Ten Korean theaters, five in Seoul and five in other large cities, are offering the film on an experimental basis, but producer Jeon Won-jo is convinced that’s just the beginning. “It opens doors for a lot of people,” he says. “It’s democratization. It allows students and independent filmmakers another very useful option.”
Park warns, however, that the technique of shooting by iPhone does not necessarily mean the whole process is easier than normal filmmaking. “The size and scale of the movie is the same as a regular movie,” he says in one of several interviews shown right after the credits for the film. “It’s just that the camera was smaller.”
Park quickly discovered, while using eight iPhone 4 cameras in two months of shooting, that the only real difference between making this film and a film with conventional cameras is the drastic reduction in costs.
“I thought I could play with the camera,” he says, “but it was the same as making a regular movie. It takes just as much work as using normal cameras.”
That’s fine as far as filmgoers are concerned. The technical quality, say people after seeing "Paramanjang," is indistinguishable from that of any film shot normally. After seeing it, filmgoers may not be fully aware of having glimpsed the potential future of the industry.
“I couldn’t tell it was shot on anything different,” says movie fan Chang Sung-hee. Still, she says, the theme of "Paramanjang" “goes to the soul of Koreans.” The fantasy tale of suffering and finally redemption may not appeal to foreign audiences, she observes, “but Koreans will appreciate its inner meaning.”
As for director Park, he sees it as the precursor to shooting full-length feature films, and he plans to make more of them the same way. It was because of his reputation here as an innovative spirit that Korea Telecom (KT) contacted him in the first place and asked him if he could make a movie with Apple smartphones that it was marketing in Korea.