relationship the place they supported one another emotionally. But from a manufacturing standpoint, I didn’t need to lure them on this platonic love. They have been each adults, so it wasn’t bizarre that they have been doing grownup issues. Also, at this level of the story, Tae-moo is desperately in search of Ha-ri, and Ha-ri’s feeling is mutual. I do know that scene wasn’t for everybody, so I used to be humbled and mirrored on how I’ve extra to be taught.  

Some elements of the drama have been hardly relatable to younger Koreans as we speak, like how the feminine lead within the drama has to take care of her boyfriend’s sick grandfather or the humiliation of looking for approval from his household.

I fully perceive. Even as a fictional drama, it will probably’t veer too far-off from the truth of the time interval. That’s why I attempted to make the narratives and emotional flows of every character natural with no synthetic disruptions. I targeted on the general circulate to justify the character’s positions – like why she has no selection however to look after the sick grandfather, or why the humiliation was mandatory for approval of their marriage – in order that viewers wouldn’t ask themselves, “What on earth are these characters doing?”

Ok-dramas resembling Our Beloved Summer and Twenty-Five Twenty-One have additionally garnered a lot consideration globally. What do you assume is the power behind Ok-romcoms?

I watched them, and thought they have been each nice items. My spouse actually liked each dramas, too (laughs). The strengths of Korean rom-coms… that’s a really arduous query. It must be the believable narrative constructed from the start and the detailed emotional nuances that the display screen captures. There are additionally wonderful actors who’re expert at portraying these feelings superbly. Lastly, the wonderful crew deliver all of it collectively by way of tireless work.

This is your first undertaking after leaving SBS (a significant Korean broadcaster). What does Business Proposal imply to you personally? 

I really feel relieved and completely happy. Business Proposal will in all probability imply “business” and “proposal” for me. This was my first undertaking as a freelancer after leaving the corporate, and I’m relieved that it got here out nicely. Also, I used to be completely happy to work with nice crew and actors within the path I wished. Viewers feeling completely happy from watching the drama was the cherry on prime for me. The most necessary issue for me is the individuals I work with. Even as I enterprise into completely different genres and initiatives, I need to keep the heat, the emotions and the great narratives in every of my initiatives. 


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