“This show is a fantastic space,” says visual effects supervisor Cheong Jai Hoon on the ambitious visual style he helped bring the Netflix blockbuster “Squid Game” to life. “It’s not quite real,” he says, adding that in his mind, “it looks a bit like an amusement park.”
“The hardest part was creating a balance between what’s completely new and fake and balancing it with something real,” he explains. “It’s a show where we created a space that didn’t exist at all and it’s something we’ve never seen before, but we had to create it to an extent that it would feel like the real thing. .” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“Squid Game” was designed by the showrunner Hwang Dong-hyuk, who not only created and produced “Squid Game,” but also wrote and directed all nine episodes, expanding the story from its original feature film format. The stars of the series Lee Jung-jae next to Jung Ho Yeon, Hae-soo Park, Wi Ha-jun, Heo Sung-taerecent Golden Globe winner O Young-su, Anupam Tripathi and Kim Joo-ryoung. It tells the story of unlucky people in desperate need of money, who each receive mysterious invitations to join a dangerous life or death version of their childhood games in order to win a cash prize of 45.6 billion. won (equivalent to approximately US$38 million).
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Each game is a traditional Korean children’s game, such as Red Light Green Light, but in this sinister “amusement park”, the consequence of losing each game is a painful death. Who will be the winner and what is the purpose of this game? Of the 456 participants from all walks of life who are locked in a secret location to play Game 1, only a handful remain to play Game 6. Netflix premiered all nine episodes of the dystopian South Korean thriller on September 17 from the last year, after which became a word-of-mouth sensation and launched the streaming giant’s most popular series, topping the Netflix charts in more than 80 countries.
After all its commercial success, “Squid Game” could dominate at the Emmys this year, following its three surprise wins at the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards, where Lee won Best Drama Actor, Jung won Best Drama Actress and Series won the stunt ensemble prize. Cheong has also garnered his share of industry attention, recently scoring for a Visual Effects Society nomination for Best Supporting Visual Effects in a Photorealistic Episode for the “VIPS” episode, which features the game in which the competitors cross a perilous glass bridge, many crashing through random panes of glass to their deaths.
The VFX maestro says the sequence was both his highlight and his biggest challenge on the show. “If you don’t have a good sense of scale and height, the whole drama would fall apart,” he admits. “There was enormous pressure on my shoulders. When I first watched it after the show came out, I felt like my heart was burning and the whole world was going to watch it, so I was almost losing sleep! After the series was released, everyone loved it so much and there were no comments about it, so I was very relieved after seeing the audience reaction.
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