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Cultural Authorities Ban Night Shooting for TV Dramas in Palaces

Cultural Authorities Ban Night Shooting for TV Dramas in Palaces

Posted October. 23, 2002 22:46,   


"In a windy day a few years ago, A team of people, who produce a historical drama, were shooting at night with four LPG gas bombes on the pillars of a palace designated as a national treasure. It was very dangerous because the gas bombes could have caused a big fire," said Kang Im-san, the chairman of a civic group aimed at protecting national historic heritage.

There are a huge number of night scenes in historical dramas on TV. There are many other reasons. But in many cases the staff prefer night shooting because night scenes look much more magnificent with smaller number of extras.

But the Cultural Properties Administration (CPA) has recently banned night shooting in traditional palaces for fear that night shooting could cause severe damage to cultural properties. The decision came after Rep. Lee Hyup of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) noted that the cultural authorities has illegally granted authority the relevant law bans to broadcasting companies by allowing them to shoot in traditional palaces.

The CPA allowed night shooting for TV dramas in traditional palaces such as Kyongbok, Changduk and Duksu Palace on 108 occasions from last year to August, this year. Night shooting takes up 41.4% of the total number of shooting allowed in palaces.

There has been mounting criticism over shooting in palaces since it damages historical properties. Heavy equipment needed to produce dramas has a fatal impact on the old wooden buildings. It has also been noted as dangerous that drama staff often smoke and throw away cigarette ends in palaces, which have been designated as non-smoking areas.

The ban on night shooting by the cultural authorities dealt a serious blow to broadcasting companies, which have been actively engaged in producing historical dramas.

Especially the staff members of a historical drama, which is to be first released on Nov. 6, are suffering the most from the ban.

An official at a broadcasting company said that they are seeking for ways to shoot night scenes in the daytime. He added that the company planned to set up a `palace set`, but it would take more than 10 years to complete the establishment.

Kang Im-san said that the palaces are valuable cultural properties we should pass over to the future generation and that it is absurd that broadcasting companies making high profits do not set up a `palace set`.

Seung-Hoon Cheon raphy@donga.com