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‘Carter’ director re-imagines opening scene to engage viewers

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) — Netflix’s latest Korean original film, “Carter,” begins with a 20-minute action scene in which Carter (Joo Won), an amnesiac agent on a hostage rescue mission, has a bloody dogfight — almost naked — with hundred faceless people in a public bath.

The agent is assigned to bring a girl to North Korea to serve as an antidote to a pandemic that has been sweeping the Korean Peninsula.

Its director-writer Jung Byung-gil said Wednesday he created the heartbreaking opening scene, full of amazing hand-to-hand combat and gunfights, to captivate moody viewers of the streaming service from the start.

“The film’s original script had a different beginning. Since ‘Carter’ is not a theatrical release film, I wanted to engage viewers’ eyes with stronger visual imagery from the start,” Jung said in an online media interview. “People watched this show on smartphones or laptops. I wanted to give them a much stronger impression from the start, to stay tuned,” said the director, known for a motorcycle fight scene shot from the first person in the opening of his female assassin film The Villainess (2017). .

The director said he also oversaw the sound design of his first Netflix original film for those watching his film at home, rather than in a theater with large horn speakers. The film needed to offer average normal sound and audio anywhere and anytime viewers tuned in to the show through any device, he added.

“Every viewer has different speaker levels. Some watch content on televisions, smartphones or laptops. That’s why I made sure that the film could be heard in a similar way on every occasion,” said Jung. “If this movie had sound for a theatrical release, people would have had to turn the volume down scene by scene because it’s too loud for a laptop or a phone.”

But he still wishes to see his action-packed thriller on the big screen with better theatrical sound, despite having a special preview event for the first 20 minutes of “Carter” at a local cinema last month.

“It was the first time I saw ‘Carter’ on the big screen, even though it only lasted 20 minutes. It was good. I felt like ‘Carter’ would go well with cinema,” he said. “But I think it’s attractive enough for a filmmaker to share his film with many people around the world at the same time.”

Since its official release on Friday, “Carter” has surged in popularity on Netflix, despite mixed views over its electrifying action and patchy melodramatic plot.

It debuted at #1 in Netflix’s latest weekly viewership figures for non-English films, becoming the first Korean-language film to top the streamers chart for that category.

“My mood fluctuates depending on the good and bad reactions to my film,” said Jung, who is now preparing for a few film projects, including several English-language ones. “But I’m very happy that a lot of people like my film and its rankings are increasing.”

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